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View Diary: An Economy cannot be based on CONSUMPTION (285 comments)

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  •  No point in making anything if no one will buy it. (0+ / 0-)

    American factories made the finest buggy whips in the world in 1900, and by 1910, when the US transitioned to cars, partially in an effort to combat the 25 pounds of horse dung left behind in the streets of our cities by draft animals, no one was making buggy whips because no one needed or wanted them any longer.  The buggy whip makers were displaced by new technology, and were structurally unemployed.

    People who 10 years ago who were engaged in the manufacture of glass picture tubes, are now unemployed because the technological worm has turned, and they too, are structurally unemployed.  They need re-training in fields where people want to buy the commodity they will become engaged in.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 08:49:12 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Strange digression into structural unemployment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohiodem1

      Surely you don't think that has much to do with our unemployment problem now, right?

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 08:53:28 AM PDT

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      •  Not off topic at all. Just pointing out that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andgarden, sewaneepat

        production without demand is pointless, and showed two samples of demand going somewhere else.  In Chillicothe, Ohio, a picture tube manufacturing site closed 2 or 3 years ago because the demand for their products went to zero.   It would have made absolutely no sense to continue production, which is the premise of the diary, in the absense of of any demand for the product.  Maybe the factory should have been re-tooled for flat screen production, but it is quite likely that the work force had neither the skills, and the company did not posess the technology to make that transition.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 08:58:05 AM PDT

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      •  Quite a bit of our unemployment is structural (0+ / 0-)

        that's why we need to, as a nation, support retraining efforts.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 09:04:37 AM PDT

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        •  I don't think so (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson

          Paul Krugman makes a strong case that it's a "fake problem."

          Ok, so I read the polls.

          by andgarden on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 09:06:38 AM PDT

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          •  Paul Krugman, despite his sainted status as a (0+ / 0-)

            Nobel winner isn't always right.  From the article you source:

            Who are these wise heads I’m talking about? The most widely quoted figure is Narayana Kocherlakota, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, who has attracted a lot of attention by insisting that dealing with high unemployment isn’t a Fed responsibility: “Firms have jobs, but can’t find appropriate workers. The workers want to work, but can’t find appropriate jobs,” he asserts, concluding that “It is hard to see how the Fed can do much to cure this problem.”
             Emphaisi mine.

            Maybe those workers are structurally unemployed, or the structure of our economy has changed because those workers jobs have been outsourced to a low wage nation, or insourced to American prison labor, and the structure is that American manufacturers have decided to locate those jobs to locations where they don't have to pay American salaries and benefits, so that's another structural element of our economy.  There is no demand for labor that seeks a fair or living wage.

            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

            by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 09:57:05 AM PDT

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            •  And this suddenly came to the fore in 2008? (0+ / 0-)

              That I find very hard to swallow. It would be very strange to discover structural unemployment in the midst of an unrelated crisis.

              Ok, so I read the polls.

              by andgarden on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:03:32 AM PDT

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              •  No, there has been structural unemployment since (0+ / 0-)

                new technololgies started pushing out old ones.  It's still happening today.  Old fashioned incandescent light bulbs are on the way out, pushed by lower energy and better environmental types.  Most of the people who used to make light bulbs in the USA have seen all of that production move elsewhere as manufacturers push for low wages.  Those folks have an element of structural unemployment.

                When was the last time you used a floppy disk?  A CRT monitor?  Hard drives and the people who make them are on the way out, as we now have whole computers that use the cloud and off-site digital storage, and only have flash membor on board. When was the last time you saw a hard drive on a tablet computer.  Granted, many of these jobs are displacing workers in China, Malaysia, India, Korea, etc., but the reality is that time and technology march on, and create structural unemployment in its wake, whether you are willing to admit or not.  Out.

                Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 07:09:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  FWIW, here is another article about a form (0+ / 0-)

                of structural unemployment due to changes in technology.

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                It happens all the time.

                Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                by Ohiodem1 on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 10:06:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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