Paul Craig Roberts Takes Potshots At GWB......

John A. Quayle Boss302 at LOCALNET.COM
Fri Nov 14 22:25:03 MST 2003

Job growth spin cycle
By Paul Craig Roberts

     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.
     Physicians' offices hired 9,000 people to cope with Medicare and
insurance company paperwork. Nursing and residential care facilities hired
5,000, child-care services hired 6,000, and hospitals hired 3,000. Many of
the new jobs do not pay enough to support a family. The temp and retail
jobs are 40 percent of the total.
     All of the new jobs are in services. None of the new service jobs are
capable of producing export earnings to bring balance to our massive trade
     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
     Computer jobs have disappeared. In Tampa, San Antonio, Seattle and
California, office buildings are closed that a few years ago contained tens
of thousands of computer engineers. People who in 2000 were making between
$60,000 and $100,000 annually cannot today find jobs.
     On Nov. 3, CBS News reported: "U.S. October layoffs surge 125
percent." Layoff announcements from U.S. companies more than doubled in
October to 171,874, the highest in a year, according to the outplacement
firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. In October, the auto industry sacked
28,000 workers and telecommunications companies cut 21,000 jobs.
     While the ladders of upward mobility collapse, the U.S. continues
importing several million legal and illegal poor immigrants each year.
Thirty-five million Mexicans are not needed to pick the California fruit
and vegetable crops. There is no economic or social rationale for the U.S.
to permit massive inflows of poor people, whose needs are overwhelming U.S.
taxpayers, hospitals and government budgets.
     Population experts predict immigration will boost the U.S. population
by 100 million people by mid-century. Imagine what that portends for energy
consumption and the environment.
     The U.S. already is a heavy energy importer with a serious trade
deficit. The economic development projected for Asia means a huge increase
in world energy consumption. Unlike the U.S., Asian economies have export
surpluses with which to pay their energy bills.
     It is possible that the loss of American jobs in tradable goods and
services, combined with the importation of massive numbers of poor people,
will leave the U.S. without the means to purchase its energy needs in world
markets. When the dollar's value is undermined by budget and trade
deficits, energy prices for Americans will explode.
     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
     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.

     Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is
nationally syndicated.

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