the visible hand

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Archive for September 13th, 2007

The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes

Posted by ecoshift on September 13, 2007

Okay. Serious hyperbolic inflammatory rhetoric alert. But, it’s backed up with data. Worth reading through the whole article. Click on the article title link. Then think for yourself. Paul Craig Roberts is the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.


American Economy: R.I.P.
By Paul Craig Roberts
09/10/07 “ICH’

The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes, but economists, policymakers, and most of the public are blind to the tottering fabled land of opportunity.

In August jobs in goods-producing industries declined by 64,000. The US economy lost 4,000 jobs overall. The private sector created a mere 24,000 jobs, all of which could be attributed to the 24,100 new jobs for waitresses and bartenders, and the government sector lost 28,000 jobs.

In the 21st century the US economy has ceased to create jobs in export industries and in industries that compete with imports. US job growth has been confined to domestic services, principally to food services and drinking places (waitresses and bartenders), private education and health services (ambulatory health care and hospital orderlies), and construction (which now has tanked). The lack of job growth in higher productivity, higher paid occupations associated with the American middle and upper middle classes will eventually kill the US consumer market.

The unemployment rate held steady, but that is because 340,000 Americans unable to find jobs dropped out of the labor force in August. The US measures unemployment only among the active work force, which includes those seeking jobs. Those who are discouraged and have given up are not counted as unemployed.

With goods producing industries in long term decline as more and more production of US firms is moved offshore, the engineering professions are in decline. Managerial jobs are primarily confined to retail trade and financial services.

Franchises and chains have curtailed opportunities for independent family businesses, and the US government’s open borders policy denies unskilled jobs to the displaced members of the middle class.

When US companies offshore their production for US markets, the consequences for the US economy are highly detrimental. One consequence is that foreign labor is substituted for US labor, resulting in a shriveling of career opportunities and income growth in the US. Another is that US Gross Domestic Product is turned into imports. By turning US brand names into imports, offshoring has a double whammy on the US trade deficit. Simultaneously, imports rise by the amount of offshored production, and the supply of exportable manufactured goods declines by the same amount.

The US now has a trade deficit with every part of the world. In 2006 (the latest annual data), the US had a trade deficit totaling $838,271,000,000.

….

According to Forbes magazine, the top 20 earners among private equity and hedge fund managers are earning average yearly compensation of $657,500,000, with four actually earning more than $1 billion annually.  The otherwise excessive $36,400,000 average annual pay of the 20 top earners among CEOs of publicly-held companies looks paltry by comparison.  The careers and financial prospects of many Americans were destroyed to achieve these lofty earnings for the few.

Hubris prevents realization that Americans are losing their economic future along with their civil liberties and are on the verge of enserfment.

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