Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Your daily dose of economic sunshine and smiles

Robert Reich is a Cal professor, former Harvard professor, a former Labor secretary, and all around expert on various economic and labor policies. He also comes in a handy pocket size. He brings you good news: our long national nightmare is over.... the rich are rich again and corporations are raking in money hand over fist. I'm sure that will trickle down to the rest of us any day now.
Second-quarter earnings reports are coming in, and they’re making Wall Street smile. Corporate profits are up. And big American companies are sitting on a gigantic pile of money. The 500 largest non-financial firms held almost a trillion dollars in the second quarter, and that money pile is growing larger this quarter. Profits that plummeted in the recession have bounced back. Big businesses have recovered almost 90 percent of what they lost.

So with all this money and profit, they’ll start hiring again, right? Wrong
He gives many reasons. Namely, they're using money to expand overseas operations not US ones, they invest money in labor saving technologies not payroll expanding ones, the money is also being used to pay out stock dividends, buy up stock, and inflate stock prices, spite, they'll totally get around to it but it slipped their mind, spite, Chinese work cheap, they totally would but American workers are untrustworthy, they got bailed out so they didn't have to hire back US workers, and spite.

He concludes that this is a long term trend and that big US corporations may never rehire large numbers of American workers. He calls it "the great decoupling of company profits from jobs." It doesn't have much of a ring to it, but it's more academic sounding than "It's hobo grade beans and cardboard boxes for life, you poor, poor bastards."

So in case you got it into your head that the increase in stability and cash flow for businesses meant that a recovery is just around the corner, don't hold your breath. It's a bounce back for them, not everyone else. They don't call it a jobless recovery for nothing. But let's just take some time out of being spiteful and not having jobs to be happy for them and the cheap Chinese workforce they've replaced everyone with. Don't be bitter, they've moved on and found someone else. We'll console each other on unrequited love in the soup lines.

No comments: