Washington’s Hegemonic Ambitions Are Not in Sync With Its Faltering Economy

Just in case you are still laboring under the impression that the US is recovering.

By Paul Craig Roberts

In November the largest chunk of new jobs came from retail and wholesale trade. Businesses gearing up for Christmas sales added 65,700 jobs or 45% of November’s 146,000 jobs gain. With December sales a disappointment, these jobs are likely to reverse when the January payroll jobs report comes out in February. Family Dollar Stores CEO Howard Levine told analysts that his company’s customers were unable to afford toys this holiday season and focused instead on basic needs such as food. Levine said that his customers “clearly don’t have as much for discretionary purchases as they once did.”

For December’s new jobs we return to the old standbys: health care and social assistance and waitresses and bartenders. These four classifications accounted for 93,000 of December’s new jobs, 60% of the 155,000 jobs.

Obviously, the economy is not going anywhere except down. It takes approximately 150,000 new jobs each month to stay even with population growth and new entrants into the work force. Few of the jobs that are being created pay well, and the constant, consistent demand for more poorly paid waitresses, bartenders and hospital orderlies is difficult to believe. If Americans cannot afford toys for their kid’s Christmas, how can they afford to eat and drink out?

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