Watching the Economy Crumble

The US continues its descent into the Third World, but you would never know it from news reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July payroll jobs release. The media gives a bare bones jobs report that is misleading. The public heard that 207,000 jobs were created in July. If not a reassuring figure, at least it is not a disturbing one. On the surface things look to be pretty much OK. It is when you look into the composition of these jobs that the concern arises. Of the new jobs, 26,000 (about 13%) are tax-supported government jobs. That leaves 181,000 private sector jobs. Of these private sector jobs, 177,000, or 98%, are in the domestic service sector. Here is the breakdown of the major categories: 30,000 food servers and bartenders, 28,000 health care and social assistance, 12,000 real estate, 6,000 credit intermediation, 8,000 transit and ground passenger transportation, 50,000 retail trade and 8,000 wholesale trade. (There were 7,000 construction jobs, most of which were filled by Mexicans.) Not a single one of these jobs produces a tradable good or service that can be exported or serve as an import substitute to help reduce the massive and growing US trade deficit. The US economy is employing people to sell things, to move people around, and to serve them fast food and alcoholic beverages. The items may have an American brand name, but they are mainly made off shore. For example, 70% of Wal-Mart’s goods are made in China.