Possibly The Best Article EVER Written On The US Economy. Spot On and Well Written!!

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Swan Noir, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. piezoe


    Thanks you for posting this. I found it to be a well written, balanced article that considers the manufacturing employment situation from both the viewpoint of the employer and the employee. A good case is made for the supposition that employment problems today are resulting from a bad match between workforce skills and job requirements and the impact of automation on low skilled workers. It emphasizes that evolution in the American workforce has been insufficient to match the evolution in manufacturing that has been driven by global pricing pressures. Perhaps the most important idea encompassed in this article is that the recession is not the only reason for high manufacturing unemployment, and may not even be the most important reason in that segment of the economy.
  2. Exactly my take. If/when the economy comes back a few solid strides very few of these jobs will reappear. This part of our economic problem is systemic not cyclical. And, of course, that limits the legs the come back has.

  3. This is why Detroit died.
    On the front page of today's Financial Times, it said China's population for the first time surpassed the 50% line for urban vs rural. In the US, the population has been instead exploding out from the cities.
    Until that reverses, this will continue. The only places on Earth that innovate rapidly and successfully and that produce jobs from those innovations that match people with the jobs available are cities, the larger the better (notice that this company partially bases its siting of factories on how reliable the electricity is. Obviously an economy dominated by rural populations is going to not be a place with a reliable supply of electricity. You could multiply this kind of thing endlessly). The anti-city bias of the US has to be overcome.
  4. the impact of automation on low skilled workers.

    Uhmnnn what's new here?

    We could say the same thing when a tractor replaced a plow horse. No jobs for plow horses.

    Are we mourning the loss of the hub cap hanger on the assembly line?

    In the grand scheme of things, the only business going on right now is the business of stopping people from doing anything.

    How's that pipeline working out, etc etc...
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  6. Jeebus, couldn't get through the first couple of paragraphs.

    Is it another one of those articles about the decline of the manufacturing sector in the U.S., the horrors of technology and globalization?

    Is Tom Friedman (let's take one person's experience and extrapolate it to explain the entirety of a 300M person economy) retiring and someone is angling for his job?

    Surely, the essay takes time to note the manufacturing "mini-boom" going on as companies find a decade of Chinese wage inflation no longer makes that country the low-cost producer. Toss in the drop in energy costs to run a factory in the U.S. thanks to the shale gas boom and things are even more competitive. The flow of manufacturing jobs to China has reversed.

    The article surely takes note of the reopening of shuttered plants in Western PA, Ohio, and other spots and the fact that these plants - even with 9% unemployment - are unable to find folks to fill $80K/year + benefits jobs.

    Let's toss in places like North Dakota that not only has more jobs to fill than people to fill them, it doesn't even have the housing, i.e. it needs workers for jobs and workers to build housing for those coming for jobs. Maybe not pleasant work and not a pleasant place to live, but the pay is great and unskilled labor has always migrated to where the jobs are in this country (as it does all over the world).
  7. this labor surplus is a real problem. Companies like Facebook that are winners in the new industries only need a relatively small amount of people compared to the old manufacturing industries. In the ghetto unemployment can be higher than 50%. What's to stop it from spreading as the suburbs decay?
    It's going to be a worldwide problem. Foxconn is going to replace its workers with robots.