A DACA amnesty would put more citizen children of illegal aliens — known as “anchor babies” — on federal welfare, as Breitbart News reported, while American taxpayers would be left potentially with a $26 billion bill...Additionally, about one-in-five DACA illegal aliens, after an amnesty, would end up on food stamps, while at least one-in-seven would go on Medicaid. JOHN BINDER
Friday on Fox News, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned unemployment news was to get worse before it gets better due to the economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Kudlow, however, said there were other positive signs in the economy offering reasons for optimism.
“You know, the things are looking better, OK?” he said. “Now, we are still in the pandemic contraction. We probably haven’t peaked in unemployment, and the numbers coming in the weeks ahead are going to be very poor here in the second quarter. It’s a lot of hardship, a lot of heartbreak, OK, a lot of anxiety, so it certainly isn’t over. But, but, but, but I will say this. The virus is flattening and coming downward. The openings are coming across the country. Businesses are opening. New business applications are opening. There’s kind of a list, Steve, of all the – you know, I call them glimmers of hope and growth. Cars are driving more. Gasoline prices are up. The Apple Mobility Index is up.”
“We’re even seeing on the unemployment claims, which is a terrible number – close to 40 million – but it is slowing in its increase,” Kudlow continued. “So there’s some hopeful signs, and I think we’re going to move strong into the second half of the year with perhaps as much as 20 percent economic growth. We’ll talk about this with the business leaders and next steps on economic policy. You know, we’ve gone through the liquidity phase. Now we’re in the reopening phase. I think the next phase has to go back to old fashion Trumponomics — cutting taxes, deregulating, fair trade deals, things that grew the economy rapidly in the first three years plus and things that can grow the economy rapidly in the second half and onto next year. The president rebuilt the economy. He can do it a second time. We’ll have this whole conversation with the CEOs and the others.”
American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages
29 May 2020
Another 2.1 million workers in the United States filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Labor Department. This brings the total number of workers filing for jobless benefits to 40.8 million in the ten weeks since the pandemic led to the closure of much of the country’s economic activity in mid-March.
This number, which substantially understates the real scale of joblessness, is still a shocking 24.7 percent of the country’s labor force of 164.5 million people. Economists expect that May’s official unemployment rate, which will be released next Friday, will hit 20 percent, up from 14.7 percent in April.
Estimates of the real jobless rate exceed the historic record of 24.9 percent set in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression. Millions of jobless workers are not counted in the official toll because they are undocumented immigrants, self-employed or so-called gig workers. Others not counted include those working part-time jobs and those who have given up looking for non-existent jobs. In addition, millions are not counted as unemployed because overwhelmed state agencies have not processed their claims, depriving them of any jobless benefits.
A woman carries a box of food away as hundreds others impacted by the COVID-19 virus outbreak wait in line at a Salvation Army center in Chelsea, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Nevertheless, several states have staggering official jobless levels, including Washington (31.2 percent), Nevada (26.7), Florida (25.0), Hawaii (23.4), Michigan (23.1), California (20.6) and New York (19.9).
According to a University of Chicago report, 42 percent of the jobs that have been lost will never return. Major corporations are using the pandemic to accelerate restructuring plans drawn up long before the present crisis.
This week, Boeing announced it will cut 13,000 jobs, mostly in the US but also in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. American Airlines, which got a hefty portion of the $50 billion government bailout of the airlines, supposedly to retain employees, will slash 5,000 jobs, or 30 percent of its workforce.
This is part of a global trend. After receiving a multi-billion-dollar bailout from the French government, the Renault-Nissan auto alliance has released plans to close factories in France, Spain and other countries and slash more than 20,000 jobs. German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen plans to cut up to 15,000 jobs, or around 10 percent of its workforce, by 2025, with half the cuts in Germany.
After a decade of declining real incomes for workers, those returning to work are now facing the prospect of a new round of wage and benefit cuts. A Bloomberg News report cited the comments of Bruce Fallick, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, who said the circumstances of a public-health crisis probably make pay cuts more palatable to workers than they would normally be—at least initially.
Wage-cutting will hit every sector of workers, from nurses, grocery, delivery and other essential workers the corporate media has hailed as “heroes,” to office workers at Google, Facebook, Twitter, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart and other companies that are extending their work-from-home policies.
“Once people work from home, there will be an employment arbitrage,” Forbes recently noted, as companies “decide that a person working at home in Montana has the same skills as someone in Chicago, but will take a much lower salary. It will be hard for employees to negotiate for raises, as management will believe that they could easily find a replacement somewhere else within the United States or abroad.”
Meanwhile, corporations that have been handed billions of dollars by the federal government are proceeding to turn the bailout money over to their executives and investors.
In the name of “equal sacrifice,” major corporations have announced cuts to the base salaries of their chief executives. This is nothing but show, however. Base salaries account for only a tenth of the median pay of chief executives at the largest 500 US companies, with the bulk coming from stock awards.
Based on an examination of regulatory findings, Reuters found that scores of companies, including Uber, Delta Air Lines and Hilton hotels, had already made or were considering changes to pay plans to shield top executives from the economic fallout of the pandemic, even as profits plummeted and the companies slashed thousands of jobs.
Reuters reported that Sonic Automotive, which runs nearly 100 car dealerships, “changed its executive compensation plan from awarding stock based on performance to allowing executives to buy company stock, starting in 2021, at the depressed prices that shares hit on April 9 of this year. Their value has risen 67 percent since April 10, as a result of the stock market bubble produced by the Federal Reserve’s intervention and massive government stimulus spending. This has happened as sales fell about 40 percent year-on-year since the start of the pandemic, and the company furloughed or laid off 3,000 workers.”
Since the unanimous passage by the Democrats and Republicans of the CARES Act in late March, which authorized the US Treasury to spend trillions of dollars to take over the bad debts of banks and corporations, stocks have shot up by more than 35 percent. They are now just 10 percent below the record highs before the pandemic.
In the two months since Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27, the US death toll from COVID-19 has risen from 1,700 to over 103,000. Tens of millions have lost their jobs and are lining up for food assistance and face eviction as temporary moratoriums are lifted. During the same period, America’s billionaires have seen their net worth rise by $434 billion.
The ruling classes in every country are pursuing a homicidal policy of forcing workers back to unsafe workplaces even as the pandemic continues to spread, overwhelming new areas of the US and producing new nightmares in Mexico, Brazil, India and other countries. In every country, the capitalist governments are seeking to use economic pressure to force workers back, with Trump preparing to replace the $600 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits with a temporary $450 a week “back to work” bonus.
For the ruling class, workers are nothing more than “our human capital stock,” as Trump’s senior economic adviser Kevin Hassett said last week, to be herded back to work to produce the profits necessary to pay for the bailout of the rich.
But workers are not cattle. Prior to the pandemic, there was a major growth of social struggle and political radicalization of the working class in every country. In the US, the number of workers engaged in major strikes reached the highest levels in decades. The entire policy of the ruling class in response to the pandemic will produce a vast expansion of class conflict.
Workers must reject the false choice between their lives and their livelihoods. The fight against both the pandemic and the social catastrophe facing the working class is a fight against the financial oligarchy and the capitalist system. It is the fight for socialism.
Experts: Donald Trump Can Choke Silicon Valley’s Foreign Labor Pipeline
President Donald Trump can leverage his control of Silicon Valley’s preferred pipeline of cheap, compliant H-1B visa workers to curb censorship on social media, say experts on immigration policy.
“That is a powerful position to be in,” said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers. “What he can do is turn on and turn off the flow of [visa worker] labor into these companies … This gives him an awful lot of control.”
“If he were smart, he would think of that,” said Marie Larson, one of the co-founders of American Workers Coalition. The coalition advocates against the various visa workers programs which provide roughly 1.3 million foreign employees for Fortune 500 companies, including the tech sector. But, she added, “Our main issue is the [impact of the] foreign worker programs. … [and] he’s really skirting that issue.”
Multiple websites show how Google, Facebook, and Twitter use the visa worker pipelines to fill up a wide range of starter and mid-career jobs with compliant foreigners instead of innovative American professionals.
But the President has legal authority who can enter the country, so he can disrupt or cut that pipeline. He can use his bully pulpit to showcase the unpopularity of the many visa programs during the 2020 election.
The major Valley executives usually pay good wages to their foreign H-1Bs because they prefer foreign workers for management reasons:
The foreign workers are compliant and hard-working because they are largely unprotected by U.S. workplace laws. For example, they can be deported to their poor homelands by a manager’s signature.
Several major Valley companies were sued in the 2000s for operating an illegal “no-poaching” policy, in which the companies protected their secrets and suppressed salaries by promising to not hire employees from each other. The H-1B workforce allows executives to achieve that goal legally because the H-1Bs are locked into their jobs as they wait years to get employer-sponsored green cards.
U.S. executives use the H-IBs to avoid creating a U.S. workforce of innovative American graduates who argue back, quit, and set up rival companies.
The vast majority of the Valley’s incoming H-1Bs are slotted into routine roles that can easily be accomplished by U.S. graduates, according to Indian H-1Bs and U.S. managers who have spoken to Breitbart News. “There are ordinary routine workers to displace Americans; That is the kind of worker they are getting — so no more innovation for us,” said Lynn.
Trump should use his control of the Valley’s worker pipeline “to create labor practices that force employers to begin reinvesting in their American workforces,” Lynn said. Numerous polls show that “Hire American” policy is very popular, he added.
The company hiring is shown at the MyVisaJobs.com site.
For example, Twitter asked for permission to import 830 H-1B workers from 2017 to 2019, at a wage of roughly $150,000 per person. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security rejected only eight of those requests.
The MyVisaJobs site says that the company is asking for another 161 workers in 2020, despite the massive American unemployment caused by China’s coronavirus.
Some of Twitter’s U.S.-based foreign workers have caused problems for conservatives and the GOP. In January 2018, for example, Project Veritas recorded Pranay Singh, a direct messaging engineer at Twitter. boasting that conservative accounts are targeted en-masse:
You use machine learning. You look for Trump, or America, or any of, like, five thousand, like, Keywords to describe a redneck. And then you look and you, like, parse all the messages, all like the pictures, and then you look for, like, stuff that matches, like, that stuff. And like if it, so you, like, you assign a value to each thing, so like Trump would be, like, .5, a picture of a gun would be like 1.5, and, like, if it comes up… the total comes up above, like, a certain value, then it’s a bot
Just go to a random tweet, and just look at the followers. They’ll all be like, guns, God, ‘Merica, like, and with the American flag and, like, the cross… Like, who says that? Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot. You just delete them, but, like, the problem is there are hundreds of thousands of them, so you got to, like, write algorithms, that do it for you.
I would say majority of it are for Republicans, because they’re all from Russia and they wanted Trump to win, so yeah.
Google is also suppressing conservative speech while it hires compliant, controllable foreigners.
The MyVisaJobs page shows that Google asked for 14,300 foreign workers in place of Americans from 2017 to 2019 — even when company executives were free to hire some of the many sidelined or unemployed American graduates. Google even promised to pay roughly $140,000 per person — or far above the wage that young American graduates would happily accept.
Outside Silicon Valley, Fortune 500 companies also use the H-1B inflow to force down salaries paid to technology workers. The wage suppression is accomplished by flooding the labor market with software graduates, via a plethora of subcontractors who loudly compete for contracts and sometimes quietly cooperate to skim salaries from gig-worker graduates.
The MyVisaJobs page also indicates that most of Google’s H-1Bs hires are from China. In contrast, the bulk of Twitter’s H-1B hires are from India.
A campaign against H-1bs would also hit Bill Gates’ Microsoft and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.
Please read @NeilMunroDC 's latest before you assume (as I once did) that H-1B "guestworkers" are all super-skilled foreign tech whizzes doing work Americans can't do. I'm sure some are, but most …. https://t.co/MRvndFDXsQ