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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

No, It's Not Krugman

Are we being spun on jobs by the White House and the rah-rah Bush media like we are being spun on Iraq? Make up your own mind after considering the following.

Only a few of the 116,000 private-sector jobs created in October provide good incomes: 6,000 new positions in legal services and accounting activities that reflect corporations gearing up to protect their top executives from Sarbanes-Oxley.

The remainder of the 116,000 new jobs consist of temps, retail trade, telephone marketing and fund raising, administrative and waste services, and private education and health services.
Jobs capable of producing tradable goods and services continue to be lost rapidly. In the last three months, the U.S. lost 91,000 manufacturing jobs.
A country that substitutes foreign labor for its own domestic labor via outsourcing, offshore production and Internet hiring, a country that transfers its wealth to foreigners to pay for imports, a country that fills up with welfare-dependent multitudes while it squanders $200 billion in Iraq, is a country headed for Third World status.

Some industry experts argue that the U.S. has lost so much of its core industrial capability that advanced manufacturing skills are disappearing in the U.S. The U.S. lacks mass production ability in critical areas of high-tech manufacturing.

The U.S. assembles parts made elsewhere. Knowledge- and capital-demanding activities, such as charge-coupled devices, industrial robotics, numerically controlled machine tools, laser diodes and carbon fibers, are passing out of U.S. hands.

A service economy has less to export than a manufacturing economy. What will the U.S. sell abroad to pay for its energy and manufacturing imports?

We currently pay for our imports by giving up ownership of our companies, real estate and corporate and government bonds. Once the U.S. has spent its wealth, we will have no way to pay for the energy and manufactured goods on which we have become import-dependent.

While the once fabulous U.S. economy erodes, the hapless Bush administration thinks its most important goal is to waste American lives and massive sums of money to force "democracy" on Middle Eastern peoples who do not want it.

Discerning readers might sense that the writer isn't Krugman or another reader because of the anti-immigrant slant. The author of the column excerpted above is Paul Craig Roberts, writing in the Washington Times. The Washington Times is also frequently referred to as the Moonie Times, since it was founded and owned by the Rev. Sun Yung Moon. The paper has been a major supporter of the Reagan and Bush administrations, and right-wing causes in general, since its founding. It appears that even this right-wing paper is no longer believing the lies oozing from the "hapless Bush administration."

I have hesitated to post doubts about the recently reported revival of the economy, not wanting to squeeze the sour grapes when I don't really know for sure what the truth is. But I'm glad to share with you this opinion coming from the right. And for what it's worth, I've had at least four people ask me for help finding jobs in the last few months, something that has rarely happened in the past.