Where Do Real US Jobs Come From?


The pentagon goes rogue…

“Jobs engine sputters again in April,” reports the weekend Wall Street Journal.

What kind of humbug recovery is this? Bloomberg adds:

Estimates for the jobless rate, derived from a separate survey of households, ranged from 8.1 percent to 8.3 percent. Unemployment has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest such stretch since monthly records began in 1948.

Of course, it’s much worse than that. John Williams puts the real US unemployment rate – the people who want jobs and can’t find them – at 22%…the same as the unemployment rate in Spain. And just 3% points lower than in the Great Depression.

And what kind of humbug response is this? Reuters:

(Reuters) – The White House pledged on Wednesday to help lower- income youth find summer jobs in a move likely to appeal to younger voters crucial to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

The initiative is in partnership with the cities of Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco and is meant to add 110,000 jobs, internships and mentorships to the 180,000 summer work opportunities for 16-24 year olds that Obama has promised to create for 2012.

Under the new program, companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Johnson & Johnson, and UBS, as well as non-profits and federal agencies such as the Department of Education will offer paying jobs as well as mentorships and other training programs.

Every year from April to July, the size of the youth labor force swells as high school and college students nationwide look for summer jobs. But summer employment for young job seekers has hit record lows in recent years as more of them are unable to find work, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There’s no replacement for the dignity that comes with earning your first paycheck,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in a statement.

Yes, dear reader, now the feds are turning young people into zombies too…with make-believe jobs, many of them in zombie industries.

The report went on to tell us that the initiative does not require congressional approval. Which leads us to another question:

What kind of crackpot system do we have…where the president can create jobs…like the Fed creates money…out of thin air? Of course, we know the answer, the new jobs are just like the new money; they’re not real.

The program, phony as it is, will not be examined carefully by anyone. Instead, it will “feel good” to the voters. Obama is doing something. His heart is in the right place. Don’t think about it anymore.

His initiative is right out of Franklin Roosevelt’s playbook. Back in the ’30s, our own father participated in something called the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was a poor boy. His father was dead. He needed a way to support himself. So he joined the CCC.

“It was like the army,” he recalled years later. “It was like a junior version of the Army Corps of Engineers. And it was hard work. I helped dig irrigation ditches in New Mexico.”

Make work, perhaps. It may not have been a real job, but at least it was real work. A whole lot less phony than hanging out with mid- level bureaucrats in an air-conditioned office at the Department of Education.

And more views on jobs and education…

Did you see our rant about education yesterday? Education, along with health care, finance, and the military are the big zombie industries of the late, degenerate imperial period (as future historians will describe it). They drain resources out of the productive economy…and waste them.
To give you an idea of the scale of the waste, the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment gave tests to 15-year-olds in 65 different countries. The US spends far more than most countries on education, so you’d expect that it would come out on top, right? But nooo.

Instead, China-Shanghai came in first. China-Hong Kong second. Finland was third. In terms of educational “investment” per student, the US spends 15 times as much as China. Even at the state level, educational “investment” has little to do with educational return. Idaho spends only about $10,000 per student. Washington, DC spends nearly 4 times as much. Which has better test results? Idaho, of course.

So, what do the zombies say? We need to “invest” more in education!

*** We’re always trying to connect the dots. Unfortunately, the dots won’t stand still!


Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

From the Archives…

Markets and the Aurelius Vision
2012-05-04 – Greg Canavan

How the RBA’s Interest Rate Cuts Cause a Housing Bubble
2012-05-03 – Nick Hubble

How a Cashless Society Promotes Tyranny
2012-05-02 – Dan Denning

2012-05-01 – Dan Denning

Risky Investments in a Market Full of Conmen
2012-04-30 – Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

Latest posts by Bill Bonner (see all)


Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to letters@dailyreckoning.com.au