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  Sunday  October 15  2006    12: 16 PM

the american death spiral

Lost Wars and a Lost Economy
On Borrowed Time (and Money)
by Paul Craig Roberts

President Bush and his neocon flaks 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."