Saturday, 31 July 2010

Is this Harper-style economics?

Labour organizations and unions should be monitoring this situation in the US and watching these corporations for similar cost-cutting decisions and their impact on Canadian workers.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “Not only did they throw all these people off the payrolls, they also cut back on the hours of the people who stayed on the job.”

As Professor Sum studied the data coming in from the recession, he realized that the carnage that occurred in the workplace was out of proportion to the economic hit that corporations were taking. While no one questions the severity of the downturn — the worst of the entire post-World War II period — the economic data show that workers to a great extent were shamefully exploited.

The recession officially started in December 2007. From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009, real aggregate output in the U.S., as measured by the gross domestic product, fell by about 2.5 percent. But employers cut their payrolls by 6 percent.

In many cases, bosses told panicked workers who were still on the job that they had to take pay cuts or cuts in hours, or both. And raises were out of the question. The staggering job losses and stagnant wages are central reasons why any real recovery has been so difficult.

“They threw out far more workers and hours than they lost output,” said Professor Sum. “Here’s what happened: At the end of the fourth quarter in 2008, you see corporate profits begin to really take off, and they grow by the time you get to the first quarter of 2010 by $572 billion. And over that same time period, wage and salary payments go down by $122 billion.”

If Stevie Spiteful and his cadre of thugs accept the operating principles of corporate greed, it would be another reason why he abolished the long-form census questionnaire. Without solid data for comparison, the long-range impact of such practices on Canadian workers could not be verified.


WILLY said...

There is no need to analyze data for future planning, when you already have a plan that you are implementing and will continue to implement regardless of changing conditions. Hence, why it took so long for Harper to even admit that there was a recession and why three months in he was already talking about cutting back on the stimulus spending. Gutting the census, blocking requests for information, eliminating environmental and scientific funding, just insures that there will be less explanation required when policies based solely on ideology are implemented.

thwap said...

They're so smart. Except for the fact that they're destroying their own system.

ck said...

What I'm worried about is, given the growing support for the Harpercons and his Pinochet lite ways as well as the media being in complete lockstep with him, along with most Canadians incapable or unwilling to think for themselves, so they content themselves with the likes of Sun Media and/or Natty Po doing it for them; that they will succeed in their demonic sinister plan.

deBeauxOs said...

As balulican said after this blogpost at Dawg's Blawg: "The Harper strain of conservatism believe that governments should not govern. An interim, transitional strategy is to govern really badly."

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