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

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  •  Yes, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus, little lion, Mrs M

    Increase demand for cars made in Korea or electronics made in China will not substantially increase jobs in the US, and it will not produce good paying jobs in the US. We'll export more wealth to pay for those things, and export more jobs to make them.

    In a global economy, if you don't produce wealth that you can exchange for the goods you import, than you become poorer. It's the same as if you have $1000 in the bank and no job or other income. You can exchange money from the bank account for food, but only until the money's gone.

    Service jobs don't produce much that can be traded, and (contrary to the diary) neither do infrastructure jobs, as necessary as they are. You can't export highways or sewers to China in exchange for all the stuff we buy from them.

    If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine

    by badger on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:44:32 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  the counterargumen to the infrastructure slight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mrs M

      is that infrastructure has the possibility to reduce the costs of inputs to production, making extant industry more competitive and new industry more likely to succeed.  Not saying I disagree with you: new (or newly maintained) infrastructure by itself does nothing, but in the long run, it may help.

      I think this line of thinking becomes most illuminating when you consider WHAT infrastructure is most likely to be beneficial to other industries.  People usually think roads and bridges, and we need to take care of the ones we have, but  but building new ones was last century.  What about energy development or efficiency development?  What about running tons of fiber and network infrastructure in the ground--make new public highway system the dream of the old "information superhighway" and get it out to everyone?  

      These things would do wonders for the american economy.  Among other things, energy might free us up to make more, more diverse, and better FOOD, which could be a great US product, domestic and exported.  

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