Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day or Class Warfare Day?; Labor, Wage & Tax Facts; News You Can Use; Teamster Thugs At It Again; The "Don't Knows" Are Doing Well; No Mail This Winter?

Should we encounter another earthquake on the East Coast, The Onion has some advice for all of us: If you are trapped under rubble, just remain calm. A cadaver-sniffing dog should find you eventually. Also, if you do get trapped under and building and need to be carried out by emergency crews,make sure you'e wearing the cloths you'd like to be seen in on CNN.

  • Listening to many of the speeches by union folks, I can't tell if this is Labor Day or Class Warfare Day.
  • Teamster Prez, Jimmy Hoffa, while warming up the union crowd for Pres. Obama, said it's time to "take the son-of-bitches out," referring to the Republicans. Sounds like a threat to me. Thug son like thug father. Some things never change with the Teamster thugs.
  • Speaking of Labor Day, some interesting facts: The highest percentage of people in unions was 1965 at 28%. Now: 12% overall. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of union workers declined by over 600,000.
  • The average income of the top 1% of earners: $1.3 million.
  • Average middle class income about $55k.
  • Amount GE invested in lobbying and political campaigns (largely to Dems) $41 million. Salary earned by Pres. Obama's buddy, GE CEO Jeff Immelt in 2010: $15 million and change.
  • Average U.S. worker salary in 2010: $44k and change. Average of CEO's: $173k and change. Average compensation for Fortune 500 executives: $9 million.
  • Top 1% of U.S. earners pay almost 39% of all taxes. Top 5% pay almost 59%. Top 10% pay almost 70%. Top 50% pay 97% of all taxes. Bottom 50% pay just under 3%.
  • Proportion of workers who say they are satisfied with their job: 84%. And 5% say they can't stand their boss.

And it should come as no surprise why Western European countries are in the bad shape they are in:

  • Germany is mandated to give workers 34 vacation and sick days a year. 25 in UK. 10 in Japan. Zero in U.S.
  • Average number of vacation days Americans take a year: 13.  UK workers take 26. French take 38.
  • U.S. workers average working 1,778 hours a year. Germans, 1,419. Dutch, 1,377.
(Sources for all above: U.S. Dept. of Labor, National Taxpayer's Union, U.S. Census, Library of Congress, Forbes, CBO, America Online, Expedia, MSn-Zogby)

Some disturbing facts about the jobs situation today (Source: Business Insider):

  • If you've been unemployed for a year, there is a 91% chance you won't find a job in the next month.
  • Two million people have exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment. Another four million will do so by the end of this year.
  • One in four jobs added last year were temporary.
  • The average length of unemployment is now 22 weeks. For those over 55, it's 43 weeks.
  • When you count the unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers, only 47% of the work force is fully employed.
  • In Vegas, there are 9 applicants for every job opening.

And now some news you can use:
  • 25 people were shot over the Labor Day weekend in NYC, one fatality.
  • From the Toronto Star: "President Obama's Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, wanted to show her support for American auto workers by swapping her standard government-issues limo for a crossover Chevy Equinox. There's just one problem: The Equinox is built in Ontario. I guess they didn't teach geography in the White House."
  • The International Studies School in NYC wants to lure more students to its school. There's only one slight problem---the school sucks. Only 20% of its students are proficient in math and less than 40% are at grade level in math. Only 18% of seniors are rated "college-ready." So the NY Post gave the school some ideas how to market itself with some slogans the school could use: "The best six years of your life." "Having trouble with English? So is we." "Making kids smarter since 2011." "Why settle for second-rate when you can have third-rate."
  • Of all newspapers, The NY Times wrote last week the president's grand plan for green jobs has turned into a "pipe dream." For example, in Seattle, a $20 million weatherization plan ended up employing 14 after one year. And how much did each house cost to weatherize? Just a tad over $6 million.
  • Last week, Qunnipiac had Perry at 24%, Romney at 18%, Palin at 11%  and Bachmann at 10%. The "Dont Knows" came in at 16%.
  • Gallup reported only 26% approve of the president's handling of the economy. They must have jobs. Jobless rate up-ticked again among Blacks to almost 17%, highest since 1984.
  • Post Office is reporting it might shut down operations this winter.

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