Paul Craig Roberts
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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

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apres moi le deluge

Illustration of red light for jobs at intersection of Wall Street and Main Street.Paul Craig Roberts
Institute for Political Economy

I was listening while driving to rightwing talk radio.  It is BS just like NPR.  It was about the great Trump economy compared to the terrible Obama one.  The US hasn’t had a great economy since jobs offshoring began in the 1990s, and with robotics about to launch Americans are unlikely ever again to experience a good economy.

The latest jobs report released today claims 236,000 new private sector jobs.  Where are the jobs, if they in fact exist?  Manufacturing, that is making things, produced  a mere 4,000 jobs.  

The jobs are in domestic services. There are 54,800 jobs in “administrative and waste services.”  This category includes things such as employment services, temporary help services, and  building services such as janitor services.  “Health care and social assistance” accounts for 52,600 jobs. This category includes things such as ambulatory health care services and individual and family services.  And there are 25,000 new waiters and bartenders. Construction, mainly specialty trade contractors, added 33,000. There are a few other jobs scattered about. Warehousing and storage had 5,400 new jobs. Real estate rental and leasing hired 7,800.  Legal services laid off 700 people. Architectural and engineering services lost 1,700 jobs. There were 6,800 new managers.

The new jobs are not high value-added, high productivity jobs that provide middle class incomes.

In the 21st century the US economy has only served those who own stocks.  The liquidity that the Federal Reserve has pumped into the economy has driven up stock prices, and the Trump tax cut has left corporations with more money for stock buybacks and dividend payments. The institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reports that 60 Fortune 500 companies paid no taxes on $79 billion in income, instead receiving a rebate of $4.3 billion. https://itep.org/notadime/ 

The sign of a good economy is when companies are reinvesting their profits and borrowed money in new plant and equipment to meet rising demand.  Instead, US companies are spending more on buybacks and dividends than the total of their profits.  In other words, the companies are going into debt in order to drive up their share prices by purchasing their own shares.  The executives and shareholders are looting their own companies, leaving the companies less capitalized and deeper in debt. https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/work-harder-for-speculators/ 

Meanwhile, for the American people the Trump regime’s budget for 2020 delivers $845 billion in cuts to Medicare, $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and $84 billion in cuts to Social Security disability benefits. 

History is repeating itself:  Let them eat cake.  After me the deluge.

The French Revolution followed.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (Website: PaulCraigRoberts.org) was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and confirmed to the office by the U.S. Senate. He also served as consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States. He has held academic appointments at Virginia Tech, Tulane University, University of New Mexico, Stanford University where he was Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, George Mason University where he had a joint appointment as professor of economics and professor of business administration, and Georgetown University where he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is one of the most influential minds in the truth media today.

 

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