"single greatest percentage decline in the labor force"

Monday, February 16, 2004 | 06:23 AM

This guy's depressing as a hell:

"From its peak five years ago in 1998, manufacturing employment has plunged 2.1 million, or about 18.3%. This is the single greatest percentage decline in the labor force in almost seven decades since the Great Depression of the 1930s. What has been happening to American manufacturing can only be described with the word 'depression.'"

-Dr. Kurt Richebächer

I don't buy it. Or perhaps I don't want to believe it. Hell, I do not even want to think about it!

(A bio on Richebächer is here)

Monday, February 16, 2004 | 06:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Richebacher is simply a moron.

The reason manufacturing employment is falling is that manufacturing as % total employment has been falling for decades (in US, DE, JP, UK), just as mfrg itself has a declining share of gdp....and all of that is _good_ news for the same reason we don't mourn the loss of jobs to make buggy whips, or the loss of agricultural jobs (which were once over half the national total).

In short, mfrg is "old economy" (thank you Rummy), and its loss is a good deal (econ 101, comparative advantage in trade, recall?).

Abandoned mfrg facilities (the city of Pittsburgh, for that matter) is a nice photo op. The new jobs at Microsoft, in banking, etc etc are not visible from a passing auto. That is a reasonable excuse for a semi-literate like Ross Perot (whose "giant sucking sound" was really the wind blowing between his ears), but is little excuse for Richebacher, who pretends to be an economist (and once was employed as one, albeit by a German bank).

Posted by: clarence | Feb 14, 2004 7:02:05 AM

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