The U.S. is "eating the dust" of more free economies

Dear GOP,
Controlling government spending matters.

For those interested in such things, I found the underlying report to be data-rich yet user-friendly resource as well.

[quote]The Administration of George W. Bush has continued America

Yep. Budget deficit, trade deficit. Unsettling.

I read that some of the Heritage Foundation folks that are on the libertarian side of things are talking about a rebellion (i.e., against the GOP).

Well, Hobbes, looks like nobody’s too worried about whether we’ll be in the poorhouse in a few years. Sort of a “live for the moment” kinda thing. . . . :laughing:

C’mon. Bush’s agenda for the next four years has nothing to do with the US economy. He is simply interested in attacking our perceived enemies around the world. Bush grew up with a silver spoon shoved in his mouth and, as a result, money problems that the “average folk” have mean nothing to him.

Iraq is a bottomless pit which is sucking out funds from the USA like there is no tomorrow which, under Bush’s questionable leadership, may well be true.

The US ecomony is a mess and even though there are plenty of McJobs around, the line between the rich and poor grows larger day by Iraqi day.

Wait until the final bill comes in for this mess in Iraq. Will the USA have any funds left? :noway:

cableguy, I’m not a big fan of that war, but we had a trade deficit before the war. It’s true we enjoyed budget surpluses under Clinton, but we apparently had trade deficits during that time as well.

I do agree we’re going broke. But I think we’ve been going broke for some time now. From what I can tell from the 'net, our last trade surplus was in 1975.

Of course, this sort of thing has been in the news for years.

By the way, Hobbes, I don’t know what the farm subsidies are like now, but at one time when I lived in North Louisiana, I’m pretty sure that a married couple claiming to farm 500 acres (250 acres per person) of cotton could get a $200-per-acre subsidy. And that was apparently still the case in 2003. Someone correct me if my understanding is in error, but does that mean that someone could get $1,000,000 in subsidies in ten years on 500 acres?

The Heritage Foundation said that the overall average subsidy (i.e., on all crops) in Louisiana in 1999 was $250 per acre. … Id=1000761

Now, back to living for the moment. . . .

Yet more reasons to be depressed (if you’re an American).

All this negativity.

Where you see us losing the war against becoming a second-rate former superpower, I see us winning the war in Iraq. Where you see our nation’s economy rotting and its society crumbling, I see us rebuilding Iraq’s decrepit infrastructure and laying the foundations of a bright economic future for a nation sitting astride much of the world’s known reserves of petroleum.

And that’s what friends are for.

Interesting piece.

I don’t care whether we’re number one in anything and don’t care whether we’re a superpower. I don’t even care whether we die with the most toys.

I’d like for us to have a relatively decent, stable society.

"Ironically, the US, having won the cold war, is adopting the strategy that led the Soviet Union to lose it: hoping that raw military power will be sufficient to intimidate other great powers alienated by its belligerence. To compound the irony, these other great powers are drafting the blueprints for new international institutions and alliances. That is what the US did during and after the second world war.

But that was a different America, led by wise and constructive statesmen such as Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who wrote of being “present at the creation”. The bullying approach of the Bush administration has ensured that the US will not be invited to take part in designing the international architecture of Europe and Asia in the 21st century. This time, the US is absent at the creation."

all this hand-wringing is going to be pointless once europe and china get too old to support their economies and collapse. :slight_smile:

From the CIA, no less:

2020 Vision
A CIA report predicts that American global dominance could end in 15 years.

[quote]The trends should already be apparent to anyone who reads a newspaper. Not a day goes by without another story about how we’re mortgaging our future to the central banks of China and Japan. The U.S. budget deficit, approaching a half-trillion dollars, is financed by their purchase of Treasury notes. The U.S. trade deficit

And how much longer do you think they’re going to be able to feed them? And…with the male-female ratio getting worse and worse in China, how long do you think it’ll be before things get even nastier there than they already are?

[quote]The global problem of desertification has hit China far worse than most countries worldwide. The 1.3 billion Chinese people survive on just one quarter of the worldwide per capita average of arable land and fresh water resources. According to official figures, 27.3 percent of China

Flipper - I’m well aware of Japan and Europe’s aging populations. But China and India? Even if they do have more old people, they still have literally hundreds of millions of young workers whose potential is still untapped. Population is on China’s side; in fact, it is the only reason China is such a rising power and economy - they have hundreds of millions more people willing to work for less than anywhere else in the world.[/quote]
This kind of thinking is what is going to bite China in the ass very, very hard in about 20 years. The one child policy was probably a necessity, but it has really just solved one problem and then created a much bigger one. Think about it. If for 20+ years, the population is not allowed to reproduce at a rate of replacement (which is just over 2 children per woman), then eventually there is going to be a huge imbalance between the retired and the working. From a macroeconomic perspective, when all these one child parents retire, there won’t be enough people working to support them. If there was only one person working for every two retirees in a well developed country, it would be a huge problem. If it happens in a low productivity country like China (and there is absolutely no way for them to prevent this from happening), those working in the economy just won’t be productive enough to support the elderly regardless of whether that support is delivered directly from children to their parents or from the state to the elderly.

China’s current pension and financial systems will not make it any easier for all of these retirees and their children, either. The pension system is already broken. Twenty years ago, crude health care was available to most people. Now health care of any sort is out of reach for more and more people, especially in rural areas. Mainlanders who want to invest for their or their parents retirement have very few good options. The market just isn’t transparent enough, there isn’t a good variety of investment products and they can’t legally move their money offshore to markets that have transparency and a wide range of products. Most Chinese people’s savings are kept in cash and gain no interest. Most people in their twenties and thirties are not going to be able to save and invest enough money for both their parent’s and their own retirement.

I recall reading in a Chinese source that the ratio of social security payers to pensioners in China has gone from 10:1 in 1990 to 3:1 a decade later. That has already happened and is verifiable. Even if Beijing were to completely cancel the one child policy tomorrow, they still wouldn’t be able to avoid at least a 20 year period of extreme strain on the economy caused by an imbalanced ratio of the retired to working. China will far and away be the fasted greying country in history. A greying population is a considerable problem for both Japan and Europe, but they are already wealthy. China’s population will go grey before China becomes a wealthy nation. I would bet my last dime on it. They are well and truly f*cked.

"America is Losing
More Phony Jobs Hype


(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]

I’m not sure what to think sometimes…this from TT … 2003254666

"Taiwan’s global competitiveness moved up one notch to the world’s 11th spot this year, according to the most recent World Competitiveness Yearbook issued Thursday by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The US heads the 2005 list, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Iceland and Canada, in that order. In Asia, Taiwan ranks only behind Hong Kong and Singapore, leading all other Asian counterparts, including Japan (21st), Thailand (27th), Malaysia (28th), South Korea (29th), China (31st) and India (39th), according to the officials."

wrong. absolutely wrong. the effect of outsourcing on wages and the labor market is debatable, but it is undeinably a boon for the consumer market.

us consumers pay lower prices because of oursourcing. period.

why would people throw around such balatant lies in their articles? perhaps they figure that their readers can’t grasp elementary economics?

btw, i would say it is the duty of a rich country to run a trade deficit.

think about it, poor countries export goods to get richer. almost all our examples of poor countries who got rich the last century relied on a export-driven model.

europe runs a trade surplus with the rest of the world(or it did the last time i checked). if the us didn’t buy goods from china, taiwan, canada, etc., who would?

now whether the trade decifit is too large is a matter of debate, but it would be a horrible thing for the world(and poor countries in particular) if the us ran a trade surplus.

wrong. absolutely wrong. the effect of outsourcing on wages and the labor market is debatable, but it is undeinably a boon for the consumer market.

us consumers pay lower prices because of oursourcing. period.

why would people throw around such balatant lies in their articles? perhaps they figure that their readers can’t grasp elementary economics?[/quote]

No one disputes the fact that outsourcing reduces the price of goods and helps control inflation so treating that as if it’s in dispute begs the question. The real issue is what is the overall effect of a situation in which the U.S. is buying more and more goods from overseas and selling fewer and fewer. Does such a situation erode the quality and availability of jobs necessary to generate the income most find necessary to buy lower priced goods?

For the wealthy and securely employed in high-paying jobs in the U.S. the situation couldn’t be better. For them the only question that matters is are prices and inflation going up or down. Ignoring the jobs side of the equation though is a luxury fewer and fewer Americans can afford.

since nafta went into effect(and outsourcing to mexico and elsewhere gained the spotlight):

us employment is up

us income is up

us consumer spending is up

us economic growth is up

us inflation is down

If China were north of the U.S. and India south instead of Canada and Mexico I wonder what the effects of NAFTA would have been.

I’m not against free trade. It’s an inevitable, efficient economic force. I’m just against what appears to me to be the self-delusion in the U.S. that all of its effects are benign or positive and Americans can continue to enjoy the most privileged lifestyle on earth without making any real adjustments – not to mention sole superpower status.

Every great empire in history entered a latter phase where it believed it was invincible by some principle of divine right. Inevitably it was right before its decline. I think of it as the Titanic Syndrome: “Full speed and dead ahead, helmsman. Not even God Himself could sink this empire or its economy.”