Obstacles to US job creation
Thank you for the Sept. 5 cover story "Navigating the jobless economy." Your treatment of what is probably the most critical economic and political issue facing America today is informative and helpful.
More might have been said, however, concerning the globalization factor in our jobs dilemma.
The globalized, industrial, corporate world critically impedes resolution of the jobs dilemma for the United States. Bonus-rich corporate directors and dividend-cashing stockholders applaud the corporate world of minimum costs and maximum profits. According to fundamental economic principles, it is imperative to keep labor costs as low as possible.
But this situation permits the outsourcing of industrial production, and cheaper foreign wage earners then take the place of higher-cost domestic workers where possible. And our jobs crisis persists and grows.
Americans are dismayed to learn how few consumer goods sold in the US are actually manufactured in the US. There are few economic incentives for industries to refrain from outsourcing production to low-wage countries, or to go back to manufacturing in the higher-wage US.
Of the six reasons for our joblessness listed in the article, I believe "the China Syndrome" is the key. America's trade deficit with China stands at about $500 billion. The "services" portion of this figure that has been positive is largely made up of the high-priced finance and technology sectors, which do not involve many jobs in relation to dollar volume.
On the other hand, the low-cost consumer goods America imports represent lots of manufacturing jobs, as shown by the fact that the manufacturing portion of US gross domestic product has steadily decreased since the 1970s.
The article notes that two promising sectors for more jobs are leisure and hospitality – luring more foreign tourists. I remain firmly with the old-fashioned belief, however, that manufacturing the goods we need is the only basis of a sound economy.
To me, having a compass prominently displayed in the cover art illustrates why, in this fractious political environment, it will not be easy to find effective solutions for the enumerated reasons preventing American job growth..
To be effective, a compass must be shielded from magnetic interference. American politics has increasingly become an arena of powerful forces contending for control of the nation's direction. Just like magnets, those forces influence the effectiveness and accuracy of the compass.
Perhaps "protection from undue influence" should be our watchwords in the search for jobs.
David K. McClurkin