Monday, April 16, 2018

The IMF senses that not all is well and so the lowest pay

People are not getting paid for what they make for the company.
"The typical worker is almost twice as productive today as he or she was then. 
Adjusted for both inflation and productivity gains, therefore, the minimum wage 
should be at least $15.00 an hour."

Small tows are small for a reason. You make nothing, you have nothing, 
because they want nothing. And that makes nothing for everyone also.
And so also is the lack of foundation to grow. Reflecting living low makes 
it low for others. This is not a foundation for growth.

~~~~~Why poverty in Oklahoma is being compared to a Third World nation
Faced with a 30 percent cut in its programs and activities budget, the state Department of Education slashed funding for high-quality early childhood programs by $2.5 million and eliminated funding for financial literacy programs. Oklahoma used to invest heavily in parenting training for disadvantaged families, but the Department of Education just eliminated the last $1 million from the Parents-as-Teachers program, while the Health Department has cut funding for the Children First program by 30 percent since 2011. Until five years ago, the state provided over $2 million for adult education programs; that funding was wiped out in 2011. Drug treatment providers had their contracts cut earlier this year by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and those in need of residential drug treatment face long waiting lists. The number of families qualifying for child care subsidies has been declining for years, and in June DHS announced a freeze – to be lifted in August – on accepting new families for subsidies.  And as a final blow, a single mother with two kids working year-round at $10/hr will now lose $231 a year because the Legislature cut the state Earned Income Tax Credit.

And so the light of whats holding us all back is something even seen as a warning
of what is going on, or could be going on!

~~~~~The IMF senses that not all is well with this global economic upswing
Christine Lagarde ought to be a happy woman. As she noted in a speech in Hong Kong last week, there is good economic news around the world. The US is operating at full employment, the upswing in Europe has spread across the continent, Japan is growing strongly and the outlook for Asia is bright.

All the same, Lagarde has plenty to worry about as she prepares for this week’s half-yearly meeting of the International Monetary Fund, the organisation run by the former French finance minister. Her concerns can be summed up in five words: protectionism, unilateralism, war, debt and inequality.

The IMF has been issuing increasingly firm warnings about the risk of a trade war in the 16 months since Donald Trump won the US presidency. But it has only been in the past three months that Trump has started to make good on the pledges made during his campaign. Tariffs on imported steel and aluminium imports were followed by US action specifically targeted at China.

Lagarde’s concern is not just that Washington and Beijing will become embroiled in a trade war, but that protectionism will spread in a fashion not seen since the 1930s.

That anxiety has been heightened by Trump’s go-it-alone approach. The US was instrumental in creating the world’s four key multilateral organisations – the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organisation – but the current president appears to have scant regard for any of them. Lagarde would like to see the US settle its trade differences with China at the WTO but there is little immediate prospect of that.

The risk of war between Russia and America over Syria is the most pressing example of the “uncertain geopolitics” mentioned by Lagarde in her Hong Kong speech. Here, Trump has been seeking to secure the support of the US’s traditional allies – such as Britain and France – for military action, but financial markets are already taking fright at the prospect of oil supplies from the Middle East being disrupted. Oil prices rose to their highest since late 2014 when last week’s tension was at its height.

Deep down, the IMF thinks the recovery from the 2008 financial crash is fragile and incomplete. It is fragile because a decade of cheap money has left the global economy wallowing in $164 trillion of private and public debt – an all-time high. It is incomplete because too many people have been left behind during the upswing that followed the deep recession of 2008-09.

Back in 2006 and early 2007, the IMF was asleep at the wheel as the global economy careered towards a devastating crisis. Lagarde wants to ensure there is no repeat performance.