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Manufacturing never to return: economists

abandoned factory detroit

– “The old days are never coming back, and the state will continue to lose jobs for years to come.” — Jack Lessenberry

We should be focusing on abstaining from unequal trade with places like China, as the World Trade Organization enables, which allows industries to relocate to countries with slave labor and decimates consumer spending at home. They keep saying that education is the answer and that the services sector will save us. The problem with that statement is that the service sector does not produce wealth, it redistributes only.

Jobs (not careers) in information technology — which are touted as “hot jobs” that people should flock into — are far more unstable and less permanent than than those in the retail sector. Many IT jobs are contractual and require very specialized skills that expire very quickly. Not only that but there is a perpetual shortage that has little to do with the title of the training and more to do with peoples’ lifestyles (especially Western culture’s tendency to anti-intellectualism). Many people are simply not willing to retrain every year or two but want a career or job that allows them to do the same for the rest of their lives. This is not the type of lifestyle that meets the job market today. The lack of qualified staff that I may be an indictment on Western culture and a whole way of thinking.

Hopefully the massive increase in education means that people are changing this state of mind rather than hoping to sit in classrooms for 3 to 4 years while they wait for the three or four letters they won (the degree) to get the job without learning or doing anything in between. As long as people continue to think they can spend their whole lives without learning new skills, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart will be the only winners.

Michigan’s ‘old days’ are never coming back
By Jack Lessenberry, Special to The Windsor StarDecember 1, 2009

Every November, University of Michigan economists hold a two-day seminar and issue predictions for the state’s economy over the next year.

They just unveiled their newest forecast. Possibly the best short way to sum it up would be something like this:

us china trade imbalance

However bad you thought things were, they are worse. Michigan’s automotive, manufacturing-based economy is over, at least as a mass employer of millions. The old days are never coming back, and the state will continue to lose jobs for years to come.

Headlines from the conference focus on the prediction that the state was in for two more years of job losses. But then journalists countered with what they saw as the “good news.”

Namely, that “the worst was over.” That may have led to some thinking that there was some hint of better times. Not exactly.

What they meant by “the worst is over” was that the economists predicted “only” 85,000 net jobs will be lost in 2010, and 36,000 more the year after that. This comes, however, after nearly 300,000 jobs were lost in the state this year. And if you think the U of M economists are way too negative, consider this: Their predictions have been too optimistic every year since 2001. This year, for example, the actual job losses were almost three times what the economists predicted a year ago.

You can read this story in entire format at WindsorStar

Robert Reich Confirms Permanent Destruction of Jobs in America
Patrick J. Buchanan
December 4, 2009

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes today:

“The basic assumption that jobs will eventually return when the economy recovers is probably wrong. Some jobs will come back, of course. But the reality that no one wants to talk about is a structural change in the economy that’s been going on for years but which the Great Recession has dramatically accelerated.

Under the pressure of this awful recession, many companies have found ways to cut their payrolls for good. They’ve discovered that new software and computer technologies have made workers in Asia and Latin America just about as productive as Americans, and that the Internet allows far more work to be efficiently outsourced abroad.

This means many Americans won’t be rehired unless they’re willing to settle for much lower wages and benefits. Today’s official unemployment numbers hide the extent to which Americans are already on this path. Among those with jobs, a large and growing number have had to accept lower pay as a condition for keeping them. Or they’ve lost higher-paying jobs and are now in a new ones that pays less.

You can read the full article at

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