RANGER AGAINST WAR: Everyday Less Jobs <

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everyday Less Jobs


--What do you care? What do you care about Black Rock?
--Well, I know this much. The rule of law has left here,

and the guerrillas have taken over

--Bad Day at Black Rock
(1955)

It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever

--This is Spinal Tap
(1984)
_______________

Not a good day for Walmart's Sam's Clubs. Online Real estate magazine GlobeSt.com reports the company is "letting go" more than 11,000 workers nationwide (More Bad Times at Sam’s Club).

"Letting them go" ... it sounds so ethereal, as though it were of their own choice, like releasing someone from a bad marriage. It is not the truth, like when elderly ladies say they've "lost their husbands." He didn't get lost in the frozen food aisle; he's dead. Euphemisms make the thing no better.


"The measure follows an announcement that Walmart will close 10 Sam’s Clubs across the country that are loosing [sic] money. . . Will we see more closures ahead?" (Of course, if they're "loosing" money on hapless customers, that may have been half the problem right there.)

The question of further closures was posed by a publication over-eager to remain optimistic in a tanked economy. The job losses are a very bad sign following the major holiday season.


As New York Times columnists Frank Rich and Bob Herbert said this week,
the only issue for President Obama is the economy ("Politically, no other issue counts.") Certainly not some bogus health care behemoth which provides care in name only. (No Mr. Obama, you don't get to be affiliated with the Kennedy's in any way. Pity, after Mr. Clinton had such a nice photo op shaking JFK's hand . . .) I'm afraid the dynasty ends on your watch.

And as blogger BadTux said so clearly here yesterday,


"You got government spending money on a bomb, that gets dropped on some Talib mud hut, oh wow you just spent probably a million dollars (amortizing the price of the aircraft carrier, aircraft, etc.) to demolish a mud hut that cost maybe $50 (for roofing tin) to build, and you don't even have a bomb anymore when you're done -- you literally just blew that money into smithereens."

Discretionary wars, health care tampering . . . it seems like fiddling while Rome burns.

In addressing Obama's seeming lack of ardor over economic perils, today's WaPo
plays with St. Augustine's plea to God (Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet"), Fiscal discipline, but not yet:

"(Obama said Saturday) 'I strongly support' legislation for a commission to tackle the nation's fiscal problems. If he does, you've got to wonder where that strong support has been for the past year."

Walmart is the new GM, and when this bellwether of our economic fitness is straining at the seams, doesn't that demand notice?

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12 Comments:

Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the sensible reaction to a bubble bursting, and it is something that has been around almost as long as money itself, is not to try and make another bubble.

the game needed to be changed. the styles and rules altered.

that wasn't done. also, the pig of bad debt, credit default swaps and other failed schemes has yet to move through the python of the economy.

without intense and often draconian measures to rearrange the way business is done, all we are doing is postponing the inevitable collapse.

look for more state insolvencies along the lines of dubai. california, new york, michegan, and texas are all teetering on the brink of monetary collapse. were they nation states the IMF would have already moved in and taken over.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB has it pegged. As do you, Jim.
Great account of the current sitch by Michael Hudson right here.

Michael Hudson
Myths of Recovery
http://www.counterpunch.org/

I really try to keep up, except when I'm at the Pharmacy at the VA waiting on a refill for my blood pressure meds, exacerbated by the TeeVee turned up to ten with that Jesus Woman ranting that we're all gonna be ok cause ...well, cause somebody killed Jesus and we're going to be ok, that is, when we're dead and gone-like Jesus. Laughing and hoopin' up in heaven.

Reminds me of that great line by Pacino's character in "Scent of Woman":
"If I was half the man I used to be, I'd take a flamethrower to this place."

I just hope I don't end up all glassy-eyed from all those VA meds, sitting in front of somebody's idea of a bad joke, staring at the wall, wondering just when, exactly, it all went went wrong. Or when the free-fall we're in is gonna meet the bottom.

Like I said, trying to keep up--read the news, read the books, read the glow from the computer, read the tea-leaves. Talk to people, even. All just to see if anyone knows the answer to Doug Sahm's lingering question:
"Where's it all going man, do you know?"

I'm afraid I do, and what I see, along with many readers of this blog, is enough to curdle one's blood--again.

MB is right--we need a game-changer afore the collapse--but I'm concerned that there aren't enough of us without scales over our eyes to make a difference. Much as I enjoy talkin' here, I"m afraid
all we're doing is preaching to the choir.

My late wife--bless her soul--loved Vietnam Vets. She once won a national award for an oral history
project she did with VietVets and high school students. I asked her why she had so much faith in us, being that we weren't all that steady or polite in our ways. She answered: "Because most of all, you know what this country is capable of and will do and if anyone is going to set the ship aright again, it's going to be the Vietnam Veterans."

That one gave me juice for along time.

It's running low now.
Keeping up ain't the same as being up.

I'm seeing why it got to be called "The Depression."
Late wife was right--I do know what the people of this great nation are capable of...
Frankly it scares the shit out of me.

And we ain't hit the bottom yet.

Guess I have to continue to believe--and remember:

OLD--not dead
That's some consolation, eh?

there it is.
Deryle

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 12:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"About 10,000 members of the demonstration department are being let go, mostly part-time workers.A Wal-Mart spokesperson told the New York Times the layoffs are not a cost-cutting measure, strictly speaking. The company has decided to outsource these jobs in the hope that a separate marketing company will do a better job and boost sales." I'm sure all those laid off 50+ YO employees will have NO trouble getting jobs in this robust economy. GREAT PR MOVE THERE WALLYWORLD!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 1:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

The frustrating thing about all this is that this isn't rocket science. Pretty much anyone who has looked at market economies knows and knew that without some sort of regulatory and fiscal governor that the market goes through these booms and busts regularly. U.S. history is full of them, from the foundation of the republic until the Great Depression.

After 1932, though, and the rentier class having shat the bed so thoroughly that even the self-delusional Rockefeller wannabes couldn't pretend something wasn't wrong, the Roosevelt Revolution slammed down on the financial high-rollers, forcing them to swap some of their profits for the assurance that the Feds would prevent the proles from lynching them - and remember, they had Soviet Russia as a scary reminder that this wasn't impossible.

So most of us labored under the artificial stability of the regulated market for most of our lives. We thought that this sort of economic crash, the kind that destroyed people's lives and wrecked entire regions, was a sort of myth we read about in history books.

But Ronnie and his merry band of freebooters brought back the Big Casino, gutted Glass-Steagall, releveraged the markets and ushered in the financial crapshooters (Bob Reich, I think, said once that the only real financial "innovation" that benefitted the average consumer was the ATM - everything else was a way for the financial insiders to spin illusory profits out of the bubbles) and, hey, presto, it's back to the Great Panics of the 19th Century.

So, MB, it's more than just a temporary digestive problem. We've fundamentally changed the way the game is played, changed it back to be closer to the way it was played in the days of the Robber Barons and the Gilded Age.

And you know what that means for us poor people...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 2:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Deryle,

Like your late wife, I believe in the power of testimony and dialog -- that's why I wrote it. That's why I participate. Because there is some power in raising energy levels, or whatever you wanna call it.

Life's not gonna get better because someone nailed a man to the cross (despite what the ranting lady said.) But it might get better when a certain weight of people (not referring to my previous post), an aggregate, get aligned and activated.

Thank you for your activism. Because it matters that we not all lie down in complacency when faced with injustice. Dialog and awareness is a first step.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 3:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

p.s. -- Deryle,

Re. your "preaching to the choir":

Yes, we have a little like-minded community of correspondents, but I also know others come and read, and sometimes... their thinking is shifted :)

"Don't you worry 'bout a thing..."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 4:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Lisa: I hope you pardon my forwardness, but I took the liberty of posting an adaptation of your post over to MilPub (http://milpubblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/everything-old-is-new-again.html)

Hope you take it in the complimentary spirit it is meant...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good News Shipping of goods are up, the bad news is what we are shipping by way of Jess Cafe.
http://marketoracle.co.uk/images/2010/Jan/us-collapse-18-11.gif
jo6pac

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

FDC,

Thank you.

And, I finally have a MilPub-worthy post in mind. Sheerah got me thinking about something...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 12:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

MB,

You're now famous at MILPUB -- check it out :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 4:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Real Patriot said...

Hi, Ranger
When you stop accepting help from the "socialized medicine" machine a.k.a. the V.A. that you frequent so readily and is available to you at will (regardless of red tape and bullshit bureaucracies), then maybe you can refer to Health Care Reform as meddling. For those of us without and who cannot afford the gargantuan premiums, it's a hell of a big deal.
"Keep your government hands off of my government-subsidized health care!" Sound familiar? Get my point?

Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 11:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Real Patriot,
I do not criticize the need for greater health care in the US.
This should be a given, BUT it can't be free and it can't be achieved w/o a cost.We need to cut the crap and acknowledge this fact.
My health care at the VA is not free, it's been paid for with my service and by the service of all like me.
Nicwe to hear from you.
jim

Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 2:08:00 PM GMT-5  

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