"America is Losing
More Phony Jobs Hype
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
(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.)
"Careless journalists and commentators are hyping the 274,000 new April payroll jobs as evidence of the health of the US economy. An examination of the details of the new jobs puts a different view on the matter.
April’s job growth is consistent with the depressing pattern of US employment growth in the 21st century: The outsourced US economy can create jobs only in domestic nontradable services.
Of the 274,000 April jobs, 256,000 were in the private or nongovernment sector, and 211,000 of these were in the service sector as follows: 58,000 in leisure and hospitality (primarily restaurants and bars), 47,000 in construction, 29,200 in wholesale and retail trade, 28,000 in health care and social assistance, 17,300 in administrative and support services (primarily temps), 11,700 in transportation and warehousing, 8,800 in real estate. A few scattered jobs in other service categories completes the picture.
Americans regard themselves as “the world’s only superpower,” but the pattern of American job growth in the 21st century is that of a third world economy. The US economy has ceased to create jobs in high tech sectors and in export and import-competitive sectors. . .
Americans and Europeans cannot compete in labor markets with Chinese, Indians, and Eastern Europeans, because the cost of living in North America and Europe is so much higher. . .
The claim by outsourcing’s proponents that outsourcing creates new and better jobs for Americans is pure fantasy. This claim can find no support in job and income data. Moreover, the same incentive to outsource that is sending so many jobs abroad applies equally to any new replacement jobs. . .
Outsourcing’s proponents claim that it benefits corporations and their shareholders. This is true only in the short run. The substitution of foreign labor for American labor allows executives to reduce costs and increase profits, thus producing large bonuses for themselves and capital gains for shareholders. The long run effect, however, is to destroy the US consumer market and to reduce US corporations to a brand name with a sales force selling foreign made products to Americans employed in third world jobs. . .
. . . offshore outsourcing is the flow of resources to absolute advantage. Economists have known for two centuries that absolute advantage does not produce mutual gains. Unlike the operation of comparative advantage, absolute advantage produces winners and losers.
China and India are winning. America is losing. It is as simple as that."
[color=blue]Those of us who live and work here in Asia and speak Chinese in the course of doing business have a front row view of this phenomenon. The U.S. under the Bush Administration is fast becoming pauperized while it stumbles around the world pursuing its costly and delusional fantasies that it’s restructuring the world on its terms.[/color]