Thursday, August 19, 2010

Need a job? Go to prison

Unemployment claims topped 500,000 last week for the first time in nine months. Homebuilders and construction companies are laying off large numbers despite this being the peak of the construction season. The number of people getting extended unemployment benefits under the Federal program grew by 300,000 last week alone.

There is no number available for how many people exceeded the 99 week limit last week and were been kicked to the curb. With little or no jobs being created it would seem likely to be in the hundreds of thousands reflecting the number who originally joined the program 99 weeks ago in September 2008 when layoffs were just starting to get into high number. This is only going to get worse as we will be coming into the peek period of layoffs over the next six months.

There is a bill in Congress to provide a 5th tier of benefits for the 99’ers but the Republicans and conservative Democrats are holding it hostage to gain an extension on the Bush tax cuts. At the same time there are calls to double all taxes to recover from the multi-trillion dollar deficits left from the Bush Administration but not to roll back the Reagan tax cuts that cut the top rate from 74% on incomes over three million in today‘s dollars.

Billionaires who structure their incomes to pretend they are paid only dividends and interest are paying, according to the IRS an average of 16% and they don’t pay social security taxes on most of their income either. They also are attracted to live in states that don’t have state income taxes instead getting their revenue by gouging the poor.

The rich also get gold plated lifestyles through their companies, executive chefs, personal assistants, chauffeured limos, private jets, vacation villas and golf outings around the world to discuss “business”. All of this costing millions per executive and is tax free. The corporations off shore their profits in order to pay no taxes. Fully two thirds of corporations operating in the US pay zero taxes and some even get billions back from all manner of schemes put in place by the Bush Crime Family.

For example, BP has been using free prisoner labor to do beach cleanup and gets a 2500 dollar tax credit for each slave (I mean job trainee) that they use.
All of the manufacturing training jobs in prisons have been eliminated (there is no demand for them on the outside after all) and have been replaced by call centers. There is a 50/50 chance that if you talk to a customer service rep on the phone (who isn’t in India), a 50/50 chance you are talking to an inmate. At least the inmate knows he’ll have a job tomorrow, do you?

Although there are reports that the call center workers on India are starting to demand higher wages and so more jobs are coming back to the US. This will mean a push to build more prisons. At the right a prison call center in Oregon.