Why work, when millions can earn much more staying home, collecting $600 plus average $400 state unemployment check

Republican and Democrat politicians, plus the Media brain trust, are missing the catastrophe coming from the $600-a-week Covid-19 unemployment compensation supplemental benefit for all 50 states.

In the ivory tower of statistic worship and technocratic analysis, the supplement makes sense. When millions lose jobs, unemployment insurance only covers about $400 average per week. With overtime, stock bonuses and such, the average earnings before taxes in America is about $970 a week, so $400 + $600 = $1,000, totally replaces the median wage.

The tragedy of this false logic: it ignores that half of the full time employed make more than $970, and half make less, many far less, as low as minimum wage: $270 weekly, after taxes.

Two examples:

  • Median high school grad 25 and older (26 million workers) earns $710 weekly after payroll taxes, laid off and receives $400 unemployment compensation, plus $600 supplemental – a total $1,000. Earnings are $290 a week more by not working.
  • Minimum wage worker earning $270 weekly, laid off and receives $210 unemployment compensation, plus $600 supplemental – a total of $810, three times as much by not working.

For millions of workers it pays to not work. Not only do they make more money, there’s no miserable boss, crazy deadlines, childcare costs, driving or transit expense. Even if the government payments were the same, let alone three times as much, wouldn’t nearly everyone stay home?

Some libertarians disagree, claiming that employees love their jobs, miss their fellow workers, find meaning in life by spending 40 hours or more away from home and family. This is another proof that libertarians are rich folks, who make up jobs they like, and just want to get away from the clatter of servants washing dishes (or a nagging spouse). For the rest of us, their golf and three-hour lunches are not real work.

Unfortunately, this supplemental unemployment cash will last until the end of July.

And that means going to work is stupid and irresponsible if you are the average person. Stay home. Enjoy the summer. You might even vacation with that earlier additional $1,200 per person stimulus check that went to every adult, except those claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return (including blind, crippled and senile).

For two more months the current 17 million unemployed, mostly in lower paying jobs, will make every effort not to return to work.

For many businesses no staff means no income, and they will close, go bankrupt.

Even when workers return, what will be their reaction when, for example, their weekly pay is $300, not $800?

However, you might ask, suppose your boss decides to reopen and offer you your job again?

You might hate your boss if this happens. An employer who makes someone accept $300 or $400 a week for working, instead of earning $700 or $800 by not working, is asking for serious labor troubles.

Most employers are smart. They won’t bring back the workers until after the end of July.

And so the shutdown must continue for many businesses, even though they might enter the green phase,

This will kill the economy as more business go bankrupt – a bonanza by the way for the hedge funds, banks and investors who snatch up distressed firms.

A recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR) illustrated the problem:

“The very people we hired have now asked us to be laid off,” according to shop owner Sky Marietta, “Not because they did not like their jobs or because they did not want to work, but because it would cost them literally hundreds of dollars per week to be employed.”

You also have to think [of] the benefit of not having to go to work, especially during a pandemic.

It’s not that we don’t wish that we could pay our employees at that level all the time. You’re always wanting to pay your staff the best you possibly can. But to be put in a position where you can’t compete with them being at home, unemployed, it’s really tricky. It’s a really difficult situation to be in.”

To make things worse, the Covid-19 stimulus act also includes a provision to lend businesses money that doesn’t have to be repaid if it is used to pay salaries to retain workers.

Jamie Black-Lewis

Jamie Black-Lewis, who owns Oasis Medspa & Salon and Amai Day Spa in Washington state, said she received two forgivable loans through the new federal Paycheck Protection Program, She thought it was great to help keep her 35 employees who had their pay halted when the spas closed.

No surprise, the loans and being kept on payroll made many of her employees angry. The reaction she got was a “firestorm of hatred about the situation,” Black-Lewis said.

These employees realized they could make more money from unemployment than employment.

It’s a windfall they see coming, In their mind, I took it away.

Of course, the unethical business owner can win big if they want to break the rules.

First, don’t offer jobs back to your past employees, who are now on unemployment benefits.

Then hire new workers, who are employed elsewhere at a lower wage, and report you are not cutting staff and deserve a forgivable federal loan.

In time for August 1, lay off the “replacement” workers and rehire the old staff.

That way, they get the extra money, you get the help, and taxpayers are on the hook for your scam.

And with the efficiency of our government whiz kids, no reviews will be made of cheating the program, even if there was any way or desire to recover our money.

Higher wages, more jobs not from Trump pro-business economy; instead credit goes to DOL for overtime exempt rule change

Business-beholden members of Congress are falsely boasting that their 2017 tax law has been responsible for less unemployment and slightly higher hourly wages.

They praise themselves and President Donald Trump for cutting corporate rates from 35% to 21%, eliminating most taxes on dividends and capital gains, doubling the exemption for inheritance tax, and dropping the tax for corporate foreign profits – laundered for years overseas – from 35% to 15%.

The most onerous claim is that because these tax cuts made rich people richer, the wealthy decided to hire more workers and give generous raises. It’s what they call: “trickle down economics.”

In practice none of this pollyana politics is true, logical or based upon any evidence, except the rantings of wealth-snobs who believe that even a little more – is too much – for the little people. Cake anyone?

The 2017 tax cuts for the upper class and their investments has led to record profits for Wall Street firms (some up 50% just this past year). Overall corporate wealth is burgeoning – indicated by our booming stock market. The more profits, the more valuable a business becomes, and the higher its stock price.

If the “trickle” had been used for workers, profits would have stabilized or dropped. Stock prices would have remained steady or slightly lower, as company valuations were not boosted with more tax cut induced dividends and reinvestment.

The real force behind more jobs, lower unemployment and higher wages is the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) decision to increase the minimum overtime threshold salary for low-level managers from $455 to $684 a week – a $189 raise equaling $4.73 more an hour. Old rule was $23,660 annually. Under the new law it’s $33,280, an added $9,620.

This 50% pay hike went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and U.S. businesses have been adjusting for at least a year, changing employment levels to eliminate the new rules’ more expensive overtime remuneration, and raising wages and salaries to reflect this new pro-worker reality.

Trickle Theory Works Well for the “Smart” Folks!

Until this month you could claim someone was exempt from overtime if they exceeded $455 weekly ($11.38 an hour). As exempt employees, you might require them to work six days or seven days a week, 12 or more hours a day, and still only receive their $455. Someone working under them could be paid $10 an hour and earn more than them with just four hours overtime (40 x 10 + (1.5 x 4 x 10)).

The old rules even allowed you to pay a “manager” that $455, and require them to supervise hourly workers earning $20 an hour, $30, $50, the sky was the limit.

This law went into effect in 2004 when President George Bush and his GOP-controlled House and Senate changed the rules on how overtime exemption was calculated. That’s when the $455 limit was established and the dollar amount has not changed until now.

Consider that the $8,060 salary limit set in 1975 was the equivalent of $38,301 today — far above last year’s $23,660 threshold. Every year, more and more Americans have been working extra hours for free.

The new overtime rule is less than the President Barack Obama decision in 2014 to double the salary threshold to $47,000. In a subsequent legal dispute, a federal judge in Texas ruled the change invalid in 2017, claiming that the DOL “exceeded its authority.”

$15 Minimum Wage Affects Millions from Bottom Up!

Why the change from the DOL under the current Republican administration? Corporations are facing higher local minimum wages as the $15-an-hour movement spreads.

Anticipating a $15 level in most jurisdictions, the DOL cleverly sets the new overtime exemption minimum rate at $17 an hour. That requires the lowest wage worker to need six hours overtime to reach the same weekly pay as the manager.

How does this work in the real world?

Imagine that you have 20 hourly workers at $10 an hour, plus four working managers at $455 salary with each “boss” putting in ten hours a day, or 50 hours a week. Under the new rules the managers became employees, and are entitled to a group’s total of 40 hours overtime pay at 150% of the usual rate.  At this point it’s cheaper to hire an additional employee for 40 hours, instead of paying overtime’s (1.5 x 40) 60 hours additional wages.

On a national scale the result of adding employees, instead of paying overtime, is more jobs and a lower unemployment rate.

But some managers are obviously just that, and suppose they now earn $700 a week. Won’t they ask for and receive a raise by pointing out they are just earning only $16 a week more than the minimum pay of $684, when there used to be a gap of $245?

All Workers Should Be Fairly Valued!

Higher wages for managers means more money overall for middle class consumers.

If managers do see their wages jump 1.5 times their old rate, won’t the people working under them also demand an equivalent percentage? They may not get the whole amount, but they will most likely receive a substantial increase.

There are currently 120 million U.S. workers, and 50 million of them are overtime exempt employees.

But imagine if the 2017 minimum of $47,000 had not been shot down by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, who claimed the salary level was set too high. The judge ignored that the DOL spent two years working on the rule and reviewed nearly 300,000 public comments before adopting it.

That change would have more than doubled the salary minimum and immensely improved the lives of tens of millions of families.

The new law also allows some categories of workers not subject to either the minimum wage or overtime exempt rules:

Exemptions from Both Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay:

  1. Executive, administrative, and professional employees (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools), outside sales employees, and employees in certain computer-related occupations (as defined in DOL regulations)
  2. Employees of certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments, employees of certain small newspapers, seamen employed on foreign vessels, employees engaged in fishing operations, and employees engaged in newspaper delivery
  3. Farm workers employed by anyone who used no more than 500 “man-days” of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year
  4. Casual babysitters and persons employed as companions to the elderly or infirm

Exemptions from Overtime Pay Only:

  1. Certain commissioned employees of retail or service establishments; auto, truck, trailer, farm implement, boat, or aircraft sales-workers; or parts-clerks and mechanics servicing autos, trucks, or farm implements, who are employed by non-manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers
  2. Employees of railroads and air carriers, taxi drivers, certain employees of motor carriers, seamen on American vessels, and local delivery employees paid on approved trip rate plans
  3. Announcers, news editors, and chief engineers of certain non-metropolitan broadcasting stations
  4. Domestic service workers living in the employer’s home
  5. Employees of motion picture theaters
  6. Farm workers

Partial Exemptions from Overtime Pay:

  1. Partial overtime pay exemptions apply to employees engaged in certain operations on agricultural commodities and to employees of certain bulk petroleum distributors
  2. Hospitals and residential care establishments may adopt, by agreement with their employees, a 14-day work period instead of the usual 7-day workweek if the employees are paid at least time and one-half their regular rates for hours worked over 8 in a day or 80 in a 14-day work period, whichever is the greater number of overtime hours
  3. Employees who lack a high school diploma, or who have not attained the educational level of the 8th grade, can be required to spend up to 10 hours in a workweek engaged in remedial reading or training in other basic skills without receiving time and one-half overtime pay for these hours. However, the employees must receive their normal wages for hours spent in such training and the training must not be job specific
  4. Public agency fire departments and police departments may establish a work period ranging from 7 to 28 days in which overtime need only be paid after a specified number of hours in each work period

Bloomberg bought fifth place in Democrat race for $211,000,000. His plan is to import millions of foreigners and ditch Americans.

M. R. Bloomberg

Michael Rubens Bloomberg has spent $211 million in self-promoting ads since November 24, including $866,000 for messages just on Saturday, Jan. 11.

Pundits say the effort is paying off, and they point to the Real Clear Politics poll average that has him at fifth place in the race for Democrat Party nomination for President.

The polls place him less than 2% behind the “Oracle of South Bend”, Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, also known as Mayor Pete by the fawning media.  Buttigieg/Bloomberg seems sort of David versus Goliath – Mike the former mayor of America’s largest city, and Pete, who was most recently elected with 8,515 votes in South Bend, IN.

After passing Pete, Mike must make the big jump to the so-called top tier of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. These candidates have anywhere from about double to four times his current national poll support.

While spending hundreds of millions on ads can make your brand almost as well known as Gaines was in its day. Bloomberg has already become a common name, thanks to his Bloomberg News. In the spirit of I’m the Boss, his staff was recently instructed to cover him and the Democrats in the Presidential contest, but not to give positive ink or bytes to the Republican incumbent.

It you only print stories that favor your medium’s owner, it’s called public relations or marketing, but never journalism.

Back to the $211 million.

Both Warren and Sanders can pull ten thousand or more to a rally. Even Biden and Mayor Pete can manage 500.

Imagine Mike’s elation-deficit depression, when he had Judge Judy at his side in a San Antonio, Texas rally, and only 45 folks turned up to hear his stump speech.  When this dismal attendance was reported, his staff reached out for a clarification – urging that there were 130, not 45. Some advisor must have thought 130 for $211 million was much better than 45.

Judy “The Judge”

The real question is whether an audience of a thousand or more would have attended if Judge Judy was there without him.

Is there a company somewhere that supplies audiences? At $100 a pop, Mike could have paid a thousand of the neediest by just reducing his ad buy to just $766,000 on that recent, record-breaking Saturday.

Putting aside the idiocy of a little man trying to fill big shoes, voters should send a message by ignoring his ads, and instead, examine the dangers of a Bloomberg President.

Bloomberg told the San Diego Union-Tribune on January 5:

I think two things are true. One, this country needs more immigrants and we should be out looking for immigrants… for those who need an oboe player for a symphony, we want the best one. We need a striker for a soccer team, we want to get the best one. We want a farm worker, we want to get the best one. A computer programmer, we want to get the best one. So we should be out looking for more immigrants. And other countries are doing this and we’re not…

Of course, in the world of elites, “best” usually means cheapest, more likely to put up with employer abuse, and under a Visa system – unable to easily change jobs.

Some estimates show many large tech companies have far more foreign workers than Americans, and that imported worker availability is forcing engineers and technical experts to take jobs in other fields.

Take an environmental engineer, starting salary with a five-year degree – half earn less than $50,000 a year.

The best and brightest with an eye to paying their bills would be better off using their math and problem-solving abilities on Wall Street:

The average 2018 salary, including bonuses, for New York City’s securities industry employees was $398,600, according to the New York Post.

MIT supply side management grads

No wonder, big financial firms are recruiting from MIT and other top engineering and science institutions.

Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), said Bloomberg’s philosophy is “immigration laws are not one of those things that should be allowed to interfere in shareholders’ value.”

In December, Bloomberg said additional immigrants could “improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion, our dialogue, and certainly improve our economy.”

A Rasmussen survey shows likely voters by 2:1 want Congress to make companies hire and train US grads and workers instead of importing more foreign workers. The survey also shows Americans have great sympathy for refugees.

In 2013, Bloomberg and FOX’s Rupert Murdoch created the Project for a New American Economy (PNAE), a group of investors and politicians who pushed for passage of the Gang of Eight amnesty in 2013.

That Gang of Eight in 2013:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that planned “Gang of Eight” amnesty would shift more of the nation’s new wealth from workers to investors, and some 30 million immigrants in ten years would cause Americans’ wages to shrink.

Because the bill would increase the rate of growth of the labor force, average wages would be held down in the first decade after enactment,” the CBO report said.

The rate of return on capital would be higher under the legislation than under current law throughout the next two decades,” says the report, titled “The Economic Impact of S. 744.

Bloomberg is following President George Bush’s lead.

New immigration laws should serve the economic needs of our country. If an American employer is offering a job that American citizens are not willing to take, we ought to welcome into our country a person who will fill that job, Bush said.

CIS recognizes the Bloomberg view as globalism.

He is listed as a 2019 and 2018 member of the Trilateral Commission.

He aspires to a single global labor market, and everything else follows from that. A concern about improving the lot of less-skilled American workers is by definition contrary to that view because there is no such thing as an American labor market. There is only a global labor market, Krikorian explained.

Domestic employers are not thinking about the consequences for people from Pennsylvania, when they hire people from Tennessee, and Bloomberg wants that same approach across the entire world.

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Trilateral Logo

Bloomberg’s job-killing stance of foreign workers is just part of an elitist attitude – probably to be expected from a rich New Yorker worth $55 billion. He takes the stance that he knows best for the rest of us, including his attempts at creating a Nanny City in New York.

His agenda for three terms as NYC mayor included control of alcohol, calorie counts, carbon, cell phones, cigarettes, contraceptives, composting, fingerprinting, gasoline, noise, politics, privacy, Second Amendment, soda, sodium, Styrofoam, taxis, tanning, traffic congestion and trans fats.

But don’t count out Bloomberg. He plans to spend another $800 million, and much of that just to get the nomination.

In the spirit of “flaunt it if you’ve got it”, Mike has scheduled one $10 million, 60-second ad for the Super Bowl. After news of that buy reached the White House, President Donald John Trump also bought a $10 million ad.

While few of us look forward to the $20 million of Mike and Don ads in the Battle of the Rich New York Guys, there will be the opportunity to admire the other end of horses, thanks to Budweiser’s purchase of four minutes of commercials.

Young couple (drive two Ferraris and own a $700,000 home) charged $21 for 3-day hospital stay. Average senior pays $1,364.

The corporate exec was sincere when he explained to me why he didn’t pay most of his workers a wage higher than $14.25 an hour:

That rate keeps them under $30,000, and that’s about the cutoff for Medicaid and many other public assistance programs for a family of three.  Without Medicaid they would have to pay for health insurance and that isn’t cheap.

A raise to $31,000 can leads to a disaster for a family:

This year, the average (health insurance) annual premiums are $7,188 for single coverage and $20,576 for family coverage. The average premium for single coverage increased by 4% since 2018 and the average premium for family coverage increased by 5%. The average family premium has increased 54% since 2009 and 22% since 2014. – Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Ferrari plus nearly free healthcare!

Even if your company offers a health plan, getting a raise can still be very bad news. In those plans, some $11,000 in annual premiums on average are paid by a family, and the remaining $9,500 by employers.

The much-touted $15 minimum wage (equals equals $31,200 a year) means no Medicaid for your family. That leaves you only eligible for private or company insurance that reduces your pay $2.50 an hour minimum and up to $10 an hour maximum.

No wonder that 75 million Americans are on Medicaid today, compared to just 50 million in 2010.

It is especially attractive, because if you work “under the table”, or have a business that “reports” low income, you can get Medicaid regardless of huge real estate investments or even owning multiple mansions, thanks to changes enacted by the Affordable Care Act.

Someone could own a home worth $850,000, a Lamborghini, a second vehicle, hundreds of acres of farmland, and still technically be eligible for Medicaid. These Americans would be considered wealthy by any standards, but by sheltering their net worth under the current tax laws, they would be legally eligible for Medicaid. – KFF

The only folks who can’t take advantage of the goodies in Medicaid (and still own terrific assets) are all 47 million seniors on Medicare. The elderly face a unique “assets test.” That’s just for seniors, and there are no exceptions for the elderly.

The insane rule is that you can’t have more than $2,300 in the bank, other savings, etc. The government can even investigate you to learn whether you made large gifts from prior savings to your children during the past 60 months.

The usual reason that seniors want Medicaid is to pay for nursing home care. Medicare pays nothing, but Medicaid covers it all. About 40% of nursing home residents are on Medicaid.

America’s nursing homes charge more than $85,000 annually at list price and that’s what you’ll pay until you are dirt poor and qualify for Medicaid. Insurance companies and Medicaid cut special deals and pay nowhere near that amount.

Some friends have suggested that Medicaid and Medicare are about the same thing.

Let me count some of the ways they are starkly different:

  1. Annual premiums: Medicaid is $0. Medicare is minimum $3,468 a year for a couple. High earners pay as much as $5,700 each.
  2. Inpatient hospital care:  Medicaid co-pay is $3 for each day in the hospital, up to $21 for the entire stay. Medicare co-pay for even one day is $1,364, and if you re-enter the hospital after 60 days, each time another $1,364 is due. For Medicare hospital days 61-90: an added $341 co-pay each day, and days 91 and beyond: another $682 each day. After 60 days beyond the 90 lifetime limit, Medicare pays nothing and you are responsible for all hospital bills.
  3. Short Procedure Unit: Medicaid co-pay is $3 for Surgical Center (ASC) visits. Medicare co-pay is 20% of the charges, no matter how high the cost. Some common procedures may be billed in excess of $10,000 list price.
  4. Brand name drugs: Medicaid co-pay is $3 for each prescription or refill. Medicare requires monthly co-pays up to $100 or more per prescription, depending on the drug. For example, Xarelto co-pay is about $1,200 annually. Medicare pays for all additional drugs only if an individual spends more than $6,350 a year out-of-pocket.
  5. Outpatient x-rays:  Medicaid co-pay is $1 for the total  service (not for each x-ray). Medicare co-pay is 20%. X-rays generally cost $260 to $460 each. Some are more than $1,000 list price.
  6. Physician visits: Medicaid co-pay is $0. Medicare co-pay is 20%.
  7. Chiropractor visits: Medicaid co-pay is $1 for each visit. Medicare will only cover chiropractic care as a treatment for a condition called spinal subluxation. Co-pay is 20%.
  8. Emergency services: Medicaid pays everything. Medicare co-pay is 20% of all charges, plus set fees for procedures and supplies. Average ER visit is $775.
  9. Blood and blood products: Medicaid pays everything. Medicare minimum co-pay is 20% of all charges.
  10. Drugs: Medicaid pays all costs for high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, heart disease, psychosis, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, depression, and anxiety drugs, as well as anti-Parkinson agents, anti-manic agents, anti-convulsants, anti-neoplastic agents, oral contraceptives, test strips, lancets, meters, and needles. Medicare co-pay is 20%
  11. Dental visits: Medicaid pays everything. Medicare pays nothing.
  12. Skilled Nursing Facility: Medicaid pays everything. Medicare co-pay is $0 for days 1-20; $175 for days 21 to 100; and you pay everything for days 101 and beyond.
  13. Nursing Home Care: Medicaid co-pay is $0. Medicare pays nothing for long-term care.

If all that doesn’t disturb you, consider the stupidity of the current political promise to enshrine Medicare for All, a program with fatal flaws that date back to its inception in 1965.

Medicaid for Everyone has a more logical beneficial foundation, and maybe this time it could include the old, the sick, those soon to die, and not just the young and sometimes quite wealthy.

American doctors refused residencies and can’t be licensed. Instead, foreign candidates are given their positions

You can’t pay off a $300,000 student debt load with jobs in a butcher shop or unloading trucks at a big box store. Those wages won’t even cover the interest due.

That’s what Dr. Doug Medina has endured since graduating as a medical doctor from Georgetown University some eight years ago.

Dr. Doug Medina

Yet, despite his doctorate in allopathic medicine, he has not been selected for a residency. Without that training, he cannot be licensed in any state.

Since 2011, when Dr. Medina graduated from medical school, the National Resident Matching Program reports that 14,759 U.S. seniors and previous graduates did not matriculate into residency training.

In that same period, 27,866 foreign-trained physicians (FTPs) on H-1B and J-1 visas were selected for residency.

Rather than choosing highly-qualified American doctors, hospitals are awarding residencies to non-U.S. international medical graduates (IMGs).

It’s not always good to be a U.S. citizen, as the doctor explained:

I haven’t been able to pay anything yet, and interest rates are killing me. It’s very stressful. You begin to give up hope that you’ll ever be able to own a home or a new car in this lifetime,

Dr. Medina passed all of his courses, never failed any clinical or course work during medical school, and in his final year earned honors in five courses.

I am not the problem. The problem is a serious flaw in policy that is not protecting vulnerable medical students trained in the U.S.

He said part of the solution is that schools should be required to help graduates matriculate into residency training.

Kevin Lynn, Executive Director for Progressives for Immigration Reform, said Dr. Medina has applied to “hundreds of alternative careers since returning in 2013 from Floating Doctors, a nonprofit medical group that provides healthcare to developing nations worldwide.”

These jobs included Psychiatry Aide, Research Assistant, Technician, Health Inspector, Ecologist and Epidemiologist, Lynn explained.

Dr. Medina recalls that “when I followed up with various positions that I had applied for, I was told I was overqualified or lacked specific qualifications.” With the large debt load in student loans from medical school, he said he couldn’t qualify for more student loans for additional training.

The only career I’ve found that requires a doctorate of allopathic medicine without resident training is an international Health Scientist for the Centers for Disease and Prevention, and I applied to every position from Albania to Yemen, Medina said.

Federal dollars from Medicare annually underwrite residency training positions for about 3,700 non-U.S. IMGs. This leaves about 1,800 American-trained medical students without a job each year.

Reducing the number of IMGs who receive residencies, and prioritizing American grads, would help correct the problem, Lynn said.

The immigration debate assumes FTPs are filling positions in rural outposts unattractive to U.S.-trained doctors. Actually, doctors with J-1 visas are regularly placed in New York, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

A Time magazine article reported one internal medicine program had 60 percent of its incoming residents on, or were supposed to be on, H-1B visas.

The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant document issued by the U.S. government to foreign research scholars, professors and others in programs that supposedly promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. The H-1B visa is issued to hire international workers in specialty fields.

Dr. Medina recoiled when it was suggested a non-U.S. IMG is more qualified (higher test scores), and deserves a residency denied an American-trained doctor. He said he was surprised and angered to learn that FTPs, who had failed multiple courses, were chosen over him in some cases.

If you follow the money it suggests that a foreign-trained doctor probably has little or no student debt and will work very long hours to keep a visa, while Americans owe hundreds of thousands and need high enough wages to pay that debt. This allows a huge wage gap between Americans and foreigners.

There is no current proof of another alternative: that some administrators are bribed by wealthy foreigners to give their children residencies.

Dr. Medina has filed formal grievances with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Here is an interview, which described the doctor’s problems:

Dr. Medina said he was engaged to be married for six years to a fellow doctor, whose professional life flourished after graduation, while he continued to apply for residencies. Ultimately, she ended their relationship, saying, “I can’t keep waiting for you to move forward.”

He has relied on his parents for financial assistance.

Dr. Medina’s father – an immigrant from El Salvador, who served in the Vietnam War – allowed his son to move into the basement of the family home.

The doctor said one of the lowest points came while he was in Buffalo, NY, picking through rat feces under the “Honeymoon Cage” and analyzing it to breed rats with a specific genetic predisposition.

“This is when I began to feel depressed. I thought, is this what I finished my doctorate for?”

Trump dumping more foreign workers into economy will destroy decent jobs for Americans

 

The President’s promise of “Hire American” in order to add more jobs and raise wages for American citizens was just trumped by pressure from rich business owners.

Under orders from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has okayed 30,000 additional waivers for H-2B Visas in 2020 – arguing that there are no citizens here who want the jobs offered.

This decision will allow companies to import 96,000 H-2B laborers in 2019, up from the 66,000 allowed by the law.

But that’s just the tip of the spear aimed at the American workforce.

The government also awarded visas for 242,800 H2-A farm laborers last year, up from 200,000 visas in 2017 and 165,700 visas in 2016. Even more are expected in 2019.

These H2-A totals don’t include visas for white collar jobs.

Last year there were an estimated 1.5 million white-collar visa workers in the country, including some 1,000,000 with H-1Bs visas, plus roughly 400,000 OPT and CPT white-collar workers, 100,000 H4 EAD workers, an additional 100,000 workers with TN visas, at least 200,000 people with L-1 visas, plus additional populations with 0-1, E-3, J-1,  or B-1 visas.

If all those letters, numbers and categories seem confusing, join the club, but one thing is clear – companies are using the visa system to favor foreign workers over Americans.

It’s not just that a Mexican citizen (for example) is grateful to get low pay here, when the minimum hourly wage is 59 cents in their country. Visa holders also face losing their jobs at the whim of employers, and aren’t in a position to complain about even dangerous or cruel working conditions.

These totals of foreign workers do not include as many as 20 million foreigners here without authorization. The government estimated that some 40% of the total are foreigners, who overstayed their three-year visa limit.

By increasing these and other visa totals, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen bowed to powerful Republicans and Democrats in Congress, who are pressured by businesses for cheap labor.

It’s easy to blame her for the increase, but something odd has happened over the years with visa quotas, and Nielsen now wants to put the blame where it belongs;

DHS spokeswoman Andrea Palermo said the department has asked Congress to decide how many workers should be imported, rather than passing the buck each year to Nielsen’s department.

Congress – not DHS – should be responsible for determining whether the annual numerical limitations for H-2B workers set by Congress need to be modified, and by how much, and for setting parameters to ensure that enough workers are available to meet employers’ temporary needs throughout the year, Palermo said.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, explained his group’s opposition to the most recent increase in visas:

While Congress shoulders much of the blame for inexplicably authorizing an H-2B visa increase in the first place, the decision to actually go through with one was squarely in the hands of the Trump administration.

Given the opportunity to stand with the American worker, President Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen capitulated to the self-serving demands of business lobbyists and authorized 30,000 additional visas. While the economy is certainly roaring, it does not need a vast infusion of guest workers.

This decision to allow tens of thousands more foreign workers to flood the labor market this year will not only suppress blue-collar wage growth, but also take away opportunities from Americans trying to get back into the labor force.

Companies are allotted visa workers on the basis of lobbying, begging, or other financial or political methods. Firms who get this cheap labor are at an advantage in competing against companies that pay Americans fair wages and provide decent working conditions.

“Hire American” President couldn’t find enough Americans to work here!

Chuck Schumer said he wanted “illegal aliens” to register with government or face deportation, and he opposed calling them: “undocumented workers”

When you recall President Donald Trump’s promise of no income taxes for couples earning less than $50k, which turned out to be a measly $24k, you conclude that he made a promise he couldn’t or wouldn’t keep.

The President’s once trumpeted plan to reduce visa immigration has also gone by the big business-approved wayside. Instead, the Don last week doubled the number of H-2B visas, so now even more low-wage foreigners can compete unfairly with American workers – slashing wages to insure more profits for the investor class.

But Trump is not the only one to break promises. Other Republicans come to mind, especially George H. W. Bush:

Read my lips: no new taxes

Breaking promises is part of politics for both parties, but if someone deserves first prize for promises broken, it’s hard to beat Senator Chuck Schumer, when it comes to immigration:

All illegal aliens present in the United States on the date of enactment of our bill must quickly register their presence with the United States Government —and submit to a rigorous process of converting to legal status and earning a path to citizenship— or face imminent deportation…

Sen. Schumer

… illegal immigration is wrong— – plain and simple. When we use phrases like “undocumented workers,” we convey a message to the American people that their Government is not serious about combating illegal immigration, which the American people overwhelmingly oppose…

People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the United States legally.

To the advocates for strong, fair, effective, and comprehensive immigration reform, I say to you that the American people will never accept immigration reform, unless they truly believe that their government is committed to ending future illegal immigration— and any successful comprehensive immigration reform bill must recognize this fact.

– Senator Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer (D-NY)

The comments by the Democrat Senator sound like the words of candidate Trump on the 2016 campaign trail. Has Chuck lost his mind?

No – Chuck is very sane. You might even say: calculating, measuring the lay of the land, saying what donors and voters want to hear – sort of a chameleon capability.

The comments above are from a major address at the Sixth Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, sponsored by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center. Schumer was outlining principles of a bill he planned to introduce in Fall 2009.

The video below is about nine minutes and offers more details on an immigration reform plan that many Americans would endorse today, although it no longer represents the views of Democrat Party leadership, including Senate Minority Leader Schumer.

Full text of Schumer’s 2009 address (30+ minutes) has been taken down from Senate website, but is archived here

While Schumer does not publicly agree today with his 2009 principles, he does seem to be the capable politician. Nothing proves this more than his success over Trump with the 2019 spending bill passed last week by Congress.

“They (GOP) sold out the President and their own voters because the President won’t ever get the 55 miles of border fence he wanted,” explained Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies:

Trump was willing to play ball with Congress and to take less than his full demand of $5.7 billion, but even on that, they screwed him. The broader public, that wants the border enforced, also got the shaft in this bill.

I don’t think it is because of malice on the part of Republicans. They were duped, because they were distracted by the offer of more H-2B visas, which is what they care about, and by being able to say there is some money for the fence, even if it will never be built.

The GOP legislators were duped by Democrats, because they wanted to be, Krikorian said:

They fooled themselves, because they said “We’ve got money for 55 miles of wall, and all the rest are just details and we can’t be bothered with that.”

… they aren’t interested enough in the details of enforcement to know what the Democrats were up to. They just don’t think it is important and they did not focus on it.

The H-2B expansion sought by Republicans was added in the last ten pages of the 1,169-page border security bill. In 2017 and 2018, similar language caused the Department of Homeland Security to add 15,000 extra H-2B work visas.

Roughly 1.5 million visa workers are employed in white-collar jobs that are also sought by U.S college graduates.

The spending bill has a poison pill, besides limiting funds for the “barrier.”

This time the “fake news” is about a “fake wall.”

The measure gives Texas municipal officials a veto of Trump’s border wall until at least September, Krikorian said:

Extra fencing is only in South Texas and the local governments – which are monolithic Democrat – have a veto over any fencing … so there won’t be any fencing that is built. The claimed 55 miles is a fake – there won’t be anything built because the local government will veto construction.

“Build that Wall” is starting to sound like “Read My Lips.”

Prophecy in 1994 – rebuffed by that Trilateral whiz Charlie Rose – is fulfilled 25 years later

How unfair trade has ruined economy!

Television’s historic moments include: America’s landing on the moon, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and for some, various Super Bowl touchdowns, and for others, multi-millionaires accepting honors from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

An interview in 1994 of Sir James Goldsmith by recently humiliated PBS legend Charlie Rose is never on the list of great TV moments, but it should be.

Rose – longtime darling of the Trilateral Commission (TC) and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – was ecstatic with the Bill Clinton administration and the globalism the President promoted with NAFTA and other trade treaties.

Goldsmith was one of the world’s richest men. He believed that America would lose its middle class when manufacturing moved overseas, and he argued that so-called free trade would eventually reduce America to a third world country.

In the video above from 25 years ago, the usually cordial Rose grows angrier as the interview continues, and when Goldsmith overwhelms him with facts, Rose adds Laura Tyson, Clinton’s economic whiz, in an attempt to shout down Goldsmith.

There are amazing predictions of job loses, and Goldsmith muses that American workers will be competing with four billion workers around the world, most earning about 2% of our average wage. He also predicted the world will be involved in mass migration from poor to rich countries, as they search for better wages.

While Rose and Tyson argued in the video that American factories will only open in foreign lands to produce for foreign consumption, Goldsmith explains that the factories will produce overseas at dirt wages and import these goods here.

That was before virtually all production of appliances, electronics and clothing moved overseas, and Made in China was this nation’s most favored label.

Rose and Tyson scoffed at the suggestion that auto production would move to Mexico.

The United States now imports 4 million vehicles a year from Mexican plants. We produced 3.1 million cars in America in 2017, and China manufactured 24.8 million cars the same year – up from just 7 million in 2008.

Goldsmith said that when faced with the choice of cheap foreign labor, corporations would see no viable choice, and the American worker would lose bargaining power. Who needs to pay for American labor, plus vacations, FICA, health insurance, overtime, when the minimum wage is 59 cents an hour in Mexico, and a fraction of even that in China?

Goldsmith predicted that we would lose jobs with trade treaties like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Later events proved him right. America removed tariffs and quotas, but other nations have continued usual business practices, blocking our imports, while we allow free access to U.S. markets.

The above is a long video – some 56 minutes. It can be watched in snatches, and you are excused for yelling at the screen when Laura and Charlie try to talk over Goldsmith.

Rose, 76, is no longer on TV. Most of his awards have been withdrawn after 37 women accused him of abusive behavior and sexual harassment.

His downfall began in November, 2017, when eight women, who were employees or wanted to work for Rose, accused the news emperor of contriving to be naked in their presence, groping them, and making lewd phone calls.

Tyson is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies. She has published a number of books and articles on industrial competitiveness, trade, and also on the economies of Central Europe.

Goldsmith was a critic of the mass media. After he started the Referendum Party in 1994 to withdraw from the European Union, he mailed a VHS video cassette film to some five million homes in Great Britain “to allow him to address the electorate free from the editorial control of the nation’s mainstream media.”

Goldsmith died in July, 1997, and is probably best known as the man who retired from his financial empire and liquidated his assets, when he correctly predicted the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987.