The New Normal America: A Country Where Eating And Drinking Is The New Manufacturing

Tyler Durden's picture

For a long time we have been seeking a chart that captures the pure essence of America's transition into its "new normal" mutant clone, in which record high stock markets coexist with record high foodstamp usage; in which record public debt amounts coexist with record low interest rates; in which the Fed is responsible for 20% of the US GDP but which is forgiven if it means the second coming of a housing bubble giving people the false hope of another "flip that house" get rich scheme. We believe we have found it.

On the chart below we show the number of US manufacturing workers over the past decade (currently at levels first seen in 1941) on one axis; and the number of bar and restaurant employees - currently at an all time high - on the other. For those asking, in the past year the US has added 366,700 "food service and drinking places" employees and a whopping... 41,000 manufacturing workers.

And that, in a nutshell is the new America: a nation in which more than ever eat out, in which almost nobody actually produces anything.

Source: BLS

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TeamDepends's picture

If you grow your own food and brew your own beer, then yes.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

If you define "shit" as "manufactured output", then yes.

TeamDepends's picture

If you are talking manure, friend, then we have almost reached the promised land....

Ham-bone's picture

Since 2000 -

Manufacturing - negative 5 million

Restaraunts - positive 2 million

So soon the 10.5 million servers (theoretically dependent on the producers to buy their food/drink and pay their tips) will outnumber the 12 million producers...makes perfect sense.  Crisis over.

Agent P's picture

Yes, but think of the level of service we'll receive when the ratio is 1-to-1. 

"More cracked pepper, sir?"...coming soon to an Arby's near you.

augustusgloop's picture

It doesn't matter- the manufacturing jobs aren't high paying anyway. factory line jobs in Foxconn / Apple  in Shenzen pay less than an Applebees in Skaneateles. Oh, but the engineering jobs that accompany them?


Check out the salaries for Engineers in China and see if we have a prayer, unless you are a 'six sigma black' chemE

NoDebt's picture

I remember conversations in the late 80s about the US transitioning to a "service economy."  And here we are.  Happy?  No?  Wasn't everything you dreamed?  Sorry.

Now, I also remember conversations in the late 90s about the US transitioning to an "information economy."  We won't even have burgers to point at as the final product.  The world will look exactlty the same from the outside, but somewhere a file in a computer will have a few bits twiddled differently.

We'll YEARN for the days when you could at least look at all the burgers you flipped in a day as evidence you accomplished something.


They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

Remember all those Clinton administration idiots who swore that entering into free trade agreements with the third world would 'create millions of high tech export jobs for Americans'? Fast forward 20 years later and we're now feeling the effects of sending all real jobs overseas. The result: a nation of waiters and baristas.

PKF's picture

Makes me nostalgic for those little charts that Ross Perot drew during the Campaign of 1996...remember him talking about that 'whishing sound' of jobs leaving the US?  I don't think we even had the word, 'baristas' back then. 

When I had a job at a Call Center (the worst job of my life), there was a young woman who had an infant that was nearing the age when he needed to be switched from baby food to 'real' food.  She told me that she had fearful discussions with her husband about what they going to feed the baby since all they ate were frozen pizzas.  My jaw hit the floor.  Her words did explain the most awful case of acne I had ever seen on a grown woman.  But to not realize that she could go to the library for a book on Child Nutrition or even google something about the subject...well, it was like someone had slapped me across the face and I realized what Willfully Ignorant people were living around me. 

WTF has happened? 

They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

Ross Perot was kinda like Ron Paul in some ways: little old white guy with a high voice, ridiculed by the media, telling Americans harsh truths they didn't want to hear.

338's picture

Actually, he referred to ' a huge sucking sound ' (hard to type that accent though)  of American jobs going overseas.


Both parties called him a nutjob.


Kinda like what they say about Ron Paul.


Yup, we're fucked.

Omen IV's picture

they were not "idiots" - they knew exactly what was to happen

Sir Jimmy Goldsmith told them

Sudden Debt's picture

Last month was a new record of people who died because of diabetics in New York caused by obesity....

U S A U S A U S A U S A !!!!!!!

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Natural selection....let'em go; live by the fork, die by the fork.  I'm tired of paying insurance premiums that support the habits of these gluttonous, undisciplined swines that have no respect for themselves.

Sudden Debt's picture

it's also spreading here in Europe. This weekend was a beautifull weather here in Belgium and in the city it was like... no more fit and skinny kids... majority is fat! no kidding!

My wife is 32 and has a 34 waist! girls of 18 have like a 38 these days! damn!
what's this world turning into!
The only good thing is that they have bigger tits but I'm a ass kind of guy. A woman's ass needs to be a nutcracker!
That's the 11th commandment!!!

SpiceMustFlow's picture

Agreed, the fat woman cometh and taketh the nice ass away.

ebworthen's picture

The diabetes epidemic is caused by artificial sweeteners.

The obesity doesn't help, but it is the obese that consume the most artificial sweeteners thinking it will help them lose weight.

Don't drink diet soda or use any artificial sweeteners, your body doesn't know what to do with them and it kills your pancreas.

NotApplicable's picture

Meanwhile modern wheat is even worse on your blood sugar. A slice of bread will spike you blood even more than tablespoon full of sugar.

Wheat contains the complex carbohydrate, amylopectin A–Recall that the unique branching structure of wheat’s amylopectin A makes it highly susceptible to digestion by the enzyme, amylase, in saliva and stomach juices, releasing glucose into the bloodstream literally within seconds of ingestion. This explains why two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher and faster than 6 teaspoons of table sugar. High blood sugar obliges high blood insulin, over and over and over again in the world of the “healthy whole grain” eater. Over time, this leads to diminished responsiveness to insulin–”insulin resistance”–the foundation of pre-diabetes and diabetes. It also leads to creation of visceral belly fat which, in turn, worsens insulin resistance and inflammation.

Scro's picture

The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld vow to "call in his markers," to get it approved. Which he did.

Ident 7777 economy's picture




The FDA had actually banned aspartame ..."




"Since December 1998, a widely circulated email hoax cited aspartame as the cause of numerous diseases"


Sorry 'boys'. More infotrash in your brains ...



Ident 7777 economy's picture


Cite something of SUBSTANCE.


And while you're at it, address the FACT that tha Aspartame was never BANNED.


You guys just make shit up!



Clowns on Acid's picture

It's on account of that great diet that they all enjoy in the public housing projects. No lie.

knukles's picture

See, this is a true demonstration of just how far it's fallen.  We do not make things anymore, meaning we are useless consumers of naught.  Our main business is eating and drinking, followed by entertainment (video games, YouTubes, iStuff... whatever) and then of course, political discourse which is affirmation in the form of Foxes and MSNBSs as opposed to information transfer.
This folks, is a self fulfilling desrtuctive cycle.

It has nowhere to go but rot.  Fast or slow, fun or painfully, it matters not.
We're being bled to death, mentally, physcially, spiritually, economically, the 1% is scouring the bowels of mankind for the last crumbs of treasure... No wonder the Georgia Guidestones suggest 500MM people.  A couple 1,000 1%ers supported by half a million, a veritable handful of slaves.

There are no, nor have there ever been Conspiracy Theories.  They, like myth and lore have merely been a means of transmitting the truths, the reality of history amongst those willing to listen in the face of limiting knowledge to the Official Priests reading the Latin Bible and the beholden nature of the current MSM.  Never's changed a wit.  Always the King's Criers informing the peons, managing perceptions.

There are no Conspiracy Theories, merely few understanding the World as it Truly Exists, excoriated and demeaned by those who wish the truth to remain hidden.

Welcome to Wakeup-Land.
All your faintest darkest and most rotten suspicions have been confirmed, officially.
Welcome to Orwell's 1984
Welcome to Hell on Earth, a direct violation of Natural Laws and the Rights of Man.

Welcome to a burdensome intrusion where people will begin walking about with hunched shoulders and glassy eyes, devoid of the entrepreneurial spirit, wards and slaves of the state. 

And yes, I know it already, for I've seen it first hand behind the Iron Curtain as a young man... sadness, decay, apathy and rot become the centerpieces of the human spirit.
Think of how that miasma will play havoc with the real economy.

It will stagnate and moulder.
We are amongst evil, for no man should fear his public servants or a perversion of the rule of law. 

God help us all, for we have proved we are incapable of helping ourselves.

SMG's picture

Wonderful and true.  Thank You.  Tommorow will be a better day. People are waking up.  (I hope.)

Meat Hammer's picture

Welcome to a burdensome intrusion where people will begin walking about with hunched shoulders and glassy eyes, devoid of the entrepreneurial spirit, wards and slaves of the state.

A co-worker recently related to me the details of a train trip through the Czech Republic, circa 2006, that she and her husband took as part of their european honeymoon.  As they were showing each other pictures on their smart-phones, sharing laughs about great memories, cracking jokes and enjoying life, she caught the empty, expressionless face of an old lady sitting across the aisle from her. She said the lady's eyes told the story of a life dictated by a powerful few - thinking for her, planning for her, and completely destroying her spirit, and ensuring that the older she got the less she would want the responsibilty that comes with freedom and the more she would fear it because she would be lost and incapable of surviving without the state.

You're absolutely right, Knuk.  I see more and more of these hollow faces, lost in their own little world a bit more everyday here in Kalifornia, as anything that doesn't involve consumption is left up to the state.  

The real tragedy is that we've done this voluntarily.  We stuck in the IV and the drip is so slow we don't even notice the poison going into the bloodstream. 

knukles's picture

Thanks, MH....
I've been thinking about this more and more today, and am greatly saddened by those memories, exactly as you described, the old woman, vacant... saddened that her whole life was wasted on nothing for no reason.  Asked to place all her fealty and trust in something which essentially drained her life energy.
Its terribly sad.
Indeed, I've teared up a bit thinking about it at times....
So destructive to the necessary human conditions.
So Evil....
There is indeed a life struggle between the forces of good and evil taking place, on a spiritual level.
It is terrifying...

PKF's picture

I see all of the obese around me.  I also note that there are no longer any sidewalks anymore.  I have to drive to an area of town that has them so I can take a walk.

I also know that Food, Glorious Food can be one's best friend in these dark days of no employment, no fun, and no civility.  People eat only to calm their nerves, lessen their loneliness, and to feel something good for a change. 

It is easier to control one's heroin habit than one's overeating habit. 

And when I read the results of the Pew Study where most stupid Americans don't care if their phone calls are intercepted by the NSA, all I want to do is head for the fridge and eat some ice cream. 

grunk's picture

Uncle Smart Meter will be watching.

shermacman's picture

Dude, chillax!
Brittany Spears is back and hotter than ever! She has been able to conquer her daemons and she could be the next replacement Kardashian!!!!


ekm's picture

We can eat bonds. Along wit sausage they're very tasty.


Bonds can be used to fuel a car also, about 10000000 octanes

kito's picture

pan fried cicada wrapped in 10 year notes are deelish......lots of cicadas around our way........they are like flying if i can only find a treasury bond around here somewhere........................crap, i think ben has them all.......................

10mm's picture

Nothing has changed.Nail Salons,Bars,Pizza Joints,service shit sector.

insanelysane's picture

Where else can you get that good feeling from treating people like dirt just like your rich/famous idols do???

knukles's picture

Yes, and I know a number of young folks who are now coming to grips with the prospect of career baristas....
Debilitating it is....
Corrosive to the human condition.
Then add on top that Big Brother is Watching
Oh, this shit is gonna do wonders for the entrepreneurial spirit and economic well being of all mankind.

Cursive's picture


Mmmm.  If reading that doesn't make you hungry for a Loco Taco from Taco Hell, what will?

10mm's picture

Sour dough burger from JACK IN THE BOX.YEAHHHH

RacerX's picture

you forgot lettuce pickers. Or is that now classified as a skilled trade?

knukles's picture

Nope, that's still Manuel labor

insanelysane's picture

Monday flat sets up a POMO rally Tuesday.

SmallerGovNow2's picture

Bravo, so you bought the dip in prep for tomorrow's ramp right?

TruthInSunshine's picture

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce;

special orders don't upset us.

All we ask is that you let us serve it your way...

We can serve your broiled beef Whopper

fresh with everything on topper.

Anyway you think is proper; have it your way...

(Chorus) Have it your way, have it your way! At Burger King, eat at Burger King!

Agent P's picture

That is one of my favorite scenes in cinema (porn excluded, of course).

10mm's picture



You old mother fucker,i remember that shit.Oh wait,im the old fuck.

CaptainSpaulding's picture

We need to bring back Arthur Treachers fish and chips