There is No Return to Normal for the US Economy

According to a piece published on March 17 by Popular Science, when the COVID-19 Pandemic is over depends on our actions in the United States.

“Nobody knows what the coming months are going to hold. When asked when life might go back to normal by ABC News on March 15, Fauci stated that it will likely be ‘several weeks to a few months.’ So COVID-19 is going to be with us for a while.”

Today, March 25, we are about 7 months from the November 3, 2020 election, and President Trump has been talking about going back to the way it was to save the economy. In fact, since he made that announcement, the average of all the reputable polls, according to Real Clear Politics, Trump’s unpopularity dropped more than half from a minus 8.5% to a minus 3.5% in a couple of days.


This YouTube video is a news report.

If Trump takes the advice he heard from Tucker Carlson Tonight (to be clear, this Fox show is not news, it is opinion) recently, and is also influenced by the biggest two-or-three day-improvement in his poll numbers, and he decides to go back to normal and let seniors sacrifice themselves as Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (a 69 years old Republican) suggests, then the United States will become the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and by November the number of deaths in the United States could reach into the millions.


This YouTube video is an Opinion based in the news

How many Americans could die from COVID-19 if Trump decides to return to normal, thinking that will help him win the election in November 2020?

CEBM Research reports that the global prediction interval for deaths from COVID-19 is different for each country and the current death rate runs between 0.51% to 8.32%.

The United States has a population of 331 million. The death rate from COVID-19 depends on what each country is doing to protect its citizens. Until we know what Trump is going to do, we have no idea, how many will die in the US.

If Trump orders a return to normal, the death rate could reach as high as 27.5 million or more.

If Trump actually listens to the experts and takes every precaution possible to protect the population instead of the economy, the death rate could be 1.69 million or even less, a few hundred thousand.

If Trump returns to normal to save the economy, he won’t stand a chance of winning the election in November. And if Trump listens to the experts and keeps the death count down, he still might lose because Trump’s ignorant, super-biased supporters (most of them are told what to think from Fox News and similar misleading and biased media outlets) think it is possible to return to normal and will think he sold them out since they are the ones that improved his poll numbers in the last couple of days by a dramatic margin.

In other words, the odds of Trump winning the election are slim at best no matter what he does. In fact, if Trump orders a return to normal to save the economy and the U.S. becomes the epicenter of the pandemic, the rest of the world might blockade and boycott the U.S. so nothing gets in or out.

What do you think that would do to the U.S. economy before November?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Greatest Generation

My parents were teenagers during Greed’s Great Depression

They were 14

Forced to drop out of high school to find jobs with unemployment at twenty-five percent

Working long days for pennies

There was never enough
food
safe water
clothing
shelter

Malnutrition was a widespread problem

Then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor killing 2,403 Americans and wounding 1,143

It was murder, and the gods of greed rejoiced

And for America’s young adults, it was an opportunity not to be ignored

The Greatest Generation left unemployment, homelessness, and hunger behind to join the chaos of war

When the war ended, 416,800 U.S. troops had been killed and another 671,801 were wounded

To mold the survivors of the Great Depression and World War II into America’s Greatest Generation only cost the world the lives of 70-to-85 million civilians and military

Is Making America Great Again worth that price?

© 2019 Lloyd Lofthouse

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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If elected, who will Donald tRUMP blame when he fails to bring back the jobs and “Make America Great Again”?

One of the foundations of Donald Trump’s allegations that he is the only candidate for president that can make “American Great Again” is to bring back the jobs lost to China and Mexico.

But, the AP reported on November 2, 2016, Why Robots, not trade, are behind so many factory job losses.  “Despite the Republican presidential nominee’s charge that ‘we don’t make anything anymore,’ manufacturing is still flourishing in America. Problem is, factories don’t need as many people as they used to because machines now do so much of the work.

“America has lost more than 7 million factory jobs since manufacturing employment peaked in 1979. Yet American factory production, minus raw materials and some other costs, more than doubled over the same span to $1.91 trillion last year, according to the Commerce Department …”

In addition, ABC News reports some facts that Donald Trump doesn’t want his followers, known as the deplorables, to know, “A study at Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research last year found that trade accounted for 13 percent of America’s lost factory jobs. The vast majority of lost jobs — 88 percent — were taken by robots and other homegrown factors that reduce factories’ need for human labor.”

“We’re making more with fewer people,” says Howard Shatz, a senior economist at Rand Corporation think tank.

In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that another 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with other socio-economic and demographic changes, will transform labour markets in the next five years, leading to a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies.”

Too bad this information wasn’t reported earlier. With the election on November 8, tomorrow, it’s too late to attempt to teach the “deplorables”, who earned that title, the truth, that their psycho, narcissistic, bully, fraudulent crook of a candidate, who was born with a gold spoon in his mouth and bailed out of repeated failures more than once by his wealthy/powerful daddy, either doesn’t know what he is talking about or his promise to bring those jobs back that didn’t go to China or Mexico is just another one of his endless, serial lies.

What will  tRUJMP shout from his stage when the jobs don’t come back? The answer is easy because we have 70 years of tRUMP’s life to show us what he has always done. He will not admit he failed. He will lie repeatedly and blame it on Congress, the US Supreme Court, and anyone else he can smear

The tragedy is that many of his deplorable followers will willingly swallow those lies whole and roar the vengeance of the mob.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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I agree with Hillary Clinton when it comes to closing down the dirty, dangerous coal-mining industry

I watched this disturbing interview on Yahoo News this morning that made Hillary Clinton look horrible and insensitive, because she said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

I agree with Hillary Clinton, because coal is a dangerous, polluting industry, and it’s time for that industry to fade into history. Just watch the videos in this post to learn why the United States would be better off without coal.

How many jobs are we talking about?

There are approximately 174,000 blue-collar, full-time, permeant jobs related to coal in the U.S.: mining (83,000), transportation (31,000), and power plant employment (60,000).”  – SourceWatch.org

Let’s compare the loss of those 174,000 jobs to another factor that is getting rid of human jobs. I’m not talking about China. I’m talking about automation, because VOA News.com reports “The United States lost 3.2 million jobs to China between 2001 and 2013, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Three-fourths of those jobs were in manufacturing. About 60 percent of the reshored jobs (jobs returning to the U.S. because of rising labor costs in other countries) between 2000 and 2015 came from China.”

Forbes reported that millions of jobs have been lost to automation and millions more will be lost.

CNN Money reports, “Technology could kill 5 million jobs by 2020.”

MIT Technology Review explains How Technology Is Destroying Jobs.  “Improved industrial robotics to automated translation services—are largely behind the sluggish employment growth of the last 10 to 15 years. … Job growth suddenly slowed in 2000, while productivity remained robust.”


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According to Statista.com, in September 2016, there were 124.75 million Americans working at full time jobs. Jobs in the dangerous, unhealthy, environmentally polluting coal industry in the U.S. represents about 0.14 percent of the total number of jobs in America.

What about jobs that are replacing those lost in the coal industry?

Did you know that “According to The Solar Foundation, as of November 2014, the solar energy industry provided 173,807 direct jobs. This is a 21.8 percent increase in solar jobs from November 2013. Overall, solar jobs growth accounted for 1.3 percent of all new U.S. jobs in 2014. Factoring in indirect and induced job impacts, which amount to 531,200 additional jobs, total employment in the solar energy sector exceeds 705,000 jobs.” – Environmental and Energy Study Institute

And that’s just in the solar industry. “The Ecotech Institute used the Bureau of Labor Statistics definition of a green job to calculate the number of clean job openings in 2014. The organization found a 13 percent increase in clean job openings from 2013 to 2014, from 3.6 million clean job openings in 2013 to 3.8 million openings in 2014. The institute estimates that there were 1.2 million clean job openings in the first three months of 2015.”

Instead of attacking Hillary Clinton for wanting to get rid of the dangerous, dirty coal industry, and replace that industry with jobs in green renewable energy, why aren’t we protesting jobs lost to robots and automation?

I know its scary to lose a job and start over, but how many industries and jobs vanished in the last century to be replaced with something new?

To give you an idea, here are a few from Mainstreet.com: copy boy, log driver, lamplighter, pinsetter, switchboard operator, telegraph operator, ice cutter, ice delivery, Dictaphone operator, typing pool, newspaper typesetter, elevator operator, mimeograph operator, and street sweeper. I’m sure this list is much longer if we dig deeper.

Did you know that in 1910, farmers made up 15 percent of the workforce and farm labor made up more than 15 percent (for more than a third of the jobs in the U.S.), but today that number is down to about 2 percent for both farmers and farm labor? – bls.gov

It’s time for the coal mining industry to go out of business for good. Welcome to the world of lost jobs, for humans.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Propaganda War against Labor Unions—Part 3 of 3

What about other union benefits. The AFL-CIO reports 88 percent of workers in unions participate in pension plans versus 49 percent of nonunion workers. Seventy-seven percent of union workers have guaranteed pensions, compared with 17 percent of nonunion workers. Roughly 84 percent of workers in unions have paid sick leave compared with 62 percent of nonunion workers.

Stop and imagine what life would be like for most Americans if all workers belonged to labor unions, and then answer this: Who benefits when workers are earning $200 less a month—the workers, bosses or billionaires?

Let me help you with the answer: There are 536 billionaires (0.00016% of the population) in America; 9.63 million (3%) with a net worth of $1 million or more leaving more than 138 million (almost 44% of the population) working Americans with a net worth that’s less than $1 million who rely on that weekly or monthly pay check. Note: About 23% of the population is children and 14.5% are over the age of 65.

Let’s put that another way: There are almost 123 million households in the United States. In 2010, the poverty threshold was $22,314 for a family of four.

In 2013, 12.7% (15.6 million) of households earned under $15,000; 22.3% (27.4 million) earn $15,000 – $24.999; 20.4% (25 million) earn $25,000 – $34.999; 13.6% (17.7 million) earn $25,000 – $49,999; 17.6% (21.6 million) earn $50,000 – $75,999; 11.9% (14.6 million) earn $75,000-$99,999; 12.4% ($15.2 million) earn $100,000 – $149,999; 5.3% (6.5 million) earn $150,000 – $199,999, and 4.8% (5.9 million) earn $200,000 and over. – census.gov (2013)

In addition, Mother Jones.com reported that the top 0.01% (12,300) families in the United States earn almost $25 million each on average annually compared to $29,840 for the bottom 90% (110.7 million families).

In conclusion, the evidence strongly suggests that there are NOT enough union workers in the United States to be a factor that would lead to higher unemployment rates or real estate values just because they get paid a few hundred more a month on average—no matter what the millionaires or billionaire oligarchs claim through their puppets, politicians and propaganda. Don’t forget, union workers earn more and have better benefits, because they have someone fighting for them—evidence that unions are doing their job.

Food for thought: In 1900, before there were strong labor unions and the Robber Barons ruled over most of America with corporate monopolies, 40% of Americans lived in poverty. And what about countries that have high labor union membership—for instance, three countries with the highest labor union membership in the world: Sweden and Denmark with 95% union membership and Finland with 85% membership. What do these countries have in common?

The answer: Sweden, Denmark and Finland all made the world’s 10 happiest countries list (the U.S. isn’t on this list) , according to this year’s World Happiness Report, that looks at earnings, living standards, employment, mental health and family stability. The report surveyed 158 countries

Return to  Part 2 or start with Part 1

– or View As Single Page

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Propaganda War against Labor Unions—Part 1 of 3

Over on Writer Beat.com, I left a few comments for a post bashing labor unions, because I’m pro-union and proud of it, and I don’t care if the union is public or private. I was born into a family that lived in poverty with parents struggling to make ends meet working for poverty wages until my father joined a labor union with help from my godfather. After my dad joined the union, our lifestyle improved dramatically and my family joined the middle class. As a public school teacher, I also belonged to a union, and I know for a fact that without that union’s support, I would have been fired when I put the interests of my students first over high stakes tests and corporate education reform.

There is a lot of misinformation by the writer of the Writer Beat post bashing unions. For instance, he claimed that when Scott Walker became governor of Wisconsin and limited the freedom of the labor unions, the teachers got a raise—but that’s FALSE, because how does cutting nearly $2.6 billion from public education equal a raise? Instead of a raise, 1,446 teachers lost their jobs and a similar slaughter took place the year before. – wisdems.org

The Writer Beat Post also claimed that what happened in Wisconsin when Scott Walker won the election for governor was proof that national public polls are wrong about the public supporting public employee unions—Gallup conducts an annual poll to see if the public approves or disapproves of labor unions, and since 1936, the majority has approved of labor unions even though labor unions only represents about 14% of the country’s workforce. In August 2014, Gallup reported that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions versus 38% that disapproved, and 10% that had no opinion.

Although support for labor unions has declined from 72% in 1936 to 53%, it helps to be aware that for decades there has been an ongoing propaganda war in the media that has consistently attacked both public and private sector labor unions.

Source Watch.org reports that a right-wing political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) founded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, supported the election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin when AFP purchased $700,000 worth of television ads in that state in addition to spending almost $3 million on TV ads in 2012.

Republic Report.org “broke down the figures for the last election and found that Koch groups alone spent more than double the combined political spending for the top ten unions combined.”

It’s also no secret that one of the wealthiest families on the planet are strongly anti-union—the Walton family. You may learn more from a report in The Nation that said, “Always Low Wages: Meet the Billionaires Who Run Walmart.”

In fact, the Waltons have gone as far as to close Walmart stores where the employees voted to bring in a labor union.” – Zero Hedge.com

What is the result of Walmart workers having no union? Forbes reports, “Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing …” Walmart provides 1.4 million jobs. The fast food industry, another non-union sector that often pays poverty wages (over half of all fast food workers are on government assistance—$7 billion annually Kitchenette & Poverty nation), employees almost 4 million.

Continued in Part 2 on May 9, 2015

– or View As Single Page

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Propaganda War against Labor Unioins—Viewed As Single Page

Over on Writer Beat.com, I left a few comments for a post bashing labor unions, because I’m pro-union and proud of it, and I don’t care if the union is public or private. I was born into a family that lived in poverty with parents struggling to make ends meet working for poverty wages until my father joined a labor union with help from my godfather. After my dad joined the union, our lifestyle improved dramatically and my family joined the middle class. As a public school teacher, I also belonged to a union, and I know for a fact that without that union’s support, I would have been fired when I put the interests of my students first over high stakes tests and corporate education reform.

There is a lot of misinformation by the writer of the Writer Beat post bashing unions. For instance, he claimed that when Scott Walker became governor of Wisconsin and limited the freedom of the labor unions, the teachers got a raise—but that’s FALSE, because how does cutting nearly $2.6 billion from public education equal a raise? Instead of a raise, 1,446 teachers lost their jobs and a similar slaughter took place the year before. – wisdems.org

The Writer Beat Post also claimed that what happened in Wisconsin when Scott Walker won the election for governor was proof that national public polls are wrong about the public supporting public employee unions—Gallup conducts an annual poll to see if the public approves or disapproves of labor unions, and since 1936, the majority has approved of labor unions even though labor unions only represents about 14% of the country’s workforce. In August 2014, Gallup reported that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions versus 38% that disapproved, and 10% that had no opinion.

Although support for labor unions has declined from 72% in 1936 to 53%, it helps to be aware that for decades there has been an ongoing propaganda war in the media that has consistently attacked both public and private sector labor unions.

Source Watch.org reports that a right-wing political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) founded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, supported the election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin when AFP purchased $700,000 worth of television ads in that state in addition to spending almost $3 million on TV ads in 2012.

Republic Report.org “broke down the figures for the last election and found that Koch groups alone spent more than double the combined political spending for the top ten unions combined.”

It’s also no secret that one of the wealthiest families on the planet are strongly anti-union—the Walton family. You may learn more from a report in The Nation that said, “Always Low Wages: Meet the Billionaires Who Run Walmart.”

In fact, the Waltons have gone as far as to close Walmart stores where the employees voted to bring in a labor union.” – Zero Hedge.com

What is the result of Walmart workers having no union? Forbes reports, “Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing …” Walmart provides 1.4 million jobs. The fast food industry, another non-union sector that often pays poverty wages (over half of all fast food workers are on government assistance—$7 billion annually Kitchenette & Poverty nation), employees almost 4 million.

If you are interesting in a detailed report on What’s Happening in Wisconsin Explained, click this link to Mother Jones.com. As for Scott Walker’s popularity in Wisconsin: in the last election, he won with 1.259 (53% of the vote) million votes versus 1.114 million (almost half of the 4.4 million eligible voters in the state actually voted)—it wasn’t a landslide.

Another argument on Writer Beat.com was that the unions must go because they are corrupt, but there was no mention of corruption in the private sector or the government. To be fair, if one must go for corruption, they all must go.

In the private sector, Transparency.org reports, “Hefty fines, damaged reputations and jail sentences – recent scandals prove that corruption in business doesn’t always bring profits. Yet bribery persists. Almost a fifth of executives surveyed by Ernst & Young claimed to have lost business to a competitor who paid bribes. More than a third felt corruption was getting worse.

“Corruption distorts markets and creates unfair competition. Companies often pay bribes or rig bids to win public procurement contracts. Many companies hide corrupt acts behind secret subsidiaries and partnerships. Or they seek to influence political decision-making illicitly. Others exploit tax laws, construct cartels or abuse legal loopholes. Private companies have huge influence in many public spheres. These are often crucial – from energy to healthcare.”

As for corruption in the government, Transparency.org says, “At the federal level, the recently completed 2014 midterm elections confirmed the ever-increasing role that wealthy individuals, corporations, and organizations play in financing political campaigns. Much of this money if funneled through and to various groups that are not obligated to publically report the sources of their funding, thereby making it impossible for the public to know who is financing various campaigns. While political corruption is a problem in all countries, it is notable that many of the countries that score higher than the US on the CPI impose donation and/or expenditure limits on political campaigns.”

The Fiscal Times.com asks, “Lying, Cheating, Stealing: How Corrupt is America? Corruption is as American as apple pie, or so it would seem. A casual survey of the political and corporate landscape in recent weeks alone provides a troubling reminder that corruption is endemic to our way of life …”

I think it also helps to take a look at the numbers to see just how many Americans belong to labor unions and if those numbers are enough to affect the economy to the degree the millionaire and billionaire oligarchs and their puppets and pet politicians like Scott Walker claim.

The Bureau of Labor Statics at the U.S. Department of Labor reports (BLS) that there are about 148.3 million civilians employed in the United States, and the BLS says that public-sector workers only had a union membership rate of 35.7 percent—more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers at 6.6 percent.

There are 22 million public sector workers in cities, counties, states and the federal government (only 2.7 million work for the feds or 12%—the lowest figure since 1966), and within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (41.9 percent), which included employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters. That means in 2014, 7.2 million employees in the public sector belonged to unions and 14.8 million did not.

BLS also reports that of the 126.3 million private sector workers, only 7.4 million belonged to labor unions meaning almost 119 million didn’t belong to a union—sixteen times the number of workers that belong to unions.

What’s interesting is that the BLS reported, “Earnings In 2014, among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $970, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $763.”

Explain how less than 6% of the private sector work force earning about $200 more a week is responsible for any increase in unemployment or real estate prices.

What about other union benefits. The AFL-CIO reports 88 percent of workers in unions participate in pension plans versus 49 percent of nonunion workers. Seventy-seven percent of union workers have guaranteed pensions, compared with 17 percent of nonunion workers. Roughly 84 percent of workers in unions have paid sick leave compared with 62 percent of nonunion workers.

Stop and imagine what life would be like for most Americans if all workers belonged to labor unions, and then answer this: Who benefits when workers are earning $200 less a month—the workers, bosses or billionaires?

Let me help you with the answer: There are 536 billionaires (0.00016% of the population) in America; 9.63 million (3%) with a net worth of $1 million or more leaving more than 138 million (almost 44% of the population) working Americans with a net worth that’s less than $1 million who rely on that weekly or monthly pay check. Note: About 23% of the population is children and 14.5% are over the age of 65.

Let’s put that another way: There are almost 123 million households in the United States. In 2010, the poverty threshold was $22,314 for a family of four.

In 2013, 12.7% (15.6 million) of households earned under $15,000; 22.3% (27.4 million) earn $15,000 – $24.999; 20.4% (25 million) earn $25,000 – $34.999; 13.6% (17.7 million) earn $25,000 – $49,999; 17.6% (21.6 million) earn $50,000 – $75,999; 11.9% (14.6 million) earn $75,000-$99,999; 12.4% ($15.2 million) earn $100,000 – $149,999; 5.3% (6.5 million) earn $150,000 – $199,999, and 4.8% (5.9 million) earn $200,000 and over. – census.gov (2013)

In addition, Mother Jones.com reported that the top 0.01% (12,300) families in the United States earn almost $25 million each on average annually compared to $29,840 for the bottom 90% (110.7 million families).

In conclusion, the evidence strongly suggests that there are NOT enough union workers in the United States to be a factor that would lead to higher unemployment rates or real estate values just because they get paid a few hundred more a month on average—no matter what the millionaires or billionaire oligarchs claim through their puppets, politicians and propaganda. Don’t forget, union workers earn more and have better benefits, because they have someone fighting for them—evidence that unions are doing their job.

Food for thought: In 1900, before there were strong labor unions and the Robber Barons ruled over most of America with corporate monopolies, 40% of Americans lived in poverty. And what about countries that have high labor union membership—for instance, three countries with the highest labor union membership in the world: Sweden and Denmark with 95% union membership and Finland with 85% membership. What do these countries have in common?

The answer: Sweden, Denmark and Finland all made the world’s 10 happiest countries list (the U.S. isn’t on this list) , according to this year’s World Happiness Report, that looks at earnings, living standards, employment, mental health and family stability. The report surveyed 158 countries

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”