Monday, April 28, 2014

Red Herring Renewed

The book by Picketty is all the rage, which has renewed the focus on inequality as being the source of all that is economically evil in our nation. And so the grand distraction is renewed, because inequality is the result of our economic problems, not the cause of anything economic. It is the cause only of social unrest and disorder.

This country established economic prosperity and its preeminent position in the world due to our ability to produce goods. We established a production capability that was unparalleled in the history of the world.

It was, above all else, our ability to produce that allowed us to win World War Two. We turned out more than 3,350 cargo ships, 35,000 bomber aircraft, 19 aircraft carriers, 150 fleet submarines and 100 other warships along with countless tons of munitions during the war, making these things faster than our enemies could destroy them and literally wore our enemies down and ran them out of resources.

After the war we produced and exported cars, trucks, ships, locomotives, railcars, machine tools, earthmovers, power generating equipment of all kinds, steel, copper, aluminum and a vast array of household and consumer goods. We were where the world came to get anything it needed or wanted.

Last year San Diego sought to buy new cars for its light rail system and it had to import them from Germany, because no company in the United States now manufactures railcars of any description. When the San Onofre power generation station needed to replace a large but essentially simple steam generator it had to go to a company in Japan because no company in the United States had the capability of building it.

The only thing this country produces any more is money.

And that, more than anything else, is the cause of our economic inequality because what generated wealth for the working class was production, and production has been shipped overseas. To some small degree it is being brought back, but not with a sufficiency great enough for it to restore wealth to the working class.

Liberals are gleefully crowing that Picketty has frightened to oligarchy, but he has not. They welcome the distraction. Anything that keeps the discussion away from an actual restoration of wealth to the working class is a welcome subject to them.

2 comments:

Bartender Cabbie said...

I will be leaving to the confines of Northern Oklahoma directly to "work" at our corporate office for a bit. There is a nice little bookstore in that little town and I may purchase the book in question to while away the evening hours.
When we exported our manufacturing jobs we created a "service" economy and now we sell each other hamburgers (often with imported beef) and financial "products."

bruce said...

I still can't quite get the idea of a financial "product".. maybe I'm old school. Yes, I know what they are purported to be, but still...

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