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June 02, 2009


Gotta love productivity growth! The pesky downside is the change in employment that you identify. The lights-out factory may be a huge contributor to the economy, but labor can't be a fan. It'll be interesting to see the tightrope our current administration has to walk to reconcile pro-growth (i.e. pro-productivity) imperatives with labor-friendly policies. Or are green collar jobs the answer?


Just like when the farms shed jobs and those workers moved to the cities to work in factories and such, the trend is for factory workers to continue to move into service and office jobs. And, as always, small-medium sized businesses (SMBs) provide the job growth while big companies shrink their workforces. Policies that help SMBs are the answer...stuff like "green collar jobs" are a tiny sideshow.

From a feet on the streets view point, the shift to overseas manufacturing has been devastating and I have been in the thick of it since 1984, after Judge Greene ordered RBOC's not to manufacture CPE but to only "market it". I've been banking on import experience ever since, and this long time hollowing out is in fact very, very damaging to our own funding of social security, state and local payroll taxes, medicare, and other wage, and income related government income. If you look at the China industrial model of targeting specific industries for takeover and development, it's been far more effective than our own Pentagon in securing a safe and secure pot of gold for our citizens. I disagree with these 30,000 foot view points on the economy. The "feet on the street" were feeling "bad" about the economy 5 years ago, and the pundits on CNBC and President Bush were yelling at them to shut up and be happy. Perhaps these "canaries" in the economic "mine" should be followed more closely.
Many communities in China that I entered in 1984 have transformed from stone age, to gated, communities surrounded by expensive import automobiles while we stumble down a deep slide in most every City and most every State. Tell me again about US Manufacturing? Take a ride on any train, or visit any airport in China and then drive around NYC, or LA and tell me that we are kings of the road? Get real and get on the street.

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