Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

04.20 'Sick Joke': House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill Attacking Environment, Endangered Species

04.20 London 'pollution pods' let you sample the smog in Beijing and Delhi

04.18 More than 95% of world's population breathe dangerous air, major study finds

04.17 'Underestimating the Opposition,' Trudeau Doubles Down on Kinder Morgan Pipeline Push [How big is the bribe? We thought he had a conscience...]

04.17 New Study Shows Young People in Polluted Cities Are at Greater Risk for Alzheimer's [our children are made worse than idiots breathing our polluted atmosphere]

04.17 New Study Shows Young People in Polluted Cities Are at Greater Risk for Alzheimer's

04.17 To lead on climate, countries must commit to zero emissions [mention of America's willful ignorance is politely omitted out of consideration for the country it used to be]

04.17 Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

04.14 New satellite to spot planet-warming industrial methane leaks [We know, this is confusing to the boys in the back of the classroom]

04.14 Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn [We know, this is confusing to the boys in the back of the classroom]

04.14 Carbon dioxide from ships at sea to be regulated for first time [We know, this is confusing to the boys in the back of the classroom]

News Media Matters

04.19 Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy [who sets media coverage policy? (the owners, ultimately); how can we make the policy fair?]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

04.20 Memo Says Trump Suggested Journalists Be Raped in Jail To Make Them "Talk" and Comey Just Laughed

04.20 Rick Scott Super PAC Donations Challenge Federal Anti-Corruption Rule [sounds familiar... might be in the Republican Governors Handbook from the Koch bros.]

04.19 The Democrats’ Gentrification Problem

04.19 Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency

04.19 Gentrify or die? Inside a university's controversial plan for Baltimore

04.18 'Astronomical' Cost of War: Average US Taxpayer Sent $3,456 to Pentagon Last Year and Just $39 to the EPA

04.18 Facebook is a tyranny – and our government isn't built to stop it

04.18 James Comey has issued a plea for decency. When will Republicans listen? [do sociopaths equate decency with empathy and dismiss it as reflex?]

04.18 Quick Takes: Feeding That Swamp Thing

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

04.20 Gaza Deserves Our Support

04.20 Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians

Economics, Crony Capitalism

04.18 World trade system in danger of being torn apart, warns IMF

04.18 A bomb silenced Daphne Caruana Galizia. But her investigation lives on [investigating a micro-state run like a mafia (and the Trump organization) profiting from tax-sheltering of income and wealth and from money-laundering]

04.17 Trump businesses making millions from political and taxpayer spending – report [president slimeball doing business as usual...]

International & Futurism

04.19 Trump of the tropics: the 'dangerous' candidate leading Brazil's presidential race

04.19 North Korea wants total denuclearisation, says Seoul [how will Trump and Bolton screw this up?]

04.19 An open letter to the US Congress: don’t let Trump rip up the Iran deal

04.18 Each Brexit scenario will leave Britain worse off, study finds

04.18 US and Russian nuclear arsenals set to be unchecked for first time since 1972 [ungovernment by and for the incompetent and corrupt may not be the worst outcome]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Nuking the Economy

COMMENTARY:

Nuking the Economy

Forget Iran—Americans Should be Hysterical About This

By Paul Craig Roberts
In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance.
Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-benchmarked the payroll jobs data back to 2000. Thanks to Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services, I have the adjusted data from January 2001 through January 2006. If you are worried about terrorists, you don’t know what worry is.

Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth. That’s one good reason for controlling immigration. An economy that cannot keep up with population growth should not be boosting population with heavy rates of legal and illegal immigration.

Over the past five years the US economy experienced a net job loss in goods-producing activities. The entire job growth was in service-providing activities--primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government.

Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth.

US manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17% of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll classification created a single new job.

The declines in some manufacturing sectors have more in common with a country undergoing saturation bombing during war than with a super-economy that is “the envy of the world.” Communications equipment lost 43% of its workforce. Semiconductors and electronic components lost 37% of its workforce. The workforce in computers and electronic products declined 30%. Electrical equipment and appliances lost 25% of its employees. The workforce in motor vehicles and parts declined 12%. Furniture and related products lost 17% of its jobs. Apparel manufacturers lost almost half of the work force. Employment in textile mills declined 43%. Paper and paper products lost one-fifth of its jobs. The work force in plastics and rubber products declined by 15%. Even manufacturers of beverages and tobacco products experienced a 7% shrinkage in jobs.

The knowledge jobs that were supposed to take the place of lost manufacturing jobs in the globalized “new economy” never appeared. The information sector lost 17% of its jobs, with the telecommunications work force declining by 25%. Even wholesale and retail trade lost jobs. Despite massive new accounting burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, accounting and bookkeeping employment shrank by 4%. Computer systems design and related lost 9% of its jobs. Today there are 209,000 fewer managerial and supervisory jobs than 5 years ago.

In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance. There are several hundred thousand American engineers who are unemployed and have been for years. No student wants a degree that is nothing but a ticket to a soup line. Many engineers have written to me that they cannot even get Wal-Mart jobs because their education makes them over-qualified.

Offshore outsourcing and offshore production have left the US awash with unemployment among the highly educated. The low measured rate of unemployment does not include discouraged workers. Labor arbitrage has made the unemployment rate less and less a meaningful indicator. In the past unemployment resulted mainly from turnover in the labor force and recession. Recoveries pulled people back into jobs.

Unemployment benefits were intended to help people over the down time in the cycle when workers were laid off. Today the unemployment is permanent, as entire occupations and industries are wiped out by labor arbitrage as corporations replace their American employees with foreign ones.

Economists who look beyond political press releases estimate the US unemployment rate to be between 7% and 8.5%. There are now hundreds of thousands of Americans who will never recover their investment in their university education.

Unless the BLS is falsifying the data or businesses are reporting the opposite of the facts, the US is experiencing a job depression. Most economists refuse to acknowledge the facts, because they endorsed globalization. It was a win-win situation, they said.

They were wrong.

At a time when America desperately needs the voices of educated people as a counterweight to the disinformation that emanates from the Bush administration and its supporters, economists have discredited themselves. This is especially true for “free market economists” who foolishly assumed that international labor arbitrage was an example of free trade that was benefitting Americans. Where is the benefit when employment in US export industries and import-competitive industries is shrinking? After decades of struggle to regain credibility, free market economics is on the verge of another wipeout.

No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy.

No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy. The total number of private sector jobs created over the five year period is 500,000 jobs less than one year’s legal and illegal immigration! (In a December 2005 Center for Immigration Studies report based on the Census Bureau’s March 2005 Current Population Survey, Steven Camarota writes that there were 7.9 million new immigrants between January 2000 and March 2005.)

The economics profession has failed America. It touts a meaningless number while joblessness soars. Lazy journalists at the New York Times simply rewrite the Bush administration’s press releases.

On February 10 the Commerce Department released a record US trade deficit in goods and services for 2005--$726 billion. The US deficit in Advanced Technology Products reached a new high. Offshore production for home markets and jobs outsourcing has made the US highly dependent on foreign provided goods and services, while simultaneously reducing the export capability of the US economy. It is possible that there might be no exchange rate at which the US can balance its trade.

Polls indicate that the Bush administration is succeeding in whipping up fear and hysteria about Iran. The secretary of defense is promising Americans decades-long war. Is death in battle Bush’s solution to the job depression? Will Asians finance a decades-long war for a bankrupt country?


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com. This article originally appeared at counterpunch.org and is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.


Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on February 13, 2006.

 

Public Service Ads: