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At the Economic Populist, Robert Oak writesIt's the Trade Deficit, Stupid! An excerpt:
Congress is focused on all the wrong things to get people back to work. We hear day after day the drone of budget deficits, yet not a word is mentioned on the trade deficit. This is the problem Congress should be obsessed with. Our massive trade deficit is stunting economic growth and costing America millions of jobs.
EPI has a new study which shows once again, reducing the trade deficit will create American jobs. The number one cause of our massive trade deficit is currency manipulation. The figures are astounding. EPI estimates 20 countries, developed and underdeveloped, made off with $700 billion more in trade by manipulating their currency in 2011. This cost the United States $400 billion in additional trade deficit for the same year. That's a hefty amount of cash.
The U.S. could stop currency manipulation with a just say no program and this doesn't even require Congress. An executive order could declare currency manipulators can not buy U.S. assets, period. This would stop currency manipulation in it's tracks. Manipulators need to buy U.S. assets, in particular U.S. Treasury bonds, to keep their currencies undervalued. [...]
The statistics are bleak. Manufacturing has lost almost a third of her jobs since 1998. From the same time period, the United States has lost one third of her global export market share. Germany has higher wages for workers than the United States, yet has maintained their global market export share and this is all due to their own domestic policies. China's global export market share has tripled, much of it on the back of the United States workers. Below is a graph of manufacturing employees in the United States since 1998. We might call it the great American job slide where manufacturing is relocated abroad.
According to EPI, if the U.S. stopped currency manipulation in 2011, nominal GDP would have increased whopping 1.4% to 3.1% in 2014. That's huge! Even better, America would have created between 2.2 million to 4.7 million new jobs by 2014. EPI estimates stopping currency manipulation in 2011 would have reduced the unemployment rate by 1.0% to 2.1% and created between 620,000 to 1.3 million new manufacturing jobs in just three years. That is just stopping currency manipulation, all other policies remain the same. [...]
Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, stated that the US would be better off not imposing trade barriers. In other news: water still wet. But there was something of a dry spot in Bernanke's talk, a little cloud of unease scudding across the blue sky of the billions corporations are raking in.
An economic mystery that worried the top money guy.
Income inequality has increased in the United States over the last three decades, Bernanke said. Income at the 90th percentile of wage earners ‚those close to the top—rose 34 percent between 1979 and 2006, while the wage at the 10th percentile rose a scant 4 percent in that period, he said.
The percentage of total income for the top 1% doubled over that period, going from 8% to 16%, and making it a larger portion of overall income than in any period this side of the Great Depression. This inequity is becoming so severe, that the folks in charge of the economy are now worried that it's making our economy inflexible and leading to instability.
Please make sure you have enough condoms for tomorrow. NYC doesn't have enough kindergarten spots as it is without your blizzard babies. — @Jewyorican via Twitter for iPhone
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, new issues polling round-up from Greg Dworkin, including new data on gun policy, with some surprising breakdowns along age lines. Next, Steven Andrew, aka DarkSyde, with amazing science news, plus the fascinating tale of his own recent heart attack and recovery! Then, a few words about Republican drama queen Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his penchant for national security hyperbole. Finally, GideonAB, with a wide-ranging discussion of grassroots support for progressive leaders, campaign finance reform and more.