imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Poverty and Unemployment in America

by John Peterson Monday, Nov. 24, 2003 at 5:01 AM

Poverty and Unemployment

http://www.socialistappeal.org

Poverty and Unemployment in America

By John Peterson

“They’re sending bn to the second richest oil nation in the world but can’t

afford to feed their own here in the States.” - Dan Larkin, Unemployed

The crisis of unemployment and poverty in America continues to worsen. Despite a nominal increase in jobs in recent weeks, what is not reported is what kind of jobs are being created. Manufacturing jobs, the backbone of any economy, continued to be lost for the 37th month in a row in October. For the vast majority of Americans, the days of high quality jobs with decent wages, security, and full health and retirement benefits are a thing of the past. The effect this is having in terms of unemployment, homelessness, and even hunger right here in the US is a devastating indictment of a system which places profits before human need and suffering.

So although the unemployment figure dropped from 6.1 percent to 6.0 percent, the real situation is being concealed by the government's "revised" method of compiling the figures. According to a report on "Understanding The Severity Of The Current Labor Slump" by Lee Price with Yulia Fungard, a number of factors must be considered in order to understand the severity of the current labor slump:

* The record length of time that jobs have failed to recover - Prior to the current slump, jobs had never fallen over a two and a half year period since monthly job numbers began in 1939. As of October 2003, payroll jobs had fallen by 2.4 million below the level of March 2001.

* The growth in the working age population since the recession began in March 2001 - Even as jobs were shrinking by 1.8 percent, the working age population (i.e., the number of people of working age) was growing by 3.4 percent. Had job growth kept up with working age population growth over that period, 6.9 million more payroll jobs would have been filled in October 2003.

* The effect of the "missing" labor market on the unemployment rate - The unusually prolonged loss of jobs has caused an unprecedented number of people to refrain from actively looking for work, and therefore to be excluded from the unemployment measurement. Had the labor force grown more in line with the population - as it has in past labor slumps - another 2.3 million people would have been in the labor force in October 2003.

* This "missing" labor force is significant because the unemployment rate would have been 7.4 percent had the 2.3 million "missing" workers been considered as unemployed.2 The 7.4 percent unemployment figure provides a better measure of current slack in the labor market than the actual unemployment rate of 6.0 percent. The 1.4 percentage-point difference reflects the people pushed to the sidelines of the labor market who can be expected to seek work again once job prospects improve. As a result, the official unemployment rate should not be expected to fall very much when the employment picture actually begins to improve.

* The loss of wage and salary income - Although real hourly wages have grown since the start of the recession, those gains have been more than offset by declines in the number of jobs and the amount of hours paid per job.

* This slump saw the longest duration of job loss - 28 months.

* This slump is the first time in which there was not a full recovery of jobs 31 months after the recession began.

* This slump is the worst in terms of the rise of the unemployment rate (after adjustment for the "missing" labor force) 31 months after the recession began - up 3.2 percentage points.

* The current slump has also been the most severe in terms of the loss of aggregate real wage and salary income 30 months after the recession began - down 1.2 percent.

According to the authors of this study, because of the extended period of job loss, the current labor slump is the most severe on record by several important measures. And this is the very best this system has to offer!

In the year 2002, 1.7 million Americans slipped below the poverty line, bringing the total to 34.6 million. That’s an astonishing one in eight of the population. Over 13 million of them are children. In fact, the US has the worst child poverty rate and the worst life expectancy of all the world’s industrialized countries, and the plight of its poor is worsening. 31 million Americans were deemed to be “food insecure” (they literally did not know where their next meal was coming from). Of those, more than nine million were categorized by the US department of agriculture as experiencing real hunger, defined by the US department of agriculture as an “uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food due to lack of resources to obtain food.”

In 25 major cities the need for emergency food rose an average of 19 percent last year. The number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 17 million to 22 million since Bush took office. There are more Americans living in poverty now than there were in 1965 - what happened to “progress” and things getting better from generation to generation? What is Bush’s solution? “Faith-based” charities!

And the Democrats are no better. Let’s not forget that it was Clinton who dismantled the system of social welfare we fought for in the 1930s and 60s. He slashed the welfare rolls from 12 to 5 million in a matter of years, and now that there are no jobs to go around, there is no safety net for millions of the most vulnerable members of American society. But the fact of the matter is, we don’t want welfare - we want quality jobs, health care, housing, and education, and we don’t mind working hard to get these things. But the capitalist system is based on the endless pursuit of profit - our interests come second to the interests of the CEOs and billionaires.

And this in the richest country in the world! So where is all the wealth workers create going? It’s no mystery - it’s all in the hands of a tiny minority of ultra-wealthy parasites who leech off our hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. There is absolutely no material reason why we can’t have full employment, free universal health care and education, and much, much more. But to get this we need to fight for it - the capitalist class and their political representatives are not going to give up their wealth, power, and privileges without a fight. This is why we need to work towards building a mass party of labor which can genuinely fight in our interests. By basing itself on the unions and the working class generally (the vast majority of American society), such a party could rapidly come to political power and fight to implement a socialist program to improve the lives of everyone. The fact that voter turnout is generally so low shows just how frustrated Americans are with the choices being offered. Nowhere does it say that we must choose between the two parties of the rich. This is not real democracy! Join the WIL in building a revolutionary alternative to the nightmare of capitalism!
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
This is another begging letter Gerrard Monday, Nov. 24, 2003 at 5:24 AM
Socialists? Scabbie Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2003 at 12:21 AM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy