Tom Friedman Is Now Another Angry While Male

It was not a good year from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. One of the major themes in the election was tightening up trade policy, with the candidates of both major parties promising action in that regard. This has to rankle on a prominent trade evangelist like Friedman. But even worse, the much more strident of the two candidates on trade issues is the one that prevailed. Ouch! He is now lashing out, warning Trump voters that The Donald will abandon them.

China Trade Deficit Has Cost the United States 3.2 Million Jobs

If anyone believes offshore outsourcing jobs is passé and not impacting U.S. labor markets think again.  The Economic Policy Institute has published a new study showing America has lost millions of jobs to China's cheap labor market.  From 2001 to 2013, the massive trade deficit with China has cost the United States 3.2 million jobs.

America's Outsourcers to be Reclassified as Manufacturers

Don't like the trade deficit, low GDP and the public outrage over the offshore outsourcing?  Change the accounting method to make it go away!  Such is the agenda of government statisticians it appears.  How they are going to incorporate statistical lies into national accounts is shocking.  Production location no longer matters, the thing that will count is ownership of the final product.

Manufacturing Matters

On Manufacturing and Innovation

Manufacturing was once widely recognized as the outstanding strength of America and the basis of its prosperity, but manufacturing also has a more recent history of being almost a pariah.  This newer view equated computer chips with potato chips, asserted that manufacturing is better left to others, and suggested that the nation is actually fortunate to be losing manufacturing and aiming to replace it with design, research, and services.

New Study Shows 1/3 of Jobs Prone to Offshore Outsourcing

The change in the skill (educational) level of jobs being moved abroad has led some to wonder whether the offshoring of service, unlike production, activities will result in college graduates facing a dwindling supply of entry-level jobs that have traditionally served as stepping-stones to higher skilled and higher paying positions. The notion that offshoring depresses job growth in the United States appears to underlie support among some policymakers for measures meant to encourage U.S. firms to expand employment domestically rather than abroad.

The Great U.S. Worker Sell Out Through Comprehensive Immigration Reform

There is a war going on and it is against the U.S. worker.  Tech companies have formed lobbyist groups, phony think tanks and social media traps.  CEOs luncheon with the President of the United States, whispering their demands in the President's ear and he heartily obliges them  Tech companies even wrote legislation, which was promptly passed by the Senate Judiciary committee under the guise of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

The Permanent Dependency Class

The recent US presidential election found the Republican Party on the losing end of a political and economic argument. It was Mitt Romney’s contention, both privately and implicitly when he selected Ayn Rand enthusiast Paul Ryan as his running mate, that 47% of the electorate was dependent on government handouts and therefore had no intention of voting for any Republican who threatened to reduce government entitlement spending. Mitt Romney after the election “doubled down” on this statement, insisting that Obama voters were bought off by government largesse.

Romney was defeated handily in the public vote – he achieved, ironically, slightly less than 47.5% of the popular vote – and he was thrashed in the Electoral College vote, which is what really matters. These results are being interpreted by the press and the pundits as a repudiation of Republican policies, and a rebuke to Mitt Romney for his perceived insult to Obama voters that they are lazy and, like parasites, live off the hard work of others.

The problem with this view is that Romney was half-right: there is a dependency class in America, and they do tend to vote Democratic. He was wrong on his interpretation of the motives and work ethic of this dependency class. One man’s handout, after all, can be another man’s means of survival. He was also wrong on his campaign promise to fix this situation by creating millions of jobs so that the moochers and parasites will have no excuse but to find work when the entitlement payouts end. Obama was wrong on this as well; no politician can pretend that they have some magic tool to create millions of jobs and return entitlement payouts to more sustainable levels. Not only is this not possible, but as I will contend here, such thinking makes the problem worse. The dependency class in America is growing, and it is here to stay for many decades into the future. It is a consequence of decades of government and business policies that let such an infra-class arise, and it is a consequence of very long term economic and social forces that operate on a global basis and are beyond the control of any one country. The United States is turning into a third world country, complete with vast pockets of poverty and idleness, and a small elite that dominates wealth and income. A dependency class is a prime feature of third world countries, and the political party which most successfully caters to this dependency class is more than likely to enjoy decades of political power.

The Triangle Fire Goes Global

trianglefireOn March 25, 1911 a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory where 146 workers died. The company had blocked the exits and the stairwells so employees couldn't leave or take a break. As the fire spread, workers were trapped and the only escape was to jump ten stories to their deaths. The outrage sparked reforms and unionization for U.S. garment workers.

Over 100 years later on November 24th, 2012 the exact same thing happened. Workers burned alive and jumping to their deaths has gone global. In a history repeats itself Déjà vu, we've outsourced our history of worker exploitation and lack of safe work environments along with American jobs. Once again, fire escape routes were locked by managers and workers couldn't escape the flames. In Bangladesh 112 people were killed in a garment factory fire.

The flames at the Tazreen Fashions factory outside Dhaka spread rapidly on the ground floor, trapping those on the higher floors of the nine-story building. There were no exterior fire escapes, according to officials, and many died after jumping from upper floors to escape the flames.

As firemen continued to remove bodies Sunday, officials said at least 112 people had died but that the number of fatalities could go higher.

The American Economy On Purgatory Mountain

CBS 60 Minutes profiled one town near Purgatory mountain, Asheboro, North Carolina to show what's really wrong with the U.S. economy. It's not taxes, small government or big government, or even the deficit. The real problem are jobs going offshore, companies treating workers as disposable and the never ending race to the bottom on wages, global labor arbitrage.