Thursday, August 02, 2007

PCR, Return of the Robber Barons

Return of the Robber Barons

by Paul Craig Roberts

Over the last year (from June 2006 through June 2007), the U.S. economy created 1.6 million net private sector jobs. As Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services reports each month, essentially all of the new jobs are in low-paid domestic services that do not require a college education.

The category “leisure and hospitality” accounts for 30 percent of the new jobs, of which 387,000 are bartenders and waitresses, 38,000 are workers in motels and hotels, and 50,000 are employed in entertainment and recreation.

The category “education and health services” accounts for 35 percent of the gain in employment, of which 100,000 are in educational services and 456,000 are in health care and social assistance, principally ambulatory health care services and hospitals.

“Professional and technical services” accounts for 268,000 of the new jobs. “Finance and insurance” added 93,000 new jobs, of which about one quarter is in real estate and about one half is in insurance. “Transportation and warehousing” added 65,000 jobs, and wholesale and retail trade added 185,000.

Over the entire year, the U.S. economy created merely 51,000 jobs in architectural and engineering services, less than the 76,000 jobs created in management and technical consulting (essentially laid-off white collar professionals).

Except for a well-connected few graduates who find their way into Wall Street investment banks, top law firms and private medical practice, American universities today consist of detention centers to delay for four or five years the entry of American youth into unskilled domestic services.

Meanwhile, the rich are getting much richer and luxuriating in the most fantastic conspicuous consumption since the Gilded Age. Robert Frank has dubbed the new American world of the super-rich “Richistan.”

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