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NakedCapitalism.com: Claims the Job Market will Boom are Entirely Unsubstantiated


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NakedCapitalism.com: Claims the Job Market will Boom are Entirely Unsubstantiated
A decade ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the U.S. economy would create nearly 22 million net jobs in the 2000s. These government forecasts for 2010 were particularly off. When the job market peaked in 2008 on the eve of the financial crisis, the manufacturing sector had already shed 5 million workers since the decade began, with more layoffs to come in the Great Recession. The forecasters said that the economy would create 22 million jobs over the next 10 years. At the decade’s economic peak, though, that number stood at only 7 million. Job growth in the 2000s was the lowest of any decade ever recorded by the federal government, stretching back to the 1940s.
Exporting jobs overseas was sold to Americans as the path to cheaper goods and disinflationary trends in the US economy. Unfortunately, research has shown that the savings accrued to consumers from the cost of goods sold from overseas are negligible. Outsourcing jobs and companies overseas benefits corporate America, but the benefits have not passed through to Main Street.
A recent paper by researchers at the Asian Development Bank Institute concluded that the iPhone, one of the United States’ top innovations of the past decade, actually contributes nearly $2 billion to our trade deficit because it is almost entirely produced and assembled in Asia. The paper also raises a conundrum for lawmakers and business leaders alike: If Apple moved its assembly line to the United States and created domestic jobs but didn’t raise the cost of the iPhone, the company would still turn a 50 percent profit on every one it sold.
Obama’s new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness should be framing policy around the question: If not for the American worker, then who? American policies must take steps to stop the bleeding of jobs overseas, Obama’s new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness should be enacting policies and proposing legislation that repatriates US jobs and disincentivizes further outsourcing of US jobs. These policies would of course be hugely unpopular with Corporate America, but that is the crossroads where we now stand.
First we need to admit we have a problem with jobs-policy in this country. I don't think its party-specific per se either...
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