18 February, 2009

The Answer to a Very Good Question

Cujo359, the official Thinking Brain Dog of En Tequila Es Verdad, has an economic post up worth reading in its entirety. But I just want to focus on this bit here:
We were also the ones who allowed our manufacturing and services industries to be shipped overseas. Rather than fix the environmental problems with the semiconductor and steel industries, we let them be shipped elsewhere. The employment that created the highest-paying jobs for us working stiffs were shipped to countries that didn't bother to enforce employment laws, and took a dim view of labor unions. Now we know the answer to a question that's been on my mind for some time: How can an economy cast off its ability to make things, and instead live on ever-cleverer "financial instruments" and "intellectual property" to sustain itself?

The answer is now clear: It can't.
I remember asking myself this very question back in the '90s, when I was a crass, clueless college student. And I'd come up with the same answer. I was a little surprised when things took so long to tank.

So my new question is, if Thinking Brain Dogs and tequila-soaked economic amateurs could see this coming from over a decade back, why the fuck is it coming as such a surprise to our ruling class?

Oh. Right. Because they live in an alternate reality.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I appreciated this post. I am an ordinary, housewife. Well educated but nothing special. I have been asking myself and my husband for years, how can a country of any size get along on consumer spending and service industries? If we don't actually make something how can we sustain ourselves. I thought I was just economically ignorant. Turns out that common sense was all it took to see through this I guess.