Jobless rate bolts to 8.5 percent, 663,000 jobs lost in one month
Even the over-paid capitalist sooth-Sayers pretending to be economists now hiding behind Rosy Scenario's short skirt are admitting there is no end in sight... the bottom has not been reached... worse yet, no one has any idea how long we will remain at the bottom when we hit bottom... if there is a bottom... for the working class, there may in fact be no bottom but just a continual fall; deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit because the "experts" are claiming most people may not even know there has been a "recovery" when the "recovery" occurs.
Professor Sidney Gluck has offered people some excellent advice about understanding the crises we are in.
Professor Gluck recommends we read Chapter 26 of Capital by Karl Marx.
Here is Chapter 26 of Capital by Karl Marx:
Capital Volume One
THE SECRET OF PRIMATIVE ACCUMULATION
We have seen how money is changed into capital; how through capital surplus-value is made, and from surplus-value more capital. But the accumulation of capital pre-supposes surplus-value; surplus-value pre-supposes capitalistic production; capitalistic production presupposes the pre-existence of considerable masses of capital and of labor-power in the hands of producers of commodities. The whole movement, therefore, seems to turn in a vicious circle, out of which we can only get by supposing a primitive accumulation (previous accumulation of Adam Smith) preceding capitalistic accumulation; an accumulation not the result of the capitalistic mode of production, but its starting point.
This primitive accumulation plays in Political Economy about the same part as original sin in theology. Adam bit the apple, and thereupon sin fell on the human race. Its origin is supposed to be explained when it is told as an anecdote of the past. In times long gone-by there were two sorts of people; one, the diligent, intelligent, and, above all, frugal elite; the other, lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living. The legend of theological original sin tells us certainly how man came to be condemned to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow; but the history of economic original sin reveals to us that there are people to whom this is be no means essential. Never mind! Thus it came to pass that the former sort accumulated wealth, and the latter sort had at last nothing to sell except their own skins. And from this original sin dates the poverty of the great majority that, despite all its labor, has up to now nothing to sell but itself, and the wealth of the few that increases constantly although they have long ceased to work. Such insipid childishness is every day preached to us in the defence of property. M. Thiers, e.g., had the assurance to repeat it with all the solemnity of a statesman to the French people, once so spirituel. But as soon as the question of property crops up, it becomes a sacred duty to proclaim the intellectual food of the infant as the one thing fit for all ages and for all tages of development. In actual history it is notorious that conquest, enslavement, robbery, murder, briefly force, play the great part. In the tender annals of Political Economy, the idyllic reigns from time immemorial. Right and "labor" were from all time the sole means of enrichment, the present year of course always excepted. As a matter of fact, the methods of primitive accumulation are anything but idyllic.
In themselves money and commodities are no more capital than are the means of production and of subsistence. They want transforming into capital. But this transformation itself can only take place under certain circumstances that centre in this, viz., that two very different kinds of commodity-possessors must come face to face and into contact, on the one hand, the owners of money, means of production, means of subsistence, who are eager to increase the sum of values they possess, by buying other people's labor-power; on the other hand, free laborers, the sellers of their own labor-power, and therefore the sellers of labor. Free laborers, in the double sense that neither they themselves form part and parcel of the means of production, as in the case of slaves, bondsmen, &c., nor do the means of production belong to them, as in the case of peasant-proprietors; they are, therefore, free from, unencumbered by, any means of production of their own. With this polarization of th e market for commodities, the fundamental conditions of capitalist production are given. The capitalist system pre-supposes the complete separation of the laborers from all property in the means by which they can realize their labor. As soon as capitalist production is once on its own legs, it not only maintains this separation, but reproduces it on a continually extending scale. The process, therefore, that clears the way for the capitalist system, can be none other than the process which takes away from the laborer the possession of his means of production; a process that transforms, on the one hand, the social means of subsistence and of production into capital, on the other, the immediate producers into wage-laborers. The so-called primitive accumulation, therefore, is nothing else than the historical process of divorcing the producer from the means of production. It appears as primitive, because it forms the pre-historic stage of capital and of the mode of production corresponding with it.
The economic structure of capitalist society has grown out of the economic structure of feudal society. The dissolution of the latter set free the elements of the former.
The immediate producer, the laborer, could only dispose of his own person after he had ceased to be attached to the soil and ceased to be the slaver, serf, or bondsman of another. To become a free seller of labor-power, who carries his commodity wherever he finds a market, he must further have escaped from the regime of the guilds, their rules for apprentices and journeymen, and the impediments of their labor regulations. Hence, the historical movement which changes the producers into wage-workers, appears, on the one hand, as their emancipation from serfdom and from the fetters of the guilds, and this side alone exists for our bourgeois historians. But, on the other hand, these new freedmen became sellers of themselves only after they had been robbed of all their own means of production, and of all the guarantees of existence afforded by the old feudal arrangements. And the history of this, their expropriation, is written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire.
The industrial capitalists, these new potentates, had on their part not only to disgrace the guild maters of handicrafts, but also the feudal lords,the possessors of the sources of wealth. In this respect, their conquest of social power appears as the fruit of a victorious struggle both against feudal lordship and its revolting prerogatives, and against the guilds and the fetters they laid on the free development of production and the free exploitation of man by man. The chevaliers d'industrie, however, only succeeded in supplanting the chevaliers of the sword by making use of events of which they themselves were wholly innocent. They have risen by means as vile as those by which the Roman freedman once on a time made himself the master of his patronus.
The starting-point of the development that gave rise to the wage-laborer as well as to the capitalist, was the servitude of the laborer. The advance consisted in a change of form of this servitude, in the transformation of feudal exploitation into capitalist exploitation. To understand its march, we need not go back very far. Although we come across the first beginnings of capitalist production as early as the 14th or 15th century, sporadically, in certain towns of the Mediterranean, the capitalistic era dates from the 16th century. Wherever it appears, the abolition of serfdom has been long effected, and the highest development of the middle ages, the existence of sovereign towns, has been long on the wane.
In the history of primitive accumulation, all revolutions are epoch-making that act as levers for the capital class in course of formation; but, above all, those moments when great masses of men are suddenly and forcibly torn from their means of subsistence, and hurled as free and "unattached" proletarians on the labor market. The expropriation of the agricultural producer, of the peasant, from the soil, is the basis of the whole process. The history of this expropriation, in different countries, assumes different aspects, and runs through its various phases in different orders of succession, nd at different periods. In England alone, which we take as our example, has it the classic form. 
 In Italy, where capitalistic production developed earliest, the dissolution of serfdom also took place earlier than elsewhere. The serf was emancipated in that country before he had acquired any prescriptive right to the soil. His emancipation at once transformed him into a free proletarian, who, moreover, found his master ready and waiting for him in the towns, for the most part handed down as legacies from the Roman time. When the revolution of the world-market, about the end of the 15th century, annihilated Northern Italy's commercial supremacy, a movement in the reverse direction set in. The laborers of the towns were driven en masse into the country, and gave an impulse, never before seen, to the petite culture, carried on in the form of gardening.
Now read this article from the Associated Press... and when you are done reading this article re-read Chapter 26 from Capital again and you will see why "Capital" is becoming one of the most sought after books today being widely discussed by working people around the world...
If you would like to explore the ideas put forward by Karl Marx further in Volume One of Capital, I would encourage you to check out this web site of Professor David Harvey where he reads and explains Volume One of "Capital" in thirteen free on-line lessons:
Check it out, its a free college education from a leading Marxist educator.
I will be posting all three volumes of Marx' Capital as a blog in the next few weeks which you will be able to get to through my blog:
Socialism: Theory and Practice
Working people need to get up to speed quickly in understanding what is going on in this country.
Consider inviting a few friends over to gather around your computer to watch and listen to the excellent free on-line course being offered on "Capital" by David Harvey... such a gathering could become a "club" where you and your friends gather on a regular basis to discuss and think about problems working people are experiencing and talk about what kind of solutions to your collective problems are possible... and, you might even come up with a course of action.
In addition to Professor Harvey's thirteen part series studying Volume One of "Capital," you might want to read Albert Einstein's brilliant and easy to understand essay: "Why Socialism?"
Something to think about around the kitchen table,
Alan L. Maki
Jobless rate bolts to 8.5 percent, 663K jobs lost
Apr 3, 9:43 AM (ET)
By JEANNINE AVERSA
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since late 1983, as a wide swath of employers eliminated 663,000 jobs. It's fresh evidence of the toll the recession has inflicted on America's workers, and economists say there's no relief in sight.
If part-time and discouraged workers are factored in, the unemployment rate would have been 15.6 percent in March, the highest on records dating to 1994, according to Labor Department data released Friday.
The average work week in March dropped to 33.2 hours, a new record low.
"It's an ugly report and April is going to be equally as bad," predicted Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.
Last month's tally of job losses was slightly higher than the 654,000 that economists expected. The rise in the unemployment rate matched expectations.
Employers cut 651,000 jobs in February when the jobless rate was 8.1 percent, the same as initially estimated. January's job losses, however, were revised much higher, to 741,000 from 655,000.
Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost a net total of 5.1 million jobs, with almost two-thirds of the losses occurring in the last five months.
The number of unemployed people climbed to 13.2 million in March. In addition, the number of people forced to work part time for "economic reasons" rose by 423,000 to 9 million. Those are people who would like to work full time but whose hours were cut back or were unable to find full-time work.
Looking forward, economists expect monthly job losses continuing for most - if not all of - this year.
However, they are hoping that payroll reductions in the current quarter won't be as deep as the roughly 685,000 average monthly job losses in the January-March period.
In the best-case scenario, employment losses in the present quarter would be about half that pace, some economists said. That scenario partly assumes the economy won't be shrinking nearly as much in the present quarter.
The deterioration in the jobs market comes despite a few hopeful signs recently that the recession - now the longest since World War II - could be easing.
Orders placed with U.S. factories actually rose in February, ending a six straight months of declines, the government reported Thursday. Earlier in the week, there was better-than-expected reports on construction spending and pending home sales. And last week a report showed that consumer spending - an engine of the economy - rose in February for the second month in a row - after a half-year of declines.
But as the economic downturn eats into their sales and profits, companies are laying off workers and resorting to other cost-saving measures. Those include holding down hours, and freezing or cutting pay, to survive the storm.
Job losses were widespread last month. Construction companies cut 126,000 jobs. Factories axed 161,000. Retailers got rid of nearly 50,000. Professional and business services eliminated 133,000. Leisure and hospitality reduced employment by 40,000. Even the government cut jobs - 5,000 of them.
Education and health care were the few industries showing any job gains.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession could end later this year, setting the stage for a recovery next year, if the government is successful in bolstering the banking system. Banks have been clobbered by the worst housing, credit and financial crises to hit the country since the 1930s.
Even if the recession ends this year, the economy will remain frail, analysts said. Companies will have little appetite to ramp up hiring until they feel the economy is truly out of the woods and any recovery has staying power.
Given that, many economists predict the unemployment rate will hit 10 percent at the end of this year. The Fed says unemployment will remain elevated into 2011.
Economists say the job market may not get back to normal - meaning a 5 percent unemployment rate - until 2013.
"There's going to quite a long haul before you see the jobless rate head down," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services.
To brace the economy, the Fed has slashed a key bank lending rate to an all-time low and has embarked on a series of radical programs to inject billions of dollars into the financial system.
And the Obama administration had launched a multi-pronged strategy to turn the economy around. Its $787 billion stimulus package includes money that will flow to states for public works projects, help them defray budget cuts, extend unemployment benefits and boost food stamp benefits.
The administration also is counting on programs to prop up financial companies and reduce home foreclosures to help turn the economy around.
Still, skittish employers announced more job layoffs this week.
3M Co. (MMM), the maker of Scotch tape, Post-It Notes and other products, said it's cutting another 1,200 jobs, or 1.5 percent of its work force, because of the global economic slump. Fewer than half the jobs will be in the U.S., but include hundreds in its home state of Minnesota. The 1,200 figure includes cuts made earlier in the first quarter.
Elsewhere, healthcare products distributor Cardinal Health Inc. (CAH) said it would eliminate 1,300 positions, or about 3 percent of its work force, and semiconductor equipment maker KLA-Tencor Corp. said it will cut about 600 jobs, or 10 percent of its employees.