Saturday, March 13, 2004

Where are the jobs?

This Business Week article attributes the loss of jobs in the US to increased productivity in the workplace--the result of technological advances--much more than to outsourcing abroad. The author, like Alan Greenspan, tells of the historical pattern in the US economy, in which we've always been resourceful enough to create new opportunities for ourselves, and new jobs to take advantage of them. And, like Greenspan, he gives no clue to how or where these jobs will appear.
I saw a TV piece yesterday on bullet trains, some diesel, some electric, some run on magnetized rails. All were sponsored and/or funded in large part by the governments of the countries (Italy, France, Japan, Germany) where they thrived, creating fine new technology, social benefit and environmental benefits--and jobs by the thousands.
In the US, some rails are considering such improvements--using the foreign companies to build the systems and cars. The US has no viable company or program. None.
With this President, with his tax structure, his concept of "fair trade" and his unrestrained capitalism, will the US do anything similar? Not likely, says Thom Hartmann. He points out here that the most telling parallel to today's economy was in the early 1900's, when the trusts had so exploited their position that the government had to intervene; that if left alone, companies will do what they do best--profit at the expense of their workers.
Hartmann concludes that it is representative democracy--truly effected--that leads to economic prosperity in America by allowing the voice and pocketbook of the middle class American to govern, not the capitalists.
Kerry may be no populist, but he sure beats the hell out of Bush in terms of letting the working class be heard.

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