The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes, but economists, policymakers, and most of the public are blind to the tottering fabled land of opportunity....Thanks to kamelton.
The jobs data and the absence of growth in real income for most of the population are inconsistent with reports of US GDP and productivity growth. Economists take for granted that the work force is paid in keeping with its productivity. A rise in productivity thus translates into a rise in real incomes of workers. Yet, we have had years of reported strong productivity growth but stagnant or declining household incomes. And somehow the GDP is rising, but not the incomes of the work force.
Something is wrong here. Either the data indicating productivity and GDP growth are wrong or Karl Marx was right that capitalism works to concentrate income in the hands of the few capitalists. A case can be made for both explanations.
Recently an economist, Susan Houseman, discovered that the reliability of some US economics statistics has been impaired by offshoring. Houseman found that cost reductions achieved by US firms shifting production offshore are being miscounted as GDP growth in the US and that productivity gains achieved by US firms when they move design, research, and development offshore are showing up as increases in US productivity. Obviously, production and productivity that occur abroad are not part of the US domestic economy.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. So why is he saying this?