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22 Stats That Show How The Emerging One World Economy Is Absolutely Killing American Workers

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For a lighter side to the main article, The Onion made a valid point the other day: Nation's Lower Class At Least Grateful It Not Part Of Nation's Middle Class

"CHAPEL HILL, NC—A survey released Wednesday by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that despite the many challenges they face, the nation's lowest-income individuals are nonetheless thankful they don't have to endure the unique hardships of the nation's long-suffering middle class.

 

According to the report, the 46 million Americans who fall below the federal poverty line, though struggling mightily, are at least glad they don't have to live up to some rapidly vanishing American dream of advancing in their career, making more money, and improving their lifestyle, the way their middle-income counterparts do."  Keep reading >

22 Stats That Show How The Emerging One World Economy Is Absolutely Killing American Workers

For decades our politicians have promised us that the "free trade" agenda would bring us greater prosperity than ever before. They insisted that merging our economy into the emerging one world economy would cause millions upon millions of new jobs to be added to the U.S. economy.  Unfortunately, it was all a giant lie. 

Trading with other countries is not a bad thing as long as the level of trade is fairly equal on both sides. When trade becomes very unequal, the consequences can be absolutely catastrophic. Since 1975, the United States has bought more than 8 trillion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they have bought from us. We are the only economy on earth that could have had 8 trillion dollars drained out of it and still be standing.  Instead of leaving the country, those 8 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers. If we could go back and have a "do over," how much more prosperous would we be today if we had kept that 8 trillion dollars inside the country?

But instead of pursuing a balanced trade philosophy, our politicians were so enamored with the emerging one world economy that they threw all caution to the wind.

So we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth.

And this emerging one world economy is absolutely killing American workers.  It lumps them into a global labor pool with workers in other countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

Just think of it this way. Imagine that you are a giant corporation that makes "widgets".  You can make them in the United States, but you would have to pay your workers about $10 an hour, provide them with a whole bunch of benefits, pay very high taxes, and comply with a dizzying array of laws, rules and regulations.

Or, you could set up shop on the other side of the world where you could pay your workers a dollar an hour.  Those workers would receive no benefits and you would have to deal with very little red tape.

Which would you choose?

The "giant sucking sound" that Ross Perot once warned us about has become a reality.  Big employers are competing with one another to see who can outsource jobs the fastest, and American workers are the big losers in all of this.

As I wrote about the other day, right now there are some American workers that are actually personally training their replacements from overseas how to do their jobs.

If nothing is done about this, jobs are going to continue to pour out of high wage countries such as the United States and into low wage countries on the other side of the globe, and big corporations are going to keep laughing all the way to the bank as unemployment in America gets even worse.

The following are 22 stats that show how the emerging one world economy is absolutely killing American workers....

#1 One professor has estimated that cutting the U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

#2 The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.

#3 Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the globe since 1975.  That 8 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. businesses and pay the wages of U.S. workers.  Federal, state and local taxes would have been paid on that 8 trillion dollars if it had stayed in the United States.  This is one reason why our national debt is getting ready to cross the 16 trillion dollar mark.

#4 When NAFTA was passed in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.  In 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

#5 In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China.  In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.

#6 The Chinese undervalue their currency by about 40 percent in order to gain a critical advantage over foreign competitors.  This means that many Chinese companies are able to absolutely thrive while their competition in the United States goes out of business.  The following is from a recent Fox News article....

To keep Chinese products artificially inexpensive on US store shelves, Beijing undervalues the yuan by 40 percent. It pirates US technology, subsidizes exports and imposes high tariffs on imports.

#7 According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.

#8 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 295.4 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#9 Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was only about 6 million dollars (million with an "m") for theentire year.

#10 U.S. consumers spend about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that Chinese consumers spend on goods and services from the United States.

#11 The United States has actually lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#12 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing about half a million jobs to China every single year.

#13 The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#14 During 2010 alone, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities closed their doors in America every single day.

#15 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.

#16 As I have written about previously, 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs.

#17 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

#18 The percentage of working age Americans that are employed right now is actually smaller than it was at the end of the last recession.

#19 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#20 Due in part to the globalization of the labor pool, only about 24 percent of all jobs in the United States are "good jobs" at this point.

#21 Without enough good jobs, more Americans than ever before are falling into poverty.  Today, more than 100 million Americans are on welfare.

#22 In recent years the U.S. economy has embraced "free trade" and the emerging one world economy like never before. Instead of increasing the number of jobs in our economy, it has resulted in the worst stretch of job creation in the United States in modern history....

If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

You can get a really good idea of how nightmarish the manufacturing job losses have been in the United States over the past 40 years by checking out this map right here.

And if everything posted above was not bad enough, some U.S. companies even find themselves competing with slave labor here in the United States.

Seriously.

Prison labor is absolutely destroying some businesses here in America.  The following comes from a recent CNN article....

Unicor is a government-run enterprise that employs over 13,000 inmates -- at wages as low as 23 cents an hour -- to make goods for the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

 

With some exceptions, Unicor gets first dibs on federal contracts over private companies as long as its bid is comparable in price, quantity and delivery. In other words: If Unicor wants a contract, it gets it.

One company that tries to compete with Unicor has been forced to lay off 150 people over the years because they lose so many contracts to them....

Wilson has been competing with Unicor for 20 years. He's an executive at American Apparel Inc., an Alabama company that makes military uniforms. (It is not affiliated with the international retailer of the same name.) He has gone head-to-head with Unicor on just about every product his company makes -- and said he has laid off 150 people over the years as a result.

 

"We pay employees $9 on average," Wilson said. "They get full medical insurance, 401(k) plans and paid vacation. Yet we're competing against a federal program that doesn't pay any of that."

But this is also the kind of thing that U.S. companies are dealing with when they try to compete with big corporations that are exploiting cheap labor abroad.

If you are spending ten times as much on labor as your competitor is, it is going to be really hard to survive.

That is why it has become so hard to find products that are made in America.

Most of our jobs these days are low paying "service jobs", cushy government jobs or jobs where people push papers around all day.

But those kinds of jobs do not create lasting wealth for a country.

Did you know that there are more tax preparers in the United States than there are police officers and firefighters combined?

Our economy is a giant mirage. We consume way more wealth than we produce, but we are able to keep the party going because we are riding the biggest debt spiral the world has ever seen.

But at some point the debt spiral is going to end and the crash is going to come.

Until then, however, those at the very top are still really enjoying themselves.

For example, one of the latest trends is for rich kids to show off pictures of themselves enjoying their enormous wealth on Instagram.

Something has gone very, very wrong with this country.

So what do you think about all this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below....

 

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Sat, 08/18/2012 - 22:52 | 2717484 combatsnoopy
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It's also time to drill domestically.  I believe that "peak oil" is a tale dreampt up by fairies on a strong combo of microdots and shrooms. 

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 02:34 | 3095745 raheem
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Fri, 08/17/2012 - 16:57 | 2715360 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch:

Jennifer Aniston is engaged to Justin Nitwit, whom she has been schlepping for about a year now.

No one cares, but at least it didn't come from the Onion, or Mother Jones....

 

Actually, a pretty good article from our resident Commie;)

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 15:52 | 2715095 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

All of this was correctly predicted by Ross Perot. Painted very nicely by the author.

I don't feel the pain, my check is in the mailbox. http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/2012/08/dont-mess-with-frankenst...

 

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 07:17 | 3098441 raheem
raheem's picture

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Fri, 08/17/2012 - 14:47 | 2714897 Mike Cowan
Mike Cowan's picture

Ilene is one of the best bloggers here. That was eye opening.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 13:44 | 2714723 onlooker
onlooker's picture

 

 

If a company needs a computer engineer, China, Korea, or one of “those” countries can furnish you with one for ¼ to 1/10 of USA salaries. The need for mid-level management is almost eliminated with computer information and operating controls. Down the educational background chain it just gets worse. However, if you need your car fixed, $100 to $200 an hour might be expected as a shop rate. They cant ship it to China. IF you want GOOD steel you don’t go to China, USA is pretty good stuff.

 

Rather than bitch and gripe about not being competitive and loss of jobs, there are factors that must be considered when looking for a solution.

 

  1. The computer and robots have eliminated huge numbers of jobs. There are no longer large rooms filled with typist, there are no longer auto assembly lines clogged with busy bee workers, from the extraction of materials from the ground to the packaging of a Barbie Doll everything is now dominated by machines and computers. The persons available for the workforce has grown and the number of persons required has shrunk.
  2. EPA and worker regulations make it easier and more economical to go off shore. No longer does business add workers as the business grows. More and more owners are push their workers for longer hours and working more hour themselves. I watched the Fontana Steel plant in California being dismantled and sent to China. The undesired air polluter then went into production in China without any restrictions, and California had the smog deliver via wind from a much worse source. 

 

To create and help small business which employs the largest percentage of the work force, a change of direction in regulations and burdens has to happen.

 

The business in China can pour toxic chemicals anywhere; we have done that in the past. It is obvious that we should and can not do that. However there is an obvious cost advantage to China in being able to do that. Assistance to small business to comply and compete must be enacted.

 

This is one suggestion for a lot of problems.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 07:05 | 3095852 raheem
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Fri, 08/17/2012 - 13:52 | 2714739 AldousHuxley
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The more Chinese make pennies by dumping toxic chemicals, the more western+Japan business will boom in the future for toxic cleanup industries...

 

This is like war...destroy to create demand....create work.

 

US needs to get rid of stupid people and get smart engineers to create robots to compete with chinese. Population will no longer be an advantage once robots can outsource manufacturing back to consumer nations.

 

 American labor was artificially expensive due to banksters pushing asset prices higher via subsidized interest rates on worker education, worker housing, worker maintenance (healthcare)......free market is saying those things are overvalued, but fed prints more money to support the status quo.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 12:38 | 2714451 Vendetta
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all bad things will come to an end... just like the good things that we don't have going on in the US.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 12:13 | 2714302 pamriallc
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Anyone complaining that 3 billion people manufacturing and engineering products and services for a scant 500 million people (that this is somehow unjust) should reexamine economics, maybe biology and physics as well. Happy to explain. research@pamria.com

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 10:01 | 2713940 TrulyStupid
TrulyStupid's picture

American worker? Jumbo shrimp? military intelligence.... oxymorons

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 10:01 | 2713939 3rivers
3rivers's picture

Trade deficit?  You mean the one that we started working on in 1979?  We did that on purpose.  Apparently you don't know what most americans want.   We want a trade deficit.  We've been working hard on it for more than 30 years, and you want to take it away from us?  Boo hoo! 

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 08:57 | 2713727 thurstjo63
thurstjo63's picture

"In recent years the U.S. economy has embraced "free trade" and the emerging one world economy like never before". Hmmm, I guess you can call Obamacare, abusive regulations by the USDA for small and middle size farmers, or enforcement of another countries policies on wood (search on Gibson Guitars) or the non-enforcement of laws for favored companies or banks are what you consider the US economy embracing "free trade"?!? And of course the US doesn't manipulate it's currency despite printing and giving out more than $17 trillion to banks and other companies both foreign and domestic, it's actually China (that has a peg to the dollar) that is manipulating it's currency!?! Methinks your logic is a bit skewed. The US needs to look in the mirror for the source of its problems.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 08:45 | 2713701 Vooter
Vooter's picture

Oh, well--that's what happens when you decouple your currency from a precious-metal standard and unleash an 80-year price- and wage-inflation bubble in your country. After a couple of generations, the population starts to believe that they are actually *entitled* to make five or ten times what the rest of the world makes, that it's completely normal for one country to wallow in supposed "riches" while much of the rest of the world goes without. Welcome to the world, America! LOLOLOLOLOL....

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 08:07 | 2713629 madcows
madcows's picture

You know, it's a nice dream to think that we Americans could manufacture all our own goods and sell them to our fellow Americans and not import much of anything and meanwhile sell it to people around the globe that earn a fraction of our salaries.

Globalization is a reality.  Yes, we can make our own stuff, but it costs a lot more to do.  So, not many iPads will be sold here or abroad when they cost $7000 instead of $700.  The use of foreign labor to reduce costs has cost many manufacturing jobs, but has enabled us to delay the inevitable.  The American standard of living WILL need to rebalance with the rest of the world.

What, you think putting tarriffs on imported goods will help?  That will just make them cost more, so people will be inclined to buy expensive American made goods.  AND, because those goods are expensive, we'll buy less of it, resulting in fewer jobs and fewer goods, and a lower standard of living.  It all comes out the same.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 11:48 | 2714249 midtowng
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America became the wealthiest country in the world behind the highest tarriffs in the world.

 Protecting American jobs works. It´s amazing how people today have forgotten that.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 09:00 | 2713742 hornster
hornster's picture

Tariffs are the ancient solution but that is the opposite of globalist exploitation so good luck.  Tariffs are a tax- but combining that with a revenue neutral "consumer class" income tax cut would be creative.

 

Talk that the yuan is 40% undervalued by TPTB sounds typical...they are all about destroying our currency.  If the dollar loses value vs. the yuan you will have rising oil and food prices.

 

 

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:56 | 2713610 Hobbleknee
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The title of this article is wrong.  The American government is killing our jobs, not the emerging one-world economy.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 05:28 | 2713456 Disenchanted
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US taxpayers have effectively been subsidizing the corporate offshoring of jobs since at least the 1980s if not longer.

 

"The U.S. tax system does provide an incentive to locate production offshore," says Martin Sullivan, a contributing editor to Tax Notes, a non-profit publication that tracks tax issues.

 

and from here:

 

Taxes and Outsourcing of Jobs (2005)

http://www.conservativemonitor.com/finance03/49.shtml

 

Ed Eboch PhD / -- Congress has proposed an overhaul of the tax codes. Unfortunately, past overhaul of the corporate tax codes has had many unintended results. Two current problems are the transfer of jobs and the transfer of technology abroad. The recent tax bill allowing US corporations to bring home foreign profits taxed at 5.25% rather than the standard 35% rate will only make it more attractive for companies to move jobs abroad.

 

Corporate spokespeople argue outsourcing of jobs is good for the US economy. It may be attractive to the corporate officers but not for the employees. It is no coincidence that corporate tax collections relative to sales have decreased as jobs have been transferred overseas.

 

The argument that outsourcing of jobs is good for the US economy is a latent attempt to justify the results of a poorly enforced special interest tax code. Companies claim that the transfer of jobs, especially high-tech and pharmaceutical jobs, is due to lower labor costs. While some jobs are moved to developing countries to take advantage of lower labor costs, most are moved to avoid paying US taxes. This is particularly true of high tech and pharmaceutical jobs.

 

(continued at link)

 

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 06:01 | 2713441 falak pema
falak pema's picture

what this excellent article does not address is the power motivation to move to an Oligarchy construct in NWO since 30 years. To complete this picture :

It was planned and delivered. THe rest is history now. Reaganomics is all about impoverishing the middle class and making the elites more powerful. Maggie and Ronnie succeeded in that. Outsourcing was a logical outcome to that game plan.

THeir biggest success ironically was to has spawned Clinton and Blair, the useful idiots, the fawning agents of the demise of liberal culture in western society that has one eye rivetted to the social consequences of our elitist motivated acts. The big levers of our economy. Finding a balance between private enterprise and collective values and social cohesion. 

Now the whole of western civilization is blind, as we have no checks and balances amongst the elites that run the first world nations. They are ALL on the same page of crony capitalism and paying lip service to the republic; all the while they kneel to the John Galts of financialised capitalism. THe sons of the squid! 

No checks and balances...Tarp, liebor, rehypothecation and Jon Corzine...one huge fuck fest organised by the Oligarchs from Caymanista land to socialise the debts and privatise the profits. THirty years of deregulated mayhem has left the Republic no other issue than to become the de facto land of despotism and dictatorship, to protect the vital interests of the ruling elites! 

The rest is now "literature". Yes, we are in decadence and there is no use denying it. 

Guest Post: The West Has Just Become A Giant Banana Republic | ZeroHedge

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 03:51 | 2713432 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The question is: why do 'Americans' fork money on their entertainment items when one is given for much cheaper, articles like this one?

Gross manipulation.

quote from the source article:

------------------
"The unrealistic expectations and false hope they experience must be unbearable,"
--------------------

Quotations of samples of 'American' lower class are also a must read.

So it is all about the expectations.

It must be horrid to live a comfortable life while expecting even more.

While it is much bearable to live an uncomfortable live as long as you know you cant expect more.

What next? The torments lived by the 'American' upper class, which include stuff like not being delivered latest sports cars on day one, cloudy skies when vacating in the Hamptons etc

How unbearable it must be when you live those kind of lifes, spending restless nights thinking if the next day will be rainy and will spoil the outdoor party you have planned...

Please get me out of my world of luxuries, I cant take it anymore...

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 03:34 | 2713414 GreatUncle
GreatUncle's picture

This is long, you asked for an opinion so try this. You may not like the summation but I think the gist is about right. So my thoughts and beliefs on all of this no punches pulled neither, not that anybody really cares unless it puts money in your pocket.

First up and all that is stated is only an effect and never the cause and is an issue for most developed countries.

The disparity in end values between economies has been growing for a number of decades. Yep the figure looked good say 20 years ago, but it was junk even then and the low cost imports were a get out that gave you more goods for you dollar initially and enabled the system even as early as the 70's to exploit other places in the world on cost to keep your own costs down.

You can also add the other junk part on this is that for the last few decades certainly money has been created annually in rather large amounts. Well lets put it this way as I live in a population that has seen a 50% growth in the the last 30 years the actual values due to an inflationary mechanism has seen numerical values rise 8 fold. Good that where did all the extra money come from? Governments have been playing a blinder creating money without telling anybody and you can forget QE as a value considering the numerical difference in the last 30 years QE is peanuts. We ain't even talking the derivatives market that is based upon speculating on speculation and not on material goods.

But how come? Keynes as used by governments who borrow create new money and pump it into the economy. This money then means more will be demanded and paid for goods on what people can afford so the price goes up. This then locked you into needing growth to dflate debt away. The growth was not real only an illusion of increasing values. This was say 1940 - 1970's.

This leaves a niche for China and needed it to curtail its growing problem, being able to exploit at lower cost because they never inflated their economies this way and ditto for India. Although as consumption from the west slows THEY WILL INFLATE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. Or watch their population start getting agitated.

You may not want to know the rest, but it tracks back to a human flaw from millennia ago and what humanity is. When you could only just gather enough for yourself it was never a problem but as soon as you started having a surplus "somebody else must consume it". Hey not so bad in the beginning as 1 person only produced a little bit more than they consumed. Now that single person can produce for a 100 or more you can no longer consume it all.

This is what drove governments to use Keynes, to create money and keep the consumption up and is hence an effect only. Keynes fills the shortfall and the downside is needing growth past what natural consumption would generate. It had already been happening for a long time before that.

So track it back historically, how things change, ask why? what was happening? and it all unfolds.

Only two ways out of this philosophically, if the west goes bust game over as the debt wipes everything out. But is this debt real? Think most debt is where people have paid an inflated cost for something as they tried to keep up. The other way would be for China to inflate, costs rise, work returns and then watch the horrors unfold for their population. Instead of solving the problem centuries ago successive governments kicked the can and did not work on achieving balance within any nations economy. Prefering to exploit cheaper costs elsewhere whilst at the same time borrow to fill the gap.

Now once the USA tapped into Mexico as an example all producers are then locked into the same struggle to maintain an existence with profitability so everybody must achieve the same cost base so it grows. A downside to free trade is keeping up with the cost base of your competitors. Now even if you create a million new jobs, what would they produce that somebody elsewhere in the world has not already produced?

So we now live in a "single" global economy with "no trading partner" and the only mechanism left is to exploit others to keep your quality of life. As employment can now be considered part of any goods produced you are now trading unemployment levels also around the world under free trade and not just goods. This trading of unemployment, quality of life etc. this is the driving force for immigration. Else why would you leave family and loved ones behind if not to try and obtain a better existence somewhere else.

Think it is game over and just a matter of time and if the debt don't get you the increasing productive efficiency will. PRODUCTION MAX IS ON THE WAY IF IT AIN'T HERE YET IT SOON WILL BE. Go for growth and jobs if you export it you can think of it as giving somebody else your unemployment problem. The most stupid thing that happened in 2008 was to expose the debt because now everybody is now trying to find assets and reduce expenditure to justify their level of debt. If this had not happened nobody would be the wiser, or not for now anyway.

Think I got the mechanism about right after many years of examining it and study and here is the downside, a real blinder. THERE IS NO SOLUTION FOR THE ULTIMATE CAUSE THAT IS  MANKINDS INCREASING PRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY. If you do manage to contradict me and find a solution let me know, so I don't expect to hear from anybody  anytime soon. The next time an economist shows you a growth chart, look at the lowest point and think of all those that did not get on the growth wagon at that time and what mechanism the government is using. You actually deflate that portion of the population away as natural wastage and that is the poorest. With no poor left now to deflate further it now hits the middle classes. Legislate all you want nobody is legislating for wealth it is only for poverty.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 19:48 | 2715765 canary
canary's picture

"You actually deflate that portion of the population away as natural wastage and that is the poorest. With no poor left now to deflate further it now hits the middle classes. "

Pretty simple really - when you 'shed' the bottom ten percent as human wastage you create another bottom ten percent. which can then be shed as human wastage; which in turn creates a new bottom ten percent that can be shed as wastage.  etc

That is how they got to the middle class.

Soon that bottom 10 percent will be snapping at the heals of the uber wealthy. 

So interesting point, but the outcome is the same.  Revolution.

 

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 14:43 | 2714886 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

This is one of the most bone-headed things I've read here. First, what you don't know about Keynes' theories would fill an ocean. Second, your thesis that increased productivity is the generator of poverty is bizarre to say the least.

Just over 150 years ago, most (80%) of Americans worked on farms. Obesity wasn't a problem; getting enough to eat was. But with mechanization, suddenly 5% of Americans were able to produce enough food for the other 95%. Did that mean 95% of us fell into poverty? Quite the opposite! Freed from having to farm, that labour was then used to build roads, cities, cars, refrigerators, etc. - in short, modern society.

It's a cliche to say that the modern American, even living in what we call the 'lower class', is wealthier than ancient nobles. Napoleon may have lived in a palace, but it's a safe bet it wasn't as warm in winter or cool in summer as the average suburban dwelling. He may have had 1,000 horses at his disposal, but no way he journeyed from Paris to Nice in two hours. He may have had a chamber orchestra to play for him on command, but it probably took a few hours to assemble them; no way he could call up (or carry) 600 hours of music in the palm of his hand. And that's not to mention medicine, dentistry, and modern sewage. We are richer than you think.

You are apparently unaware of Orwell's The Road To Wigan Pier, which I commend to you. In it, he describes the lot of the British working class in the 1920's. Indoor plumbing? Unheard of; you used a communal outhouse down the alley, and a chamber pot at night. 9 to 5 workday? Not a hope - men worked from 8 to 6 Monday to Friday, and a half day on Saturday. Nutrition? Let's just say I'll never knowingly eat tripe, having read this book. And that's less than 100 years ago. Why has all this changed? Productivity.

You are seemingly blind to the fact that 'stuff' has become progressively better and cheaper in your lifetime. A Model T in 1920 cost $500 or about 20 oz of gold. 20 oz of gold today buys you a car that is faster, more spacious, incredibly more comfortable, safer, and more reliable. Only the rich and powerful could fly from NY to Paris in the 40's. Today, students hop planes like trolleys. Why has stuff gotten better and cheaper? Productivity.

I digress to note that 'service', as opposed to 'stuff', has not fallen in price, for the most part, because if it took a barber 20 minutes to cut your hair in 1950, it still takes him 20 minutes today. There are segments where this isn't strictly true - computers, printers, and the Internet have made some standard legal procedures, like incorporation, cheaper than in the past - but in the main, the pattern holds. Services haven't declined in price because they haven't increased in productivity.

What can a man do when he becomes more productive? He can sell more of what he makes, work less, or do a bit of both. We've already seen the standard work week plunge to 35 hours (less in Europe, but they're paying for that now) from nearly 50. Productivity provides all of us with the one thing that money cannot buy: time. Better work-sharing techniques would allow many to enjoy more leisure, while providing more employment, at the cost of a few dollars less in your pocket. (But, if unemployment fell to 4%, and the non-working started paying taxes and stopped taking welfare, your taxes might fall as well, and you'd not be much worse off monetarily.) As my elder daughter starts university this year, I think back at all the days I spent at work that I might have spent with her. What, after all, is wealth? Is it pieces of paper and metal, or is it the ability to enjoy life? Productivity provides both, and gives us the opportunity to choose what we want.

The production of a surplus is not, as you suggest, the beginning of the end. It is, in fact, the end of the beginning. In the legend, Man was exiled from Eden and doomed to daily toil. Today, we are nearing the time when  that doom could be lifted, as Man, through inventiveness and effort, becomes productive enough that work could slowly be reduced, and all can enjoy the benefits of leisure and luxury unthought of at the founding of the Republic.

So long as we shoot all the banksters first, of course.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 04:53 | 2713459 macbone
macbone's picture

The article was great. We should have more like it as the elites still talk about "free trade" as if it's the greatest thing since fried chicken. The Chinese really got their yuans worth when they bought off Sick Willy and his whore wife. But the comments section is worse than worthless. All these dickless leftist punks making dimwitted sarcy comments. If you hate the country so much, just get the fuck out. 

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:23 | 2713566 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

America, you love it or you leave it.

Signed: an American

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:36 | 2713582 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

...and our little friend AnAnonymous will never leave it.

Quite telling indeed.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 02:28 | 2713351 SoundMoney45
SoundMoney45's picture

Failed economic policies and failed trade policies have a negative impact on the general population.  Clearly an unforseeable event.  /Sarc

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 01:29 | 2713304 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

Hi ilene,

 

Why have a Government mandated Minimum Wage? If the Minimum Wage mandate is so good and helps the poor so much, why not make it $25/hr? In a Free Market I believe it is only human actors voluntarily(no government intervention) making exchanges and contracts with each other can determine what a living wage is. I do not believe Government economic mandates such as a "Minimum Wage" are the answer. How do we know that Government isn't mandating too high a minimum to be competitive, thereby causing our jobs to leave?

 

So how is the Government doing at protecting people from Corporations with it's mandated minimum wage?

 

"If nothing is done about this, jobs are going to continue to pour out of high wage countries such as the United States and into low wage countries on the other side of the globe, and big corporations are going to keep laughing all the way to the bank as unemployment in America gets even worse."

 

Perhaps are American wages are too high. Perhaps not. I'm just wondering, who is deciding this? The Government? The Free Market? Perhaps someone can convince me why we absolutely must have a Government mandated minimum wage. You might have a hard time though, as I pretty much believe that the only monopolies are Government created ones. I want to add that I'm for using the freedom to assemble in order to form a private sector union when people feel there is a need/desire to do so.

 

Although I won't right now, I could go into the Government mandated Corporate Taxes, which is yet another fallacy.

 

Anyway, I believe the real answer to end all this phony economy stuff is to End The Fed.

 

Regards

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 23:53 | 2713216 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

You're a lot better off earning $5000 a year in China than $40K in the U.S. 

 

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 23:10 | 2713141 DoolieDoink
DoolieDoink's picture

I am not a US citizen, I am NOW thinking of boycotting US products, especially US banks, as the policies of the US suck !

Unfair treatment of Libor vs Sub prime crime, MF Global, market manipulation, war mongering, Assange  etc etc etc

The sentiments of nations and foreign individuals towards US will decline, they will decline even more drastically when US defaults on its trade debt.

If I were you I would expect worse to come !

ps I have no gripes against American Joe public, I have enjoyed many trips to US and its hospitality, as I said your polices SUCK !

 

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 00:07 | 2713230 Bear
Bear's picture

We are fast tyring to catch up with Europe

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 01:18 | 2713306 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

We'll know we've arrived when we have our "Greece Moment", as Peter Schiff puts it.

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:57 | 2713119 alentia
alentia's picture

Don't they say "Survival of the fittest"?

Is there minimum wage laws in those countries?

Does it mean that USA Inc. does not produce anything other people around the world need?

Is there Obamacare in China or Mexico?

Why work if Unemployment Insurance can get extended indefinately?

Does it mean Chinese economy is more effective?

Does it mean US Goverment is asking for too much of profit share from US Corporations?

If you grow carrots to survive will you grow them in US, accounting for every leaf to US goverment every day or would you grow them where no one is bothering you to write up essay on growing process you employ?

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 03:34 | 2713413 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Is there minimum wage laws in those countries?

_______________________________________

There is minimum wage laws in China. Funnily enough, through unsurprisingly, it was revealed that the major disrespecting of these laws in China did not come from Chinese but from 'American' companies that keep pushing (through action) to pay chinese workers under the minimum wage.

Aint life fun in a US world order?

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 05:00 | 2713463 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous, spewing willful ignorance according to his eternal nature, said:

There is minimum wage laws in China.

So the slaves in China are paid a minimum wage? More of your mentally deranged fantasy. Next why not tell us that slaves in China belong to organized labor unions?

Funnily enough, through unsurprisingly, it was revealed that the major disrespecting of these laws in China did not come from Chinese but from 'American' companies that keep pushing (through action) to pay chinese workers under the minimum wage.

I suppose you're now going to tell us that those were American brickyards that your friend Wang Bingbing was running with slave labor that included kidnapped children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Chinese_slave_scandal

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 06:30 | 2713510 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

550 people out of more than one billion people...

They hardly make the bulk of the chinese workforce.

Focusing on epiphenomena, quite the job of US citizens...

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:34 | 2713580 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

550 people out of more than one billion people...

They hardly make the bulk of the chinese workforce.

It's merely the tip of the iceberg.

Focusing on epiphenomena, quite the job of US citizens...

Focusing on 18th and 19th century US of A and ignoring 21st century China, quite the duplicitous offuscation of AnAnonymous...

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:53 | 2713112 partimer1
partimer1's picture

We have to know its the Americans who screw all the Americans. It's the big multinational corps sending all the jobs overseas and still selling to our own people their stuff made overseas. We buy iPhones, iPods, Walmart junks, etc.. They are made overseas by Chinese workers, but they are sold to us by our people, not Chinese.
There is enough money from the saving of labor cost to buy all the political influences. Bankers just facilitate the process. It's Jeff immelt and likes who screw the country.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 14:50 | 2714906 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

What makes you think that those "big multinational corps" that are screwing all the Americans are people that are loyal American?  If you dig further, you frequently find they are Zionist instead.

Zionists are not loyal to America or Americans.  They have Israeli citizenship.   Even if their citizenship is not formal, it is vurtual and can be made formal at anytime at their request.  They are loyal to their tribe.  The America that was wrested from the British in 1776 is not their tribe.

It is insanity to allow these dual nationals, who really have only one loyality, to influence and control America's political and economic structure.   The results of this influence and control for the last 100 years is very apparent now and it isn't pretty.

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:46 | 2713093 Aubrey Sportcocke
Aubrey Sportcocke's picture
Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012 – The White Hats Report #47

Watergate revisited?

The beginning of the end of the Obama Presidency has begun.  The only questions that remain are:

  • How will the charade play out before the American public and the rest of the world?
  • How many will the cabal sacrifice to keep their agenda alive?
  • Will an insider FINALLY come forward, turn Patriotic…and reveal all the secrets?
  • When will it all begin?

The most likely starting volley in this unfolding historic process could very well be the resignation of Vice President of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

Whether he uses a fabricated medical condition, or if they make more out of the “slaves and chains” comment he fumbled through the other day, the political machine has to come up with a very convincing reason for his exit. The White Hats believe the brain tumor story, which has come to the forefront again, would be a very good reason for the comments he has been making.   Most of our counter parts in the international intel circles see the handwriting on the wall and say expect it this mid-week … and we are there … right now.

What does this mean in the big picture?

Obama is in serious trouble … on multiple fronts.

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:37 | 2713076 Aubrey Sportcocke
Aubrey Sportcocke's picture
Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012 – The White Hats Report #47

Watergate revisited?

The beginning of the end of the Obama Presidency has begun.  The only questions that remain are:

  • How will the charade play out before the American public and the rest of the world?
  • How many will the cabal sacrifice to keep their agenda alive?
  • Will an insider FINALLY come forward, turn Patriotic…and reveal all the secrets?
  • When will it all begin?

The most likely starting volley in this unfolding historic process could very well be the resignation of Vice President of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

Whether he uses a fabricated medical condition, or if they make more out of the “slaves and chains” comment he fumbled through the other day, the political machine has to come up with a very convincing reason for his exit. The White Hats believe the brain tumor story, which has come to the forefront again, would be a very good reason for the comments he has been making.   Most of our counter parts in the international intel circles see the handwriting on the wall and say expect it this mid-week … and we are there … right now.

What does this mean in the big picture?

Obama is in serious trouble … on multiple fronts.

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:10 | 2713015 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

When I'm elected PM of Canada I will demand gold for oil.

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 22:06 | 2712999 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

Free trade is good for all. But trade with China is not 'free', in any sense of the world. Chinese companies (even the Chinese government) can buy American companies. Can't do the reverse.

Chinese goods enter the US free of tariffs for the most part. The reverse isn't true.

Chinese companies can sue for IP infringement in the US. The reverse isn't true.

Chinese companies are free to spew CO2 into the air without charge; not true in the US.

Trade with China isn't a two way street, which is why the US and the rest of Western world should tell them to take their cheap crap and shove it AND default on the paper the Chinese own. F' em.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 06:33 | 2713513 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Chinese goods enter the US free of tariffs for the most part. The reverse isn't true.

Chinese companies can sue for IP infringement in the US. The reverse isn't true.

Chinese companies are free to spew CO2 into the air without charge; not true in the US.
_____________________

They are 'American' goods designed to be sold on 'American' markets.

And indeed, one key for bettering their environment was to export the pollution associated with production processes.

Do 'Americans' want to ship back the pollution they have exported on the rest of the world?

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 02:39 | 2713361 Judge Arrow
Judge Arrow's picture

Romney seems to be screeching at the Chinese about this shit and it might be entertaining to see if he actually follows through - and in the process puts it to the multinational cigar smoking fatties....if he did, would that mean The Fed is next?  Ah, the mind reels when the hookah is bubbling here....

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 14:25 | 2714828 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

I won't hold my breath.  

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 21:52 | 2712969 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

 

The trade deficit is the 8 million barrels of imported crude oil bought and wasted every single day.

 

The trade deficit is an abstraction, goods are paid for with (false) promises of goods to come ... tomorrow. (Hey! Tomorrow never comes, get it?)

 

American companies cannot afford to hire American workers. Paid too much? No, the consumer overseas can avail him-herself of Wall Street credit just as an American can ... and does.

 

Industrial economies cannot afford themselves, they never offer a real return, they all are Potemkin enterprises, traps for more and more debt. To buy more goods Americans must borrow much, much more ... from Wall Street and the banks. People cry, "They can't afford to borrow!"

 

I rest my case. It was our turn to live large on borrowed money for 20 years, now it is other countries' turn.

 

 

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