It's amazing how the total lame ass media trumpets (as they're told to do) the expansion of the 'service sector' as being a positive economic development in the U.S. The reality is the overwhelming majority of 'service sector' jobs are the drudges of societal aspiration. Most 'service sector' jobs involve cleaning bathrooms, waiting tables, staffing the desk at Avis or other such menial, low wage, and almost always 'no benefits' type of work. That's what the U.S. is becoming; a banana republic where even the bananas are imported. The only thing that has kept consumer spending alive and well for the last 5 years, as the true backbone of our economy (high tech and high skilled manufacturing) was being gutted was rising property values and the extension of seemingly infinite consumer credit to anyone with a pulse. Now that the residential property boom has reversed course, look for the amount of defaults on mortgage debt and consumer debt to keep rising at an accelerating pace. Does anyone remember the Bush Administration's attempt to reclassify fast food workers as being employed in the "manufacturing" sector, as they argued that these people were 'assembling' goods? Manufacturing, especially of the technically advanced sort, has always been the backbone of the financial health of this country. America rose to superpower status when its factories employed workers churning out high-value products that were consumed domestically and globally. It's too bad that both right wing and left wing imbeciles that are now the stewards of the future refuse to do anything about the fact that what remains of these jobs will soon be gone for good. If you look at the base we still retain, it is at deathly ill auto companies or part suppliers, or in industries protected by government subsidies or contracts (Boeing, General Dynamics, etc). These jobs are safe for now because foreign countries buy planes from Boeing as a means of relieving the pressure of massive trade surpluses they are running with the U.S. (no single purchase does more to reduce these surpluses than buying expensive aircraft), and because we have a war in Iraq that is fueling a boom among domestic defense contractors. These won't be permanent fixtures of our economy - the war will ultimately wind down, and foreign nations will eventually procure more aircraft from other sources, especially when the U.S. loses leverage over them, and as new companies arise in Asia and elsewhere to take on Boeing The big money being raked in by those in finance and equity related jobs in areas like NYC and Boston will inevitably come under strain, as well, when the next protracted secular bear market arises (it's not a question of if but when). And the boom in commodity prices, especially oil and metals, that is propping up economies such as Houston, Tulsa and South Dakota won't last forever, as neither will the lame ass ethanol fueled corn craze that is propping up the farmbelt. When most Americans come to realize they've been fed horse shit for the last 5 years about the true health of the economy, when they can no longer count on residential real estate appreciation or endless pools of consumer credit, it will finally dawn on them how - even the most sheepish among them - how their political leadership sold them down the river. But it will be too late.