Comments on: The real future of U.S. manufacturing A clear-eyed view from Zachary Karabell Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:10:54 +0000 hourly 1 By: OneOfTheSheep Thu, 23 Jan 2014 03:58:57 +0000 @usagadfly,

The “We, the people” of the United States are, to be sure, no longer a cohesive consensus of common interests. The culture of “Protestant white male” domination gave way to “white males, which gave way to “whites”, and has now collapsed into a “free-for-all” at the crossroads of “values”.

The battle today is not one of purity or ethnicity but to determine the culture that will steer America and where. The America of today is still the America of a huge majority able and willing to work for their living and their future and their children’s future. But this is an endangered America that perhaps cannot endure mush longer.

Since just before WW II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid the foundations of what would transform America from a democratic republic into a bureaucracy. Since that time countless alphabet agencies have been created that are essentially immortal. Today these “agencies in concert” together control the ebb and flow of the vast majority of capital, the measure of which we call the “American” economy.

Such agencies, administered by and staffed by unelected and relatively unknown bureaucrats, have increasingly assumed, usurped or unilaterally created powers without meaningful limit. Such powers are then wielded without effective restraint and with an astonishing lack or individual accountability.

It should therefore come as no surprise that agencies of government believe themselves an anointed elite free to conduct themselves so as to favor their own growth and power over mere citizens. It is these interests I rail against when I oppose “big government”, whether federal, state or local.

The great majority are UNIONIZED so as to even to further advance their entitlement over “the rest of us”. Let us include all of the above in “special interest group A”.

An underclass of the uneducated and the unskilled as well as freed slaves over centuries have sustained increasingly disproportional birth rates. In the most recent seven decades the increasing porosity of our southern border has attracted unending hoards of the dregs from every society south that can walk to it to jump over and squat.

These people LOVE “big government” because such patronage is too often the only lucrative “local jobs” where they came from. Let’s call the preceding “special interest group B”.

They are a natural constituancy of “special interest group A”. becauses sloth, and mediocrity progress in pay and influence through seniority and patronage over those of greater productivity or skill. By and large these are the uncivil people Americans have to deal with at the Post Office or highway projects that obstruct travel of the productive for years on end where you see five people leaning on shovels or sitting while one actually works.

The only thing in their way to taking complete control of America right now, today, is that they don’t MAKE anything. Their contribution to GNP (gross national product) is a drip in the bucket. The “movers and shakers” of America remains private enterprise. Private enterprise is “where the money is”. For that very reason it cannot be ignored.

Private enterprise is “special interest group C”. This includes businesses of all forms and sizes, corporations (including multi-nationals), non-profits, partnerships of all kinds, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships. It is these entities, and the people that work for them, that are the engine of prosperity…the very life’s blood of commerce and capitalism.

The great majority of our politicians come from the legal profession and/or private enterprise, and so predictably “feather that nest” well before peddling their remaining influence to the highest bidder. These people cannot ignore the interests of private enterprise, the “ engine of prosperity”.

But with all that in flux and up for grabs, including the very real spectre of amnesty and open borders, there remains one absolute certainty. Once those voting but not producing can and do raise their benefits at the ballot box at will there will be a flight of “movers and shakers” the like of which is unprecedented, most likely to Alaska and such other “sovereign states” as will remain economically viable, and Canada.

THAT may well be the final significant exercise of American self-determination, making the “least-bad” of bad choices.

By: usagadfly Thu, 23 Jan 2014 00:48:38 +0000 I believe the entire notion of a “country’s” economy is obsolete. Countries are creations of Nationalism, which is based on a political entity reflecting the overwhelming ethnic / racial group inhabiting it. This no longer describes the territory called the U.S.A. The economy here has a greater resemblance to a conglomerate corporation than a “nation”.

Why should anyone here be concerned with the future of a collection of global economic entities who call themselves “American”? These organizations, including the one that calls itself a democratically elected government of the whole shebang, no longer have any commitment to any identifiable “People”. People who live in the USA are looked at in a very similar way to the way employees are looked at by employers. The organizations do not give a fig about the individuals here. We are all of us “replaceable”, in HR-speak. To the extent we are indeed a “nation” we are not self-governing, not are we free.

Worry about your money, not “your” country. It does not care about you, unless you are very rich indeed. The era of nationalism and self-determination is over.

By: RogerNas Tue, 21 Jan 2014 18:50:05 +0000 the govt is so oversozed it has caused our only 2 major problems with the US: the federal govt and the state govts are not doing its constitutional job.

the federal is not placing tariffs at the border on imports to balance the wage differnce between us and slave labor countries and instead is predatory against hard working americans inside the country to make up for its damage.

the state govts are taxing us too much as well.

both levels are regulating us out of business by the extreme costs.

good examples are minimum wages increases may destroy my business. the govt has already taken away 1 out of 8 jobs at my medical equipment manufacturing company. it has also taken 1/4 with the excessive costs of health insurance. the govt sets those rates.

we have the best and brightest in the us, but we are being strangled by our govt being too big. many well intentioned regulations and taxes. but the total amount is ten times what is reasonable.

By: OneOfTheSheep Mon, 20 Jan 2014 18:05:50 +0000 @tmc,

You are most kind.

There are many things unclear in my crystal ball. I am as the person putting together a puzzle, eagerly trying each piece from the box hoping it will fit. It might be more accurate to say that I cannot yet see many answers in untried theories.

Like that puzzle, as one progresses and more an more pieces fit, the easier it becomes to complete it because there fewer and fewer places and fewer and fewer possible “solutions”. It is obvious that any economic system dependent on increasing population for prosperity is at a dead end.

The steps necessary to meaningfully address stabilizing and reversing the number of humans on Earth are anathema to radical fundamentalist Christians AND radical fundamentalist muslims. If my generation’s “social training can be distilled down to the simple concept that a majority must in some manner produce and a minority live as oysters on such surplus as floats by I would agree.

I cannot envision a future in which the challenges and rewards of productive work are sufficient without direct monetary correlation that the necessary few would do all that is necessary (or desirable) for an unnecessary majority of human sponges. But just because I cannot “see” such a future does not necessarily mean it can not come to pass over time.

Like you, for the next 20 years I see misery in most nations and I expect to be dead (even if I live to be one hundred) before “good times”. Hope I’m wrong.

By: SaveRMiddle Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:12:27 +0000 I suspect some of us are having a difficult time accepting our quality of life is of no concern to the decision makers we have elected. The systematic flooding of over one million immigrants annually. The systematic destruction of living wage jobs. The path of this nation’s Global economic immersion on behalf of the Multinationals is unstoppable and with it comes the promise of more austerity from the middle down, the bottom up.

Live lean. It’s coming.

By: tmc Mon, 20 Jan 2014 13:19:01 +0000 @Spruce_gum, very well said sir. I agree completely and will definitely look into the negative Income schemes you mentioned. OUTPOST2012.Net is just beginning a conversation on the topic. We are looking at a handful of ideas, starting with Basic Income as the Swiss are actually voting on it. I would see it as one of those transitionary moves to a new economic system. In a way though, I do see the problem as generational. Our friend and respected commenter @OneOfTheSheep (affectionately known as OOTS) is a great example. He see all of the problems very clearly, and knows where things are leading, but cannot see new theories as answers. He continues to stick to his generations social training. He will resist anything that looks like government programs that provide a living but do not require a forty hour work week. @UScitezentoo is another example. Many others call for traditional 20th century solutions like tariffs and immigration control. I think it will take another generation before the United States and Europe are ready to truly look at new solutions. So for the next 20 years I see misery in those nations. The following 20-50 will be unsteady and transitional. Somewhere after 2050 or 2060, things should start looking good again.
Social changes take generations. Economics can’t change without social change.
Thanks again for your comment.

By: UScitizentoo Sat, 18 Jan 2014 19:26:16 +0000 Nothing will change for the Americn citizen until the certified Fascist Congress decides to put the American worker first. Most favored trading status for the Military Communist Chinese who suppress wages and manipulate their currency and dump product to kill US business has decimated manufacturing in the USA. Your children have NO FUTURE in America under the current corporate controlled corrupt = FASCIST American Congress.

By: Spruce_gum Sat, 18 Jan 2014 17:21:17 +0000 @OUTPOST2012.NET You may be interested in some experiments done with negative income schemes.

Effects of automation on the labour force have been studied and discussed for decades. As globalization takes root and higher education permeates the global population, many prior pontifications are materializing. Like it or not, frightened or not the basic needs and comforts of life are being provided by fewer labourers spread across a global work force. I agree with Karabell to the extent that Obama’s initiatives are not going to ‘fix’ the employment situation in the USA. However I do not see employment as a generational problem rather it is a systemic global problem. Globally, humankind requires structural changes to the distribution at least basic necessities and likely to the whole concepts of work, productivity and value as a human.

As restructuring continues over the coming decades there will be setbacks with reversions on archaic models such as isolationism, religious fanaticism and wealth by plunder. But the knowledge genie is out of the bottle with education and technology advancing globally.

Humans have now surpassed millennium old shackles of work to survive conditions. Hopefully the next several decades are the epoch advancing new beliefs for human value of work, productivity and participation in society.

By: pantathalos Sat, 18 Jan 2014 15:52:58 +0000 Mr. Karabell’s analysis is spot on. However the idea is not really new and has been going on since the industrial revolution after the invention of the power loom in the early 1800s (not that it shouldn’t be discussed). Interesting as well is the source of term ‘robot’ which was first used to denote fictional automata in Karel Čapek’s 1921 play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”. Since then there has been a slow and steady mechanized take over of labor and a disproportionate distribution of productivity gains away from the 90% Eventually there will probably be a necessity to enact laws that require dividends be paid to everyone as a share in robotic productivity in converting earths resources to food and products.

By: OUTPOST2012.NET Sat, 18 Jan 2014 10:28:33 +0000 @OOTS
We are not talking about Russia at the moment.
The sets of ideas for US; EU; East Europe; Middle East and so on – they should be all different.

Inequality in Russia is huge.
However, the main battle in Russia is between the oligarchy and state. It is a completely different subject.