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World power swings back to America?

World power swings back to America

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor

The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.
World power swings back to America

The making of computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and other goods may shift back to the US from China.

Assumptions that the Great Republic must inevitably spiral into economic and strategic decline – so like the chatter of the late 1980s, when Japan was in vogue – will seem wildly off the mark by then.

Telegraph readers already know about the “shale gas revolution” that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing – breaking rocks with jets of water – will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

“The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d),” said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is “set to expand dramatically” as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.

“The implications of this shift are very large for geopolitics, energy security, historical military alliances and economic activity. As US reliance on the Middle East continues to drop, Europe is turning more dependent and will likely become more exposed to rent-seeking behaviour from oligopolistic players,”
said Mr Blanch.

Meanwhile, the China-US seesaw is about to swing the other way. Offshoring is out, ‘re-inshoring’ is the new fashion.

“Made in America, Again” –
a report this month by Boston Consulting Group – said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the “default location” for cheap plants supplying the US.

A “tipping point” is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

“A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back,”
said BCG’s Harold Sirkin.

The gap in “productivity-adjusted wages” will narrow from 22pc of US levels in 2005 to 43pc (61pc for the US South) by 2015. Add in shipping costs, reliability woes, technology piracy, and the advantage shifts back to the US.

The list of “repatriates” is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Cleveland Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is “very competitive” at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed’s zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton’s Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China’s wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.

Foreign exchange effects are subtle. They take a long to time play out as old plant slowly runs down, and fresh investment goes elsewhere. Yet you can see the damage to Europe from an over-strong euro in foreign direct investment (FDI) data.

Flows into the EU collapsed by 63p from 2007 to 2010 (UNCTAD data), and fell by 77pc in Italy. Flows into the US rose by 5pc.

Volkswagen is investing $4bn in America, led by its Chattanooga Passat plant. Korea’s Samsung has begun a $20bn US investment blitz. Meanwhile, Intel, GM, and Caterpillar and other US firms are opting to stay at home rather than invest abroad.

Europe has only itself to blame for the current “hollowing out” of its industrial base. It craved its own reserve currency, without understanding how costly this “exorbitant burden” might prove to be.

China and the rising reserve powers have rotated a large chunk of their $10 trillion stash into EMU bonds to reduce their dollar weighting. The result is a euro too strong for half of EMU.

The European Central Bank has since made matters worse (for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France) by keeping rates above those of the US, UK, and Japan. That has been a deliberate policy choice. It let real M1 deposits in Italy contract at a 7pc annual rate over the summer. May it live with the consequences.

The trade-weighted dollar has been sliding for a decade, falling 37pc since 2001. This roughly replicates the post-Plaza slide in the late 1980s, which was followed – with a lag – by 3pc of GDP shrinkage in the current account deficit. The US had a surplus by 1991.

Charles Dumas and Diana Choyleva from Lombard Street Research argue that this may happen again in their new book “The American Phoenix”.

The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0 – and therefore the ability to outgrow debt – in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Europe’s EMU soap opera has shown why it matters that America is a genuine nation, forged by shared language and the ancestral chords of memory over two centuries, with institutions that ultimately work and a real central bank able to back-stop the system.

The 21st Century may be American after all, just like the last.

SOURCE

Divisive Congressional Black Caucus: ” It’s NOT Racism If We Do It”

The Congressional Black Caucus is growing increasingly frustrated with a black unemployment rate of nearly 17% — almost twice the national average. Even the group’s chairman, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), believes they’d already be leading a march on Washington if not for a desire to avoid weakening President Obama.

“If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House,” Cleaver told McClatchy Newspapers for an article published on Sunday. “There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president.

Tensions have recently been running high within the CBC, to the point where the group’s only Republican menber, Rep. Allen West (R-FL), threatened to quit after Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said that tea party members of Congress “would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree.”

Cleaver, a Methodist minister who founded a Civility Caucus some years back, is known for his non-combative style and strong party loyalty. He recently told the National Journal, “I am convinced, irreversibly, that the lack of civility is causing most of the problems we have in our government. We’ve gotten to the point now where Republicans and Democrats have nothing in common besides being members of the ‘caustic caucus,’ and we can’t get anything done.”

Some other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, however, have not been as restrained in expressing their frustration with President Obama, as well as with the tea party.

It’s not personal,” Cleaver insisted of their attitude towards Obama. “They’re attacking his policies, or lack thereof, with regard to this gigantic unemployment problem among African-Americans. If we can’t criticize a black president, then it’s all over.”

SOURCE

No Jobs, No Peace……*#$% the Police?


Bloomberg: Jobs crisis could spark riots here

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By Aaron Smith @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is worried that high U.S. unemployment could lead to the same kind of riots here that have swept through Europe and North Africa.

“You have a lot of kids graduating college, [who] can’t find jobs,
” said Bloomberg, during his weekly radio show on Friday. “That’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened in Madrid. You don’t want those kinds of riots here.

That was the mayor’s response when asked about the poverty rate, which rose to 15.1% in 2010, its highest level since 1993, according to census data released Tuesday. About 46.2 million people are now living in poverty, 2.6 million more than last year.

“The public is not happy,”
he said. “The public knows there is something wrong in this country, and there is. The bottom line is that they’re upset.”

Riots have gripped various countries in European cities, including Athens and London, fueled by young people infuriated by high unemployment and austerity measures, which in some cases has led to looting. High unemployment among youth is also one of the driving forces behind the Arab Spring, as impoverished protestors in North Africa and the Middle East rose up against their heavy-handed governments.

“The damage to a generation that can’t find jobs will go on for many, many years,” said Bloomberg.

The mayor, an independent, criticized the partisan politics that have stymied progress in Congress, and the inability of Republicans and Democrats to compromise on ways to fix the economy.

“There is no overnight solution,”
he said.”You look at the president’s proposals. At least he’s got some ideas on the table, whether you like those or not.”

“The only way you solve this problems is that everybody pays a little more and everybody gets a little less,” he added.

The economy added no jobs in August, according to the Labor Department, for the first time since February, 1945.

The unemployment rate is 9.1%, but many experts say that figure is misleading. They prefer to use the so-called underemployment rate, which includes people who have given up their search for jobs as well as people who want to work full-time but are forced to work part-time.

The underemployment rate is 16.2%.

SOURCE

READ MY LIPS…NO NEW JOBS!

US economy created no job growth in August, data show
First time since 1945 that government has reported net monthly job change of zero

WASHINGTON — Employment growth ground to a halt in August, as sagging consumer confidence discouraged already skittish U.S. businesses from hiring, keeping pressure on the Federal Reserve to provide more monetary stimulus to aid the struggling economy.

Nonfarm payrolls were unchanged last month, the Labor Department said Friday. It was the first time since 1945 that the government has reported a net monthly job change of zero. The August payrolls report was the worst since September 2010, while nonfarm employment for June and July was revised to show 58,000 fewer jobs


“The bottom line is this is bad,”
Diane Swonk, chief economist with financial services firm Mesirow Financial, told CNBC Friday.

Despite the lack of employment growth, the jobless rate held steady at 9.1 percent in August. The unemployment rate is derived from a separate survey of households, which showed an increase in employment and a tick up in the labor force participation rate.

While the jobs report underscored the frail state of the economy, the hiring slowdown probably will not be seen as a recession signal as layoffs are not rising that much.

A strike by about 45,000 Verizon Communications workers helped push employment in the information services down by 48,000. Allowing for the decline from the Verizon strike, private payrolls would have risen by 62,000.

A rough month


“August was a pretty rough month for the economy,
” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pa. “We saw financial markets tighten. I think businesses sort of responded by putting hiring on the back burner,” he said before the release of the report.

An acrimonious political fight over U.S. debt, which culminated in the downgrade of the country’s AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, and a worsening debt crisis in Europe ignited a massive stock market sell-off last month and sent business and consumer confidence tumbling.

With the unemployment rate stuck above 9 percent and confidence collapsing, President Barack Obama is under pressure to come up with ways to spur job creation. The health of the labor market could determine whether he wins a second term in next year’s elections.

Obama will lay out a new jobs plan in a speech to the nation next Thursday.

“The economy is slowly grinding to a halt,
” said Steve Blitz, senior economist for ITG in New York. “The problem, however, on the policy side is that I wonder whether the numbers are truly weak enough to galvanize a political response.”

“To me, the major take away from this number is that it keeps policy in limbo — it’s bad but not bad enough,
” he added.

The weak employment data could strengthen the hand of officials at the U.S. central bank who were ready at their August meeting to do more to help the sputtering economy.

The Fed cut overnight interest rates to near zero in December 2008 and it has bought $2.3 trillion in securities. Many analysts say its arsenal is now largely depleted, although they expect it to do more to try to prop up growth.

Dodging recession

Although hiring cooled, there is little sign companies responded to the darkening outlook by laying off workers. First-time applications for state unemployment benefits have hovered around 400,000 for weeks.

The steady jobless claims, relatively strong consumer spending, continued demand for manufactured goods and increases in industrial production suggest the economy will steer clear of recession.

“We do not expect the economy to slump, but rather to slouch and stagger,” said Patrick O’Keefe, head of economic research at accounting firm J.H. Cohn in Roseland, New Jersey.
Story: Nursing tops list of high-paid jobs of the future

Still, analysts warn the economy is so weak, any fresh shock could send it tumbling. In the first half of the year, the economy expanded at less than a 1 percent annual rate, bad news for the estimated 14 million unemployed Americans.

If job growth does not accelerate, it could take more than four years to return to the pre-recession employment level.

Private payrolls increased only 17,000 after rising 156,000 in July. Government employment fell 17,000, contracting for a 10th straight month. The decline in government payrolls was tempered by the return of 23,000 state workers in Minnesota after a partial government shutdown in July.

Details of the employment report were weak, with manufacturing payrolls falling 3,000, reflecting the slump in business confidence. Factories added 36,000 new workers in July as disruptions to motor vehicle production caused by a shortage of parts from Japan eased.

The average work week dropped to 34.2 hours, the fewest since January, from 34.3 hours. Average hourly earnings fell three cents.

SOURCE

Why the Jobs Situation Is Worse Than It Looks

Why the Jobs Situation Is Worse Than It Looks

By Mortimer B. Zuckerman

Posted: June 20, 2011

The Great Recession has now earned the dubious right of being compared to the Great Depression. In the face of the most stimulative fiscal and monetary policies in our history, we have experienced the loss of over 7 million jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off from full-time employment.
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The real job losses are greater than the estimate of 7.5 million. They are closer to 10.5 million, as 3 million people have stopped looking for work. Equally troublesome is the lower labor participation rate; some 5 million jobs have vanished from manufacturing, long America’s greatest strength. Just think: Total payrolls today amount to 131 million, but this figure is lower than it was at the beginning of the year 2000, even though our population has grown by nearly 30 million.

The most recent statistics are unsettling and dismaying, despite the increase of 54,000 jobs in the May numbers. Nonagricultural full-time employment actually fell by 142,000, on top of the 291,000 decline the preceding month. Half of the new jobs created are in temporary help agencies, as firms resist hiring full-time workers.

Today, over 14 million people are unemployed. We now have more idle men and women than at any time since the Great Depression. Nearly seven people in the labor pool compete for every job opening. Hiring announcements have plunged to 10,248 in May, down from 59,648 in April. Hiring is now 17 percent lower than the lowest level in the 2001-02 downturn. One fifth of all men of prime working age are not getting up and going to work. Equally disturbing is that the number of people unemployed for six months or longer grew 361,000 to 6.2 million, increasing their share of the unemployed to 45.1 percent. We face the specter that long-term unemployment is becoming structural and not just cyclical, raising the risk that the jobless will lose their skills and become permanently unemployable.

Don’t pay too much attention to the headline unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. It is scary enough, but it is a gloss on the reality. These numbers do not include the millions who have stopped looking for a job or who are working part time but would work full time if a position were available. And they count only those people who have actively applied for a job within the last four weeks.

Include those others and the real number is a nasty 16 percent. The 16 percent includes 8.5 million part-timers who want to work full time (which is double the historical norm) and those who have applied for a job within the last six months, including many of the long-term unemployed. And this 16 percent does not take into account the discouraged workers who have left the labor force. The fact is that the longer duration of six months is the more relevant testing period since the mean duration of unemployment is now 39.7 weeks, an increase from 37.1 weeks in February. [See a slide show of the 10 best cities to find a job.]

The inescapable bottom line is an unprecedented slack in the U.S. labor market. Labor’s share of national income has fallen to the lowest level in modern history, down to 57.5 percent in the first quarter as compared to 59.8 percent when the so-called recovery began. This reflects not only the 7 million fewer workers but the fact that wages for part-time workers now average $19,000—less than half the median income.

Just to illustrate how insecure the labor movement is, there is nobody on strike in the United States today, according to David Rosenberg of wealth management firm Gluskin Sheff. Back in the 1970s, it was common in any given month to see as many as 30,000 workers on the picket line, and there were typically 300 work stoppages at any given time. Last year there were a grand total of 11. There are other indirect consequences. The number of people who have applied for permanent disability benefits has soared. Ten years ago, 5 million people were collecting federal disability payments; now 8 million are on the rolls, at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $120 billion a year. The states today owe the federal insurance fund an astonishing $90 billion to cover unemployment benefits.

In past recessions, the economy recovered lost jobs within 13 months, on average, after the trough. Twenty-three months into a recovery, employment typically increases by around 174,000 jobs monthly, compared to 54,000 this time around. In a typical recovery, we would have had several hundred thousand more hires per month than we are seeing now—this despite unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus (including the rescue of the automobile industry, whose collapse would likely have lost a million jobs). Businesses do not seem to have the confidence or the incentive to add staff but prefer to continue the deep cost-cutting they undertook from the onset of the recession.

But hang on. Even to come up with the 54,000 new jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics assumed that 206,000 jobs were created by newly formed companies that its analysts believe—but can’t prove—were, in effect, born in May under the so-called birth/death model, which relies primarily on historical extrapolations. Without this generous assumption in the face of a slowing economy, the United States would have lost jobs in May. Last year the bureau assumed that 192,000 jobs were created through new start-ups in the comparable month, but on review most of them eventually had to be taken out, as start-ups have been distressingly weak given the lack of financing from their traditional sources such as bank loans, home equity loans, and credit card lines. [Read more stories on unemployment.]

Where are we today? We have seemingly added jobs, but it is not because hiring has increased. In February 2009 there were 4.7 million separations—that is, jobs lost—but by March 2011 this had fallen to 3.8 million. In other words, the pace of layoffs has diminished, but that is not the same thing as more hiring. The employment numbers look better than they really are because of the aggressive layoffs in the early part of this recession and the reluctance of American business to rehire workers. In fact, the apparent improvement in job numbers has been made up of one part extra hiring and two parts reduced firing.

Even during past recessions, American firms still hired large numbers of workers as part of the continual cycle of replacing employees. Of the 150 million workers or job seekers in America, about one third turn over in a typical year, leaving their old jobs to take new ones. High labor “churn” is characteristic of our economy, reflecting workers moving to better jobs and higher wages and away from declining sectors. As Stanford business professor Edward Lazear explains so clearly in the Wall Street Journal, the increase in job growth over the past two years is attributable to a decline in the number of layoffs, not from increased hiring. Typically, when the labor market creates 200,000 jobs, it has been because 5 million were hired and 4.8 million were separated, not just because there were 200,000 hires and no job losses. But when an economy has bottomed out, it has already shed much of its excess labor, as illustrated by the decline in layoffs—from approximately 2.5 million in February 2009 to 1.5 million this April. In a healthy labor market like the one that prevailed in 2006 and into 2007, American firms hired about 5.5 million workers per month. This is now down to about 4 million a month. Quite simply, businesses have been very disciplined in their hiring practices.

We are nowhere near the old normal. Throughout this fragile recovery, over 90 percent of the growth in output has come from productivity gains. But typically at this stage of the cycle, labor has already taken over from productivity as the major contributor of growth. That is why we generally saw nonfarm payroll gains exceeding 300,000 per month with relative ease. This time we have recouped only 17 percent of the job losses 23 months after the recession began, as compared to 207 percent of the jobs lost from previous recessions (with the exception of 2001). There is no comfort either in two leading indicators of employment, with no growth in the workweek or in factory overtime.

Clearly, the Great American Job Machine is breaking down, and roadside assistance is not on the horizon. In the second half of this year (and thereafter?), we will be without the monetary and fiscal steroids. Nor does anyone know what will happen to long-term interest rates when the Federal Reserve ends its $600 billion quantitative easing support of the capital markets. Inventory levels are at their highest since September 2006; new order bookings are at the lowest levels since September 2009. Since home equity has long been the largest asset on the balance sheet of the average American family, all home­owners are suffering from housing prices that have, on average, declined 33 percent (compare that to the Great Depression drop of 31 percent).

No wonder the general economic mood is one of alarm. The Conference Board measure of U.S. consumer confidence slumped to 60.8 percent in May, down from 66 percent in April and well below the average of 73 in past recessions, never mind the 100-plus numbers in good times. Never before has confidence been this low in the 23rd month of a recovery. Gluskin Sheff’s Rosenberg captured it perfectly: We may well be in the midst of a “modern depression.”

Our political leadership in both Congress and the White House will surely bear the political costs of a failure to work out short- and long-term programs to fix the job shortage. The stakes are too high to play political games.

SOURCE

America is Bleeding Wealth and Jobs: 28 Economic realities

America Is Rapidly Bleeding Wealth And Jobs: 28 Statistics About The Gutting Of The U.S. Economy That Will Blow Your Mind

Red alert! Over 40 billion dollars of America’s national wealth is being shipped out of the country every single month. Our economy is being gutted and we are bleeding wealth and we are bleeding jobs. This is a distress call. Is anyone listening? Thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas. Over the past decade over 6 trillion dollars have been transferred into the hands of foreigners. Our national government is so broke that they constantly have to go and beg those foreigners to lend us back some of that money in order to finance our exploding debt. The number of good jobs continues to decline and there are millions upon millions of my countrymen that are unemployed. Can anybody help us? Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

Sadly, the vast majority of Americans really are dead asleep on this issue. They just continue to run out to the big retail stores and fill their carts with products made in China and yet they seem completely bewildered by the fact that the number of good jobs continues to decline.

Over the past decade, the number of middle class jobs has fallen by about ten percent. There is a reason for this. America is becoming poorer. The economic pie is shrinking. When we ship 40 to 50 billion dollars into the hands of foreigners every single month, that means that there is a lot less wealth for all of us to divide up.

Every single month, the U.S. ships in massive amounts of foreign oil and massive amounts of cheap plastic trinkets from places such as China which we greedily consume. In return, we send them a giant pile of money.

This happens month after month after month. You see, we always need more of their oil and more of their plastic trinkets. They are more than happy to keep getting richer and richer.

Meanwhile, thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs continue to be sent overseas where labor is far cheaper. Thanks to globalization, American workers much now directly compete for jobs with workers that are willing to work for less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the globe.

The dismantling of our economy is happening right in front of our eyes and most of our politicians are not doing a thing to stop it.

The following are 28 statistics about the gutting of the U.S. economy that will blow your mind….

#1 According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. trade deficit for the month of March was $48.2 billion. That was up from $45.4 billion in February.

#2 The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.

#3 Between December 2000 and December 2010, the U.S. ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars.

#4 The U.S. trade deficit with China in March was $18.1 billion. This is money that is not going to support U.S. businesses and U.S. workers. If that money was actually going to our businesses and to our workers it would increase tax revenues.

#5 Since China entered the WTO in 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China has grown by an average of 18% per year.

#6 During 2010, we spent $365 billion on goods and services from China while they only spent $92 billion on goods and services from us.

#7 Since 2005, Americans have gobbled up Chinese products and services totaling $1.1 trillion, but the Chinese have only spent $272 billion on American goods and services.

#8 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#9 According to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2008 the United States lost 2.4 million jobs due to the growing trade deficit with China. Every single state in America experienced a net job loss due to our trade deficit with China during that time period.

#10 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#11 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#12 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

#13 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#14 China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world last year. The United States only produced 19.4 percent.

#15 According to the IMF, China is going to have the largest economy in the world by 2016.

#16 Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.

#17 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.

#18 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#19 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#20 Last year, China produced 11 times as much steel as the United States did.

#21 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.

#22 In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.

#23 According to one recent study, China could become the global leader in patent filings by next year.

#24 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

#25 In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.

#26 Thanks to our exploding trade deficit with China, the Chinese have accumulated nearly 3 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves. That is the largest stockpile of foreign currency reserves on the entire globe.

#27 The amount of the trade deficit that can be attributed to foreign oil is at the highest level that we have seen since 2008.

#28 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year. Their biggest customer is the United States.

Our dependence on foreign oil is literally bleeding us dry. Once we have burned up all of that foreign oil in our cars we are left with nothing. But the people we bought all that oil from are still sitting on all that cash.

As we ship our wealth, our factories and our jobs out of the country, America is getting poorer.

That means that individual Americans are getting poorer.

According to one estimate, between 1999 and 2009 real median household income in the United States declined by 5.0%.

Today, over 44 million Americans are on food stamps and over 47 million Americans are living in poverty. This is not an accident and it didn’t happen overnight. Our economic policies are absolutely killing us.

This economic downturn has hit men particularly hard. As thousands of manufacturing facilities have shut down, millions of blue collar workers have been dumped out on the street. Most blue collar workers are men.

Since January 2008, male employment has declined by 4,932,000 jobs.

Ouch.

During 2010, only 66.8% of American men had jobs, which was a new all-time record low.

There are a lot of blue collar workers that are sitting at home on their couches today that are still trying to figure out what in the world happened to their good jobs.

There are now more than 6 million Americans that the government says have given up looking for work completely. Most of them are men.

Sadly, in our society today most of the people that pursue higher education are women. Today, 61% of all college degrees are earned by women.

Not that a college education is a ticket to success in today’s world. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for college graduates younger than 25 years old was 9.3 percent in 2010.

In fact, the majority of all of our college graduates end up running home to Mom and Dad after they graduate.

According to a poll conducted by Twentysomething Inc., 85 percent of U.S. college graduates will move back home with their parents (at least initially) after graduation. That is up from 67 percent back in 2006.

The truth is that there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone and that is a huge problem.

We have become a nation that consumes far more wealth than it produces. That is a recipe for disaster any way that you cut it.

Until we have some fundamental changes to our trade policy, these long-term trends are just going to continue. We are going to continue to bleed wealth, bleed factories and bleed jobs.

Tax revenues go down when factories shut down and when American workers are sitting at home on their couches. This is a huge factor in why our federal, state and local governments are drowning in debt. We have got to have more wealth creation inside this country or else we are going to continue to see our government debt problems get even worse.

If you walk into just about any major retail store today, what do you find?

You find loads and loads of products that have been made somewhere else.

I hope that you are enjoying “the low, low prices” because they come at a very high cost.

We once had the greatest economic machine in the history of the world but now it is being gutted like a fish.

If we continue on the road that we are on, the entire country is eventually going to become just like Detroit.

Is that what you want?

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/america-is-rapidly-bleeding-wealth-and-jobs-28-statistics-about-the-gutting-of-the-u-s-economy-that-will-blow-your-mind

Is America Becoming The Land Of The Part-Time Job?

Is America Becoming The Land Of The Part-Time Job?: Most Of The Jobs That Are Being Created Are Part-Time Jobs And Some Companies Are Going To A “Part-Time Only Policy”

Do you need a good job? If so, there are millions of other Americans that are just like you. Unfortunately, most of the jobs that are available in America today are either part-time jobs, temp jobs or are “independent contractor” jobs. The “full-time job with benefits” is a dying breed. There are so many desperate unemployed workers in America today that companies don’t have to roll out the red carpet anymore. Instead, they can just hire a horde of inexpensive part-timers and temps that they don’t have to give any benefits to. But isn’t the employment situation supposed to be getting better? No, it really is not. Yes, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs in March. However, the truth is that approximately 290,000 part-time jobs were created and about 80,000 full-time jobs were actually lost. This is all part of a long-term trend in America. Good jobs are rapidly disappearing and they are being replaced by low paying service jobs that do not pay a living wage. In many American households today, both parents have multiple jobs. Yet a large percentage of those same households can’t even pay the mortgage and are drowning in debt.

Whenever a new government jobs report comes out from now on, try to find out how many of the jobs that were created were actually part-time jobs. Most Americans that only have part-time jobs are living around or below the poverty line. The truth is that it is really hard to get by if you are only making a couple hundred bucks a week.

As mentioned above, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs last month. The Obama administration and the mainstream media heralded that figure as evidence that the U.S. economy is recovering nicely.

But is that really accurate?

Rebel Cole, a professor at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, says that when you take the time to do a closer examination of the employment numbers they don’t look so good….

“If you look deeper in the report, there were 290,000 new part-time workers, which means that there were 80,000 fewer full-time workers, that’s not a good sign. Things are getting worse, not getting better.”

Unless you are a teen or a college student or a retired person, most likely you would prefer to be working a full-time job. Most people do not actually have the goal of working part-time. Most part-time jobs pay very poorly and offer very few benefits.

Unfortunately, that is why so many big companies like part-time workers and temp workers. There are so many more rules, regulations and laws that pertain to full-time workers.

Hiring a bunch of part-time workers is so much easier and so much cheaper. Without a doubt it is definitely more profitable in most situations.

Today, there are millions of Americans that have part-time jobs that would love to have full-time jobs. In fact, the government says that there are about 8 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”.

One such worker named “John” recently left a comment on another article I did entitled “How To Find A Job: Just Be Willing To Flip Burgers And Work For Minimum Wage”. John says that the restaurant chain that he works for has implemented a “part-time only policy”….

“Could your family survive on $505 a week?”

If only I could make HALF that much! The dirty secret is McDonalds needs to add 50,000 workers to increase the headcount in every store. The goal is to have no full-time employees who qualify for health benefits. So these 50,000 jobs will pay $174 a week BEFORE taxes, and have no benefits, no vacation days, no holidays off, call in sick and get fired, but they will have 52 mandatory weekends each year.

And how do I know this? I work for a national restaurant chain that already has gone to a part-time only policy. I am scheduled for 23 hours next week. The threshold for benefits is 26 hrs.

Of course I would assume that there are perhaps a couple of full-time workers at the restaurant that John works at (such as the manager). But the reality is that we are seeing this kind of thing more and more around the nation. Companies are being careful to keep hours low enough so that the majority of their employees do not qualify for expensive “full-time benefits”.

Another commenter on that same article said that it is possible to get by on a low wage but that doesn’t mean that it is easy….

I make about $400 a week; my wife nothing. Rent is $500 a month. Credit card bills (run up back when I made about $1200/week) run about $200 a month. Other expenses run us another few hundred dollars. We quit tv. We’re a litte cold. We eat ok. Try to fill the gas tank just once a month. We’re getting by, but able to save nothing, nor do we go out and have fun. Well, fun has become walks on Saturday morning. Those are free. And, as we’ve learned, rather nice.

$10 an hour stinks, but it is livable if you don’t mind admitting that you are poor. I know I’m poor now. It’s just the way it is. If I tried to keep living as i did when I was a middle class manager, I’d be extremely unhappy. I cant say I’m happy about being poor, but my wife and i are finding that happiness isn’t about having “stuff.”

This is the new “American Dream” for millions of American families. They are learning to scratch and claw to get by on what they have.

As I have written about previously, the standard of living of the middle class is being pushed down to third world levels. We have been merged into a “global labor pool”, and what that means is that the standard of living of all workers all over the world is going to be slowly equalized over time.

Translation: your standard of living and the standard of living of virtually everyone that you know is slated to go way down.

Right now America is rapidly losing high paying jobs and they are being replaced by low paying jobs. According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.

So yes, jobs are being created, but most of them are jobs that none of us would really want under normal circumstances.

Unfortunately, times are not normal and millions of desperate people are having to take whatever they can get.

What makes things even worse is that really bad inflation is coming. There are less good jobs for American families and at the same time the cost of basic necessities is going up.

Have you been to the gas pump lately?

As I wrote about yesterday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.70.

A year ago it was just $2.83.

For average American families on a tight budget that is a huge difference.

Food inflation is already here as well.

During the month of February, the price of food in the U.S. increased at the fastest rate in 36 years.

Are you starting to understand why so many American families are feeling squeezed right now?

Times are tough and they are going to get tougher. If you still have a good full-time job you should be very thankful, because there are millions and millions of people that would love to trade places with you.

So do the rest of you believe that America is turning into “the land of the part-time job”? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

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