Difficult To Pinpoint Number Of U.S. Jobs Lost Due To NAFTA

As the U.S. Congress votes on the fast-track authority for the TPP trade deal, some look to NAFTA to gauge how many jobs could be lost.

How many jobs were lost due to the NAFTA trade deal?

According to the British newspaper The Guardian:

“What makes the TPP distasteful to experts is its resemblance to the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), signed in 1994 between the US, Canada and Mexico.

“Post-Nafta, the US saw a mass exodus of jobs, with nearly 700,000 jobs offshored, 60.8% of them in manufacturing.”

The Huffington Post claimed that one million jobs were lost due to the deal.

According to Ring of Fire Radio:

“Nearly 5 million American manufacturing jobs have been lost since the implementation of NAFTA and WTO. TPP would expand on the NAFTA model. It would provide special benefits to companies that relocate abroad and eliminate risks that make companies hesitant to move to low-wage countries.”

So, according to these sources, the number of U.S. jobs lost due to NAFTA is somewhere between 700,000 and 5 million.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/nafta-at-20-one-million-u_b_4550207.html

Careers Put You At The Highest Risk For Suicide

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, there’s a lesser-known occupational hazard associated with certain jobs: suicide.

In the United States, suicide results in roughly 36,000 deaths per year.  Suicide became the leading cause of injury-related deaths back in 2009, according to Yahoo Health.

Worldwide, that statistic is close to one million per year. Recently, there’s been an uptick in workplace suicides, which is what the current research delves into.

Researchers examined the difference between workplace and non-workplace suicide rates in the United States between 2003 and 2010, based on numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injury database.

A little over 1,700 workers died as a result of workplace suicide over the eight-year span, which equated to a rough rate of 1.5 people per million members of the workforce, according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

Men were more than 15 times more likely to commit suicide in the workplace, and the 65-74 demographic saw a four times greater risk than the 16-24 set.

According to author Hope M. Tiesman, Ph.D, the researchers discovered specific occupational fields that seem to bump the risk of workplace suicide.

Here’s what some of the study’s new statistics looked like, and some possible reasons for the higher rates based on past research, broken down by field:

Law enforcement officers = 5.3 per million

Roughly 85 percent of the deaths involved firearms, according to the study, which indicates easy access to weapons may play a role in higher suicide rates.

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations = 5.1 per million

“Factors that may contribute to this risk include the potential for financial losses, chronic physical illness, social isolation, work/home imbalance, depression due to chronic pesticide exposure, and barriers and unwillingness to seek mental health treatment,” the authors write in their paper.

Installation, maintenance, and repair = 3.3 per million

As a broad category, installation, maintenance and repair saw higher-than-average numbers, but one sub-group saw a notably high suicide rate at 7.1 deaths per million workers. “A novel finding was that those in automotive maintenance and repair occupations also had significantly higher workplace suicide rates,” Tiesman says.

 “Occupation can define a person’s identity, and personal issues can creep into the workplace,” she says. “The lines between personal and work life are shrinking. We know that suicide is multifactorial in nature, and therefore need to take advantage of multiple opportunities to intervene in an individual’s life — including the workplace.”

According to Yahoo Health, “Mental-health professionals and employers should take special note of those individuals working in professions at high-risk of suicide.”

“[They] could consider the workplace as a potential site for suicide-prevention purposes, especially among the occupations at highest risk for workplace suicide,” says Tiesman.

In addition, Tiesman hopes the current study will highlight how blurred the lines between work and home life have become. “Occupational safety and health professionals should recognize that non-work factors can and do contribute to safety and health issues on the job,” she says.

Related: 15 Suicide-Attempt Survivors Tell Their Stories

Has There Been A Death Of Critical Thinking In America?

The right wing attack on education has dismantled a generation’s critical thinking abilities. And that’s exactly the kind of voter that the Republicans want.

“America’s Lawyer” Mike Papantonio discusses it with attorney Howard Nations.

Mike Papantonio video.

Appalachian Beekeepers Create Hives In Onetime Coal Mines

HERNSHAW, W.Va. (AP)

Up a tree-lined trail in Hernshaw, West Virginia, swarms of bees now patrol a mountain once partially broken apart for coal.  It’s been 15 years since the severed West Virginia mountainside produced any of the fossil fuel. Pritchard Mining Company has filled the adjacent valley with rocks, re-sloped the mountain, and new trees and plants.

“Mining for honey” is the new extractive business here, one with no impact on the Kanawha County land. Behind two security gates, seven small hive boxes are surrounded by a short electric wire fence, which helps fend off hungry adversaries of honey producers.

“Our biggest threat is that bear,” Wade Stiltner, state Department of Agriculture apiary inspector, said earlier this month before flipping on the voltage.

The controversial mining method often involves scraping off sides of mountains or literally blowing off their peaks for coal, and filling nearby valleys and streams with the remnants.

For bees, which fly about 2 miles in any direction from their hives, the result seems pretty good: expansive areas that coal companies restored, replanted and relined.

“The stuff we plant in reclamation and restoration, the beekeepers love it,” said Bill Raney, West Virginia Coal Association president.

Since April, West Virginia has test-run its tiny beekeeping operation on one former surface mine. The first year yielded more than 400 pounds of honey, which exceeded expectations and was an easy sell.  The state hopes to expand and offer veterans and displaced miners training, install hives at other mines, and provide honey in schools.

Kentucky provided a formula to follow. The Coal Country Beeworks program, which started in 2008 and uses various coal company partnerships and grants, includes 35 bee boxes at five mine sites and research with Eastern Kentucky University. A transition in leadership, not to mention skunks, bears and a bad winter, cut the hives down from about 80.

“We don’t have to teach appreciation for bees. Many people already have it,” said Tammy Horn, Kentucky state apiarist and former head of Coal Country Beeworks. “And we have unique varietals, which make our honey quite unique.”

Stiltner, a former underground miner himself, said there’s no specific testing of the honey from strip mines, as some environmentalists are urging. But he said nothing is getting into the nectar of the plants, and pesticides aren’t being used.

Due to habitat loss and pesticide use, commercial honeybees and their wild cousins have declined for more than a decade, threatening agricultural production.  The sudden disappearance or death of honeybees, called colony collapse disorder, has exacerbated the problem.  Winter losses have grown to up to 30 percent per year. Mites are also cited as part of the problem.

In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $3 million program to help dairy farmers and ranchers in five Midwestern states reseed pastures with plants appealing to both bees and livestock. The problem was also pressing enough that President Barack Obama formed a pollinator task force in June.

In the two Appalachian states dabbling most in mine beekeeping, there’s no shortage of usable sites. Bees don’t take up much space. The fenced-off site in West Virginia is less than 500 square feet, and another nine hives could fit there.

The Associated Press reported in 2010 that more than 345,700 acres had been approved for post-mining uses in eastern Kentucky; only about 1.8 percent was used for commercial, industrial or residential development. Those figures dated to 1999.

In West Virginia, covering about 84,800 acres of 218 mining permits awarded since 2001, only 7 percent was designated for industrial/commercial, public service or residential use.

Federal law requires restoring surface mines to pre-mining conditions. A provision allows exemptions for “higher or better uses,” often used for development projects. Golf courses, an airport, a prison, subdivisions and businesses have been constructed on reclaimed mine sites, though most are used for habitat, forest or pasture lands.

WND On Minimum Wage

The publication WND apparently assumes that people who work minimum wage jobs could easily get a higher paying job or become the head of the company. It never occurs to them that perhaps people want to make more money but it is difficult given the economy or their situation.

Kyle Kulinski video.