Auto Industry Showing Cracks: Ford Begins Final Round Of Layoffs As Unsold Cars Keep Piling Up

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By Mac Slavo | SHTFplan.com

Ford Motor Co. is finishing up their final round of layoffs today. About 7,000 workers worldwide are losing their jobs in this “booming economy” as unsold vehicles continue to pile up in the once empty parking lots of closed retail establishments.

CEO Jim Hackett notified employees in an email Monday that Ford was nearing the end of its months-long bout of white-collar layoffs that would eliminate 7,000 jobs globally, roughly 10% of the automaker’s global salaried workforce, according to Detroit News. When the U.S. layoffs wrap by June, Ford would have cut around 800 jobs in addition to 1,500 buyouts that occurred late last year, or around 7% of its U.S. salaried workforce.

The first 500 employees to be laid off are being told today.  Both sets of layoffs are largely a result of a slowing auto market and looming economic recession. Ford’s layoffs are part of a $25.5 billion pool of cost cuts expected to roll out over the next few years.

Ford layoffs aim to prune management levels, which would allow for quicker ascension through executive ranks and quicker decision-making. Anderson said Ford’s job cuts aim to answer a tougher problem than GM’s. “Ford set a target for a gross number of management jobs to be reduced,” Anderson said. “That is harder to achieve and keep a successful company than it will be for General Motors. … It’s going to be harder for Ford to maintain the quality they have with this significant headcount reduction.”

But the auto industry is barely holding on right now, and it wouldn’t be too surprising if Ford laid off more workers by the end of this year as well.

Dealers Scramble To Deal With 4.2 Million UNSOLD CARS

Abandoned factories, forgotten shopping malls, and undeveloped parcels of land have become parking lots full of new cars as dealers try to figure out what to do with mounting inventories of unsold vehicles, according to OKCFox, a local Oklahoma City Fox News affiliate reported. But the mainstream media keeps saying the economy is great, and even though stocks have fallen on the news of a heightened trade war, there isn’t much other real truth happening when it comes to reporting on the economy. –SHTFPlan

Of the over 4 million unsold cars and light trucks, over half are from General Motors, Ford or FCA brands. May sales have slumped as consumers just cannot afford to buy at this time […]

via Auto Industry Showing Cracks: Ford Begins Final Round Of Layoffs As Unsold Cars Keep Piling Up — A Sweet Dose of Reality | The Mad Truther

Capitalism Will Fall: Not a Matter of If, but a Matter of When

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by Daniel de Klerk

It is absolutely true that there is no such thing as “free stuff.” Everything has a cost and that cost can come in both the form of concrete labour or that of abstract value and means of exchanging.

The question of wealth distribution is never a question of simply wanting things for free and getting handouts, it is about the question of access. People want food, housing, health care and power over the organisation of their own lives; they don’t want it for nothing, they want it to be within their means to access and use. It is not a matter of entitlement to meaningless luxury, it’s an articulation of real needs necessary for life.

People work their asses off under degrading, backbreaking, boring and mind numbing circumstances, selling away most of their life to be able to live it, or struggle without whilst being deprived of the most basic means to participate in society; while around them the mass of collective wealth accumulates in the hands of rich people and faceless institutions. These People (unlike some other people) are not asking for yachts, private jets, palaces and lifetime supplies of cocaine. Around the world, they’re asking for a roof over their head, food on their table, the health care they need and the real ability to direct the course over their own life. A demand for the most basic necessity for the continuation of *this society* and a demand that is increasingly regarded as impossible and unrealistic.

If life under capitalism becomes impossible then so the continuation of capitalism becomes impossible. The governments developed the welfare system in an attempt to solve this social question, not because we asked them too but because they hoped to stave off the inevitable […]

via Capitalism Will Fall: Not a Matter of If, but a Matter of When — ANARCHIMEDIA

What It’s Like at an Alabama Clinic Still Performing Abortions (HBO) – VICE News Published on May 20, 2019

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The day after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed a bill that put her state on the path to banning almost all abortions, a 20-year-old woman from Tennessee walked into an abortion clinic with an ex-boyfriend and underwent the procedure.

“I’m a single mom of three kids,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, after having an abortion. “I have nothing to offer this child. You know, like, I’m already spread thin. I have my other three to take care of.”

She was one of about 20 women who had the procedure that day at the Alabama Women’s Center. Because there, it was business as usual. The ban — which is certain to be challenged in court — won’t go into effect for several months. Meanwhile, abortion is still legal in the state.

Dalton Johnson co-founded the Alabama Women’s Center in 2001, and since then, the center has had to adapt and sue over multiple new laws and ordinances designed to shut its doors.

“It’s been one thing after another. You know, I kind of feel almost at home in the federal courthouse,” Johnson said. “It’s been admitting privileges. It’s been the zoning.”

“The anti-choice group sued the City of Huntsville for issuing my business license, and so that was a whole battle that we had to fight and pay for out of pocket. And, of course, we prevailed in that one. The building codes,” she added. “And probably some more I just can’t even think of.”

So for Johnson, the latest law isn’t much of a surprise. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t emotionally affecting the staff at the clinic, as they answered phones and cared for patients […]

via What It’s Like at an Alabama Clinic Still Performing Abortions (HBO) – VICE News Published on May 20, 2019 — Just Sayin’

Large U.S. Firms Are Laying Off Thousands Of Workers

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If the U.S. economy is “booming” and very bright days are ahead, then why are many large U.S. corporations laying off thousands of workers?  Layoffs are starting to come fast and furious now, and this is happening even though the coming recession has not even officially started yet.  Of course many are convinced that we are actually in a recession at this moment.  In fact, according to John Williams of shadowstats.com if the government was actually using honest numbers they would show that we have been in a recession for quite some time.  But the narrative that the mainstream media keeps feeding us is that the U.S. economy is “doing well” and that the outlook for the future is positive.  Well, if that is true then why are big companies laying off so many workers right now?

Let’s start by talking about Ford Motor Company.  On Monday, they announced that they will be laying off approximately 7,000 workers

Ford Motor said Monday that it is laying off about 7,000 managers and other salaried employees, about 10% of its white-collar workforce across the globe, as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the No. 2 automaker $600 million annually.

The cuts, some of which were previously announced by the company, will be completed by August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in an email to employees Monday.

If the U.S. economy was about to take off like a rocket, this move doesn’t make any sense at all.

But if we are headed into a recession, this move makes perfect sense.

Another large firm that is laying off thousands of workers is Nestle

Nestle SA’s U.S. unit will dismiss about 4,000 workers as it stops delivering frozen pizza and ice cream directly to stores and transitions to a warehouse model that’s becoming an industry standard for Big Food companies looking to trim costs.

And we also recently learned that 3M is planning to get rid of about 2,000 workers

3M plans to cut 2,000 globally as part of a restructuring due to a slower-than-expected 2019.

The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics said Thursday that the move is expected to save about $225 million to $250 million a year. The St. Paul Minnesota-based company anticipates a pretax charge of about $150 million, or 20 cents per share, this year.

Did you catch that part about these layoffs being due to “a slower-than-expected 2019”?

Unfortunately, things are slow for a lot of companies out there these days.

Another company that is dumping a large number of workers is MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International MGM, -2.09% plans to cut about 1,000 positions by the end of the current quarter amid a cost-cutting and operational overhaul that calls for fewer managers across its properties.

That figure includes some 254 positions that the company moved to eliminate last week.

In addition, Dressbarn just announced that all of their stores will be closing

Dressbarn is closing all of its stores.

The women’s retailer announced Monday “plans to commence a wind-down of its retail operations, including the eventual closure of its approximately 650 stores.”

I am not sure how many employees they have per store, but even if it is just a handful we are talking about the loss of thousands of jobs.

The U.S. economy has been slowing down for months, and now the complete breakdown of trade talks with China threatens to plunge us into a prolonged trade war.  As I noted in another article, a couple of different studies have concluded that an extended trade war could literally cost our economy millions of lost jobs.

And once the job losses start rolling, they can really get out of hand very quickly.  We saw this in 2008, and it is just a matter of time until we see it happen again.

On Sunday, a reader sent me an article about a factory closing that was happening in her neck of the woods in Pennsylvania.  One worker that was laid off said that the closure of the facility “was the final kick in the gut”

Robert and Brooks Gronlund, owners of Wood-Mode Inc., wrote a text to workers Friday, saying they “are extremely appreciative” of the employees’ contributions and commitments. The company owners then confirmed all of them were terminated, as were their benefits.

“It was the final kick in the gut,” Michele Sanders, a 22-year employee of the company, said Saturday.

The privately-owned company in Kreamer, which produced custom wood cabinets, shut its doors Monday, leaving nearly 1,000 people without jobs. The abrupt closure of the plant stunned workers and community leaders […]

via Large U.S. Firms Are Laying Off Thousands Of Workers — © blogfactory

The Forgotten Tale of How Black Psychiatrists Helped Make Sesame Street, the children’s television show entranced preschoolers—and helped teach impressionable black kids.

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Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, a newly formed group called the Black Psychiatrists of America began to challenge their white colleagues to think about racism in a new way. Its members had been discussing for some time the possibility of creating an organization that would address their lack of representation within the key bodies of American psychiatry. But now, as one of these men, Dr. Chester Pierce, later put it ”we anguished in our grief for a great moderate leader,” and it seemed that the time for moderation on their side was also over. In Pierce’s words: “As we listened to radio reports and called to various sections of the country for the on-the spot reports in inner cities, our moderation weakened and our alarm hardened.”

Racism had led directly to King’s assassination, and not only had white psychiatry consistently failed to take racism seriously; it had, in ways both subtle and overt, enabled it.

The decision was thus made to organize black psychiatrists into an independent body that would use tactics of the civil rights movement to force American psychiatry to acknowledge both its own racism and its professional responsibility to address the scourge of racism in the country.

On May 8, 1969, representatives from the Black Psychiatrists of America interrupted the trustees of the American Psychiatric Association while they were eating breakfast, and presented them with a list of demands. These included a significant increase in African-American representation on APA committees, task forces, and other positions of leadership; a call for the APA to commit itself to desegregating mental health facilities; and a demand that any individual member of the society who was found to be guilty of racial discrimination be barred from practicing psychiatry.

The most fundamental demand made that morning, however, was that the profession begin to think about racism differently than it had in the past. Racism did not just happen because some bad people had hateful beliefs. Unlike many of their liberal white colleagues, who were fascinated by the potential mental pathologies of individual racists, the Black Psychiatrists of America (drawing on new sociological work) insisted that racism was built into the systems and structures of American life, including psychiatry itself. For this reason, as some of them put it in 1973, “institutional change (as opposed to personality change) are needed to root out and eliminate racism.”

Chester Pierce—the founding president of the Black Psychiatrists of America—was most concerned about the pernicious influence of one institution in particular: television. By 1969, virtually every American family home had at least one set. As one commentator at the time observed: “American homes have more television sets than bathtubs, refrigerators or telephones; 95 percent of American homes have television sets.”

Small children of all ethnicities were growing up glued to TV screens. This worried Pierce, because he was not just a psychiatrist but also a professor of early childhood education. And from a public health standpoint, he believed, television was a prime “carrier” of demeaning messages that undermined the mental health of vulnerable young black children in particular. In fact, it was Pierce who first coined the now widely used term microaggression, in the course of a study in the 1970s that exposed the persistent presence of stigmatizing representations of black people in television commercials […]

 

via The Forgotten Tale of How Black Psychiatrists Helped Make ‘Sesame Street’ The children’s television show entranced preschoolers—and helped teach impressionable black kids. — TheConfirmationFiles

Giraffes Silently Added to Endangered Species List

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The world’s tallest animal is on a “silent slide toward extinction,” Giraffe Conservation Foundation says The International Union for Conservation of Nature has added 7 out of 9 giraffe species to its Red List of Threatened Species. In an announcement completely ignored by the media (except India Today), the organization categorized two species of giraffe as “critically endangered” and one as “endangered.”

The conservation status of the rest range from “vulnerable” to “near threatened.”

“Many people, including conservationists, remain unaware that the world’s tallest animal is experiencing a silent slide towards extinction,” said Julian Fennessy, director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, in a press release.

The global giraffe population has plummeted 40 percent in just 30 years, from 157,000 to 97,500, according to The Guardian.

“Human population growth poses the largest threat to giraffes,” says the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

“Habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, illegal hunting, increasing human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest are all factors” […]

via Giraffes Silently Added to Endangered Species List — Return to Now

Michigan congressman Justin Amash becomes first GOP lawmaker to call for impeachment

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U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say President Trump had “engaged in impeachable conduct.” In a series of tweets, Amash wrote he had read the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller and had concluded there is a “threshold for impeachment.”

“Under our Constitution, the president ‘shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’” Amash wrote Saturday. “While ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.”

Amash also wrote that impeachment does not require “probable cause” has been committed, but rather “simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt or otherwise dishonorable conduct.”

After Mueller concluded his report in mid-March, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary, which Amash said “deliberately misrepresented” the full 448-page report. “Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice,” he wrote.

Amash wrote that, contrary to Barr’s initial assessment of Mueller’s report, Mr. Trump had “engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

Congress, too, was not spared from criticism by Amash. He called out the partisanship of many lawmakers, saying they shift their perceptions “180 degrees” when discussing former President Bill Clinton and Mr. Trump.

“Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation — and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release,” Amash wrote.

Amash, who has been described as the “new Ron Paul” due to his Libertarian beliefs, has broken ranks with the Republican party before — and especially against Mr. Trump, whom he did not endorse in 2016. Earlier this year, he was one of 14 Republican representatives who tried to override Mr. Trump’s veto over an emergency declaration for the border wall. In March, Amash did not rule out running for president as a Libertarian in 2020 […]

via Michigan congressman Justin Amash becomes first GOP lawmaker to call for impeachment — Nappy News