The article, "The Deeper Origins of the Economic Crisis" by Shamus Cook touched on what I perceive to be ultimately at the root of the trouble for the 99 percent(ers). I quote Mr. Cook:
"This is because the capitalist market has definite limits, which capitalists constantly seek to overstep. The biggest limit is that of wages, which can only buy so many goods. But more goods are always produced than can be purchased (also called overproduction), especially when wages are constantly being driven down to boost profits."
I feel this fell short of the explanation I think is called for, with all due respect to Mr. Cook.
Wages are fundamentally, irresistibly controlled by demand vs. supply of workers. I feel that there is no possibility of ensuring the economic status quo, let alone economic progress for the US people as long as the following holds true:
"As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined." --Wikipedia, Immigration to the United States
And if we are to recover well and expeditiously, the number of illegal aliens ("20 million" and "7 million working in non-ag jobs"), needs to be seriously addressed for the sake of all citizens, including lawful immigrants who are equally negatively impacted.
If you supervise a crew of ten $10/hr workers rather than ten $25/hr workers, your wages can be predicted to be correspondingly lower, and so on, up the feeding chain, concentrating the profit incentive at the top. If the community your occupation serves is afflicted with low wages, the market for your goods and services is depressed. Just as an increase in the minimum wage brings wage expectations up for higher wage workers if and when the minimum wage law is obeyed, under-the-table workers drive wages down. Many U.S. citizens are forced to accept black market jobs as this practice, and the over-abundant supply of workers, continues. Granted, the main cause of over-populating the workforce is ridiculously high immigration quotas, but doesn't the government still have the basic obligation to uphold economic security for the great majority of its citizens when that security has been so degraded by employer indifference to decades old hiring laws? Shouldn't the press draw attention to this continuous drag on compensation?
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There are two bills up for consideration in Congress that seek to enact E-Verify nationwide, but they have been so watered down as to render the whole system a useless waste of tax-payer money that would hamstring the current DHS administration's efforts to prosecute employers who violate our national hiring laws. The bills I'm talking about have been introduced by Republicans, who no doubt plan to shout loudly about Democrats blocking E-Verify while obscuring the poison pills they have tied to the legislation. This in spite of overwhelming opposition to illegal aliens on both sides of the political spectrum.
While I haven't been able to confirm it, it has been reported that the House version has been cleaned of poison pills, and that it cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Two committees to go, and they should quickly. (One man's poison pill is another man's candy.)
While these bills are in play, there is an opportunity for voters to demand an E-Verify law that is effective and workable in the most conceivably thrifty form -- and with the most costly penalties for violating employers and the earliest possible commencement of enforcement operations. If these things were done, E-Verify would create demand for millions of employees -- many millions more than the rosiest predictions for tax cutting or stimulus initiatives that have been cited. Without illegal aliens for employers to exploit, wages and demand for products would certainly rise, and millions would leave the ranks of the unemployed. E-Verify could work like a tide that raises all boats very soon.
This politically driven, two-faced legislative usurping of the E-Verify system must be showcased for all to see before it becomes a powerful tool of misinformation across the electorate. Republicans are, in my opinion, leading an effort to disable policy that is working to stop and reverse illegal trespassing, while preparing the way to harass Democrats for aiding the U.S. workforce if they oppose E-Verify tied to a group of legislative roadblocks that prevent enforcement of our laws.
Retired from the Trades and trying to help those coming up. An independent; usually at odds with Republicans and sometimes with Democrats.
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