To strengthen workers’ collective bargaining rights, the Biden administration looks poised to recommend a host of modest reforms to existing programs and policies. But the working class will remain disempowered unless it organizes itself on a mass scale.
Australia’s economy will limp along after recovering from the pandemic, failing to regain the growth it had either in the years leading up to the crisis or the much higher growth in the decades before.
A study of 45 countries shows those who have contained the virus also tend to have less severe economic impacts than those that haven’t. Saving the economy does not mean sacrificing lives, writes Michael Smithson. Containing Covid versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy.
ECONOMISTS WORLDWIDE are watching the extraordinary collapse of what was until recently a seemingly indestructible economy. The United States still has the world’s largest economy measured by gross domestic product (GDP). But among developed nations, it is now at or close to the bottom on most rankings of economic health.
The Victorian Premier has become the biggest challenger to Morrison’s agenda in a national debate over the pandemic. While Andrews puts a priority on shutdowns in the name of saving lives, Morrison puts a premium on opening up the economy.
Australia will suffer its first reversal in net migration in more than seven decades in a hit to growth to be revealed in next week’s federal budget, as the pandemic also cuts the nation’s birth rate. With thousands of people leaving the country and fewer returning, the net result will be negative for the first time since 1946 and the country is at risk of a population slump not seen since the Great Depression.
Despite the slagging off at Labor by the Coalition, simply because of debts accrued to maintain the economy through an unexpected crisis – namely the GFC – the Coalition now finds itself in the same situation through COVID-19, and has to go down a similar path. Have they done as well as Labor did? NO! Why not?
The process of shifting wealth and income from the poor and middle to the rich continues apace. Alan Austin examines the latest national accounts. FOR THE FIRST TIME since 1959, when Australia first published detailed national accounts, the share of all income going to corporations has risen above 30%. Simultaneously, the share for employees has fallen below 50% for the first time ever.
a familiar talking point for Trump, who returns often to the theme of how much he juiced “the greatest economy that we’ve had in our history, the best.” Donald Trump’s economic record is not as stellar as he would have you believe. Donald Trump’s economic record is not as stellar as he would have you believe.Credit:AP None of those historical claims are true. In his first three years, he wrought slightly less employment growth than his predecessor did, the same gross domestic product growth, slightly better stockmarket growth and the same wage growth. Before the pandemic, Trump’s economic record was unremarkable for a 21st-century president, even though he was able to enact a large amount of the agenda he ran on in 2016, and even though he enjoyed what by one measure was more supportive policy from Congress and the Federal Reserve than any president in a generation.
Jonah is at home on the SS Florida the Whale is waitng in antcipation (ODT)
Florida accounts for 10 percent of the country’s COVID-19 cases, with almost half a million cases and already 7,021 deaths. Fifty-one hospitals have run out of ICU beds as the state still is adding another 9,725 new cases on average a day. The hurricane has only contributed more chaos to the equation. State-run coronavirus testing sites have closed on Florida’s eastern coast in anticipation of the storm (originally, the state considered consider closing all of its testing sites before Isaias changed tracks). And hospitals also must plan for the worst. Florida Governor Ron De Santis said he doesn’t “anticipate hospitals needing to evacuate patients.” But one small hospital in Brevard County, which is in the anticipated path of the storm, already has moved its COVID-19 patients. The state has had to stockpile supplies in preparation, including 20 million masks, 22 million gloves, 10 million gowns, 1.6 million face shields, 270,000 coveralls and 20,000 thermometers, while ensuring there are generators for nursing facilities should the power go out.
Others tauting the “open” Swedish model ignore that according to the Swedish Riksbank de facto the Swedish economy is closed. Sweden has experienced a sharper drop in first quarter GDP than the US, with the Swedish economy down 11%. The Riksbank’s estimates are a 70 percent decline in restaurants and cafes, a 90% decline in cinema, sports, and other crowd events. a 40% decline in car sales, a 23% fall in exports, a 30% decline in shoes and clothes purchases, a 75% drop in Swedish recreational travel.
The “open” Swedish model is a bet on herd immunity which at our present state of knowledge is merely an assumption.
President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.
Democratic Socialism practices trust in Individuals (ODT)
What the Swedish experiment demonstrates, is that there’s a way to navigate these unprecedented public health challenges without recklessly imposing police state policies and without doing irreparable harm to the economy. And, yes, the results of this experiment are not yet known, but what we do know is that most nations cannot simply print-up trillions of dollars to counter the knock-on effects of bringing the economy to a screeching halt. These countries must dip into their reserves or take out loans from the IMF in order to recover from the lack of production and activity. That means they’re going to face years of slow growth and high unemployment to dig out from the mess their leaders created for them.
Before the coronavirus, property market pundits were tipping their usual, regulation, 10% rise in house prices. They have been quiet in recent days. Callum Foote reports on the impact of the virus on an already weak economy, racking up the present crisis against the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Australians are unprepared. The ratio of household debt to household disposable income is now at an all-time high, suggesting the risk to property is also at an all time high.
Since 2002, Quinn showed, the most productive Australian firms (the top 5 per cent) had not kept pace with the most productive firms globally. In fact, Australia’s ‘productivity frontier’ has slipped back by about one-third. The best of ‘Made in Australia’ hasn’t kept pace with the best of ‘Made in Germany’, ‘Made in the Netherlands’ or even ‘Made in America’.”
And then there’s the other 95 per cent. In the past two decades, their output per hour worked has barely risen. So 19 out of 20 Australian firms don’t produce much more per hour than they did when Sydney hosted the Olympics.
A Productivity Commission study has found that half the slowdown in productivity improvement in the market economy in recent years is accounted for by manufacturing. A separate survey of management practices in manufacturing firms found that Australia’s managers rank below those in Canada, Sweden, Japan, Germany and the US.
The drop we’ve experienced is “not the fault of employees: there are simply fewer good opportunities available. According to Treasury’s analysis, much of the drop in job-switching is because workers are less likely to transition from mature firms to young firms. With fewer start-up firms, it stands to reason that there are fewer start-up jobs.”
SGS Economics and Planning found that during 2018-19, the Melbourne economy alone accounted for 40 per cent of Australia’s total growth. Melbourne gross domestic product reached $369 billion compared with regional Victoria’s $76 billion.
Australian GDP expanded by 1.9 per cent but Melbourne’s own GDP lifted by 4 per cent. Sydney GDP at $461 billion grew by 2.6 per cent, its lowest rate since 2012-13, to account for a third of national growth.
the Turkish military doesn’t function without the U.S. weapons industry—and the approval of the U.S. government. Absent all the hardware bearing Made in America stickers sitting in Turkish military bases, we would probably not be fretting about what Turkey’s government was doing to the Syrian Democratic Forces.
placing American military personnel in harm’s way apparently carries less political risk than endangering the profits of munitions manufacturers, or the careers of foreign policy experts.