For all practical purposes, status quo ante.

Jobless claims increased by 1,000 to 295,000 in the week ended April 18, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, climbed to 284,500 from 282,750 in the prior week. The comparable reading for the March payroll survey week was 305,250, signaling employment could have picked up.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 50,000 to 2.33 million in the week ended April 11. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent, where it’s been since mid-March. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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Seems Uber may be the ride for the discriminating.

Uber Technologies Inc must defend against a lawsuit accusing the popular ride-sharing service of discriminating against blind people by refusing to transport guide dogs, a federal judge ruled.

In a decision late Friday night, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California, said the plaintiffs could pursue a claim that Uber was a “travel service” subject to potential liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The judge also rejected Uber’s arguments that the plaintiffs, including the National Federation of the Blind of California, lacked standing to sue under the ADA and state laws protecting the disabled.

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17 April 2015 · Comments Off on Right To Freeload · Categories: Mammon, Political Economy

Man explaining

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16 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still not too bad.

While a Labor Department report in Washington Thursday showed jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 294,000 in the week ended April 11, readings this low are typically consistent with an improving job market.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, was little changed at 282,750 compared with an almost 15-year low of 282,500 in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 40,000 to 2.27 million in the week ended April 4, the fewest since December 2000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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12 April 2015 · Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season · Categories: Political Economy

Man:  My tax refund!  Free money!  Obviousman:  No, it's not.  It means you gave the government an interest free loan and are now just getting repaid.


Click for a larger image.

The VP-Finance of my one of my employers believed that, if you qualified for an income tax refund of no more than $50.00, you had managed your tax liability effectively in the previous year.

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09 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Somewhat better.

From mid-March through the seven days ended April 4, jobless claims averaged 282,250 a week, the lowest since June 2000, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. Applications over the latest week climbed by 14,000 to 281,000. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 283,000.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 23,000 to 2.3 million in the week ended March 28, the fewest since December 2000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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02 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Better.

Jobless claims dropped by 20,000 to 268,000 in the week ended March 28, the lowest since the period ended Jan. 24 and second-lowest in at least a year, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average for jobless claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly numbers, decreased to 285,500 last week, from 300,250, the Labor Department’s report showed.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 88,000 to 2.33 million in the week ended March 21. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits fell to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

Also, in something that cannot be called news because it’s olds, Bloomberg still needs new “experts.”

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01 April 2015 · Comments Off on Chris-Crossing the Privatization Scam · Categories: Political Economy

Chris Christie plays the privatization lottery . . . and loses.

When Chris Christie privatized New Jersey’s lottery two years ago, he said its new overseers would “modernize and maximize” the games.

Instead, a lottery once ranked among the nation’s top performers is now lagging for the second straight year, trailing its state income targets by $64 million seven months into the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, the company running it has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire lobbyists and a public relations firm with close ties to the governor.

I am no fan of lotteries as a means to raise public funds. They are a scam used by cowardly politicians to prey on the poor so as to avoid honest taxes.

This, I reckon, is a case of scammers out-scammed.

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26 March 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Somewhat better.

Jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 282,000 in the seven days ended March 21, the lowest level since mid-February, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly numbers, declined to 297,000 last week, from 304,750. . . .

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 6,000 to 2.42 million in the week ended March 14. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.8 percent, where it’s been all year. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

The Republican Party has not yet revealed its plans for reversing this trend. Oh, I forgot.

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24 March 2015 · Comments Off on Pretzel Logic · Categories: Political Economy

One thing about growing up in the Jim Crow South was this: Racists, along with their sympathizers and apologists, did not have to twist themselves into pretzels to pretend that they weren’t being racist. They just admitted it.

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23 March 2015 · Comments Off on Theft of Labor–It’s a Thing · Categories: Political Economy

“Right to work” laws are not about the right to work. They are about the right to underpay for work. They are a fraud and a scam, dressed up in a three-piece suit.

If the Republican Party could have its way, it would bring back the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, because only regulations can prevent more Triangle Shirtwaist Factories from happening and, in Republican World, regulations are scarey and bad and impinge on the fee hand of the market.

After all, those Triangle Shirtwaist Factory ladies had the right to work. They were at work when they died, weren’t they?*

Martin Luther King, Jr. accurately captured the impact of right-to-work laws in undermining economic justice and genuine democracy back in 1961: “Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer, and there are no civil rights.”

While “right-to-work” advocates among business elites claim to be generously protecting the individual freedom of workers to avoid paying union dues, this display of concern is simply “a fraud,” King declared. “Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.”

Recent data bear out King’s conclusions. The Congressional Research Service concluded in a December, 2012, report that states like Wisconsin, which permitting (sic) “fair-share” or “union-security” provisions showed sharply higher median wages: $50,867 compared with $43,641 in right-to-work states, a 16.5% differential amounting to $7,226 per year. Workers in “right-to-work” states are much less likely to have healthcare and pension benefits as well.

Follow the link. Read the rest.

_______________

*Yeah. I’m in a mood. But it’s a legitimate mood.

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19 March 2015 · Comments Off on Food Chains · Categories: Political Economy

Kimberly Garrison of The Philadelphia Daily News looks into the agricultural industry and is distressed by what she sees.

The new exploited group are the Mexican migrant workers who are paid, if we want to call it pay, a measly $40 per day for a sunup to sundown job. As difficult and physically demanding as I know this work is, they should probably be earning more like $40 an hour. Though, that’s not likely to ever happen.

But, at the bare minimum, shouldn’t the people who harvest our food earn enough to be able to afford to buy it? Whatever happened to fair pay for honest work?

I bet most Americans couldn’t last an hour, let alone an entire day, picking. I’m not even going to front like I could do it; I could barely survive the hayride and the fun farm day picking apples at the orchard. Yeah, right, live healthy and happily on a measly $10,000 a year. Honey, please.

When I was in college, I worked for three summers with a project providing basic health care to migrant workers, many of whom had been kidnapped or entrapped into joining a migrant crew. In their world, the company store was still a very real thing, used to keep them in servitude and penury.

It looks as if not much has changed.

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19 March 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

About the same.

Jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 291,000 in the seven days ended March 14, from a revised 290,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly numbers, increased to 304,750 last week, from 302,500. . . .

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 11,000 to 2.42 million in the week ended March 7. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.8 percent, where it’s been since early January.

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19 March 2015 · Comments Off on Stacking the Deck · Categories: Political Economy

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12 March 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Better.

Initial jobless claims dropped 36,000 to a three-week low of 289,000 in the period ended March 7 from a revised 325,000 in the prior week, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 305,000 new applications.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 302,250 from 306,000 the week before,

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 5,000 to 2.42 million in the week ended Feb. 28, while the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.8 percent. These figures are reported with a one-week lag.

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10 March 2015 · Comments Off on Truthiness in Packaging · Categories: Political Economy

Cartoon:

Via Job’s Anger.

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05 March 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Snowed out right out of work.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in more than nine months, a sign harsh winter weather may be stalling the job market’s progress.

Jobless claims increased by 7,000 to 320,000 in the week ended Feb. 28, the most since May, from 313,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, climbed to 304,750 from 294,500 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 17,000 to 2.42 million in the week ended Feb. 21.

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01 March 2015 · Comments Off on Chris-Crossed · Categories: Political Economy, Republican Hypocrisy

Alfred Doblin doesn’t think Chris Christie is serious about his attempts to “reform” (Christie’s term, not mine–ed.) New Jersey’s pension laws.

You have to hand it to Christie for making the most of his brand. He made bad manners a sign of leadership. He strolled the boardwalk with an ice cream cone to the enjoyment of YouTube addicts keen for an everyman. He told critics to shut up and sit down. But when the smartphone cameras weren’t on, he hopped on private planes to live like the king of Jordan.

But the facade is cracking, and that explains the pension war. The governor may say he intends to win this battle, but his actions say otherwise. He doesn’t need to win it, only to declare it to grab the attention of conservatives.

The overarching problem in pension-world is not retirees who expect to receive the pensions that they were promised. It’s companies and governments who promised the pensions, then failed to provide for them.

Employees kept their promises to come to work and do their jobs. Employers broke their promises and now would penalize employees for daring to expect a solvent retirement, while the companies and governments face no penalties for their pension lies.

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27 February 2015 · Comments Off on Throwing Shades · Categories: Political Economy

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26 February 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Back over 300k.

Jobless claims increased by 31,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Feb. 21 from a revised 282,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, gained to 294,500 from a revised 283,000 the week before.

In the one constant in a changing world, Bloomberg’s experts again missed the mark.

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