Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thirty years of what? What have we been producing? What have we been doing?

While I support the stimulus bill, the whole talk of 'stimulus' is absurd in the first place. The American economy needs something far more complex than stimulus -- it needs significant structural adjustments.

For example, was this really sustainable?

Re: American economy

Number of goods-producing jobs in 1975:


GDP: 1.638 trillion

Number of goods-producing jobs in January of 2009:


2008 GDP: 14.281 trillion

In sum:

2009 sees 1.729 million fewer goods-producing jobs than it had thirty four years later, even as GDP has grown almost nine times over, by almost 13 trillion. Where did that growth come from if not from producing goods?

From the production of money, that's where it came from. But the era of producing 'money' is over, and to a large extent so is the consumer age. So now America needs to figure out the kinds of 'goods' that it is going to produce in the period to come, and create jobs designed to produce those goods. Luckily, the era of money taught us that the nature of a 'good' is wide open. I am hoping President Obama's so-called stimulus will provide the basis of a transformation, putting significant money into education, health, and infrastructure. My vision is we begin to produce these 'goods' at a rate that can carry the economy into the future, doing so on a more sustainable basis.

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