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November 12, 2003

Conservative Doubts on Job Growth

Paul Craig Roberts was a Reagan-era economic official and one of the brain trust that promoted "supply side economics." He's been doubtful, however, on the effectiveness of Bush's tax cuts and his analysis of the recent "positive" job news is interesting:

Only a few of the 116,000 private sector jobs created in October provide good incomes: 6,000 new positions in legal services and accounting activities that reflect corporations gearing up to protect their top executives from Sarbanes-Oxley.

The remainder of the 116,000 new jobs consist of temps, retail trade, telephone marketing, and fund raising, administrative and waste services, and private education and health services...

Many of the new jobs do not pay enough to support a family. The temp and retail jobs are 40 percent of the total...

Some industry experts argue that the United States has lost so much of its core industrial capability that advanced manufacturing skills are disappearing in this country. The United States lacks mass production ability in critical areas of high-tech manufacturing.

Roberts blames immigrants and trade with low-wage countries for US problems, an analysis that I think misses some of the complexity of the global economy-- but there is little question that Bush's failure to engage in what jobs are being created is a major problem.

Posted by Nathan at November 12, 2003 04:47 PM