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View Diary: GDP Up Again; Job Growth Will Continue to Strengthen (110 comments)

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  •  It would be nice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Brooke In Seattle, RenMin

    If the type of jobs were changing.  It seems like we are recovering to a pre-recession job market, which doesn't deal with us not making anything in this country.  Manufacturing is the back bone of a solid economy, and we don't seem any closer to addressing that.

    •  Actually manufacturing employment (12+ / 0-)

      has gained 45,000 jobs so far this year, which accounts for about 27% of all job gains for the year.

    •  Manufacturing (8+ / 0-)

      Manufacturing has actually come back much faster and stronger than other areas.  If services were coming back as strong, the recovery wouldn't be in doubt (due to their larger share of activity).

      Whether it's going to keep up, I've no idea.

      Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

      by Drew J Jones on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 05:59:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefully services won't grow quickly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, tr GW

        I don't mean to attack anyone's job, but service sector jobs have little economic backing to them.

        When a company builds a bulldozer, that bulldozer has value as an asset.  Someone somewhere will eventually need that bulldozer.  The problem with a service economy is it represents an exchange of money with an instant loss of value.

        •  I call shenanigans on this (6+ / 0-)

          service sector jobs are extremely important to an economy and have excellent economic backing.  We have to remember that mass consumption (ie gluttony) isn't an economic state we should strive for, but that is exactly what the reliance on an entirely goods based economy is.  Also, an economy can do just fine through the "trading" of value added services, as there is little real difference between say the manufacturing of a TV and say the offering of nursing services.  The reason we place so much emphasis on manufacturing jobs is that historically they paid more (ie had a higher multiplier effect) and they produced something tangible (which makes their economic contribution easier to understand).  But to say that we need them (in huge numbers) to drive our now information based economy is backwards thinking.

          •  I completely agree.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Drew J Jones, Dr Teeth

            ...and I fully admit that I'm biased as a worker in the information economy.

            While manufacturing durable goods is critically important, it is short-sighted to say that we should shift focus AWAY from white collar jobs that make us world leaders in new technology.

            It's great to manufacture TVs.

            But it sure would be helpful to INVENT the next big consumer good (e.g., iPhone) AND manufacture it here.

            The big IDEAS need to come from America too. Historically we didn't just manufacture TVs and Telephones, we also invented those devices.

            Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been...a nation of cowards. - Holder

            by malharden on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 06:17:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not focus away (0+ / 0-)

              Just reset the balance.  When we run a $400 billion dollar a year trade deficit, it means our economy is shrinking.  Making products that others buy is the foundation of any economy.  It could be agriculture or manufacturing, but we have to sell something to other countries.

          •  Ok, I won't convince you but... (0+ / 0-)

            Let's take the nurse example.  A person goes to a hospital, and they incur say a 20k bill.  Now if that person hadn't gotten sick, that money would be placed in their savings or distributed through the economy.

            When they spend that 20k on something that has some tangible value, they haven't really lost that money.  The bulldozer I mentioned actually earns the owner money after purchase.  Paying 20k in medical bills doesn't really leave the consumer any value he didn't have before getting sick.

            Services are necessary, but they tend to be a net loss to the purchaser.  One only needs to look at our $400 billion dollar a year trade deficit to realize the balance is all wrong.

            •  That money IS redistributed throughout the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dr Teeth

              economy. It goes to pay the hospital workers and to buy replacements for the goods that were used up in caring for the sick person. The hospital workers spend and the manufacturers continue to produce and sell goods. That is putting money back into the economy. Money spent in the service sector doesn't disappear into a black hole.

              You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

              by yellowdog on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 06:54:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here is the problem (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYFM, Brooke In Seattle

                I have worked in medical manufacturing.  It like most other areas of manufacturing is going overseas.  That money the hospital is spending on lab equipment or reagents is funneled to an American middleman.  This is very important.

                Someone starts a company in the US to make syringes (though it is more likely that it is an existing company like Johnson & Johnson).  They then perfect the manufacturing process here in the US (though engineering is being sent overseas as well now).  After that they get someone in Indonesia or China to make the syringes.

                Now the benefactor isn't Indonesia or China like many people believe.  If that syringe costs the hospital $10, the foreign manufacturer is only seeing 50 cents of it.  Instead that profit is going into the hands of the investor class.

                This is creating a funnel up effect in our economy.  In 20 years the working class in the US will be in parity with the working class of other nations, devaluing the US consumer.  This will also drive wages down across all sectors.

                The result will be an oppressed labor class all across the globe and a small percentage of wealthy multinational capitalists.

                We should be exporting the strong middle class that made our country what it is.  Instead we are exporting exploitation at the cost of our own middle class.

          •  Ugh. Then YOU take a service sector job. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM

            One at McDonald's, say.

            And then get back to us on how great they are.

            It's not just manufacturing jobs that are gone, and we've had this conversation before.

            It's all the knowledge worker jobs that have been off-shored for the last 20 years, after the bastards in DC told us all that those were the jobs of the future to train for.

            Then they sent them all to India.

            "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

            by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 08:53:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't manufacturing vs services. (8+ / 0-)

          Most rich countries are heavily reliant on services and low on manufacturing, yet they still see wage growth while we don't.  France is a good example here (being probably the most responsible country in the world).  France is just as much a services-based economy as the US, yet France enjoys much more evenly distributed income growth.

          There's public policy at work there.  It isn't about manufacturing vs services.  

          Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

          by Drew J Jones on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 06:17:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Technical Knowledge (0+ / 0-)

            France has a stable social policy, but no system is perfect.  Remember that heat wave a few years back.  People were dying left and right, because the French economy isn't designed to make rapid changes.

            In the US people would have been able to solve that problem quickly.  Generators could be built and air conditioners sold.  States would provide facilities.  One of the strengths of the US is the rapid pace our economy can adjust to new situations.

            Now in 20 years that might not be true.  Manufacturing and engineering are tied at the hip.  A society that lacks the technical knowledge that comes from designing solution and implementing them loses the ability to adapt.

            I admire France's social safety nets, and I advocate for many of the same here.  However, I don't want to see us become reliant on them at the cost of American innovation.  I firmly believe a skilled worker is the best asset to any society.

      •  It was reported yesterday that the growth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle

        in employment and manufacturing being reported was, for the most part, inventory replacement.

        Businesses began selling off their inventories and laying off workers a couple years ago when the labor force was losing jobs at a rate that eventually rose to over 700,000 per month.  Now that those inventories have been sold down,  businesses are hiring workers to build those inventories back up.

        So what happens when inventories are restored?  Another round of layoffs, unless demand increases to keep the inventories moving.  

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 07:49:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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