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June 07, 2012

Hundreds of workers riot at Foxconn factory over wage cuts, forced time off

Report: One Thousand Workers Riot at Foxconn
Initially, the outburst began in the factory's male worker dormitory. Security guards arrived on the scene to stop a thief, and allegedly, some Foxconn workers with grievances against the security guards, beat them up and drove them out. From there, things escalated. Report stated that up to a thousand workers rioted, throwing chairs, pots, bottles, trash cans and fireworks. The rioters also destroyed public facilities, according to Want China Times. The reason for the riot seems to be pay: Foxconn workers at the Chengdu plant are seeing their hours cut and are given unpaid days off for no reason. Employees are worried that if this continues, they'll be making less than minimum wage in China. The riot was apparently a manifestation of those concerns.

June 06, 2012

A financial transactions tax could stabilize Wall Street and raise money for infrastructure

This sounds like a fantastic idea. Nurses Support Financial Transactions Tax | Angry Bear - Financial and Economic Commentary
Another action that might help to calm the too-reckless bankers and their desire for super-high profit margins would be to enact a financial transactions tax. It seems that lots of GOP candidates and economists think sales taxes make sense for ordinary folk--from Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan (that would eventually convert to a flat national sales tax) to the GOP push to cut income tax rates in states in favor of sales taxes. But when it comes to a financial transactions tax, all of a sudden the same folks seem to change their minds, suggesting that such a tax on financial transactions would discourage investment in the capital markets and be bad for America. There are some singificant factors in favor of a financial transaction tax that would reap a few pennies from each transaction. First, it would raise much needed money from a group that generally can afford the cost. Second, it could act to discourage flash trading, where computer-run programs arbitrage the markets in a way that only those with the sophisticated programs can take advantage, leaving ordinary folk out in the cold. Third, it could be one factor in returning everyone to more prudent approaches to investment--investing for the long term, rather than profiting from arbitraging tiny differences in multiple trades.

For the sake of the children, we have to destroy the future

Think of the Children - NYTimes.com
Every time I hear some smug pundit or politician saying that we can’t spend to create jobs because that would be laying too much of a burden on our children, I get angry — because of reports like this: For this generation of young people, the future looks bleak. Only one in six is working full time. Three out of five live with their parents or other relatives. A large majority — 73 percent — think they need more education to find a successful career, but only half of those say they will definitely enroll in the next few years. No, they are not the idle youth of Greece or Spain or Egypt. They are the youth of America, the world’s richest country, who do not have college degrees and aren’t getting them anytime soon. Everything we know says that this generation will never — never — recover from the terrible job market into which it has graduated. But hey, we can’t do anything about that; we must have austerity, for the sake of the next generation.

June 04, 2012

Paul Krugman: We are already in a Republican economy

This Republican Economy - NYTimes.com
d What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams. So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed. For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con. What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War. How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high. . . .