Every party has one – Aug. 12, 2005

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

It was reported this week that GNP grew last quarter at annual rate of 4 percent, which is pretty good. I also heard of a recent poll which showed Americans' confidence in the economy is growing.

I wish I could share the optimism. Perhaps it's my cynical nature, or the things I read n and I hate like heck to always be a party pooper n but I believe it's all smoke and mirrors.

I don't care what polls suggest and economic reports contend, the fact remains that we don't make anything in this country anymore, and everything we're spending is borrowed from the Chinese and Japanese.

Email newsletter signup

The monthly jobs reports that keep coming out are interesting. While typically we’re generating about 200,000 jobs, 98 percent of them are domestic service related (mostly real estate), just like a 3rd world country.

All manufacturing jobs and even research and development jobs, are being outsourced to India and China where they can be done much cheaper.

I think the biggest waste of time and money ever done by this nation is the current focus on science and mathematics education and the standardized testing tied to them. What's the point? There are no jobs in the US connected to those fields. We would probably be better off remaking our high schools to focus on sales courses (US industry is hardly more than brand names with sales forces anymore), and table-waiting. As for colleges, they will become useless unless they focus on foreign languages so our young people can leave to find what we used to call the good jobs, but now pay less because they are in third world countries.

Writing about the housing bubble and our economy's reliance on it in today's New York Times, Paul Krugman

writes, "Americans make a living selling each other houses, paid for with money borrowed from the Chinese. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like a sustainable lifestyle.

"How solid, then, is America’s economic recovery? The British have a phrase that applies: &uot;safe as houses.&uot; Our economy is as safe as houses. Unfortunately, given current prices and our dependence on foreign lenders, houses aren’t safe at all. "

Any other economic expansion is being driven by military spending, but again, this is being financed by Chinese money, so how solid is that? Not very, I'm afraid.

That is why I can't share in the optimism. I'm afraid we're heading down a troubling path. If we don't do something to retool our factories and protect and encourage industry here, there will be difficult times ahead and it's likely to be sooner rather than later.