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Michael Hiltzik: Disaster work in state and local recruitment



Michael Hiltzik: Disaster work in state and local recruitment

There are several reasons why President Trump had to refrain from congratulating himself last week after government figures showed an unexpected increase of 2.5 million jobs in May.

One of them is that the increase is hardly on the big picture. More than 22 million jobs were lost in March and April, mostly due to coronavirus locking; that is more than 14% of all nonfarm jobs that existed at the end of February.

But the most important reason for not celebrating is hidden in public reports. Jobs by state and local governments have fallen off cliffs.

No country will escape the financial black hole created by this crisis.

Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analysis

The employment report released June 5 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that state and local government employment fell by 571,000 jobs in May. The previous month, the loss was 964,000, with a total of two months losing 1.535 million public sector jobs.

And the catastrophe may have just begun. Estimates of the magnitude of deficits faced by state and local governments by 2022 from a combination of increased public health spending to combat the corona virus and declining income due to continued economic closure and echoes range from the terrible $ 500 billion to 2022 to the fiscal year cataclysmic $ 959 billion until the end of next year.

(The first estimate is offered by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics; the second by Timothy J. Bartik from W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

“No country will escape the financial black hole created by this crisis,” Zandi told CNN last month.

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Some states, such as Texas and Oklahoma, suffer greatly from falling oil prices, which help sustain their economies. But every country has to face shortages in personal income taxes that come from layoffs and leave, and sales taxes because people cannot leave their homes to shop at shops, go to restaurants and stay in hotels.

This situation demands congressional action. “They face huge shortcomings, and there aren’t too many ways to overcome them,” economists said Dean Baker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research tell me. “Their money is mostly used to recruit people. If Congress doesn’t make a lot of money, they will be hit very hard. “

He’s right. Unlike the federal government, states and regions cannot print money to cover deficits. They are generally asked to maintain a balanced budget, so when a deficit occurs, their only choice is to cut salaries.

The relationship between the fiscal health of state and local governments and the national economy is symbiotic. As a rule of thumb, each percentage point increase in the national unemployment rate costs the state budget around $ 45 billion, according to the Brookings Institution.

(The decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% from the 14.7% reported by BLS on June 5 was based on the “misclassification” of temporary temporary workers as unemployed. Supporting the error, the employment rate was 16.3%.)

Job loss and job acquisition: An increase of 2.5 million jobs in May praised by President Trump can be seen as a rise at the far right, small in relation to large losses in the previous two months. Gray bands signify a recession.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Looking at things in the opposite direction, history tells us that hiring state and local governments is the key to keeping the current recession from turning into depression.

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The best evidence for how bound state and local governments can become obstacles to growth comes from the 2008-2009 recession, when they became hard without stopping “Anti-stimulus machine,” observing Josh Bivens from the Economic Policy Institute.

If state and local spending matches the trajectory that was followed during the recovery from the recession of the early 1980s, “the pre-recession unemployment rate could be achieved in early 2013 rather than 2017,” Bivens calculated. “In short, these savings delay recovery more than four years. “

Closing the income gap with federal assistance will save as much as 6 million jobs by the end of 2021, Bivens added, putting the US back on the path to full employment enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite all that, Republicans in Congress initially expressed a refusal to provide states and localities with great assistance. As we reported earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Downgrades the idea of ​​more money for state and local governments as “blue state bailouts,” citing the public pension policies of large countries.

This analysis is pleasing to the gallery of right-wing ideologists who have been passionate about taking pictures of civil servants. But it is wrong. The truth is that some of the largest snouts in the federal trough have long been red states – including the state of McConnell in Kentucky, which gets $ 2.35 back from the federal government for every dollar sent to Washington, the country’s best return.

McConnell has since made more moderate voices about federal aid, too. “This is not partisan,” Jared Bernstein of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist for the time – Vice President Joe Biden told me via email. The Republican Governor “legally asked for McConnell’s help – but what form and how much to look at.”

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That will be the next battle. If aid is allocated by the population, Baker noted, it will harm blue countries with large populations but more COVID-19 cases even as part of their population.

“I believe the Republican intention is to fill many gaps,” but if Congress comes up with, say, only two-thirds of what is needed, it will leave a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

What is really needed may be a multi-year program that convinces state and local governments that assistance will remain available more than one year from now, when the impact of the pandemic may still be felt.

But McConnell and Trump are not known as long-term thinkers or planners. “From a political standpoint, maybe the best thing is to get every penny you can now and hope that you get a Democrat in the White House and come back in January with some long-term plans.”

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Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira in 16th place after the first free practice in Assen – DNOTICIAS.PT



Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira in 16th place after the first free practice in Assen – DNOTICIAS.PT

Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM) finished the first two free practices of the MotoGP Grand Prix in Assen in 16th place.

Oliveira finished the day with a time of 1.34.676 minutes, 1.402 seconds behind the best rider of the day, Italy’s Francesco Banagia (Ducati). Spaniard Aleix Espargaro (April) was second with 0.178 seconds and French champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) was third with 0.305 seconds.

After the first session in the rain, in which the rider from Almada was sixth fastest, the rain stopped before the start of the second session.

The riders started with intermediate tires, but as the track in Assen in the Netherlands, considered the “cathedral” of motorsport, dried up, they installed dry tires (slicks).

Under these conditions, Miguel Oliveira was losing ground in the table, ending the day in 16th place, despite an improvement of about nine seconds from the morning’s record, in rain, in which Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) was the fastest. , fifth in the afternoon.

On Saturday there will be two more free practices and qualifications.

The 10 fastest in the set of the first three sessions go directly to the second stage of qualification (Q2), and the remaining 14 “brawl” in Q1, resulting in the two fastest qualifying to the next stage.

Fabio Quartararo enters this 11th round of the season leading the championship with 172 points, while Miguel Oliveira is in 10th place with 64 points.

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Portuguese MNEs defend that Mercosur is a “natural partner” of the European Union at the moment – Observer



Portuguese MNEs defend that Mercosur is a "natural partner" of the European Union at the moment - Observer

This Thursday, Portugal’s foreign minister said that at a time when the European Union (EU) seeks to diversify suppliers and markets, MERCOSUR is a natural partner whose importance cannot be “underestimated”.

For Portugal, “the current delicate context makes us appreciate even more the mutual advantages of the Agreement between the EU and MERCOSUR,” João Gomes Cravinho said, without directly referring to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“At a time when the EU is seeking to diversify suppliers and markets in order to ensure greater strategic autonomy, MERCOSUR is a natural partner, whose importance we cannot underestimate“, the minister added at a conference entitled “Brazil and Portugal: perspectives for the future”, which takes place from Thursday to Friday at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) is a South American economic bloc created in 1991, whose founding members are Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.


But still, within the framework of the European Union, Joao Gomes Cravinho believed that EU strategic partnership with Brazil left ‘untapped’.

The Minister stressed that in the context of the EU, Portugal “always knew how to use its position in favor of strengthening relations with Brazil.”

Therefore, it was during the Portuguese presidency, in 2007, that a “strategic partnership with Brazil” was established, he stressed.

However, according to the head of Portuguese diplomacy, this is “a partnership that has clearly not been used for a variety of reasons and which still retains the ability to position Brazil as Europe’s great interlocutor for South America.”

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With regard to bilateral relations between the two countries, the minister emphasized that “in this context of global turmoil, the wisdom of the central characteristic common to the foreign policy of Brazil and Portugal, which is active participation in many multilateral structures, in recognition of the indispensability of multilateralism, international cooperation and global rules based order.

Portugal meets with Brazil in all areas of Portuguese foreign policy. We are Atlantic, we are Ibero-American and Portuguese-speaking,” he said.

In the Atlantic dimension, “Portugal and Brazil are united by an ocean, which we recognize as growing in importance in the context of new, complex and truly existential issues,” he said.

According to João Gomes Cravinho, “Some of these problems can be answered in the Atlantic Center, co-founded by Portugal and Brazil”, and “the other part of the huge ocean problems will be addressed in detail at the great Summit.” Oceans”, which will be held in Lisbon next week.

“In any of the areas, new prospects are opening up for Portuguese-Brazilian relations,” he stressed.

With regard to Ibero-America, the minister believes that Portugal and Brazil share “an enormous strategic space with the Castilian-speaking countries, where a joint Portuguese-Brazilian reflection is undoubtedly recommended on the potential to exploit opportunities and create synergies”.

“Value of CPLP [Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa] is gaining more and more recognition at the international level – and the evidence of this is the growing number of states that become associate observers” of the organization, he believes.

“Because they want to engage with us and reinforce the value of the linguistic, cultural and historical ties that unify lusophony and create a unique dynamic for relationships with third parties,” he stressed.

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But even at this level, he argued that there was an urgent need to find a “convergence of visions and desires” that “allows us to enhance” our “separate realities.”

The minister also mentioned that “despite the break caused by the pandemic”, Portugal has a “real air bridge” with Brazil, consisting of more than 74 weekly TAP flights, which is a cause and effect of “a dynamic that is being updated and reinvented”. relations between the two countries.

This dynamic, according to Gomes Cravinho, is also reflected in economic and commercial relations.

Thus, “Brazil is the first Latin American export market for Portuguese merchandise and is already the fourth largest merchandise export destination (outside the EU).

“However, the conviction remains that the potential is far from being realized, and that nostalgia for the future entails a vision of a different profile of our exchanges, a technological, creative profile that corresponds to global geo-economic transformations,” he defended. .

At this stage, João Gomes Cravinho also underlined the potential of the port of Sines, “whose strategic importance, which has long been noted, takes on new importance in the troubled times that we are going through.”

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A cycle of Portuguese cinema will be held in New York from Friday.



A cycle of Portuguese cinema will be held in New York from Friday.

Dand from June 24 to 30, an event called “New Stories from Portuguese Cinema” will present the perspectives of a new generation of filmmakers “whose films embody the artistic, social and political reflections that mark the 21st century,” according to the organization in a statement.

Balad o batrachio by Leonor Teles, Amor, Avenidas Novas by Duarte Coimbra and O Cordeiro de Deus by David Pinheiro Vicente are three of the 20 films that are part of this cinematic cycle.

Pedro Cabeleira, Laura Carreira, Susana Nobre, Joao Rosas, Tomas Paula Marquez, Catarina de Souza and Nick Tyson, Maya Cosa and Sergio da Costa, Christel Alves Meira, Paulo Carneiro, Pedro Peralta, Diogo Salgado, Catarina Vasconcelos and Aya Korezli other directors integrated into this movie cycle.

In addition to FLAD, this event is also the result of a partnership with New York-based Anthology Film Archives, an iconic venue for independent and experimental filmmaking, hosting a Portuguese film cycle featuring Francisco Valente.

“Anthology Film Archives has been a reference space for over 50 years. It seemed to us ideal to promote the works of these directors, emphasizing their uniqueness and quality. We believe that Portuguese cinema can gain more space in the United States and we want to do our part to internationalize it,” said FLAD President Rita Faden.

Francisco Valente, guest programmer, explained that the 18 selected directors are distinguished by “their unwavering commitment to using the screen to express their personal freedom, reflect their racial and gender identity, and develop narratives that comment on and expand our reality.” – in Portugal, in the United States, or in that beautiful and imaginary country called cinema.

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This connection between Portugal and the United States of America is also expressed in the documentary “In the Footsteps of Utopia”, based on the testimonies of “weird” teenagers from Queens, filmed by Catarina de Souza and Nick Tyson, who will come to New York to find out their joint production, which closes this cycle.

The program of the cycle is available in the Screenings section of the Anthology Film Archives “website” ( and on the FLAD “website” ( /uploads/2022/02/new_tales_final_bx.pdf).

See also: Michael J. Fox received a humanitarian “Oscar”, and Diane Warren – an honorary “Oscar”.

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