Lost Wars and a Lost Economy
Paul Craig Roberts
Clearing House" -- -- President Bush and his neocon nazis have simultaneously lost two
wars and America’s economic future.
Last Friday’s payroll jobs report was a continuation of Bush’s
dismal record. Only 59,000 net new private sector jobs were
created during September. That is about 90,000 less than would
be needed to stay even with population growth. Like all jobs
that the US economy has created in the 21st century, the
September jobs are in domestic services.
Waitresses and bar tenders accounted for a quarter of the new
jobs. The remainder were in health care and social assistance,
wholesale trade and transportation, financial activities, and
accounting and bookkeeping services.
US manufacturing lost another 19,000 jobs. Since Bush took
office, the US has lost 3 million manufacturing jobs.
Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services in Washington DC
notes that the growth of total hours worked over the current
“recovery” is less than half the average rate of all previous
recoveries and is the worst performance on record. Due to
offshoring, manufacturing hours worked have declined 6.6% since
the recovery began in November 2001.
It has been years since the US economy has created
high-productivity, high-paying jobs in export and
import-competitive sectors. The US manufacturing trade deficit
is now twice the size of the oil import bill. The years of
deficits have destroyed America’s creditor status in the balance
of payments. At the beginning of this month, the Wall Street
Journal reported that for the first time in 90 years, the US is
now paying noticeably more to foreign creditors than it receives
from its investments abroad.”
Jobs offshoring and work visas for foreigners are dismantling
the ladders of upward mobility that made America an opportunity
society for American citizens. In the 21st century, real income
growth has been limited to a few at the top, while median family
income stagnates or declines. As a result of the moronic
American system of tying CEO pay to quarterly results, fat cats
get richer by arbitraging labor and replacing American workers
The current recovery is based on the expansion of consumer and
public debt. The artificially low interest rates engineered by
the Federal Reserve fueled a real estate bubble that encouraged
Americans to refinance their homes and to spend the equity.
Another source of the “recovery” has been credit card debt which
has been turned into securities and sold to investors. Credit
card companies assume that the high interest rates that they
charge compensate for the high default rates and, therefore,
issue new cards to people already overwhelmed with credit card
debt. Much of this debt is tied to derivatives in ways that no
Many of the home refinancings used interest only adjustable rate
mortgages that are now pushing up monthly payments for
households. As these higher payments hit over-stressed budgets,
US employers plan to lay off more Americans in order to lower
costs by locating production abroad and by hiring more
foreigners on work visas.
Meanwhile corporate bankruptcies and other machinations are
depriving more Americans of pensions and health care coverage.
The growing number of Americans without health coverage will
turn to the hospital emergency rooms and join the illegal
immigrants in driving more hospitals and communities into
Meanwhile Bush and his neocon cabal have wasted $333,000,000,000
in out of pocket costs and several hundred billion dollars more
in future costs, such as veterans care, on an illegal and
immoral war in Iraq, a war that has destroyed America’s
reputation in the world and caused countries threatened by Bush
to pursue nuclear weapons.
All that President Bush, his government and the Republican Party
care about is war, because it enriches their friends and donors
in the military-industrial complex. Bush’s wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan have created 99.9% of all terrorists that have ever
A government whose military bombs homes, hospitals, schools,
wedding parties, civilian infrastructure, tortures and abuses
prisoners, and rapes and murders 14-year old girls is a
government that produces a lot of “terrorists.” These so-called
terrorists are enraged people who are out for revenge against
the barbarians who have invaded their countries, destroyed their
homes, and murdered and mistreated their relatives.
If Bush and his neocon nazis succeed with their plans to attack
Iran and North Korea, there will be even more “terrorists” for
Republicans to rant about. Bush’s drive for world hegemony is
the source of global instability and a new arms race.
Bush’s illegal and immoral wars are financed by foreign
borrowing. At some point pressure will come to bear on the
countries that are enabling America’s barbaric wars, and the
foreign lenders will be forced to cut off financing. This point
may be close at hand or distant, but it exists. When the dollar
goes, American real incomes will fall.
Meanwhile, Americans think they are the salt of the earth, and
neocons sing “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”
Paul Craig Roberts , was Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of
Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in
Washington ; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with
Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How
Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in
the Name of Justice
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