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Posts Tagged ‘stagnation’

Enormous, Humongous January Trade Deficit Hits Jobs, Wages

Friday, March 4th, 2016
Dave Johnson

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday that the January goods and services trade deficit was an enormous, humongous $45.68 billion. The January goods deficit was $63.7 billion, offset by an $18 billion services surplus.

Both imports and exports were down, but exports hit a 5 1/2-year low thanks to a “strong” dollar, currency manipulation and weak economies outside of the US. According to Reuters, automobile imports were the highest on record.

According to the Census Bureau, “The [goods] deficit with China increased $1.4 billion to $31.1 billion in January. Exports increased less than $0.1 billion to $8.6 billion and imports increased $1.5 billion to $39.8 billion.”

Trade Deficit Hits Jobs

The trade deficit is a metric for jobs leaking out of the economy, which causes wages to stagnate. The continuing trade deficit is the reason that Friday’s February jobs report showed that manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs. Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing said of the jobs and trade deficit report:

“Working people in states like Michigan and Ohio feel the lousy manufacturing job loss and growing trade deficit with China, even if Wall Street and D.C. do not. If you’re wondering why there’s so much interest in political insurgencies among both Democrats and Republicans this year, here’s your answer.

“We’ll never experience a true manufacturing resurgence in the United States unless we get trade policy right and get a lot tougher with China. So far I haven’t seen the will on Capitol Hill or the White House to do that, even though I see it on the campaign trail.”

Michael Stumo of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) said of the report,

“The administration’s willful disregard for poor trade performance is enabled by the establishment think tanks and many congressional leaders, to the detriment of the U.S. economy. The simple, unassailable fact is that trade deficits shrink our economy while trade surpluses grow our economy. The presidential campaign shows that voters support candidates that want a fundamentally different trade policy that puts American workers, companies, farmers and ranchers first.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made this a centerpiece of his campaign, spouting the trade deficit numbers in stump speeches and debates, and explaining how our country’s trade policies are costing so many jobs.

This blog originally appeared at ourfuture.org on March 4, 2016.  Reprinted with permission.

Dave Johnson has more than 20 years of technology industry experience. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. He was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.

Women Haven’t Gained A Larger Share Of Corporate Board Seats In Seven Years

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

In addition to grappling with a persistent pay gap, working women also have to deal with extreme difficulty ascending to powerful corporate positions, according to a report by the research organization Catalyst. As Bryce Covert explained at The Nation:

Women held just over 14 percent of executive officer positions at Fortune 500 companies this year and 16.6 percent of board seats at the same. Adding insult to injury, an even smaller percent of those female executive officers are counted among the highest earners—less than 8 percent of the top earner positions were held by women. Meanwhile, a full quarter of these companies simply had no women executive officers at all and one-tenth had no women directors on their boards. […]

Did this year represent a step forward? Not even close. Women’s share of these positions went up by a mere half of a percentage point or less last year. Even worse, 2012 was the seventh consecutive year in which we haven’t seen any growth in board seats and the third year of stagnation in the C-suite.

Overall, more than one-third of companies have no women on their board of directors. But economic evidence shows that keeping women out of the board room is a mistake. According to work by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, “companies with at least one woman on the board would have outperformed in terms of share price performance, those with no women on the board over the course of the past six years.”

This post was originally posted on Think Progress on December 11, 2012. Reprinted with Permission.

About the Author:  Pat Garofalo is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Pat’s work has also appeared in The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian, the Washington Examiner, and In These Times. He has been a guest on MSNBC and Al-Jazeera television, as well as many radio shows. Pat graduated from Brandeis University, where he was the editor-in-chief of The Brandeis Hoot, Brandeis’ community newspaper, and worked for the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.

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