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Your Monday Morning Dose of Doom & Gloom

August 26th, 2013 - 5:04 am

Mark Steyn:

At the low end, about 40 percent of Americans now do minimal-skilled service jobs — the ones that, in the wake of Obamacare, are becoming neither full-time nor part-time but kinda-sorta two-thirds-time in order not to impose health-insurance obligations on the employer. In the middle, a similar number of Americans are diverted into those paper-shuffling jobs that do provide health benefits — say, in the “human resources” department of the bureaucracy; the kind of job in which you pass the time calling someone in Idaho to say you need them to fill in a W-9 before you can send them a 1099, or vice versa. And, at the top end, privileged Americans spend six-figure sums acquiring college degrees that admit them to an homogenized elite that tells itself Obamacare makes perfect sense for everyone except them. The U.S. economy can never recover until more of its real “human resources” are engaged in genuine wealth creation.[Emphasis added. For emphasis.]

I used to marvel at the productivity of the American worker. Not the HR papershuffler, not the lawyer, not the clerk, not the salesman, and certainly not the government worker. I mean the productivity of Americans engaged in the production of actual wealth — whether they make, grow, engineer, or mine it. Because everybody else, each and every one of us, relies on their powers of wealth creation in order to find our work as HR papershufflers, laywers, clerks, salesmen, and lawyers. Then on top of all of them are the children, the elderly, and the welfare recipients.

In my lifetime they have been a small sliver of our population pie — and shrinking. We keep making it more difficult or expensive or just goddamn plain illegal to do the things which create real wealth. And then we keep adding more layers of lawyers and papershufflers on top.

We haven’t so much reached a point where Atlas is shrugged, as we have reached the point where the camel can’t take even just one more piece of straw on its back.

So what did we do, when our economy was creaking and ready to crack? We saddled it with ObamaCare. And then we hit our finance industry with Dodd-Frank. That’s two really big straws.

The Fed has kept the printing presses rolling — the equivalent of giving the camel a couple Red Bulls as it sweats and groans under the strain. And President Obama has been breaking his own signature law left and right — the equivalent of temporarily removing a few straws.

But at some point we have to get this country back into the business of producing real wealth, or eventually — probably sooner than most people think — there won’t even be any papers to shuffle.

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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I feel like the vast majority of jobs are psuedo-job. Just weird, complicated way to move money around. Mine included.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And then we hit our finance industry with Dodd-Frank".
That would be the folks whose job is, essentially, to skillfully evaluate risk.
How'd that work out for Bears-Stearn? Lehman Bros.?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They will never wise up, because their values, their foundations, their postulates about how the world is, are wrong. Everything they know is wrong, so they have no foundation to learn differently."

Exactly right, Mr. Malone. And their "education" solidifies the descent into more stupidity. And THIS is what has to change. Otherwise, the collapse WILL come. I've no idea how soon or late...five years from now? Ten? But it will come
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, the Soviet Union creaked along with an economy that didn't work for nearly 70 years, so I'd expect our to shuffle along, doing worse every year, for quite some time.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The big boost to the Soviet working man was the elimination of huge numbers of other Soviet working men in the Great Patriotic War and the various purges. Those kept things going for a while. The whole thing only started creaking in the 70s and collapsed less than 20yrs later.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, this article points right at the sickness in our economy: our factory jobs have moved to foreign countries (not mentioning any names).

In fact, our factories have moved. That means there are few middle-class, well-paying jobs, no prosperity, and massive debt.

Our leaders and pundits think we can live by producing little, consuming much, and borrowing to cover the spread. Nonsense.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But at some point we have to get this country back into the business of producing real wealth, or eventually — probably sooner than most people think — there won’t even be any papers to shuffle."

Why? History tells us this is not so. It tells us that we will vote to put on the chains of slavery to the state in exchange for security and food.

All that bad stuff will happen to the other guy...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"the other guy"is our child,grandchild...Will they spit in our faces when they see what we've done to them?Or will they have to kill us for soylent green?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If they are too stupid to see it now, they will always be too stupid to see it. Remember, they do not know how it used to be. To them, cellphones have always existed, and everyone has always had one. To them, "free" stuff from the government has always been. Money just magically happens. Businesses have unlimited amounts of money, and so, they can afford to pay living wages for scut work. Ignorant masses. They will never wise up, because their values, their foundations, their postulates about how the world is, are wrong. Everything they know is wrong, so they have no foundation to learn differently.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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