Economics

California's Keenest Competitors for Tech Jobs are Blue Western States

Los_Angeles_w_Mount_Baldy.jpg

For a generation, California has seen more of its residents and companies head elsewhere, but has found a way to respond, at least in terms of wealth creation, by constant innovation. But today, the Golden State’s hold on the elite reaches of the economy is slipping in ways that could threaten the state’s long-term prosperity.  read more »

Decarbonization Cannot Manufacture the Products Demanded by Civilization

petroleum-industry-products.jpg

As late as the 1800’s, the world was “decarbonized” as there were no coal or natural gas power plants, and what the Beverly Hillbillies situation comedies of the 1960’s theme song called “oil that is, black gold, Texas tea”, had not been discovered as something that could be manufactured into usable products.  read more »

The Pandemic as an Employment Shell Game

shell-game-vintage-postcard.jpg

I have always been skeptical of the use of labor statistics. In 2009, I began to write in Working-Class Perspectives about the de facto unemployment rate, because official reports on the unemployment rate in Youngstown left out much of the story. Drawing on traditional Bureau of Labor Statistics data as well as comparative studies from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, I looked beyond how many people were looking for work to add figures for how many were underemployed, discouraged, or unable to work because of disability.  read more »

A Real Rural Future

adams-massachusetts.jpg

One of the far-too-often repeated statements made by urban, coastal elites is that one’s future cannot be found in the countryside. These city-centered Americans often believe that economic growth, jobs, and the nation’s future can only be found in big cities and that rural America remains a dead-end, brain-drained world with minimal opportunity.  read more »

Western Greed Fuels China's Domination

Xi-Jinping-and-Joe-Biden.jpg

There is a hypocrisy at the heart of the West’s attitude to China: although we’re constantly warned about the threat from Beijing, our political and corporate elites seem intent on making this century a Chinese one. Unlike in the Thirties, this appeasement isn’t driven by fear and ignorance; it is motivated largely by greed.  read more »

Building Back Better?

iowans-strike-2021.jpg

As we await U.S. Senate action on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, it is worth reflecting on what the past few tumultuous months have meant for U.S. workers.  Much has happened in the short time since the summer drew to a close.  Collective and individual actions have worked together to create new leverage for both organized and unorganized workers that didn’t exist six months ago.  Workers are expressing higher levels of discontent than we have seen in years.  read more »

Divesting in Crude Oil Guarantees Shortages and Inflation

crude-oil-and-energy-security.jpg

Two of the fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas, are used to generate continuous uninterruptible electricity, but not crude oil, the third fossil fuel, as it is primarily used to manufacture oil derivatives that thousands of products are based upon, and the fuels for various transportation infrastructures.  read more »

Subjects:

The New Dark Ages

book-burning.jpg

If ignorance is bliss, the Western world should be ecstatic. Even as colleges churn out degrees and collect fees, and technology makes information instantly accessible, the basic level of literacy, as measured by such things as reading books and acquainting oneself with the past, is in a precipitous decline. Rather than building a vital world with our technological culture, we are repeating the memes of feudal times, driven by illiteracy, bias and a rejection of the West’s past.  read more »

Our Neo-Feudal Future

factory-workers.jpg

America has only a limited feudal past, the plantation aristocracy of the antebellum South and the enormous class chasms of the Gilded Age being pretty much our only examples. Yet today—after decades of social mobility, a digital revolution that was supposed to empower individuals everywhere, and the construction of a vigorous anti-discrimination apparatus that putatively ensures equal rights and status—a rigid new social order with feudal elements has come into view.  read more »

Unicorns Can Grow in Flyover Country, But Are There Enough Tech Workers?

jeff-mason_groundspeed-analytics.jpg

The experiences of three too-rare high-growth tech companies in Flyover Country illustrate how the Great Reshuffling of workers amid the pandemic has become a mixed blessing for our region.  read more »