Paul Craig Roberts: the American Economy is Destroying Itself
Have a great weekend!
The historian who chronicles America's decline will lay the blame on free market ideology.
In an interview with Manufacturing & Technology News (August 8), the study's project leader, Jack Spencer, sees protectionism as the only threat to American innovation, which he otherwise takes for granted:
"Our belief is that subjected to the free market, the United States is still going to produce most things because our comparative advantages are innovation and new technology. If liberated from protectionism, we can compete and that is where we will always emerge as winners."
This belief is simply untrue. As this belief is the basis for the study, the study has done nothing but confirm a preordained belief.
The US has no God-given comparative advantage in innovation and new technology. We were leaders in these fields, because we were leaders in manufacturing.
We were leaders in manufacturing, because Europe and Japan destroyed themselves in wars, and the rest of the world destroyed themselves in various forms of socialism and cronyism.
American university enrollments in science and engineering are declining because there are no jobs for graduates. It is pointless to invest money, sweat and toil in an education that has no payoff. Markets do work. Markets are working to shrink the demand for, and supply of, American engineers and scientists.
The next impact is going to be on project manager jobs, practically the sole remaining source of career related employment for many engineers and technical people. Project management jobs require people experienced with the technology of the job. The loss of technical and engineering jobs empties the pipeline of people who have the experience to assume management positions. Far from being able to innovate, the US will even lack the human resources to manage technical and scientific projects.
Many uninformed people believe the problem is that America doesn't produce enough scientists and engineers. Manufacturing & Technology News reports that "a group of 15 US business organizations has launched a national campaign aimed at doubling within 10 years the number of bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
What is the point of this when there is a huge supply of unemployed engineers and technical people who have been displaced by offshore outsourcing and by H-1b and L-1 work visas for foreigners?
In a word, American capitalism is destroying itself by dismantling the ladders of upward mobility that have made large income inequalities acceptable. By rewarding themselves for destroying American jobs and manufacturing, engineering and scientific capabilities, US executives are sowing a whirlwind. American political stability will not survive the turning of an American university degree into a worthless sheet of paper. Libertarians and free market ideologues who rejoice in freedom should open their eyes to freedom's destruction.
Have a great weekend!