Economic Stagnation And The Global Bubble

You’d think with all the “stimulus” from Washington over the fifteen years since the dotcom bust, American capitalism would be booming. It’s not. On the measures which count when it comes to sustainable growth and real wealth creation, the trends are slipping backwards — not leaping higher.

After a look at new jobs data in April, we find the number of breadwinner jobs in the US economy is still two million below where it was when Bill Clinton still had his hands on matters in the Oval Office. Since then we have had two presidents boasting about how many millions of jobs they have created and three Fed chairmen taking bows for deftly guiding the US economy toward the nirvana of “full employment.”

When you look under the hood, it’s actually worse. These “breadwinner jobs” are important because they’re the only sector of the payroll employment report where jobs generate enough annual wage income — about $50k — to actually support a family without public assistance.

Moreover, within the 70 million breadwinner jobs category, the highest paying jobs which add the most to national productivity and growth — goods production — have slipped backward even more dramatically. There were actually 21 percent fewer payroll jobs in manufacturing, construction and mining/energy production reported in April than existed in early 2000.

p”Now let’s look at productivity growth. If you don’t have it, incomes and living standard gains become a matter of brute labor hours thrown against the economy. In theory, of course, all the business cycle boosting and fine-tuning from fiscal and monetary policy, especially since the September 2008 crisis, should be lifting the actual GDP closer to its “potential” path, and thereby generating a robust rate of measured productivity growth.

Not so. Despite massive policy stimulus since the late 2007 peak, nonfinancial business productivity has grown

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