Monday, March 17, 2014

Hail to the Job Creators!

9 more major retailers are closing more stores (Dah! It's the economy stupid!)

  • Abercrombie & Fitch 180 stores
  • Barnes & Noble (a third of its stores)
  • Aeropostale 175 stores
  • J.C. Penney’s 33 stores
  • Office Depot 15 stores
  • RadioShack 1,100 stores
  • Sears 300 stores (so far)
  • Staples 225 stores
  • Toys “R” Us 100 stores

We currently have historically low "churn" in the job market because people are too afraid to quit their jobs, no matter how little they make or much they hate their job—because the job market is so damn piss poor.

But yet, here's another "feel good" story from AOL about a woman named Marci was laid off 3 times in the last two years and found herself unemployed again. Eventually an old "colleague" hired her, but AOL says it wasn't luck.

"Some might say Marci finding this job was a stroke of luck. Not true! Had she not proactively contacted that colleague and presented herself as a true professional, the discussion would have never turned into talks around Marci as a potential hire."

But check this out: since that article was written, AOL has just announced yet another round of layoffs affecting a “double digit” number of employees. (Just Google "layoffs" in Google news for more headlines on layoffs. One hospital is laying off 600 doctors and nurses).

So what have the "job creators" been doing? Sprint bestowed upon its CEO $49 million in 2013 as a reward for being a "job creator". The company is planning to shear at least 300 jobs the first half of 2014, after over 1,000 job cuts last year. Sprint's CEO will also be paying a lower tax rate than the people he fired.

According to a poll, 61 percent of the world’s richest people say personal finances is the “most difficult subject” to discuss. The poll results suggest “some degree of misplaced guilt or embarrassment surrounding money by those who have accumulated it.”

Another "job creator", the NFL's Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, faces four felony counts after being arrested late Sunday night. He was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (DUI) and possession of a controlled substance (illegal drugs). His bond was set at $22,500 (Just pennies for a's just like you or I paying a penny). It's a good thing the NFL gets tax exempt status.

In 2011, one of the biggest "job creators", Alice Walton (of Walmart), was arrested in Texas for driving while intoxicated on Interstate 20 in Weatherford, Texas after celebrating at a bar for her 62nd birthday. She had been released on a $1,000 bond. Two years later prosecutors dropped the charges against her because the highway patrol officer who pulled her over had been suspended and couldn't testify (I guess a blood test wasn't enough to convict --- she could have waited him out until he passed away too). The Texas DWI arrest was expunged from her record (even though she was once suspected of driving drunk and manslaughter when she ran down and killed a woman with her Porsche.)

The U.S. had 6.7 million millionaires in 2008. Now we have 9.6 million, for a net gain of 2.9 more millionaires (aka "job creators") since the economy tanked. Meaning, it cost us 3.4 jobs (10 million unemployed Americans) to create every one millionaire "job creator" (not counting all the middle-class jobs that became low-paying and/or part-time jobs.)

The Supreme Court will rule on a settlement that could include back pay for as many as 500,000 workers at Amazon warehouses. Evidently this "job creator" felt they over-paid their employees.

Thanks to the "job creators", we all might be doomed: NASA Study: Civilization Headed for Collapse

1 comment:

  1. Six months ago pharmaceutical company Merck announced over 16,000 job cuts. Shares of Merck rose more than 3% on the news and the stock is now up nearly 20% so far this year. Several other companies that have been posting decent earnings increases are also getting rid of workers. Wall street investors just keep on cheering.

    German industrial conglomerate Siemens cut 15,000 employees. Its stock is up more than 10% year-to-date and nearly 20% in the past six months.

    Cisco Systems disclosed last year it was eliminating over 4,000 jobs. Cisco's stock is up 18% this year and the company gave their CEO a massive raise, $15.2 million in stock awards and a $4.7 million cash bonus. Apparently, you need to be properly compensated for all the hard work it takes to swing an ax.

    Want some other examples of job killers that Wall Street loves?

    AOL cut 10% of its workforce last year, shares were up more than 15%.

    Hewlett-Packard hasn't been selling a lot more PCs and printers lately. But their CEO had ambitious plans to slash 29,000 jobs. Shares are up nearly 50% the past 12 months.

    But wait. There's more!

    Big banks are all making adjustments to their mortgage divisions. Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have each disclosed plans to eliminate thousands of workers in their home loan units. A big drop in refinancing activity due to rising long-term interest rates is to blame. Still, it's not as if the banks themselves are struggling. Shares of all three companies are up about 20%.

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that Fortune 500 companies go out and spend lavishly to hire new employees when demand isn't there. But Wall Street encourages companies to keep slashing costs because investors like the higher earnings that come along with fewer workers.

    This lunacy can't last forever. Many people (including members of the Federal Reserve) like to harp on how a stronger stock market is good for the economy because of the so-called wealth effect. But that wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of just a few: the richest of the rich.

    The real economy can't move into high gear if more people lose their jobs and pull back on spending. And if consumer spending remains stagnant, companies will have no incentive to hire more. In fact, they may keep firing people just to preserve profits. That may lead to even higher stock prices.

    And that's great news ... for those who can actually afford to buy stocks and the executives who receive enormous bonuses for handing out pink slips. We are well on our way to another economic Armageddon even worse than 2008. If it does happen, you can say goodbye to capitalism, for no one will have faith in the system any longer. Maybe that's the whole idea...for the super rich to put an end to our economic system while keeping everything for themselves.

    This is how you play the game for keeps.