published Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Smith: LABOR DAY? How about: Part-Time Labor Day

By Robin Smith

The first day of September has celebrated the American worker since 1894. The Department of Labor notes the federal holiday was established to honor the “social and economic achievements of American workers” and recognize the “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

Near the end of the 19th century, the “Second Industrial Revolution” was defined by territorial expansion, production lines, and mass production. The Department of Labor describes the era as possessing “the vital force of labor” that “added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known.”

Without question, the turn of the 20th century ushered in great economic gains — accomplished with many working 12-hour days, seven-day work weeks in unsafe working conditions. Despite the 8-hour work day being supported by President Abraham Lincoln decades earlier when the average work week measured 60 hours, it wasn’t until the early 1900s through workforce activism that oppressive workplaces and the burden of the over-long work week was addressed.

As we plan for holiday barbecues and fun with family and friends, exactly what do we celebrate on this Labor Day? Well, it’s not full-time employment!

As of Aug. 5, the Department of Labor recorded the average work week of 2013 as 34 hours per week, down from an average of 38 hours logged by workers in 1964.

Is this Labor Day marking the end of full-time employment in America?

The McClatchy-Tribune Washington Bureau quotes Keith Hall, who ran the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 to 2012 and is currently a George Mason University senior researcher, as saying that “over the last six months of the net job creation, 97% of that is part-time work.”

Again, of the 963,000 jobs created during the last six months of this current year, most are part-time.

Out of all the American able-bodied adults of all races, ages and gender, the percentage of individuals working measured 63.4% in July 2013. This figure matches the size of our work force during the days of President Jimmy Carter in 1979 that introduced the economic indicator, the “Misery Index.”

Did you know that there are more Americans receiving food stamps as of Aug. 9, 2013 than the entire population of Canada?

The expansion of welfare use in the food stamp program has grown to 47.6 million citizens. The number of food stamp recipients in 2000 was 17.1 million.

The number of Americans receiving disability pay stands at 11 million.

So, what does all of this mean? What’s the big deal if people stop looking for work or only work part-time?

As the average household income has dropped from $55,438 in 2007 to $51,404 in February 2013, and the personal savings rate has responded in kind over the last three years. In 2011, Americans were saving at a rate of 5.5% of earnings, sliding to 4.2% in 2012 and bottoming at 2.6% in the first quarter of 2013.

Let’s take all of these data points and assemble our new reality: High unemployment, high underemployment, reduction in hours worked weekly for those employed, high participation in welfare programs, and low personal savings rate explain the broken economy causing the decline of individual opportunity and prosperity.

The pixie dust sprinkled by clueless politicians on the left is actually poisoning our business climate, penalizing the average worker and only growing government and its dependents.

A nation works best when its citizens are working … full-time.

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm.

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Facts said...

The contrast between someone who has the ability to offer opinions and possesses business accomplishment may never be so stark as today's opinion pages.

The left offers the group-think and group-rewards philosophy that destroys individual success. This side offers political opinion but offers the reality of economic forces that exert themselves in response to idiotic policies.

I will continue to subscribe to the paper as long as this balance continues. It offers a true benefit to those of us who run businesses and should expose the fallacy of the left.

September 2, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.
soakya said...

Here's the pixie dust of the right. Actual results of your tax dollars at work. Courtesy of both sides of the aisles.

The Investment of a Lifetime: From 2006-2012 this company’s profit margin ratio has declined from 9% to 2%. The debt- to- equity ratio has increased from $1.05 for every dollar in equity to $1.42 for every dollar of equity. They now have $1.42 in liability for every dollar of equity. Cost of goods sold compared to sales has gone from .71 cents to .82 cents on every dollar of sales. The current ratio, which measures the ability to pay current liabilities from current assets, has declined from $2.41 to $1.69. What that means is, in 2006 there was $2.41 in current assets for every $1 in current liabilities, that’s great, and in 2012 there was $1.69 for every dollar in current liabilities, still good but not trending in the right direction. The quick ratio, which is cash and cash equivalents, current securities, and receivables available to pay current liabilities, dropped from $1.50 to .89 cents for every dollar of current liabilities. In short, if they encountered an emergency they don’t have the ability to pay all current liabilities with the available cash and everything that can be converted to cash quickly. Earnings per share declined to 2.27 from 6.46 during this period. This company is in deep water and so far this year the first 2 quarters look no better. Now, how much are you willing to pull out of your pocket to invest in this company?

September 2, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
charivara said...

Robin wants to talk about pixie dust? If “trickle down economics”, “tax relief for job creators”, “onerous government regulation”, “spending crisis”, “voter fraud”, is not pixie dust sprinkled by the right, I don’t know what is. But this pixie dust not strewn by “clueless politicians”. It’s a cynically orchestrated attempt by bought law makers and very well compensated toadies to allow a very small number of people to steal the wealth created by the vast majority of Americans. Watch the full show “America’s Gilded Capital” on billmoyers.com for a look at how it’s done.

I believe the number one problem in this country is the bribery (legal only because Congress defines bribery) that funds what we in all seriousness call “free and fair elections.” Until public financing of all elections, including a ban on using one’s own money to buy public office, is the law of the land we will continue our downward spiral towards becoming a plutocracy of the already obscenely rich, by the already obscenely rich and for the already obscenely rich. And until that happens, voting Republican will only speed up the process. The Right is wrong for the vast majority of Americans.

soakya: Let’s see, an unnamed company with unverifiable numbers in difficult economic times. And that is supposed to illustrate exactly what? Oh, my tax dollars at work. Right. I’ll take your word for it. Whatever it is. Here’s something verifiable: For every tax dollar sent to the federal government by the people of TN, they received $1.27 in federal expenditures in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available. http://visualizingeconomics.com/blog/2010/02/17/federal-taxes-paidreceived-for-each-state. Between 1990-2009 Tennesseans received more than $81billion than they paid. http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08/americas-fiscal-union.

September 3, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
soakya said...

What about the other states that are also receiving more in federal tax dollars than they contribute. Why should people in one state fund economic development in another state? Why should residents in Ohio, Washington, Oregon, Texas and all the other states send their federal tax dollars to TN so we can have a Hemlock, Wacker or VW? By the way what happened to Hemlock? What happened to VW the last time they were here?

What would you say if all the other states were getting the 1. 27 for every dollar but TN was only getting .77 cents on the dollar?

Don't take my word for it. Wacker financials statements are available online.

September 3, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.
charivara said...

People in one state don't send their federal tax money to another state. They send it to the federal government which redistributes it. That's done by a vote in Congress, which has representatives from all the states. So, why should people in one state fund economic development in another state? Because we live in the United States. Isn't that where you live? The Confederacy is dead. It's been tried twice and both times it’s been a miserable failure. Get over it.

Federal and state government financial support of private business has a long history and on the whole benefited the people of this country. Your continuing whining about isolated cases with irrelevant statistics makes about as sense as warning people not to drive because there are occasional accidents.

"If all the other states got 1.27 for every dollar and TN was only getting .77 cents [sic] on the dollar" we might actually have a real debt crisis.

Where are Wacker financial statements on line, or do we have to take your word for that, too?

September 4, 2013 at 3 p.m.
soakya said...

"People in one state don't send their federal tax money to another state. They send it to the federal government which redistributes it" Well thanks for clearing that up. you are brilliant.

17 trillion in debt, are you suggesting we are not in a debt crisis?

I would tell you to google the financial statements for the United States but that would be useless since you can't find wacker's. We will see how useless the statistics are for Bradley county in 2-3 years. Didn't work out to well for those depending on Hemlock.

September 4, 2013 at 3:21 p.m.
charivara said...

I’m not sure if I’m brilliant, but you are the one who said “Why should residents in Ohio, Washington, Oregon, Texas and all the other states send their federal tax dollars to TN” indicating that you certainly don’t believe in a more perfect union or in the general welfare.

$17 trillion is a lot of money, but the dollar number of the debt is not very meaningful. Economists look at the ratio of the debt to GDP to gauge the government’s financial health. After WWII the debt to GDP was much higher than it is today and we managed to survive that and prosper.

As to your snide response to my request for the website with the information on Wacker’s that you offer so authoritatively. It is a transparently obvious attempt to cover up the fact that you actually have nothing to back up your claims. Nothing. It’s all hot air. Fantasy. Brain farts.

This is not the first time that you have refused to answer a question about where you get your numbers. You have never answered any questions about the veracity of any statements you so confidently make. My experience has been that when people don’t respond to questions it’s because they don’t know the answers or because they’ve been lying.

In a nutshell, your posts and the responses to my questions about them are what one would expect of a know-nothing third grader who believes the world revolves around him.

September 4, 2013 at 10:33 p.m.
soakya said...

Why don't you find the financial statements and prove my stats are hot air. It’s a very simple thing to do, took me about 15 minutes to find them and figure the stats for all 6 years, do it. It’s easy to call someone a liar or to say they don't know what they’re talking about, provide the prove, you must have the proof or you wouldn't have said I was lying.

Did I hurt your little feelings with a snide remark? Well let me apologize, I'm so sorry you’re a baby and can't take a little of your own medicine.

"Economists look at the ratio of the debt to GDP to gauge the government’s financial health." Did you just make a statement without providing any evidence as to what that ratio is, who are these economist you mention? What is that ratio? Are you suggesting that is all the economist look at?

"Federal and state government financial support of private business has a long history and on the whole benefited the people of this country." Again no evidence, just your opinion. You would think someone as yourself who demands evidence from others would provide it. Prove it has benefited the whole and provide the proof of this long history.

Typical liberal loud mouth hypocrite.

September 5, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
hotdiggity said...

Robin, in typical Republican fashion, stands on the sidelines and piously blathers about the lack of job creation while for the last five years her Republican counterparts have offered nothing in the form of a jobs plan.

Her cronies have simply engaged in a plan to reject anything that would help the average citizen. Deny extending unemployment benefits, deny efforts to lower health costs and increase coverage, deny efforts to offer people a living wage, deny equal pay for women, etc.

Sorry Robin, your brand of "compassionate conservatism" has been exposed as a fraud. Republicans have show scant concern for "labor" and the typical American worker who supplies it.

September 5, 2013 at 9:26 a.m.
soakya said...

Chari, Since your browser isn't working or you're still crying over having to take some of your own medicine, here’s the link. http://www.wacker.com/cms/en/wacker_group/wacker_facts/annual-report/annual-report.jsp

Now, go do the stats and come back and when you come back bring the proof of your statements or it is you blowing hot air my friend. Only a idiot thinks stats are irrelevant.

By the way it was so hard to find, the second link on the page when googled.

" My experience has been that when people don’t respond to questions it’s because they don’t know the answers or because they’ve been lying." I'll take that as an admission that you don't know what you are talking about if you don't provide proof of your statements and that you're just another pompous self aggrandizing liberal windbag.

September 6, 2013 at 9:40 a.m.
soakya said...

Here's another irrelevant stat for you. the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%, yea. But look beneath that number and you see 500,000 left the civilian workforce. More good on the whole, right!

September 6, 2013 at 2:36 p.m.
soakya said...

Charavara said: " My experience has been that when people don’t respond to questions it’s because they don’t know the answers or because they’ve been lying." How poetic that your very words condemn you. Which are you, a liar or a blow hard?

Where are you chara? You have had plenty time to dispute the stats and to show the proof of your statements.

Why don’t you dispute the stats instead of using the race card, “The Confederacy is dead. It's been tried twice and both times it’s been a miserable failure. Get over it.” You have nothing but the usual fall back of the lazy, weak minded liberal, the race card.

By the way read the notes to the statements, if you can find them, because the notes agree with me about their liquidity and profitability. As I said before only an idiot would think stats are irrelevant.

September 8, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.
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