Bush Fiddling In Iraq While U.S. Economy Burns
November 11, 2003, 04:00 AM
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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% 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 deficit.

Jobs capable of producing tradable goods and services continue to be lost at a rapid rate. In the last 3 months, the US lost 91,000 manufacturing jobs.

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 November 3, CBS News reported: "US October layoffs surge 125%." Layoff announcements from US 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 are collapsing, the US continues to import 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 US to permit massive inflows of poor people, whose needs are overwhelming US taxpayers, hospitals and government budgets.

Population experts predict that immigration will boost the US population by 100 million people by mid-century. Imagine what that portends for energy consumption and the environment.

The US is already 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 US, 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 US 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 US has lost so much of its core industrial capability that advanced manufacturing skills are disappearing in the US. The US lacks mass production ability in critical areas of high-tech manufacturing.

The US 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 US hands.

A service economy has less to export than a manufacturing economy. What will the US sell abroad to pay for its energy and manufacturing imports?

We are currently paying for our imports by giving up the ownership of our companies, real estate, and corporate and government bonds.

Once the US 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 US 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.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Paul Craig Roberts is the author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow's Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.