Trump signs bill in time for Congress-critter paychecks. Unemployed millions get to wait another week.

President Trump unexpectedly capitulated Sunday night and signed the stimulus bill into law, releasing $900 billion in emergency relief funds into the economy and averting a Tuesday government shutdown…

Trump signed the bill while vacationing in Florida and on a weekend when he had allowed unemployment benefits for 14 million Americans to expire.

Trump takes care of his own. Democrats and Republicans in Congress get their paychecks. Why lay economic problems on the class of bureaucrats keeping visions of sugar plums rolling out to the Press?

The people he screwed are workers already out of a job. Never his concern.

Wyoming’s fossil fuel workforce can walk straight into growing wind industry jobs

❝ It’s no secret that Wyoming has recently faced a downturn in energy prices and that workers have lost jobs. The state is filled with people who have a specific skill set, such as facing potential hazards, working at great heights and handling electrical equipment. But when oil and gas production slows or coal mines cut back on production, the opportunity to utilize those skills goes down too.

Now, an international wind manufacturing company is hoping to convince the roughnecks, mechanics and coal miners of Wyoming to join its industry, betting on the growth of wind generation in the country and a number of wind projects slated to go up in the state.

❝ Goldwind Americas, in partnership with wind developer Viridis Eolia, will offer free training to Wyoming’s workforce starting with three introductory sessions in mid-July in Rawlins, Casper and Gillette. The company also plans an upcoming tour of its wind farm near Shamut, Montana.

“We believe that folks that come from certain industries, fossil fuels, oil and gas, coal, they have skills that are transferrable to the wind industry,” said David Halligan, CEO of Goldwind Americas. “That’s why we’re offering the training and specifically why we are offering it in Wyoming.”

They are training people who could maintain a wind farm, technicians who respond to mechanical problems, install replacement parts and run the day-to-day operations at a large wind site.

Wind technician is the fastest growing occupation in the U.S.

And the jobs ain’t going away just because today’s version of Republican is trying to claw their way back to the 19th Century.

One reason more people aren’t working is that the pay sucks

Earlier this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that one of the odder trends in American business is continuing — job openings are growing much faster than hires.

Here’s a chart showing the rapid rise in job openings and the much more modest rise in hires:

image

People sometimes see this as a sign of “structural problems” in the economy. But pair it with the continued weakness in wage growth and it looks to me more like stinginess. Business would like to add staff to their teams, but don’t want to offer the higher pay that would be needed to attract candidates they want to hire.

In crystal ball mode, I’d say this is a sign that wages are likely to rise soon. But to be honest, that’s what I thought a few months ago. So instead I’ll say this is a sign that wages should rise soon. If you want to fill those vacancies, offer better pay. It’s not brain surgery.

Nice little piece by Matty Iglesias.

You already know the Republican response to this state of affairs – cut unemployment insurance compensation, duration and any other kind of welfare benefits. Force folks to take whatever job is available no matter crappy pay or working conditions.

Welcome to 21st Century conservatism. Yup. Same as the 19 Century. The enlightenment characteristic of folks like Teddy Roosevelt or even Everett Dirksen has evaporated in the heat of greed and privilege.

Republicans discover there may be a jobs crisis in the US

The U.S. has been in a jobs emergency since at least 2008. The cause of the crisis…isn’t mysterious, and neither are the solutions. We could invest in infrastructure to create construction jobs. We could give tax breaks to employers who hire new workers. We could restore the payroll tax cut to workers so they have more money to spend. We could help state and local governments hire back some of the employees they laid off during the recession. Macroeconomic Advisers, an economic consulting firm, found that the American Jobs Act, which contained many of these policies, would have created 2 million jobs.

But in recent years, these policies have been either blocked or canceled by congressional Republicans. They fought Democrats to scuttle the American Jobs Act and allow the payroll tax break and long-term unemployment benefits to expire. Creating jobs, they argued, was neither feasible nor affordable.

That’s the proper context in which to view this week’s hysteria about Obamacare. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just released updated estimates for the health law. It found that the disastrous rollout last fall put Obamacare behind schedule — on track to insure 2 million fewer people than projected by the end of 2014. On the other hand, it also found that insurance premiums were about 15 percent lower than projected, and that the law would cost less than previously estimated. It found that the risk corridors designed to safeguard insurance companies from the effects of acquiring too many high-risk customers — which Republicans have been calling an “insurer bailout” — will actually yield $8 billion in net payments from insurers to the federal government.

The finding that made the news, however, concerned the Affordable Care Act’s long-term effect on labor supply. In past reports, the CBO has estimated that the law will, on net, lead some people to drop out of the labor market or cut back on their hours because their health insurance is no longer tied to their job. Imagine a 62-year-old who would like to shift to part-time work but can’t because he can’t afford — or, due to pre-existing conditions, wouldn’t even be sold — insurance on the individual market. Now, because Obamacare has made that insurance affordable and available, he can — and will. As a result, his work hours will be (voluntarily) reduced…

Whether this is good or bad depends on your views about human flourishing. Lower labor-force participation is bad for economic growth. On the other hand, the point of life is not for everyone to work every possible hour until they die. Workers should be able to choose to leave their jobs or cut their hours without worrying that their families won’t survive a medical emergency. In addition, as the Urban Institute’s Donald Marron tweeted, “employers will be competing harder for workers,” which will push wages to rise for everyone remaining in the workforce…

Policies don’t exist in vacuums. By untying the link between employment and health care, the Affordable Care Act reduces the incentive to work. But there are ways to increase incentives to work without making people dependent on their jobs for health insurance. We can help people without taking away their health care.

So here’s a simple proposal. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would cost hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few decades because of the law’s spending cuts and new revenue. So instead of repeal, how about if Congress devotes that same amount of money to policies to increase employment now. Republicans could even dictate that all the money flow to targeted tax cuts.

Ezra Klein politely suggests the Republicans are hypocrites. He’s wasting politeness on the crudest, least responsible clot of scumsuckers ever seated beneath the moldy dome of Congress.

Republicans denied playing a part in Wall Street’s crash and burning. They tried as hard as possible to avoid any cooperation on essential economic remedies. Every year since the beginning of the worst economic failure since Herbert Hoover was president – their mantra has been “Jobs, jobs, jobs” – while blocking any reasonable attempt to assist jobs creation.

They stuck to dribble-down economics with a 100% record of failure and spent most of their casual time inside the Capitol waging war on women, reproductive rights, working as hard as possible to rescue their mates in the insurance cartels from bona fide national healthcare, committed to every possible delay in the expansion of civil rights. And, of course, hoping to start the occasional war.

Now, once again, they say they are worried about jobs for working class America. If I was a fire-and-brimstone Christian I wouldn’t stand outdoors next to a Republican for fear of being struck by lightning.

Technology University error removes all students, staff

A German university apologized for any distress caused its 37,000 students when they all received emails saying they had been unenrolled.

Kim-Astrid Magister, spokeswoman for the Dresden University of Technology, said the school’s entire student body and all of its staff — 48,000 people — were mistakenly sent emails Sunday telling them they had been unenrolled from the university…

“Your logins will be locked in 12 days. This is happening because you have been unenrolled as a student, your contract is up or your guest logins are no longer valid. Please ensure you have saved any information that may be contained within these logins,” the email read.

Many students said they panicked on receiving the communication, but were comforted when fellow students told them they had also received it.

Magister said the email was the result of human error while working on a software program designed to organize staff and student data. She apologized for any confusion or distress caused by the mistake.

The spokeswoman said the software error had been corrected.

Same as it ever was: Garbage in is garbage out.

Greece ready to end free police protection for rich


The rich can hire their children

Wealthy Greeks fearing attacks by anarchist groups will no longer be entitled to free police bodyguards in the latest cost-cutting plan from a government trying to meet budget targets set by international creditors.

The Public Order Ministry said on Tuesday that individuals with a net income of more than 100,000 euros a year will have to pay for their own police protection from potential terrorist and organised crime attacks.

Under the plan, they will have to pay 2,000 euros per month for each officer acting as a bodyguard and a daily fee of 50 euros for use of a patrol car.

…Private citizens currently receiving police protection include prominent businessmen and journalists who have been repeatedly threatened by anarchist groups, though few of the warnings have been specific.

But there has been a resurgence of attacks lately amid growing public hostility toward those, whether in the public or private sector, seen as corrupt and incompetent and blamed for Greece’s economic crisis.

It is the latest in a series of austerity measures that the Greek government has had to enact in recent years in return for bailout cash to avoid bankruptcy

The country is in its sixth year of recession and the country’s unemployment rate has spiked to over 25 percent…

Just about everything that could go wrong in Greece has done so. On one side, nutball anarchists start brawls when they’re not busy trying to blow up anything that smells like representative democracy – on the other, fascist gangs never quite disappeared from the map of history, trace their roots back to Hitlerian collaborators. Local coppers are ordered to leave both sides free to kill each other. And get in trouble themselves when they clout some petty bourgeois lout.

The modern flavors of Left and Right wobble along trying solve questions of consumption through unfunded public jobs or dancing the Greek imitation of the David Stockman polka – which requires the tears of unemployed to synchronize with IMF anal retentives singing hymns of praise to German Christian Democracy.

A truly “heart-healthy” pizza…

A laid off paramedic who turned to delivering pizzas to make ends meet is credited with saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest just as a pizza was delivered to his door.

Christopher Wuebben, 22, was delivering a pizza late last week to the suburban Denver home of George Linn, when he heard the man’s wife screaming for help, according to Wuebben’s boss, John Keiley.

Chris told the woman that he was trained in CPR and knew what to do,” Keiley, owner of Johnny’s New York Pizza, said on Tuesday. “He got him on the floor and brought him back to life before the fire department showed up.”

Linn was transported to Swedish Medical Center where he is listed in serious condition in the hospital’s critical care unit, hospital spokeswoman Julie Lonborg told Reuters.

Keiley said Wuebben is a military veteran who recently moved to Colorado after he was laid off from his paramedic job in Illinois. He said Wuebben is not scheduled to work at the pizza restaurant until later in the week, but Keiley may not have his new employee for long. At least one local hospital and a fire department have called to offer Wuebben a job in his chosen field after hearing of his heroics.

Bravo!

With life-saving and supporting skills, maybe this is another one of those government jobs that really should be budgeted, eh?