Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Money Doesn’t Care About Your Job.

For the country to get healthy, it’s all about jobs. Manufacturing jobs, education jobs, software and hardware development jobs, alternative energy jobs, health care jobs, construction jobs. Good paying jobs. But above all, jobs here in the United States. We are in the most anemic of recoveries, and it’s a jobless recovery. Private industry is barely creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth, and it is not making a dent in our 9.1% unemployment rate.

The Republican narrative is that we aren’t creating enough jobs because there is too much regulation, too much taxation, and too much government spending. If only we eliminated corporate taxation, greatly reduced burdensome regulations, then this happy circumstance would cause the owners of production to hire and make stuff. I believe these folks haven’t heard of the bar code, Walmart, or the “just-in-time” production system.

I have been asking my friend who works in the financial industry why it is that the captains of industry and finance have not manned the ramparts of job creation. Why are they not clambering for job creation programs if this is what’s needed to make America productive again? Two possibilities come to mind. The first is that they believe like John Boehner and Eric Cantor that government is the problem and has nothing to offer in job-creation. I rather discount this possibility because the captains of industry did not reach their perch because they are Dodo birds. A second possibility is that they don’t care. They don’t care whether we create jobs in the U.S., they don’t care whether the U.S. middle class is successful or not, just as long as growth occurs somewhere.

I listened to a couple of private bankers this evening share their investment outlook for the near and not so near term. Their mission is to preserve and grow wealth. From a wealth preservation standpoint, their goals make obvious sense: low taxation, small government, low inflation. This naturally pre-disposes bankers to the Republican agenda. “You are international consumers; you have to be international investors,” they said. I know what they meant. Money will care about world recession because this means there is no safe haven where it can productively grow. However, it will not care if there is 20 percent unemployment and no prospects for middle class jobs in the U.S., as long as there is growth somewhere. Money can be moved at a moment’s notice to be put to work in China, Brazil, India, anywhere where there is growth. Money does not care where this growth occurs. And in the era of bar codes and just-in-time manufacturing, the owners of the means of production don’t care either. They are all bankers now.  Access to capital is what matters. Factories can be built at a moment’s notice anywhere in the world, for delivery to wherever there is demand, as it occurs.

The median age of Japanese and Germans is 45 years. The median age in the U.S. and China is 36. The median age in India is 26 years old. There are 1.4 billion people in China; there are 1.2 billion people in India. This should tell us something about where growth will come from in the next 100 years. Money will not care about 20 percent unemployment or wealth disparity in the United States. If there are consumers to be found in India and China, Money will not care that there is no demand in the U.S. It will not care where the jobs are created. It will care only about low inflation and low taxation. Money will care about small government. If the rest of us want good paying jobs and low unemployment in the United States moving forward, we have to learn to leave the small-government-low taxation-bankers-and-captains-of-industry-know-best narrative behind.

No comments:

Post a Comment