It takes a pillage

Reproduced in its entirety from Avedon Carol’s Sideshow, March 2005, because the times demand it:

After a while those questions at the back of your mind start bubbling up to the point where you start addressing them to others – usually just at the point where you think you might know the answer. The question I’ve had for the last several months has been this one:

Where are Bush and his corporate cronies planning to live once they finish asset-stripping the United States?

When I talk about how they are asset-stripping us, I’m not just talking about things like the bankruptcy bill and other more obvious policies that isolate the United States (such as alienating the UN and forcing Europe to take a containment position toward America), I’m also looking at the way they’ve been moving both military and industrial intelligence to other nations, chiefly China. Out-sourcing means more than just giving your job to some guy in China; it means that while the Chinese are learning to do your job, Americans are not.

This doesn’t appear to be a short-term project. As you may recall, two Bush administrations have been engaged in handing over our top-secret technology to the Chinese. When some of this started to come out during the Clinton administration, the right-wingers on the Internet made sure to blame this on Clinton and obscure the fact that it had happened in the ’80s rather than during the then-current administration. And some people still have their suspicions about the handling of the spy-plane incident early in the first GWB term that gave the Chinese access to our military technology.

Of course, I’ve been worried for a long time about the very idea that the United States can survive as a “service economy“. The minute I heard this theory floating around I thought something was up, because surely no one who understands how money works, and how economies have always worked, could believe it would be a good idea to convert your national economy to one which doesn’t actually produce anything. And yet, all over the so-called liberal media, I could see this idea actually being embraced! What the hell was going on?

Well, I guess it’s just the plan. They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore, they’re just trying to put in the finishing touches as fast as they can before we have a chance to stop them from running off with our family jewels.

And now I read Turning Chinese by Paul Craig Roberts:

The US has apparently lost the ability to create high productivity, high value-added jobs in tradable goods and services. The ladders of upward mobility are being dismantled by offshore production for home markets and outsourcing of knowledge jobs.The BLS reports that the number of employed US technical workers has fallen by 221,000 in six major computer and engineering job classifications during 2000-2004. The largest drops were suffered by computer programmers, followed by electrical and electronics engineers, computer scientists and systems analysts.

So much for the new economy that economists promised would take the place of the lost manufacturing economy.

America’s remaining job market is domestic nontradable services. While India and China develop first world job markets, the US labor market takes on the characteristics of a third world work force. Only jobs that cannot be outsourced are growing.

America is turning into one of those “exotic” places you go to for your vacation. That’s what “service economy” means. Just one great big giant tourist trap, full of desperate people hustling for tips.

How bad will things have to get before economists realize that outsourced jobs are not being replaced? Indeed, many American companies are ceasing to have any presence in the US except for a sales force.Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers, declared recently: “What we’re trying to do is outline an entire strategy of becoming a Chinese company.”

Tom Street at Bad Attitudes says:

Chambers is just being honest about what all the major corporations are doing. It’s not just the brawn. It’s the brains and the heart that are being outsourced. Doesn’t this just make the debate about social security akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic? Can’t say I wish I were in my 20s about now.

Paul Craig Roberts wondered when economists would notice this was going on, but can they really not know? Or aren’t they all just in on the joke?

The other question I really, really wish would be asked in every pundit interview is this:

What have they promised you for helping them destroy our country?

You can aim that question not just at the Republicans and their more obvious shills, but at most of the media and of course at the DLC. Maybe that’s the real letter-writing campaign we should be launching.Update: Charles Dodgson informs us that it’s even worse than I thought.

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