Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Losing our economic future and civil liberties, are we on the verge of enserfment?

Paul Craig Roberts would seem to be qualified to comment on the state of the American economy: he was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. What he has to say, however, is very sobering.

American Economy: R.I.P.
by Paul Craig Roberts

"The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes"
"In August jobs in goods-producing industries declined by 64,000. The US economy lost 4,000 jobs overall. The private sector created a mere 24,000 jobs, all of which could be attributed to the 24,100 new jobs for waitresses and bartenders, and the government sector lost 28,000 jobs."
"In the 21st century the US economy has ceased to create jobs in export industries and in industries that compete with imports. US job growth has been confined to domestic services"
"The lack of job growth in higher productivity, higher paid occupations associated with the American middle and upper middle classes will eventually kill the US consumer market."
"The unemployment rate held steady, but that is because 340,000 Americans unable to find jobs dropped out of the labor force in August. The US measures unemployment only among the active work force, which includes those seeking jobs. Those who are discouraged and have given up are not counted as unemployed."
"When US companies offshore their production for US markets ... foreign labor is substituted for US labor, resulting in a shriveling of career opportunities ... US Gross Domestic Product is turned into imports ... Simultaneously, imports rise by the amount of offshored production, and the supply of exportable manufactured goods declines by the same amount."
"The US now has a trade deficit with every part of the world"
"What is striking about US dependency on imports is that it is practically across the board. Americans are dependent on imports of foreign foods, feeds, and beverages in the amount of $8,975,000,000."
" Americans are 3.4 times more dependent on imports of manufactured consumer durable and nondurable goods than they are on OPEC. Americans no longer can produce their own clothes, shoes, or household appliances"
"Americans are consuming $800 billion more than they are producing"
"They pay for it by giving up ownership of existing assets ... America used to be a creditor nation. Now America is a debtor nation ... When foreigners acquire ownership of US assets, they also acquire ownership of the future income streams that the assets produce. More income shifts away from Americans."
"The ability of a population, severely impacted by the loss of good jobs to foreigners as a result of offshoring and H-1B work visas and by the bursting of the housing bubble, to continue to accumulate more personal debt is limited to say the least."
" The ability of the US dollar to retain its reserve currency status is eroding due to the continuous increases in US budget and trade deficits."
"Hubris prevents realization that Americans are losing their economic future along with their civil liberties and are on the verge of enserfment"

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