sinidentidades:

Youth joblessness is almost back at its peak following the outbreak of the global economic crisis and is unlikely to ease until at least 2016, the International Labour Organization warned Tuesday.

The ILO said nearly 75 million youths or 12.7 percent of people aged 15 to 24 will be out of work this year, up from 12.6 percent in 2011.

The jobless total is creeping towards the 75.4 million unemployed in 2009 when the financial crisis caused the number to soar.

The picture is more gloomy if the millions who have put off or given up looking for a job are included: this would put the 2011 figure at 13.6 percent.

Youths opting to prolong their education will meanwhile enter the labour market in the coming years, putting continued pressure on the jobless rate.

“By 2016, the youth unemployment rate is projected to remain at the same high level,” said the ILO.

In its Global Employment Trends for Youth report, the body suggests offering tax and other incentives to businesses hiring young people and more entrepreneurship programmes to help youths kick-start a career.

“The youth unemployment crisis can be beaten but only if job creation for young people becomes a key priority in policy-making and private sector investment picks up significantly,” said executive director of the ILO’s employment sector, Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs.

More than a quarter (27.9 percent) of youths were unemployed in North Africa last year following the Arab spring uprisings, an increase of five percentage points on 2010.

The Middle East figure stood at 26.5 percent in the report’s regional breakdown.

In central and south-eastern Europe the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 17.6 percent in 2011 and Latin America and the Caribbean also saw a small decrease to 14.3 percent.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the rate stood at 11.5 percent compared to 13.5 percent in south-east Asia and the Pacific.

“Even in East Asia, perhaps the most economically dynamic region, the unemployment rate was 2.8 times higher for young people than for adults,” said the report.

The statistics showed the jobs crisis tended to have a stronger impact on women in most regions.

Monopoly really does explain capitalism. You expand as much as you can until finally you eliminate everyone else and then it ends because you have no one left to exploit.

AMERICA RULES!

You probably did not realize that the official legal position of Marvel is that contrary to the general thematic content of the Marvel Universe, mutants are not people. A recent Radiolab podcast brings the shocking true story, but it’s easy enough to summarize: Marvel-licensed action figures are generally made abroad and imported into the United States. But “dolls” (which are representations of people) face a higher import duty than “toys” (which are representations of non-humans), so it’s in the interests of Marvel to argue that X-Men action figures should be taxed at the low non-tarrif rate. Here’s a sample of litigation:

Plaintiff Toy Biz, Inc. (“Toy Biz”) brings this action to challenge the tariff classification by the United States Customs Service (“Customs” or “Defendant”) of various items imported from China and entered at the ports of Seattle and Los Angeles in 1994.The items are action figures from various Marvel Comics series, including the “X-Men,” “Spider-Man,” and the “Fantastic Four,” and an additional item called “Jumpsie,” which is not an action figure. The items are packaged in boxes or blister packs attached to colorful cardboard backing covered with printed illustrations and writing. The packaging of a number of items includes small accessories, such as weapons and other equipment.Customs classified the items as “Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Dolls whether or not dressed: Other: Not over 33 cm in height,” under subheading 9502.10.40 of the HTSUS (1994), dutiable at 12% ad valorem.Toy Biz contends that the action figures at issue are properly classifiable as “Toys representing animals or other non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters) and parts and accessories thereof: Other,” under subheading 9503.49.00, HTSUS (1994),dutiable at 6.8% ad valorem.Toy Biz further contends that “Jumpsie” should be classified as a “toy set,” under HTSUS (1994) subheading 9503.70.80, dutiable at 6.8% ad valorem.
It’s remarkable, incidentally, the extent to which the politics of “trade deals” have gotten away from the fundamental issues of free trade as seen in an economics textbook. What we have here is a federal 12% sales tax on dolls, but only if the dolls are made in foreign countries, and a different — arbitrarily lower — 6.8% federal sales tax on toys, but again only if the toys are made in foreign countries. There’s no good reason to have special higher sales taxes on toys made in foreign countries, and there’s certainly no good reason to tax dolls and non-doll toys at different rates. It’s nuts and it could and should be addressed by a unilateral acts of congress. The amount of revenue that would be lost to the federal government by repealing these taxes would be tiny, and it’s trivial to think of better ways to raise the money. And yet this core — and quite simple — trade policy issue is a world away from the incredible complexity of the trade deals of the past decade.

Soon we’ll have people on tumblr identifying as X-Men.

motherjones:

The Way We Live Now: Debtors’ Prisons are making a comeback, reports Kevin Drum. When did the 21st century turn into a bad Dickens novel?

climateadaptation:

Well, I have to ask the obvious: Do you want to be a lawyer?? Law school is three years of your life and costs well over $100,000. A good chunk of that is unsubsidized loans (e.g., that’s very bad). If you’re going to law school to satisfy your inner enviro-idealist, how will you pay that back?

Besides those logistics, are you prepared to compete for a job with other lawyers? Lawyers are a vicious and tenacious lot. And the job market is saturated with out of work, hungry lawyers. Will your resume hold up in the market? 

I know a lot of law graduates who’ve been in the market for over two years. TWO YEARS looking to become a lawyer. Many have barred in multiple states - an additional financial and time burden outside of tuition and the three years dedicated.

They’re getting by in the non-profits, but, man, they are really struggling to make ends meet. So, the market is flush with both laid off, careerist-lawyers and fresh-out graduates. Not to mention a fresh crop of grads will be released next spring. There are too few jobs out there and the trends don’t look too good.

Granted, environmental law is a niche. There aren’t a lot of environmental lawyers out there as it’s a specialty field. The more narrow the field, the less unemployment.

Still, the state of the industry doesn’t look good.

By the same token, law schools are scrambling to justify the high costs of attendance in light a terrible job market. And there’s been a plethora of bad press questioning the value of a law degree.

In fact, students are suing law schools to get their tuition money back. One student went to the media shortly after he asked for and was denied that his tuition money be returned. He wrote a letter to the dean of Boston College and the media picked up his story. Hell broke loose.

The NYTimes has been running a series of stories questioning the value of a JD, as well. See: “Is Law School a Losing Game?” and “What they don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering.”

With that, I point to a solid piece by Paul Campos that argues against getting a law degree using statistics. Campos is a contributor to “Lawyers, Gun$, and Money.” Here’s his abridged argument:

POINT ONE: …Contrary to the standard narrative within legal academia, which assumes an increasing or at least steady demand for legal services relative to overall economic growth, the demand for legal services within the American economy has been declining, relative to the rest of the economy, for the past two decades….

POINT TWO: The rate at which American law schools are producing aspiring lawyers far outstrips the demand for new lawyers, and this has been the case for many years now. …

POINT THREE: The cost of law school is, in economic terms, arbitrary….In other words, over the past quarter century, the relative change in the cost of acquiring a law degree has borne no rational relationship to the relative change in the value of a law degree.

POINT FOUR: There is, to this point, almost no sign that this arbitrary relationship between the change in the cost of acquiring law degrees and the change in their value is going to move toward a more orthodox economic relationship, in which the decreases in value trigger decreases in price. Law schools continue to raise tuition at far faster than the rate of inflation…

POINT FIVE: These otherwise unsustainable trends are being maintained by a combination of unlimited federal educational loan money and, to a lesser extent, poor information regarding the actual relationship between the costs and benefits of acquiring a law degree….

Campos unredacted piece is well worth your time and I highly recommend you give it a go; even if you’re not considering a JD…

At some point in the next two years, I’ll have to decide between going for a JD or a PhD. Both seem equally interesting and with equally poor career choices.

Resolved that: Our President, the Democrats-Socialists, most of the media, and most of those from Hollywood, have now encouraged and supported “Occupy” demonstrations in our streets, which are now being perpetrated across the globe, and which are being populated by various marxists, socialists and even communists, and are protesting against business, private property ownership and capitalism, something I thought I’d never see in my country, in my lifetime.

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

*head against desk*

Honestly, remember how the Republicans went on and on about how Democrats wanted America to fail in Iraq, even though they never had a damn quote or piece of evidence to support it? Here’s actual proof that the Tea Party Nation, one of the main pillars of the Tea Party, is actively trying to subvert Obama by urging businesses to help destroy the economy and keep people unemployed. What the hell?

The tendency thus far has been to look at these crises in terms of the identifiable economic factors that make them different from typical recessions. But perhaps the better approach is to look at the political factors that make them turn out the same, that stop governments from doing enough even when they have sworn to err on the side of doing too much.

These crises have a sort of immune system. It is never possible for the political system to do enough to stop them at the outset, as it is never quite clear how bad they are. Even if it were, the system is ill-equipped to take action at that scale. The actors comfort themselves with the thought that if they need to do more, they can do it later. And, for now, the fact that this is the largest rescue package anyone has ever seen has to be worth something.

Perversely, the very size of the package is part of its problem. With something extraordinary that is nevertheless not enough, the economy deteriorates, and the government sees its solutions discredited and its political standing weakened by the worsening economic storm. That keeps it from doing more.

Meanwhile, the opposition’s capacity to do more is arguably even more limited, as it has turned against whatever policies were tried in the first place. Add in the almost inevitable run-up in government debt, which imposes constraints in the eyes of the voters and, in some cases, in the eyes of the markets, and an economy that started by not doing enough is never able to get in front of the crisis.

These sorts of economic crises are, in other words, inherently politically destabilizing, and that makes a sufficient response, at least in a democracy, nearly impossible.

There’s some evidence for this internationally. Larry Bartels, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University, examined 31 elections that took place after the 2008 financial crisis and found that “voters consistently punished incumbent governments for bad economic conditions, with little apparent regard for the ideology of the government or global economic conditions at the time of the election.” Just look to Europe, where the path to ending the debt crisis and saving the euro zone — the group of nations that use the currency — is clear to most economists but impossible for any European politician.

Really good article from Ezra Klein on why this economic depression will last for a long time. Also, he goes into how our screwed up political system tends to make it impossible to fix. Even Republican economists know what needs to be done, but the current political situation (opposing Obama) has meant it is impossible for the Republican party to advocate those positions, which is why they now have adopted the idiotic policies of Ayn Rand and Ron Paul.

"You are very close to bankruptcy… We can not agree to a ‘haircut’ without terms and conditions and therefore, Greece must give up something, like some of its national sovereignty — at least temporarily."

Michael Fuchs, leading German conservative politician on the Greek crisis

This exact same argument was used against Egypt and the Ottoman empire in the 1870s, with the result that the Ottoman empire was kept as a buffer between England and Russia and Egypt was colonized by England.

From Mother Jones. More charts showing how fucked we all are at the link.