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Making America Segregated…Again

Making America a 3rd World Country…Again.

I don’t have any issue at all with “fixing” what is wrong with the Federal workforce, or Government. Lord knows, there are many, many problems. But to “fix” Government you need to go to the top, the source of many of the problems.

If you want to “fix” Government – then the first thing you have to do is line up every current Congressman against a wall and shoot them. Set some basic intellectual and educational standards for their replacements – wash/rinse/repeat as necessary to achieve a group with the intellect, and priority to improve government over stupid party orthodoxy.

Trump, and the majority Republican Congress seem hell-bent on destroying the Federal Government. Despite the massive failure of the GW Bush Administration in “privatizing” Government, resulting in the employee cost of the same job going from $50 and hour for your average GS 5/6 level Government worker to $150 and hour, for someone in private industry doing the exact same job…With the exact same result. While undoubtedly the Federal workforce could benefit from some surgical trimming and elimination of inefficiency, that just isn’t going to happen with a Congress, who doesn’t understand how it works in the first place, wielding a dull broad-ax. Of course a lot of this is driven by the desire of Trump and racist Republicans to re-segregate the government, and stick it to black people.

The end result is putting up to a million, formerly middle class people from the already massively reduced middle class…Out of work. Doing wonders for the economy, which isn’t capable of reabsorbing them. Can you say unemployment at 10-20%? The ripple effect of that being – pushing the already hefty numbers of folks without jobs, even further away from the dream of ever being employed.

The impact on private business from removing 1 million from the workforce? It ain’t pretty. In a large business, a real CEO would be assessing the rules, corporate structure, inefficiencies, and leadership staff to balance where the best place is to achieve the desired change. Large corporations are notoriously inefficient – as are most types of large organizational structures. Lopping of large segments of employees, without examining the consequences, and whether there are structural issues has more often led to the dread corporate “Death Spiral” than producing change significant enough for the organization to recover.

Looks like Putin is going to get his wish – making the US fail.

And those Federal employees who voted for Republicans and Trump…Need to be fired. or shot by their fellow employees.

Image result for bread line statue

The Bread Line…

Fear among federal workers flourishes as they face a hostile Trump presidency

The fear in the federal workforce is palpable.

“Obviously, the end of my run is here,” predicted an Agriculture Department employee, sure that the new presidential administration won’t be friendly to his agency.

“The war on federal workers has just begun,” another declared in an online federal worker forum.

The country’s 2.1 million federal employees have survived decades of government reinvention and massive outsourcing to contractors. But with the inauguration of Donald Trump less than two weeks away, this threat feels different.

All over the nation’s capital, panicked job searches are underway among its legions of badge-wearing, Metro-commuting, “I-can’t-talk-to-you-I-work-for-the-government” federal workers.

“Does The Post have any openings?” one very experienced government employee asked me, right after another sent her résumé my way.

The dusting off of résumés had to trigger some air-quality warning. Oh, wait. Is the Environmental Protection Agency already gone?

Federal workers have good reason to be worried.

Because this isn’t the usual churn of administrations or change in ideologies that happens while the rest of the government employees — forest service folks in Oregon, levee engineers in Louisiana, astrophysicists in Maryland — keep working because their jobs are apolitical.

Trump is picking people to head government agencies they want to dismantle.

When he was governor of Texas and running for president in 2012, television dance star Rick Perry famously forgot that the Energy Department was one bureaucracy he’d like to eliminate. Now he’s going to head it.

Billionaire Betsy DeVos has been leading the move to privatize public education in Michigan. Now Trump wants her to head the Education Department.

U.S. ambassadors abroad have been told to leave their posts on Jan. 20 — an unprecedented hard stop to their service. And, most ominously, House Republicans are reviving an 1876 rule that allows a member of Congress to slash any federal salary to $1.

Basically, it means that any Loco Joe in Congress would be empowered to target any government worker anywhere.

“This rule is the choice vehicle for ethically corrupt members of Congress,” the National Federation of Federal Employees told its 110,000 members last week.

Let’s just be clear on what the United States looked like when Congress approved this rule in 1876. There were only 37 states. Alexander Graham Bell made his first phone call. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull wiped out most of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in the Battle of Little Bighorn.

The world is a teeny bit different now. And pulling out rules from the same year that Wild Bill Hickok was shot at a poker table in Deadwood and Wyatt Earp took a job in Dodge City isn’t really progress.

The Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, will say this is all about saving money.

This is about draining the swamp.

This is about cutting government bloat and thinning the federal workforce.

“We will cut so much, your head will spin,” Trump promised.

Plenty of people will cheer him on despite the fact that federal workers are a bulwark of the country’s middle class. Remember, that middle class everyone was talking about during the campaign?

Federal workforce jobs are relatively stable in a disrupted economy. And although the most highly educated could earn more in the private sector, the average pay is about $86,000 a year, with benefits, a pension and federal holidays.

Demonizing federal workers to score political points is a regular sport in Washington — a tradition that predates George Wallace portraying them as self-important “pointy-headed” intellectuals in 1964.

And here’s the thing.

This workforce that’s supposedly as bloated and unwieldy as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? It was about the same size in 1950. (You know, around the time so many folks think America was great?)

It also has been slowly shrinking and is now a little smaller than it was under Ronald Reagan.

So let’s stop pretending that this hostility toward federal workers is about cost-cutting.

Trump already has promised a huge building up of the military — at least 500,000 more in the Army alone. So money is not something that the federal government is looking to save.

This new Washington (or New York on the Potomac) has plenty of plans for our taxpayer dollars.

Trump is promising lots of nonmilitary jobs.

There’s The Wall! Imagine the work that’s going to create.

Construction workers, managers to deal with thousands of miles of worksite along the U.S.-Mexico border, paper pushers to get all the materials sorted and the laborers paid. Of course, that money will probably wind up going to private contractors, the guys who command $500 billion in taxpayer money every year, but aren’t counted as part of the federal workforce.

Maybe The Wall isn’t going to cost U.S. taxpayers anything because the workers aren’t really going to get paid. Just ask the guys at Magnolia Plumbing D.C. or AES Electric in Laurel, Md.

There’s also the promised deportation of about 3 million to 4 million undocumented immigrants. Imagine the federal workers required for that effort, given the current backlog of 500,000 deportation cases.

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How “Outsourcing” Has Killed the Middle Class

The twin demons destroying the American Middle Class are Offshoring, and “Outsourcing”. They call it the “Gig economy”, and to be honest it is pretty f’cked up for the employees.

Offshoring is responsible for the massive growth of the Chinese economy. Back during Clinton and Bushit American companies off shored all of the computer chip Foundries. This resulted in a massive growth in the Chinese economy, and left America without a foundry on American soil capable of producing the high density chips used in everything from TVs to our most advanced weapons systems. No wonder the Chinese Military has been able to upgrade their weapons systems and  launch Astronauts into space. We gave them the technology, all because of Wall Street greed and corporate avarice.

People work at SITEL, an outsourcing call center provider, in Managua, Nicaragua on July 3, 2012. [AFP]

A sweatshop call center in Nicaragua.

Worse was the loss of American jobs, manufacturing through the movement of factories off shore, and high tech through a combination of H1b Visas enabling companies to bring cheap workers over from India and other countries to displace American Graduates, and second “Outsourcing” where either American jobs were shipped overseas, or to sweat shops on American soil. This is the driver behind Trump, and Sanders, Unfortunately in Trump’s supporter’s case they would rather cling to their racism and blame minorities – than blame who is actually screwing them. Stupid is and Stupid does.

Surge in outsourcing wipes out middle-class jobs

For nearly 20 years Alfredo Molena made a middle-class living repairing bank ATMs in Los Angeles, despite being a high school dropout and immigrant from El Salvador.

By 2000 he was earning about $45,000 a year, enough to support his wife and two children in a spacious apartment and take periodic vacations to El Salvador and Hawaii. He had health insurance, a matching 401(k) plan, and a company-supplied cellphone and vehicle. But it all unraveled in 2005 after his employer, Bank of America, subcontracted the work to Diebold Inc., a firm specializing in servicing ATMs.

Today Molena drives a truck long-haul for about $30,000 a year, putting him in the bottom third of household incomes. He has no medical insurance. “I cannot afford it,” he snapped.

Globalization and the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and other cheap-labor countries are commonly blamed for driving down the wages and living standards of ordinary American workers, but there is another, less-known factor behind the shrinking middle class: domestic outsourcing.

Many jobs have been farmed out by employers over the years. No one knows their total numbers, but rough estimates based on the growth of temporary-help and other business and professional service payrolls suggest that one in six jobs today are subcontracted, or almost 20 million positions, said Lynn Reaser, economist at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

Separate Labor Department data show that some of these occupations have seen a significant decline in inflation-adjusted, or real, wages over the last decade.

In 2005, there were 138,210 workers nationwide who repaired ATMs, computers and other office machines, earning a mean annual salary of $37,640.

Ten years later, the number of such jobs had shrunk to 106,100, with most of them subcontracted at annual pay of $38,990. But after accounting for inflation, that’s a drop of about 15 percent from 2005.

By contrast, real wages for all occupations rose 1.3 percent between 2005 and 2015 � itself a tiny gain over the last decade, but still significantly more than those hit by domestic outsourcing.

“If a firm wants to save labor costs, outsourcing is just a way of resetting wages and expectations,” said Susan Houseman, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Unlike the effect of offshoring, with its relocation of jobs and plants abroad, economists know relatively little about the extent and effects of decades of subcontracting production and services to third parties in the U.S. But what research has been done suggests the practice has played a significant role in the nation’s troubling trends of stagnating wages and rising inequality.

Rosemary Batt and other researchers at Cornell University found that large employers at subcontracted call centers, for instance, paid their workers about 40 percent less than comparable workers employed in-house at large firms, not including the value of health and retirement benefits…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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400 Richest Americans Have More Wealth than black or Hispanic people

Extreme income inequality…

America’s 100 Richest People Control More Wealth Than the Entire Black Population

It’s well known that America’s wealthiest have been getting richer at the expense of the middle class. But the trend looks even starker when you look at the racial aspects. According to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, the combined wealth of those on the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest dwarfs that of the nation’s entire black or Latino populations.

The report found that the 100 richest US citizens control about as much wealth as all of the nation’s 42 million African Americans. The total wealth of the nation’s 55 million Latinos stacks up to that of the 186 richest Americans.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in American Greed, The New Jim Crow

 

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Epidemics in Black and White…The End of the War on Drugs

The “crack epidemic” of the late 80’s and early 90’s is over. One of the key racial hypocrisies of the response to the epidemic was to make sentences for possessing “crack”, used by black folks, about 5 times worse than cocaine, the same drug – used by whites.

Now we have a “heroin epidemic”, but the legal and legislative response is almost invisible. Indeed, you wouldn’t even know this was going on if you watched the evening news.

That’s because about 90% of the new addicts are white, don’t live in the city…And start using heroin as a cheaper substitute to the drugs they have been stealing out of Mommy and Daddy’s bathroom cabinet.

The move now is to “treat” addicts.

Having some experience in dealing with that with a friend – that is one long hard road. I went to some of those meetings in support, about 5 years ago, and was stunned by what I saw. I remember years ago the streets of downtown Baltimore being covered by heroin addicts – mostly black, mostly from the ghetto. Baltimore during the 8070′ through the 90’s had the largest population of addicted in any major city. These folks at the the new meeting were mostly white, mostly the addicts were kids under the age of 25, and we mostly from middle class families. And it is driving ancillary crime in rural and suburban areas to support their habits.

But heaven forbid we fill the jails with white addicts.

The end of the senseless “War on Drugs”, is indeed all about racial politics.

A photo of Courtney Griffin, who died of a heroin overdose in 2014, with her sister Shannon, left, and her mother, Pamela.

In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs

When Courtney Griffin was using heroin, she lied, disappeared and stole constantly from her parents to support her $400-a-day habit. Her family paid her debts, never filed a police report and kept her addiction secret — until she was found dead last year of an overdose.

At Courtney’s funeral, they decided to acknowledge the reality that redefined their lives: Their bright, beautiful daughter, just 20, who played the French horn in high school and dreamed of living in Hawaii, had been kicked out of the Marines for drugs. Eventually, she overdosed at her boyfriend’s grandmother’s house, where she died alone.

“When I was a kid, junkies were the worst,” Doug Griffin, 63, Courtney’s father, recalled in their comfortable home here in southeastern New Hampshire. “I used to have an office in New York City. I saw them.”

Noting that “junkies” is a word he would never use now, he said that these days, “they’re working right next to you and you don’t even know it. They’re in my daughter’s bedroom — they are my daughter.”

When the nation’s long-running war against drugs was defined by the crack epidemic and based in poor, predominantly black urban areas, the public response was defined by zero tolerance and stiff prison sentences. But today’s heroin crisis is different. While heroin use has climbed among all demographic groups, it has skyrocketed among whites; nearly 90 percent of those who tried heroin for the first time in the last decade were white.

And the growing army of families of those lost to heroin — many of them in the suburbs and small towns — are now using their influence, anger and grief to cushion the country’s approach to drugs, from altering the language around addiction to prodding government to treat it not as a crime, but as a disease.

“Because the demographic of people affected are more white, more middle class, these are parents who are empowered,” said Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, better known as the nation’s drug czar. “They know how to call a legislator, they know how to get angry with their insurance company, they know how to advocate. They have been so instrumental in changing the conversation.”

Mr. Botticelli, a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for 26 years, speaks to some of these parents regularly.

Their efforts also include lobbying statehouses, holding rallies and starting nonprofit organizations, making these mothers and fathers part of a growing backlash against the harsh tactics of traditional drug enforcement. These days, in rare bipartisan or even nonpartisan agreement, punishment is out and compassion is in.

The presidential candidates of both parties are now talking about the drug epidemic, with Hillary Rodham Clinton hosting forums on the issue as Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina tell their own stories of loss while calling for more care and empathy.

Families meet at a Counseling Session and pray for their family members and friends who are addicted.

Last week, President Obama traveled to West Virginia, a mostly white state with high levels of overdoses, to discuss his $133 million proposal to expand access for drug treatment and prevention programs. The Justice Department is also preparing to release roughly 6,000 inmates from federal prisons as part of an effort to roll back the severe penalties issued to nonviolent drug dealers in decades past.

And in one of the most striking shifts in this new era, some local police departments have stopped punishing many heroin users. In Gloucester, Mass., those who walk into the police station and ask for help, even if they are carrying drugs or needles, are no longer arrested. Instead, they are diverted to treatment, despite questions about the police departments’ unilateral authority to do so. It is an approach being replicated by three dozen other police departments around the country.

“How these policies evolve in the first place, and the connection with race, seems very stark,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which examines racial issues in the criminal justice system.

Still, he and other experts said, a broad consensus seems to be emerging: The drug problem will not be solved by arrests alone, but rather by treatment.

Parents like the Griffins say that while they recognize the racial shift in heroin use, politicians and law enforcement are responding in this new way because “they realized what they were doing wasn’t working.”

“They’re paying more attention because people are screaming about it,” Mr. Griffin said. “I work with 100 people every day — parents, people in recovery, addicts — who are invading the statehouse, doing everything we can to make as much noise as we can to try to save these kids.”

An Epidemic’s New Terrain

Heroin’s spread into the suburbs and small towns grew out of an earlier wave of addiction to prescription painkillers; together the two trends are ravaging the country…

Deaths from heroin rose to 8,260 in 2013, quadrupling since 2000 and aggravating what some were already calling the worst drug overdose epidemic in United States history.

Over all, drug overdoses now cause more deaths than car crashes, with opioids like OxyContin and other pain medications killing 44 people a day….Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Why Obamacare Is Here to Stay

It is really very simple. The essence of which is captured by the following three images…

The post-Raygun destruction of the American Middle Class not only means a loss in ages. Faced with ballooning medical costs driven by private insurers, companies have shifted payment of health coverage off the “benefits” list and onto the shoulders of the employee. Now, even your average college grad is only one illness away from poverty.

 

And then – there is Mom…

The biggest non-criminal racket in the world is care for the elderly in the US. Conservatives would have you believe it is “Death Taxes”, which is a crock designed to fool the stupid into believing that the $10,000 a month it will cost you to put Mom or Dad in a senior center is irrelevant. For most of the middle class anymore, there quite simply isn’t any intergenerational wealth being passed on because of this.

Let’s be very clear. There is going to be a war in America on this come next election cycle. It is going to get ugly, when folks wake up and see these images with their mother, their kids, or brother or sister…

Even Tea Bagger hog calls to racism against the black President doesn’t trump mom dying.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Domestic terrorism

 

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If There Were a 1% Debate… MLK vs. Romney

What would MLK do? What would MLK say?

There is very little evidence that MLK would have anything good to say about today’s Republican Party. Indeed – for many folks today’s Republican have gone about as low as you can go.

Here is a mash up of points by MLK and “Willard” Romney…

 

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American Tent Cities

What is the difference between Picture 1 and Picture 2?

But they live here and allowed me inside

Picture 1

 

Picture 2

 

Picture 1 is in America – right here in New Jersey. It, and the “Tent City” it is in, are all some luckless Americans have to live in anymore.  Picture 2 is of a Tent City in Haiti.

They, a poor country to begin with,  suffered a massive earthquake, destroying tens of thousands of homes and villages… These Americans are trying to survive the impact of conservatism in America, where our country’s jobs and manufacturing have been sold to the lowest bidder, and 28% of the Middle Class has fallen into poverty. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, with no chance of getting them back anytime soon. Millions of Americans have lost their homes due to predatory lending and the bust of the Credit bubble. Millions try and survive without Healthcare.

It is the Second Great Depression.

I see Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas leading in the Republican Primaries bragging on his Texas Economic Miracle…

Except it seems that the Texas Economic Miracle is about as fake as the Texas Education Miracle under the last Texas Governor to run for the Presidency.

Texas ranks 6th in terms of people living in poverty. Some 18.4% of Texans were impoverished in 2010, up from 17.3% a year earlier, according to Census Bureau data released this week. The national average is 15.1%.

And being poor in Texas isn’t easy. The state has one of the lowest rates of spending on its citizens per capita and the highest share of those lacking health insurance. It doesn’t provide a lot of support services to those in need: Relatively few collect food stamps and qualifying for cash assistance is particularly tough.

Lot of folks figured out former Governor, former President Bush was “all hat an no cattle” to borrow a Texas phrase. Seems that Governor Perry doesn’t even have the “hat” part right.

Which is why the Tea Party Republicans are trying so hard to sell racism against the nation’s first black President…

Instead of politics.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Domestic terrorism

 

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