Wednesday, March 4, 2020

WILL AMERICA LET HIGH TECH BILLIONAIRES LIKE NEO-FASCIST MARK ZUCKERBERG DESTROY MIDDLE AMERICA?

Michelle Malkin: There Is NO American Worker Shortage
02/25/2020
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Earlier, by Michelle Malkin: A Day Without American Tech Workers
"We're full, our system's full, our country's full!" That was President Donald Trump last year at our southern border.
"Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families." That was Trump in January 2017 at his inaugural address.
"The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult... to earn a middle class wage." That was presidential candidate Trump in 2016.
Contrast those clarion "America First" statements with the apparent hysteria of Trump's current acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who was caught on tape telling a private audience of elites in England last week: "We are desperate—desperate—for more people. We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we've had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants."
Mulvaney reportedly went on to push for "expanding" merit- and employment-based immigration to fill all the high-skilled jobs that Americans purportedly aren't capable of filling. By how much, for how long, in which visa categories and under what conditions this "expansion" should happen, Mulvaney is not reported to have detailed. (He will be featured at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday morning. It would be nice if someone asked him to elaborate, wouldn't it?)
"Running out of people" is typical Beltway swamp talk from a big business lobbyist trafficking in open borders "Chicken Little" alarmism. Has Mulvaney opened a newspaper or browsed the internet in the last 10 years? How about the last week? Over a 48-hour period, I compiled a Twitter thread of more than 50 stories of tens of thousands of recent U.S. worker layoffs in tech and other high-skilled industries. Among the U.S. corporations and institutions responsible for laying off, replacing, offshoring, and outsourcing tens of thousands of American jobs:
Wayfair, TripAdvisor, LogMeIn, Inc., Zume Pizza, VMWare, Shutterfly, Intel, Comcast, Xilinx, 23andMe, NortonLifeLock, AT&T, Macy's, WalgreensUberLyft, UCSF Medical Center, Baptist Health, Sysco, WeWork, American Family Insurance, Tennessee Valley Authority, Amway, UPS subsidiary Coyote Logistics, Comcast, Lime, Bird, Unicorn, Getaround, Cerner, Oracle, Samsung US, Edmunds.com, Textron Aviation, Morgan Stanley, Spirit AeroSystems, Mozilla, UiPath, Plexus, Cisco, Ancestry.com, Clover Health, State Street Corporation, Anthem, Transamerica, Verizon, MassMutual, Disney, Carnival, Abbott Labs, EmblemHealth, Harley Davidson, Cargill, Eversource Energy, Best Buy, Southern California Edison and Qualcomm.
The most recent entry in my U.S. worker layoffs thread came in Monday from Expedia, which announced it is laying off 12% of its information technology workforce (roughly 3,000), including 500 employees at its Seattle headquarters. Tip of the iceberg. As leading American workers' employment attorney and Protect US Workers advocate Sara Blackwell (right) points out, "so many companies are able to conduct this awful business model under the radar." And they get away with it because it's legal, workers are silenced, and most Americans "just do not care because it does not yet touch them personally."
Do we "need more immigrants," as Mulvaney claims? Marie Larson, an American mom who founded the American Workers Coalition with Barbara Birch and Hilarie Gamm, told me: "I talk to Americans almost daily who are being discriminated against, who keep getting laid off by Indian managers, who have to train their foreign replacements to get the much-needed severance packages, who have to pull kids out of college because they can't afford it, even having to sell their houses. These are STEM workers, who got the 'right' degrees and did everything they were supposed to do, only to have our government turn their back and sell out to big businesses push for even more H-1Bs." Tech firms cut 64,166 American jobs in 2019, up 351% from 14,230 in 2018.
Are we so "desperate" for more bodies to "fuel economic growth?" Let's recap the demographic math: We live in a nation of 330 million, 44 million of whom are foreign-born. Upward of 30 million immigrants are currently living, working and going to school here illegally. One million new legal immigrants are granted green cards every year. An estimated 600,000 temporary worker visas are issued annually, including the H-1BH-2A, H-2B and H-4 programs. That doesn't include spousal visas or the more than half a million foreign "students" now working through the stealth guest worker plan known as the Optional Practical Training program, which allows foreign students to work with little monitoring, no wage protections, no payment of Social Security payroll taxes and no requirement for employers to demonstrate labor market shortages.
"We" ordinary Americans don't need more immigrants. Corporations (and their trusty house organ, the Wall Street Journal) want higher profits, lower wages, and endless pipelines of cheap foreign labor. They've been cooking up manufactured worker shortage crises since World War II and crying apocalypse since the 1980s, when the National Science Foundation's Erich Bloch hyped a STEM shortage based on groundless projections to crusade for agency budget increases.
Remember: The only persistent tech worker shortage in America is a shortage of workers at the wage employers want to pay. Beltway swampers gnashing their teeth over barren American worker recruitment pools are full of it.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81weXtYkSsL.jpgCOPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM
Malkin is author of the book, "Open Borders, Inc.: Who's Funding America's Destruction," available directly from VDARE.com in hardcover. To find out more about Michelle Malkin and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM


“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes. This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” 
                                                                                     Karen McQuillan 


TRUMP’S CRAP ON BORDERS AND HIS PRETEND WALL IS ONLY ONE MORE TRUMP HOAX!
Only a complete fool would believe that Trump is any more for American Legal workers than the Democrat Party for Billionaires and Banksters!
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“Trump Administration Betrays Low-Skilled American Workers.”
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The latest ad from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) asks Trump to reject the mass illegal and legal immigration policies supported by Wall Street, corporate executives, and most specifically, the GOP mega-donor Koch brothers.
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Efforts by the big business lobby, Chamber of Commerce, Koch brothers, and George W. Bush Center include increasing employment-based legal immigration that would likely crush the historic wage gains that Trump has delivered for America’s blue collar and working class citizens.
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Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley investors are uniting with the Koch network’s consumer and industrial investors to demand a huge DACA amnesty

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A handful of Republican and Democrat lawmakers are continuing to tout a plan that gives amnesty to nearly a million illegal aliens in exchange for some amount of funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


MULTI-CULTURALISM and the creation of a one-party globalist country to serve the rich in America’s open borders.

http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2017/12/em-cadwaladr-impending-death-of.html

“Open border advocates, such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, claim illegal aliens are a net benefit to California with little evidence to support such an assertion. As the CIS has documented, the vast majority of illegals are poor, uneducated, and with few skills. How does accepting millions of illegal aliens and then granting them access to dozens of welfare programs benefit California’s economy? If illegals were contributing to the economy in any meaningful way, CA, with its 2.6 million illegals, would be booming.” STEVE BALDWIN – AMERICAN SPECTATOR


Josh Hawley: GOP Must Defend Middle Class Americans Against ‘Concentrated Corporate Power,’ Tech Billionaires

JOHN BINDER

The Republican Party must defend America’s working and middle class against “concentrated corporate power” and the monopolization of entire sectors of the United States’ economy, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) says.

In an interview on The Realignment podcast, Hawley said that “long gone are the days where” American workers can depend on big business to look out for their needs and the needs of their communities.
Instead, Hawley explained that increasing “concentrated corporate power” of whole sectors of the American economy — specifically among Silicon Valley’s giant tech conglomerates — is at the expense of working and middle class Americans.
“One of the things Republicans need to recover today is a defense of an open, free-market, of a fair healthy competing market and the length between that and Democratic citizenship,” Hawley said, and continued:
At the end of the day, we are trying to support and sustain here a great democracy. We’re not trying to make a select group of people rich. They’ve already done that. The tech billionaires are already billionaires, they don’t need any more help from government. I’m not interested in trying to help them further. I’m interested in trying to help sustain the great middle of this country that makes our democracy run and that’s the most important challenge of this day.
“You have these businesses who for years now have said ‘Well, we’re based in the United States, but we’re not actually an American company, we’re a global company,'” Hawley said. “And you know, what has driven profits for some of our biggest multinational corporations? It’s been … moving jobs overseas where it’s cheaper … moving your profits out of this country so you don’t have to pay any taxes.”
“I think that we have here at the same time that our economy has become more concentrated, we have bigger and bigger corporations that control more and more of our key sectors, those same corporations see themselves as less and less American and frankly they are less committed to American workers and American communities,” Hawley continued. “That’s turned out to be a problem which is one of the reasons we need to restore good, healthy, robust competition in this country that’s going to push up wages, that’s going to bring jobs back to the middle parts of this country, and most importantly, to the middle and working class of this country.”
While multinational corporations monopolize industries, Hawley said the GOP must defend working and middle class Americans and that big business interests should not come before the needs of American communities:
A free market is one where you can enter it, where there are new ideas, and also by the way, where people can start a small family business, you shouldn’t have to be gigantic in order to succeed in this country. Most people don’t want to start a tech company. [Americans] maybe want to work in their family’s business, which may be some corner shop in a small town … they want to be able to make a living and then give that to their kids or give their kids an option to do that. [Emphasis added]
The problem with corporate concentration is that it tends to kill all of that. The worst thing about corporate concentration is that it inevitably believes to a partnership with big government. Big business and big government always get together, always. And that is exactly what has happened now with the tech sector, for instance, and arguably many other sectors where you have this alliance between big government and big business … whatever you call it, it’s a problem and it’s something we need to address. [Emphasis added]
Hawley blasted the free trade-at-all-costs doctrine that has dominated the Republican and Democrat Party establishments for decades, crediting the globalist economic model with hollowing “out entire industries, entire supply chains” and sending them to China, among other countries.
“The thing is in this country is that not only do we not make very much stuff anymore, we don’t even make the machines that make the stuff,” Hawley said. “The entire supply chain up and down has gone overseas, and a lot of it to China, and this is a result of policies over some decades now.”
As Breitbart News reported, Hawley detailed in the interview how Republicans like former President George H.W. Bush’s ‘New World Order’ agenda and Democrats have helped to create a corporatist economy that disproportionately benefits the nation’s richest executives and donor class.
The billionaire class, the top 0.01 percent of earners, has enjoyed more than 15 times as much wage growth as the bottom 90 percent since 1979. That economy has been reinforced with federal rules that largely benefits the wealthiest of wealthiest earners. A study released last month revealed that the richest Americans are, in fact, paying a lower tax rate than all other Americans.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

Tucker Carlson Exposes D.C. ‘Conservatives’ for Doing Big Tech’s Bidding

Rich Polk/Getty
21 Dec 20190
3:53
Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed establishment conservatives for taking money from big tech companies to do their bidding, on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Friday night.
The popular host, known for his no-holds-barred denunciations of establishment conservatives as well as Democrats, revealed massive spending by the establishment conservative Koch Foundation to protect big tech in Washington.
Tucker revealed that Americans for Prosperity, a “purportedly conservative group” controlled by the Kochs, launched an ad campaign trying to stave off the closing net of antitrust enforcement against Google and Facebook. The ads targeted Republican and Democrat state attorneys general that were investigating alleged antitrust violations by big tech companies.
The Koch-funded group also targeted members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with digital ads urging them to “oppose any effort to use antitrust laws to break up America’s innovative tech companies,” reported Carlson.
The Fox host ran through a laundry list of allegedly “conservative” D.C. think tanks that take money from big tech, and often advocate against regulating them over political bias or any other matter.
“In all, the Koch network quietly spent at least $10 million defending Silicon Valley companies that work to silence conservatives.”


Tucker Carlson Slamming Conservative Inc. for Defending Big Tech

Tucker Calls Out
-Kochs
-Heritage Foundation
-American Conservative Union
-AEI

"Big Tech Companies silence Conservatives, Conservative Non-Profits try to prevent the government from doing anything about it."

“Google has given money to at least 22 right-leaning institutions that are also funded by the Koch network,” reported Carlson.
“Those institutions include the American Conservative Union, the American Enterprise Institute, the National Review Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Mercatus Center.”
Carlson explained that this spending gets results.
“In September of 2018, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and three other groups funded by Google and the Kochs sent a joint letter to the Attorney General at the time, Jeff Sessions, expressing grave concerns over the DoJ’s plans to look into whether search engines and social media were hurting competition and stifling speech.”
Carlson also called out The Heritage Foundation, arguing that its shilling for big tech meant that it “no longer represents the interest of conservatives, at least on the question of tech.”
“A recent paper by Heritage, entitled ‘Free Enterprise Is the Best Remedy For Online Bias Concerns,’ defends the special privileges that Congress has given to left-wing Silicon Valley monopolies. And if conservatives don’t like it, Heritage says, well they can just start their own Google!”
Evidence of big tech’s efforts to co-opt establishment conservatives has been accumulating for some time. In March, Breitbart News published leaked audio from a senior director of public policy at Google, talking about using funding of conservative institutions to “steer” the movement. Another part of the leaked audio transcript was also revealed on Tucker Carlson’s show at the same time.
The Heritage Foundation has continued to defend big tech against efforts to strip them of their special legal privileges, which were given to them by Congress in the 1990s and are enjoyed by no other type of company.
This is despite the fact that Google publicly snubbed the foundation last year, canceling the formation of a planned “A.I ethics” council after far-left employees of the tech company threw a hissy fit over the fact that Heritage president Kay Coles James was set to be one of its members.
Are you an insider at Google, Facebook, Twitter or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address allumbokhari@protonmail.com
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate. Roughly half of America’s homeless live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which now has the highest property crime rate among major cities.
December 20, 2019 
California Preening
The Golden State is on a path to high-tech feudalism, but there’s still time to change course.
“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. “Not only can we lead California into the future . . . we can show the nation and the world how to get there.” When a movie star who once played Hercules says so who’s to disagree? The idea of California as a model, of course, precedes the former governor’s tenure. Now the state’s anti-Trump resistance—in its zeal on matters concerning climate, technology, gender, or race—believes that it knows how to create a just, affluent, and enlightened society. “The future depends on us,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at his inauguration. “And we will seize this moment.”
In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate. Roughly half of America’s homeless live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which now has the highest property crime rate among major cities. California hasn’t yet become a full-scale dystopia, of course, but it’s heading in a troubling direction.
This didn’t have to happen. No place on earth has more going for it than the Golden State. Unlike the East Coast and Midwest, California benefited from comparatively late industrialization, with an economy based less on auto manufacturing and steel than on science-based fields like aerospace, software, and semiconductors. In the mid-twentieth century, the state also gained from the best aspects of progressive rule, culminating in an elite public university system, a massive water system reminiscent of the Roman Empire, and a vast infrastructure network of highways, ports, and bridges. The state was fortunate, too, in drawing people from around the U.S. and the world. The eighteenth-century French traveler J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur described the American as “this new man,” and California—innovative, independent, and less bound by tradition or old prejudice—reflected that insight. Though remnants of this California still exist, its population is aging, less mobile, and more pessimistic, and its roads, schools, and universities are in decline.
In the second half of the twentieth century, California’s remarkably diverse economy spread prosperity from the coast into the state’s inland regions. Though pockets of severe poverty existed—urban barrios, south Los Angeles, the rural Central Valley—they were limited in scope. In fact, growth often favored suburban and exurban communities, where middle-class families, including minorities, settled after World War II.
In the last two decades, the state has adopted policies that undermine the basis for middle-class growth. State energy policies, for example, have made California’s gas and electricity prices among the steepest in the country. Since 2011, electricity prices have risen five times faster than the national average. Meantime, strict land-use controls have raised housing costs to the nation’s highest, while taxes—once average, considering California’s urban scale—now exceed those of virtually every state. At the same time, California’s economy has shed industrial diversity in favor of dependence on one industry: Big Tech. Just a decade before, the state’s largest firms included those in the aerospace, finance, energy, and service industries. Today’s 11 largest companies hail from the tech sector, while energy firms—excluding Chevron, which has moved much of its operations to Houston—have disappeared. Not a single top aerospace firm—the iconic industry of twentieth-century California—retains its headquarters here.
Though lionized in the press, this tech-oriented economy hasn’t resulted in that many middle- and high-paying job opportunities for Californians, particularly outside the Bay Area. Since 2008, notes Chapman University’s Marshall Toplansky, the state has created five times the number of low-paying, as opposed to high-wage, jobs. A remarkable 86 percent of new jobs paid below the median income, while almost half paid under $40,000. Moreover, California, including Silicon Valley, created fewer high-paying positions than the national average, and far less than prime competitors like Salt Lake City, Seattle, or Austin. Los Angeles County features the lowest pay of any of the nation’s 50 largest counties.
No state advertises its multicultural bona fides more than California, now a majority-minority state. This is evident at the University of California, where professors are required to prove their service to “people of color,” to the state’s high school curricula, with its new ethnic studies component. Much of California’s anti-Trump resistance has a racial context. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued the administration numerous times over immigration policy while he helps ensure California’s distinction as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. So far, more than 1 million illegal residents have received driver’s licenses, and they qualify for free health care, too. San Francisco now permits illegal immigrants to vote in local elections.
Such radical policies may make progressives feel better about themselves, though they seem less concerned about how these actions affect everyday people. California’s Latinos and African-Americans have seen good blue-collar jobs in manufacturing and energy vanish. According to one United Way study, over half of Latino households can barely pay their bills. “For Latinos,” notes long-time political consultant Mike Madrid, “the California Dream is becoming an unattainable fantasy.”
In the past, poorer Californians could count on education to help them move up. But today’s educators appear more interested in political indoctrination than results. Among the 50 states, California ranked 49th in the performance of low-income students. In wealthy San Francisco, test scores for black students are the worst of any California county. Many minority residents, especially African-Americans, are fleeing the state. In a recent UC Berkeley poll, 58 percent of black expressed interest in leaving California, a higher percentage than for any racial group, though approximately 45 percent of Asians and Latinos also considered moving out.
Perhaps the biggest demographic disaster is generational. For decades, California incubated youth culture, creating trends like beatniks, hippies, surfers, and Latino and Asian art, music, and cuisine. The state is a fountainhead of youthful wokeness and rebellion, but that may prove short-lived as millennials leave. From 2014 to 2018, notes demographer Wendell Cox, net domestic out-migration grew from 46,000 to 156,000. The exiles are increasingly in their family-formation years. In the 2010s, California suffered higher net declines in virtually every age category under 54, with the biggest rate of loss coming among the 35-to-44 cohort.
As families with children leave, and international migration slows to one-third of Texas’s level, the remaining population is rapidly aging. Since 2010, California’s fertility rate has dropped 60 percent, more than the national average; the state is now aging 50 percent more rapidly than the rest of the country. A growing number of tech firms and millennials have headed to the Intermountain West. Low rates of homeownership among younger people play a big role in this trend, with California millennials forced to rent, with little chance of buying their own home, while many of the state’s biggest metros lead the nation in long-term owners. California is increasingly a greying refuge for those who bought property when housing was affordable.
After Governor Schwarzenegger morphed into a progressive environmentalist, climate concerns began driving state policy. His successors have embraced California “leadership” on climate issues. Jerry Brown recently told a crowd in China that the rest of the world should follow California’s example. The state’s top Democrats, like state senate president pro tem Kevin DeLeon, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, and billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, now compete for the green mantle.
Their policies have worsened conditions for many middle- and working-class Californians. Oblivious to these concerns, Greens ignore practical ideas—nuclear power, natural gas cars, job creation in affordable areas, home-based work—that could help reduce emissions without disrupting people’s lives. Ultra-green policies also work against the state’s proclaimed goal of building more than 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. In accordance with its efforts to reduce car use, the state mandates that most growth occurs in already-crowded coastal areas, where land prices are highest. But in cities like San Francisco, the cost of building one unit for a homeless person surpasses $700,000. California’s inland regions, though experiencing population gains, keep losing state funding for decrepit highways in favor of urban-centric, mass transit projects—yet transit use has stagnated, especially in greater Los Angeles.
The state, nevertheless, continues its pursuit of policies that would eliminate all fossil fuels and nuclear power—outpacing national or even Paris Accord levels and guaranteeing ever-rising energy prices. Mandating everything from electric cars to electric homes will only drive more working-class Californians into “energy poverty.” High energy prices also directly affect the manufacturing and logistics firms that employ blue-collar workers at decent wages. Business relocation expert Joe Vranich notes that industrial firms account for many of the 2,000 employers that left the state this decade. California’s industrial growth has fallen to the bottom tier of states; last year, it ranked 44th, with a rate of growth one-third to one-quarter that of prime competitors like Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida.
Similarly, the high energy prices tend to hit the interior counties that, besides being poorer, have far less temperate climates. Cities like Bakersfield, capital of the state’s once-vibrant oil industry, are particularly hard-hit. High energy prices will cost the region, northeast of the Los Angeles Basin, 14,000 generally high-paid jobs, even as the state continues to import oil from Saudi Arabia.
California’s leaders apply climate change to excuse virtually every failure of state policy. During the California drought, Brown and his minions blamed the “climate” for the dry period, refusing to take responsibility for insufficient water storage that would have helped farmers. When the rains returned and reservoirs filled, this argument was forgotten, and little effort has been made to conserve water for next time. Likewise, Newsom and his supporters in the media have blamed recent fires on changes in the global climate, but the disaster had as much to do with green mandates against controlled burns and brush clearance than anything occurring on a planetary scale. Brown joined greens and others in blocking such sensible policies.
Few climate advocates ever seem to ask if their policies actually help the planet. Indeed, California’s green policy, as one paper demonstrates, may be increasing total greenhouse-gas emissions by pushing people and industries to states with less mild climates. In the past decade, the state ranked 40th in per-capita reductions, and its global carbon footprint is minimal. Renewable energy may be expensive and unreliable, but state policy nevertheless enriches the green-energy investments of tech leaders, even when their efforts—like the Google-backed Ivanpah solar farm—fail to deliver affordable, reliable energy.
It’s not so surprising, given these enthusiasms, that progressive politicians like Garcetti—who leads a city with paralyzing traffic congestion, rampant inequality, a huge rat infestation, and proliferating homeless camps—would rather talk about becoming chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
Reality is asserting itself, though. Tech firms already show signs of restlessness with the current regulatory regime and appear to be shifting employment to other states, notably TexasTennesseeNevadaColorado, and Arizona. Economic-modeling firm Emsi estimates that several states—Idaho, Tennessee, Washington, and Utah—are growing their tech employment faster than California. The state is losing momentum in professional and technical services—the largest high-wage sector—and now stands roughly in the middle of the pack behind other western states such as Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. And Assembly Bill 5, the state law regulating certain forms of contract labor, reclassifies part-time workers. Aimed initially at ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, the legislation also extends to independent contractors in industries from media to trucking.
At some point, as even Brown noted, the ultra-high capital gains returns will fall and, combined with the costs of an expanding welfare state, could leave the state in fiscal chaos. Big Tech could stumble, a possibility made more real by the recent $100 billion drop in the value of privately held “unicorn” companies, including WeWork. If the tech economy slows, a rift could develop between two of the state’s biggest forces—unions and the green establishment—over future levels of taxation. More than two-thirds of California cities don’t have any funds set aside for retiree health care and other retirement expenses. The state also confronts $1 trillion in pension debt, according to former Democratic state senator Joe NationU.S. News & Report ranks California, despite the tech boom, 42nd in fiscal health among the states.
The good news: some Californians are waking up. A recent PPIC poll found that increasing proportions of Californians believe that the state is headed in the wrong direction—a figure that exceeds 55 percent in the inland areas. And voters dislike the state legislature even more than they dislike Donald Trump. Newsom’s approval rating stands at 43 percent, placing him toward the bottom among the nation’s governors. A conservative-led campaign to recall him is unlikely to succeed, but surveys reveal growing opposition to the new tax hikes proposed by the legislature. There’s a growing concern about the state’s expanding homeless population.
And a rebellion against the state’s energy policies is already under way. Recently, 110 cities, with total population exceeding 8 million, have demanded changes in California’s drive to prevent new natural gas hookups. The state’s Chamber of Commerce and the three most prominent ethnic chambers—African-American, Latino, and Asian-Pacific—have joined this effort.
Californians need less bombast and progressive pretense from their leaders and more attention to policies that could counteract the economic and demographic tides threatening the state. On its current course, California increasingly resembles a model of what the late Taichi Sakaiya called “high-tech feudalism,” with a small population of wealthy residents and a growing mass of modern-day serfs. Delusion and preening ultimately have limits, as more Californians are beginning to recognize. As the 2020s beckon, the time for the state to change course is now.



OBAMA AND HIS BANKSTERS:
And it all got much, much worse after 2008, when the schemes collapsed and, as Lemann points out, Barack Obama did not aggressively rein in Wall Street as Roosevelt had done, instead restoring the status quo ante even when it meant ignoring a staggering white-collar crime spree. RYAN COOPER

The Rise of Wall Street Thievery

How corporations and their apologists blew up the New Deal order and pillaged the middle class.
America has long had a suspicious streak toward business, from the Populists and trustbusters to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It’s a tendency that has increased over the last few decades. In 1973, 36 percent of respondents told Gallup they had only “some” confidence in big business, while 20 percent had “very little.” But in 2019, those numbers were 41 and 32 percent—near the highs registered during the financial crisis.
Clearly, something has happened to make us sour on the American corporation. What was once a stable source of long-term employment and at least a modicum of paternalistic benefits has become an unstable, predatory engine of inequality. Exactly what went wrong is well documented in Nicholas Lemann’s excellent new book, Transaction Man. The title is a reference to The Organization Man, an influential 1956 book on the corporate culture and management of that era. Lemann, a New Yorker staff writer and Columbia journalism professor (as well as a Washington Monthly contributing editor), details the development of the “Organization” style through the career of Adolf Berle, a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brain trust. Berle argued convincingly that despite most of the nation’s capital being represented by the biggest 200 or so corporations, the ostensible owners of these firms—that is, their shareholders—had little to no influence on their daily operations. Control resided instead with corporate managers and executives.
Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream
by Nicholas Lemann
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 320 pp.
Berle was alarmed by the wealth of these mega-corporations and the political power it generated, but also believed that bigness was a necessary concomitant of economic progress. He thus argued that corporations should be tamed, not broken up. The key was to harness the corporate monstrosities, putting them to work on behalf of the citizenry.
Berle exerted major influence on the New Deal political economy, but he did not get his way every time. He was a fervent supporter of the National Industrial Recovery Act, an effort to directly control corporate prices and production, which mostly flopped before it was declared unconstitutional. Felix Frankfurter, an FDR adviser and a disciple of the great anti-monopolist Louis Brandeis, used that opportunity to build significant Brandeisian elements into New Deal structures. The New Deal social contract thus ended up being a somewhat incoherent mash-up of Brandeis’s and Berle’s ideas. On the one hand, antitrust did get a major focus; on the other, corporations were expected to play a major role delivering basic public goods like health insurance and pensions. 
Lemann then turns to his major subject, the rise and fall of the Transaction Man. The New Deal order inspired furious resistance from the start. Conservative businessmen and ideologues argued for a return to 1920s policies and provided major funding for a new ideological project spearheaded by economists like Milton Friedman, who famously wrote an article titled “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” Lemann focuses on a lesser-known economist named Michael Jensen, whose 1976 article “Theory of the Firm,” he writes, “prepared the ground for blowing up that [New Deal] social order.”
Jensen and his colleagues embodied that particular brand of jaw-droppingly stupid that only intelligent people can achieve. Only a few decades removed from a crisis of unregulated capitalism that had sparked the worst war in history and nearly destroyed the United States, they argued that all the careful New Deal regulations that had prevented financial crises for decades and underpinned the greatest economic boom in U.S. history should be burned to the ground. They were outraged by the lack of control shareholders had over the firms they supposedly owned, and argued for greater market discipline to remove this “principal-agent problem”—econ-speak for businesses spending too much on irrelevant luxuries like worker pay and investment instead of dividends and share buybacks. When that argument unleashed hell, they doubled down: “To Jensen the answer was clear: make the market for corporate control even more active, powerful, and all-encompassing,” Lemann writes.
The best part of the book is the connection Lemann draws between Washington policymaking and the on-the-ground effects of those decisions. There was much to criticize about the New Deal social contract—especially its relative blindness to racism—but it underpinned a functioning society that delivered a tolerable level of inequality and a decent standard of living to a critical mass of citizens. Lemann tells this story through the lens of a thriving close-knit neighborhood called Chicago Lawn. Despite how much of its culture “was intensely provincial and based on personal, family, and ethnic ties,” he writes, Chicago Lawn “worked because it was connected to the big organizations that dominated American culture.” In other words, it was a functioning democratic political economy.
Then came the 1980s. Lemann paints a visceral picture of what it was like at street level as Wall Street buccaneers were freed from the chains of regulation and proceeded to tear up the New Deal social contract. Cities hemorrhaged population and tax revenue as their factories were shipped overseas. Whole businesses were eviscerated or even destroyed by huge debt loads from hostile takeovers. Jobs vanished by the hundreds of thousands. 
And it all got much, much worse after 2008, when the schemes collapsed and, as Lemann points out, Barack Obama did not aggressively rein in Wall Street as Roosevelt had done, instead restoring the status quo ante even when it meant ignoring a staggering white-collar crime spree. Neighborhoods drowned under waves of foreclosures and crime as far-off financial derivatives imploded. Car dealerships that had sheltered under the General Motors umbrella for decades were abruptly cut loose. Bewildered Chicago Lawn residents desperately mobilized to defend themselves, but with little success. “What they were struggling against was a set of conditions that had been made by faraway government officials—not one that had sprung up naturally,” Lemann writes.
Toward the end of the book, however, Lemann starts to run out of steam. He investigates a possible rising “Network Man” in the form of top Silicon Valley executives, who have largely maintained control over their companies instead of serving as a sort of esophagus for disgorging their companies’ bank accounts into the Wall Street maw. But they turn out to be, at bottom, the same combination of blinkered and predatory as the Transaction Men. Google and Facebook, for instance, have grown over the last few years by devouring virtually the entire online ad market, strangling the journalism industry as a result. And they directly employ far too few people to serve as the kind of broad social anchor that the car industry once did.
In his final chapter, Lemann argues for a return to “pluralism,” a “messy, contentious system that can’t be subordinated to one conception of the common good. It refuses to designate good guys and bad guys. It distributes, rather than concentrates, economic and political power.”
This is a peculiar conclusion for someone who has just finished Lemann’s book, which is full to bursting with profoundly bad people—men and women who knowingly harmed their fellow citizens by the millions for their own private profit. In his day, Roosevelt was not shy about lambasting rich people who “had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs,” as he put it in a 1936 speech in which he also declared, “We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob.”
If concentrated economic power is a bad thing, then the corporate form is simply a poor basis for a truly strong and equal society. Placing it as one of the social foundation stones makes its workers dependent on the unreliable goodwill and business acumen of management on the one hand and the broader marketplace on the other. All it takes is a few ruthless Transaction Men to undermine the entire corporate social model by outcompeting the more generous businesses. And even at the high tide of the New Deal, far too many people were left out, especially African Americans.
Lemann writes that in the 1940s the United States “chose not to become a full-dress welfare state on the European model.” But there is actually great variation among the European welfare states. States like Germany and Switzerland went much farther on the corporatist road than the U.S. ever did, but they do considerably worse on metrics like inequality, poverty, and political polarization than the Nordic social democracies, the real welfare kings. 
Conversely, for how threadbare it is, the U.S. welfare state still delivers a great deal of vital income to the American people. The analyst Matt Bruenig recently calculated that American welfare eliminates two-thirds of the “poverty gap,” which is how far families are below the poverty line before government transfers are factored in. (This happens mainly through Social Security.) Imagine how much worse this country would be without those programs! And though it proved rather easy for Wall Street pirates to torch the New Deal corporatist social model without many people noticing, attempts to cut welfare are typically very obvious, and hence unpopular.
Still, Lemann’s book is more than worth the price of admission for the perceptive history and excellent writing. It’s a splendid and beautifully written illustration of the tremendous importance public policy has for the daily lives of ordinary people.

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at the Week. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New Republic, and the Nation. He was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2012 to 2014.

Report: Big Tech Will Expand Further into Finance in 2020

JOSH EDELSON/Getty
 5 Jan 202040
3:31
According to a recent report, the Masters of the Universe in Silicon Valley have plans to further expand into the world of finance in the new year — falling just short of opening their own banks.
recent report from CNBC claims that Silicon Valley tech giants are likely to expand their business into the world of finance even further in 2020, but many want to avoid the hassle of becoming a fully-fledged bank. With Facebook announcing its own cryptocurrency, Googles plans to introduce consumer bank account sin collaboration with Citibank, and Apple’s new credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs, finance seems to be a major focus for tech firms.
CNBC writes:

Though their products are different, both firms share something in common: they have no plans to become regulated financial institutions like Citi or Goldman. While Big Tech — a group of companies that includes Google, AmazonFacebook and Apple — will undoubtedly push deeper into finance this year, their progress in banking will be “more of a slow creep than big strides,” said Sarah Kocianski, head of research at fintech consultancy 11:FS.
“The big tech firms will continue to add services that are peripheral to banking to their existing offerings, without going full-stack banking,” she said. “The headache of getting, and maintaining, a banking license would likely be considered too big a risk for these companies. Instead, they will continue to operate with licensed partners.”
But, Accenture’s global payments lead, Sulabh Agarwal stated when asked that it makes little sense for tech firms to become banks. “Do I expect them to become banks? I don’t think so do. I expect them to create new services to enhance their propositions,” Argawal stated.
Facebook is making moves on two fronts in the world of finance, with its digital currency Libra and with its payment processing platform Facebook Pay. CNBC writes:

“The theory goes that if 2 billion people were to withdraw their deposits from the banking system and move them into Libra tokens, you’d effectively have a run on the banks,” said Simon Taylor, co-founder and blockchain lead at 11:FS. “Facebook is absolutely big enough for that to be plausible, but whether or not it happens depends much more on what consumer problem is being solved.”
Aside from libra, Facebook is also consolidating its payment products under a new brand called Facebook Pay. Uber, like its Southeast Asian competitor Grab, is moving further into finance with a division called Uber Money that houses a digital wallet and upgraded payment cards. They’ll face competition from the likes of Google Pay and Apple Pay in the U.S. and Chinese payment apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay.
E-commerce giant Amazon is already in the process of lending out money but has yet to break into consumer banking. It should be noted that Amazon at one point set up a student loan scheme in 2016 with Wells Fargo which shut down shortly afterward. Sarah Kocianski, head of research at fintech consultancy 11:FS, stated that there was “every reason to suspect they’ve learned from that.”
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

Exclusive–Mo Brooks: ‘Masters of the Universe’ Want More Immigration to ‘Decrease Incomes of Americans’


Bob Gathany / AL.com via AP
 10 Mar 2019122
3:19



Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says the “Masters of the Universe” want more legal immigration to the United States to further diminish the incomes of American working and middle-class families.

In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Brooks said recent demands to increase the number of foreign workers coming to the U.S. to compete against American citizens for jobs is merely an effort by corporations to deplete the earnings of Americans.
Brooks said:
I’m not a part of the Masters of the Universe crowd who thinks we ought to be bringing in all this foreign labor and the reason for it is pure economics. This is the chance for Americans and lawful immigrants who are already here who are working in the blue-collar trades, who are working in the places where wages are not as high they ought to be, this is their chance to prosper. [Emphasis added]
And to the extent you import a lot of foreign labor, then you are artificially increasing the labor supply which in turn means that you’re artificially suppressing the wages of American families who are often hard-pressed to make ends meet So I respectfully disagree that we need more foreign labor, to the contrary, I would like to see us reduce the foreign labor that comes into America so that American families who are struggling to make ends meet, particularly those of us who are earning the least amounts, would be better to take care of their own families and less likely to be dependent on the welfare. [Emphasis added]
Brooks said Democrats support for mass legal immigration is centered on the premise that increasing the number of foreign workers in the U.S. will decrease Americans’ wages, thus forcing many into poverty and becoming welfare recipients. This, Brooks said, is how Democrats create a permanent dependent class of Democrat voters.
“Don’t get me wrong, [Democrats] want to decrease the incomes of Americans so that they’re dependent on welfare,” Brooks said.
That makes them in turn likely Democrat voters and the best way to do that is to have a huge surge in the labor supply, particularly illegal aliens, that will depress their wages therefore creating more Democrats who are dependent on welfare at the same time as they bring in illegal aliens who also under Democrat doctrine will be allowed to vote and those types of voters, they’re also dependent on welfare. [Emphasis added]
“About 70 percent of illegal alien households are on welfare … plus this is a bloc of voters that seems unusually susceptible to the racial divisions that the Democrats advance,” Brooks said. “You have to look at the big picture in all of this, and to me, we should not be importing as much foreign labor as we are. We should be helping the least among us earn more and importing foreign labor that suppresses wages is not the way to do that.”
Currently, the U.S. admits more than 1.2 legal immigrants annually, with the vast majority deriving from chain migration, whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country. In 2017, the foreign-born population reached a record high of 44.5 million.
The U.S. is on track to import about 15 million new foreign-born voters in the next two decades should current legal immigration levels continue. Those 15 million new foreign-born voters include about eight million who will arrive in the country through chain migration, where newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country.
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to Midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Pacific). 
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder