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« The zero-tax theory | Main | Aurora »

Jul 20, 2012


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"....but it doesn't sound like a magic bullet for our unemployment woes."

More significantly, it doesn't sound like a magic bullet for Obama's re-election woes.

Perhaps if we can convince Obama and Biden to resign their offices now, the beginning of the recovery would be shortened by six months.

Ed Cone

Much longer time horizon than the current election cycle, or the next one.

Account Deleted

Why, indeed, a Romney presidency will surely reverse the tide begun by James Watt's introduction of the steam engine and put the industrial technology genie back in the bottle. This will result in full employment for all and perhaps a return to the cottage industry. If only Obama would step aside we could roll back almost three centuries of technological innovation! A sure path for American exceptionalism if'n I ever saw one.


Uh, Jeff, that's the Obama watermelon 'green outside red inside' green jobs plan.

There is no need for you to get fanciful...

Bill Yaner

The World Economic Forum ranked the US 2nd in ingrastructure in 2001 and 24th today with spending at 2.4% of GDP vs. 5% for Europe and 9% for China. In the 1970's we led the world in college grads, today we're ranked 14th. Our federal funding for R&D spending is half the share of GDP it was in 1960.

And what again is the Republican plan to address our anemic job situation? Deep cuts in spending and more cuts in taxes.

And yet that stupid, stupid Obama campaign can't let go of Bain Capital already (enough already!) and move on to how Democrats have all the cards when it comes to putting America back to work.

Account Deleted

I agree with Bill. I get that Obama is a commie Kenyan and Romney is a spoiled rich frat boy with a $77 million tax credit for a horse.* How does that help me understand what lies in store for the future of the country?

*Past performance is not a guarantee of future results


I believe we are arriving at a point where there is no country. With continuing deficit hysteria ruling the roost in terms of public policy, the only thing we can be sure of is a downward spiral as the rich horde resources, cities go bankrupt, and the safety net for those most at risk continues to be shredded.

Instead of a country, we will devolve into a collection of warring factions ... our states ... with growing inequalities, degraded, environmental protections, bigger gaps between haves and have nots, and the growth of corporate oligarchies.

States aside, the only thing our country seems to be really good at is providing a free-wheeling infrastructure for producing and selling a broad range of weapons and military paraphernalia. Which means the only real job creators in America exist as parasites inside the military-industrial-Congressional complex.

Were it not for Uncle Sam spending on a never-ending stream of new weapons, military boondoggles, and related accessories, our economy would look like Spain's.


^ that's what happens when manufacturing jobs and professional opportunities shift to service industry careers... at a minimum wage that can only provide proper food and shelter in states with extremely low costs of living.

Bill Yaner

I'd love to refute your gloomy predictions, James, with several good reasons why the picture you paint will not happen. I just can't come up with any yet.

Maybe the only hope we can latch onto is our country's history of pulling ourselves out of the worst of times a la the Civil War and Great Depression. Maybe when the boomers are all drooling in nursing homes and staring blankly at TV's, a new generation will take charge of things and know what to do and how to get 'er done. Just maybe.

Ed Cone

Sykes has it right that we're talking here about a huge secular trend, over which politicians have little control.

That may be one reason they argue so much.

There are things to be done to ameliorate some of the problems, but they're expensive (e.g., education, jobless benefits) and don't undo the trend itself.

Billy Jones

So where will the robots be built?

Ed Cone

Billy, it occurred to me while pondering the post that wherever they're built, they'll be built by other robots.

I don't mean to suggest that this is/will be a jobless phenomenon (engineering and design jobs seem like a good bet), just that when people hear "manufacturing heads back to US" they should read past the jump.

Bill Yaner

I agree that spending on "expensive" things like education, infrastructure, and R&D to stay competitive globally wouldn't undo the secular trend, but I think it could have a whale of an impact on shortening it. Compared to unemployment, those items are cheap - a real bargain when we can borrow at 0% real cost to us and put people who have lost all hope back to productive work.

The real tragedy of our times might be the confluence of historically low interest rates with historically low political will, gumption, and confidence in our ability to change our fate instead of waiting passively for trends to improve.

John Mayer had a song couple of years ago called "Waiting on the World to Change." I think so very many these days are doing just that.

Billy Jones

A friend of mine recently decided to manufacture a new product here in the United States of America. I was happy for him. He invested what is to me a fortune but came upon a bump in the road. Tool and Die makers are in very short supply here in the USA. I don't know exact figures but tool and die makers to whom I am related tell me the average age of a working tool and die maker here in the USA is 69 years old. You see, while you can go to school to learn the basics it still takes many years of hands on training and experience to actually be a fully qualified tool and die maker.

Anyway, my friend with the new invention and dreams of American manufacturing was going to be forced to wait over a year to get American tool and Die firms to take on his tooling so he was forced to pay more money to outsource his tooling so that it can be brought back into production here in the USA. And the saddest part: The Tool and Die makers are the ones who make the big bucks-- the US workers who stand and watch the machines run can be trained in just a few weeks at most.

Sadly, I fear America is beyond repair for we have waited too long to train and recruit the talent we will need to recover. As for American tool and die makers-- most are working for the war machine like it or not, it was all that was left to them.

Bill Yaner

A friend of mine at Georgia Tech, Billy, tells me that virtually every penny of federal grants is going to military research. So if you're writing a grant and cannot link it up to our Big Green War Machine, good luck.

But I disagree that its too late to start spending our resources more wisely and productively for the benefit of we the people.

Billy Jones

Bill wrote, "But I disagree that its too late to start spending our resources more wisely and productively for the benefit of we the people."

I hope you're right and I'm wrong.


Billy, Have your friend contact me. I can help with USA employees.

Billy Jones

Will do, Marshall.

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