More evidence of fundamental economic change

I’ve been arguing for a while now that a good deal of our economic trouble may be structural rather than cyclical; i.e., what we’re experiencing may be driven as much or more by permanent changes in the economy than by temporary changes such as recession followed by recovery. (For example, new business formation is a much less significant driver of job creation, a trend visible for more than a decade. And median household income has been stagnant now for roughly a generation, going back to the mid-’70s.)

Economist Jared Bernstein, writing on his blog, offers another piece of evidence. Growth in productivity has long meant growth in jobs and pay, a relationship that made economic sense: The more efficiently a worker can produce widgets, the more valuable he becomes and the more widgets he and others will be hired to produce.

But is there a point at which that is no longer true? Perhaps in time, the world has more or less all the widget-producing capacity it needs. Perhaps widget productivity is increased by moving labor-intensive jobs off-shore, producing higher profits for investors and higher pay for CEOs who manage the process, but leaving fewer jobs for Americans. And perhaps technology simply lets a business accomplish a lot more with fewer people on the payroll.

Something’s clearly going on, because as the chart below from Bernstein suggests, productivity growth and job growth are no longer closely linked:

prod_jobs

Since the end of World War II, productivity, wages and employment had increased together. Beginning in the late to mid-1970s, wages decoupled, meaning productivity and employment kept rising but average wages did not. Workers stopped sharing in the financial benefits of their greater productivity.

And then, in the late 1990s, employment decoupled as well. Productivity still kept rising, but the number of jobs did not. Like wages, employment stagnated.

The sector most dramatically affected by that change is of course manufacturing. You hear a lot of complaints about U.S. manufacturing jobs disappearing overseas, and it’s a visible phenomenon. A factory closes in Georgia, putting hundreds out of work, and reopens in Mexico, China or Vietnam. Overall employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector is down 31 percent since the mid-’70s.

But here’s the rarely heard second half of that story: While the number of jobs in manufacturing has fallen by roughly a third, the U.S. manufacturing sector produces twice as much today as it did in 1975, even after adjusting for inflation. It is a healthy, highly profitable and highly productive enterprise. That’s not a fact mentioned often in the political debate, because it contradicts the favored narratives of both the left and right, but it’s true nonetheless.

manu

As I’ve noted earlier, in policy terms neither party has come to grips with the implications of such change. They continue to assume that the economy functions more or less as it did 30 or 40 years ago, and that the old debates about the old policies are still relevant.

In purely political terms, however, the GOP is well ahead of the Democrats. It has at least identified an alleged villain — government and taxes — to blame for the economic disappointment experienced by millions of Americans, and in political terms it doesn’t matter if the explanation is completely bogus: A bad explanation is easier to sell than no explanation.

For the past 30 years, driven by the GOP narrative, we’ve been cutting federal taxes particularly on the wealthy and on corporations. But as the charts above demonstrate, it has done nothing to alter the underlying trends, which suggests that the problem has been misdiagnosed.

At some point, you’d think we’d be ready to try a different approach, but that doesn’t seem likely. The Republicans insist that we need to do still more of what clearly hasn’t worked, and the Democrats still insist that … well, I’m not sure that they’re insisting on anything at all, which is part of the problem.

– Jay Bookman

648 comments Add your comment

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2011
9:13 am

“well, I’m not sure that they’re insisting on anything at all, which is part of the problem.”

AMEN to that!

Gale

June 6th, 2011
9:13 am

Excellent Monday post, Jay, and worth waiting for.

Granny Godzilla

June 6th, 2011
9:14 am

Still waiting for that trickle down……

Kamchak

June 6th, 2011
9:16 am

It has at least identified an alleged villain — government and taxes — to blame for the economic disappointment experienced by millions of Americans…

And unions — let us not forget unions.

Ignoring the fact that union membership has declined to it’s lowest point, like evah.

larry

June 6th, 2011
9:16 am

Ignoring the fact that union membership has declined to it’s lowest point, like evah.

And CEO pay has climbed to its highest point , like evah.

http://www.ajc.com/business/lucrative-paydays-for-corporate-967087.html

ByteMe

June 6th, 2011
9:22 am

Excellent piece. Of course, everyone will see what they want in it, because only the most recent thing matters most to them, but it’s a good thing to consider asking your favorite politician:

How is it that the average worker is making less and less for their efforts, but the typical CEO is making 30% raises each year? What is your plan to help the middle class not just get a job, but get raises at their job that at least keep pace with inflation?

(And tax cuts for people who are getting those 30% raises is not the right answer, since tax cuts do not keep pace with inflation.)

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2011
9:24 am

“since tax cuts do not keep pace with inflation”

and tax cuts would move the responsibility for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work OFF the businesses and ONTO the taxpayers.

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2011
9:25 am

For example, new business formation is a much less significant driver of job creation, a trend visible for more than a decade

Glad you brought this up. I happened upon this article by the former Intel chief Andy Grove, which reinforces much of this…

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_28/b4186048358596.htm

It may be nearly a year old, but the Intel chief correctly identifies Thomas Friedman as a wanker, which never gets old.

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

June 6th, 2011
9:25 am

At this point we don’t know what direction Obama will take. Government spending and regulation hasn’t worked, so what will Obama and the Democrats do? Continue to insist that they inherited this economic disaster and that their programs are working but it will take more time. Goolsby didn’t do a particularly good job trying to sell that nor did the president up in Ohio, where even union workers booed him. Will Obama focus on stimulating the private sector as Goolsby suggested but without much enthusiasm or details. It was a perfect storm that got Obama elected it could be another that will get him unelected in 012.

jm

June 6th, 2011
9:26 am

“productivity growth and job growth are no longer closely linked:”

Jay, a few mistakes here. Productivity and job growth are inversely correlated, and evident if you look closely at the graph. Productivity growth and income growth have been more correlated…. don’t know why you got off track from your initial suppositions.

BTW, Biden’s economics guy on CNBC this morning displayed all the appalling ignorance you would expect out of an Obama administration hack. Sorry, but true.

Kamchak

June 6th, 2011
9:26 am

Careful there larry, or you will be accused of WEALTH ENVY!

josef nix

June 6th, 2011
9:27 am

Oooohhh…graphs!

We shipped a lot of manufacturing off shore. We didn’t look at the fall out. We didn’t train and develop new pursuits for the workers. We now have a surplus population. It goes with the first stages of the fall of an empire. How long we can keep that surplus population tranquil with bread and circuses remains to be seen. I would suggest that we leave the present day “economists” to their crystal balls and sheep’s entrails and dust off our copies of Gibbon…

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2011
9:28 am

I’m not sure that they’re insisting on anything at all

why Jay, how silly. Sensible/smart Democrats have insisted that gettin’ spendin’ under control is super-important to do right now, and only unserious DFHs like Krugthulu, who do NOT REPRESENT REALMERKIN DEMS so ignore them!, think otherwise.

They insist we abandon our principles. They’re getting very good at that.

Yahtzee

June 6th, 2011
9:29 am

“For the past 30 years, driven by the GOP narrative, we’ve been cutting federal taxes particularly on the wealthy and on corporations. But as the charts above demonstrate, it has done nothing to alter the underlying trends, which suggests that the problem has been misdiagnosed.”

Yes there have been 3 GOP Presidents in the last 30 years, but only 11 years of GOP controlled congress (1995-2006)..so I’m not sure how the Dems got left out of the discussion.

I do agree and have said before that our economy really isn’t affected by market forces, but by policy and legislation. Also, we have become more efficient in terms of manufacturing and production. This current recession has really made stream lining a business model that we should have had in place well before the market crash of 2008. A by product of an efficient production method means less labor is required.

Jay

June 6th, 2011
9:30 am

“I do agree and have said before that our economy really isn’t affected by market forces, but by policy and legislation. ”

And I very much DISagree. I think the economic impact of policy and legislation is grossly exaggerated, and that the changes documented above have been driven mostly by market forces that dwarf government actions in impact.

Bosch

June 6th, 2011
9:31 am

Great piece Jay, what I’ve said for years — our wages are stagnant — hence the whole problem. It’s obvious that we are not being taxed to death, we pay less taxes now than at any point in modern times. It’s that no one has any money to buy stuff with — and in our consumer driven economy, that is very significant. Our economy has grown by people using credit cards to offset the fact that they can not live within their means and it’s come home to roost. I’ve wrote this several times, if we actually did live within our means our economy would have collapsed ten years ago.

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2011
9:33 am

“..so I’m not sure how the Dems got left out of the discussion. ”

Believe it or not, they DIDN’T. Just because they weren’t specifically named does not mean Jay absolved them of their responsibility. He said (emphasis mine) “** driven** by the GOP narrative” – which doesn’t mean it’s the GOP that did it all, just that it’s was the GOP take on things that is the driving force. And he is correct.

USinUK

June 6th, 2011
9:34 am

all I can say is that the half-wits who still cry out for gummint cuts need to look at the stagnating economy we’re experiencing on this side of the pond.

it ain’t no solution.

Jay

June 6th, 2011
9:36 am

Job retraining is a nice thought, jm. But there’s little evidence that it works.

And the pay differential between the US and Asian economies is so huge as to swamp minor concerns such as corporate taxes. You actually think they’re setting up factories in China because of taxes?

jm

June 6th, 2011
9:37 am

Jay, your comments about the manufacturing industry were factually correct though. Lower employment but higher production in the manufacturing sector.

Jay, let me finish this for you:

“we’ve been cutting federal taxes particularly on the wealthy and on corporations. But as the charts above demonstrate, it has done nothing to alter the underlying trends,” … because other countries have been lowering their taxes faster (and they have lower labor costs, but that is rapidly changing).

RE: “you’d think we’d be ready to try a different approach”

Well, yes, lower taxes won’t fully solve the problem (though lower Corp taxes sure as heck would help a lot). Job retraining is a necessity. And the appalling condition of our education system is the biggest key. As Greenspan pointed out this week, the fact that very intelligent women can make more in the private sector has drawn our best and brightest people out of the education industry (thankfully due to opening of the broader job market to women). This negative side effect of worker equality is going to have to be offset by allocating more education resources to teacher pay (on a pay for performance basis), and less to fancy buildings, athletics facilities, and useless technology.

Kamchak

June 6th, 2011
9:37 am

As Greenspan pointed out this week…

Aaaannnnnndddd I quit reading.

Bosch

June 6th, 2011
9:39 am

Heard a guy say this morning (and I haven’t been able to verify these accounts) that after WWII our debt was 126% of our GDP, now it is 90% — and the way we got out of that mess was the spend — building infrastructure: roads, schools, etc. It created jobs here and it provided wages for the most amount of people, the middle class — they had an income to spend.

Like I wrote, I haven’t verified that, but common sense tells me that’s somewhat believeable rather than tax cuts will create jobs and get down the debt.

Normal

June 6th, 2011
9:40 am

Howdy USinUK,
From down below. Looking after Mom today…I’ll be in and out. :)

USinUK

June 6th, 2011
9:41 am

“(though lower Corp taxes sure as heck would help a lot)”

okay. I’ll bite.

WHY.

Why would they be the holy grail of help?

you do realize that most major industries are currently seeing record profits, don’t you? and what are they doing? ploughing them into FOREIGN investment – I fail to see that reducing their tax burden (and further increasing their margins) will change that pattern.

Mick

June 6th, 2011
9:41 am

Yes, let’s not overlook the giant sukking sound as a result of nafta and our other trade policys that don’t help the american worker, rather they feed into predatory capitalism. We are a country severely out of balance where the rich are richer and the middle poorer, it is unsustainable…

USinUK

June 6th, 2011
9:42 am

Normal – I hope everything is okay with your mom – give her our best (and tell her we think her son is the BEST)

jm

June 6th, 2011
9:42 am

Jay 9:36 – yes. There’s a reason there’s over $1 Trillion in US corporate profits sitting offshore and not ready to come home. We’re the only (major) country in the world (and one of only a few in total) that tax profits earned by companies abroad. That’s a disincentive to reinvest foreign profits domestically.

Not to mention we have the highest tax rate in the world (ex Japan, temporarily). Do you think that doesn’t impact corporate decision making? Seriously? You think it was just arbitrary decision making that the Koch’s hold all their investments in an LLC instead of a C-corp?

If you don’t think taxes drive decision making, you’re seriously deceiving yourself.

Yes, labor costs play a (big) role. But taxes are HUUUUUGE.

RE: Job retraining, I think there have to be tax incentives for companies engaging in significant job retraining. I agree, public sector driven job retraining is often useless. As I said, our primary education system is broken and must be fixed by getting smart people back into the education business.

Bosch

June 6th, 2011
9:42 am

Hi Normal! The Bosches send positive energy forces for your mom.

mike thompson

June 6th, 2011
9:43 am

Trickle down works, It’s when the rich man (big business owner) urinates down your back and tells you it’s raining.

jt

June 6th, 2011
9:43 am

It’s the 70’s malais all over again…………….except this time we don’t have the cool cars, we have 4 dollar gas,SWAT teams will take your dog’s life for a bag of weed, and we have TWO wars and a kinetic military engagement(…..or whatever the progs are calling it.), and an entrenched Bankster class(inflation on food…NOT on savings accounts).
.
The only way out is to send Obama’s teleprompter back to teaching lawyers at Haaaavad, send Obama back to his community,fire 500 congresscritters, and make D.C. as irrelevant as possible.
.
Ron Paul 2012.

Joe Mama

June 6th, 2011
9:44 am

Kamchak — “Aaaannnnnndddd I quit reading.”

Co-sign.

jm

June 6th, 2011
9:44 am

jt 9:43 :) I agree with most of that.

stranger in a strange land

June 6th, 2011
9:45 am

The law of diminishing marginal returns would say that at some point production of more widgets at low (or no) cost, makes no sense if everyone has enough widgets. Employment would then be nil in the widget manufacturing sector. Agree it is doubtful that politicians of any ilk have come to grips with this. In the meantime, you vilify unions, GOP, corporate big wigs, etc or I will – and you can take the other side. In any case – let the blame games begin!!

Adam

June 6th, 2011
9:45 am

In purely political terms, however, the GOP is well ahead of the Democrats. It has at least identified an alleged villain — government and taxes

How much you wanna bet the wingnuts stopped there, quoted you, plastered it on many blog sites, and din’t continue to read? Seriously Jay, that’s a quote that Fox News could EASILY cut and turn into propaganda!

The problem likely has to do with technology that can do the manufacturing work FOR us, and that means less jobs. Even if the remaining jobs are really just people who fix the machines that do the work. Another part of the problem seen more easily more recently, is that managers tend to hire less people but expect them to do more. This, of course, ignorwes human elements such as fatigue and sickness. Those are things machines don’t suffer from as much, if at all, depending on how they were built and so on.

Of course the biggest problem is that we are still treating currency like it means something. We need to either go back to goods trading, or find a way to make our resources less limited and provide a socialist environment where things are distributed according to need rather than according to how much currency one can acquire and trade back for goods and services. It’s a wacky idea, I know, and it’ll never happen here as long as people yell SOCIALIST like it’s a racial slur.

Things really would be better if we could give according to need though. And you’d have to stop thinking about it in terms of money. I mean, what is the REAL cost of helping Joplin, for example? Just blood, sweat, and tears. That’s what it comes down to: how much we are willing to band together and work for a common cause, and who has the skills in that group necessary to acheive the goal. Money could be completely removed fromt he equation and it would all be about effort rather than money.

Yahtzee

June 6th, 2011
9:45 am

“I think the economic impact of policy and legislation is grossly exaggerated”

Really? So you’re saying that Obamacare and the Frank-Dodd bill have had no impact on our economy?

When the GOP took control of Congress in 1995 didn’t we experience years of surplusses due to policy driven initiatives like welfare reform and balanced budget act?

larry

June 6th, 2011
9:46 am

Trickle down works, It’s when the rich man (big business owner) urinates down your back and tells you it’s raining.

And you get that nice , warm , fuzzy feeling. Until…………….they tell you that you are not getting a raise.

josef nix

June 6th, 2011
9:46 am

JAY

Okay, there’s no evidence that job retraining works (i.e. a graph or chart), but what do you suggest. Back in the middle of the last century we had a very similar problem when farm mechanization displaced as much as 1/3 of the populations of some states. There was a place then to ship that surplus population…the industrial belt of the North, fueling that expansion. We don’t have a place to ship that surplus population in today’s environment and it is a national and not a regional problem.

So, what do you suggest we do?

Mick

June 6th, 2011
9:48 am

**The Obama administration has made the business climate too unfriendly for the private sector.**

You see this again and again, it is total b.s. Any good capitalist would sell his mothers britches if he could make a profit, regardless who is the president. Repeat the lie over and over again and some will accept it as fact…

larry

June 6th, 2011
9:49 am

You could reduce the corp. tax rate to 0 and it still wouldnt make a difference if there is no demand for their products.

If there is no demand, they would not be filing their corp. taxes at all because they would be out of business.

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

June 6th, 2011
9:50 am

“you do realize that most major industries are currently seeing record profits, don’t you? and what are they doing? ploughing them into FOREIGN investment – I fail to see that reducing their tax burden (and further increasing their margins) will change that pattern.”

If U.S. based business see’s foreign investment as more profitable than domestic investment they’ll go where the best returns can be realized. If corporate tax rates are reduced and regulation is reduced to a better level or at least commensurate with foreign markets, investment will return to this country. The Obama administration has made the business climate too unfriendly for the private sector. Hopefully, there have been lessons learned but we’ll see.

Jay

June 6th, 2011
9:51 am

Sorry, jm, you make no sense.

“Jay 9:36 – yes. There’s a reason there’s over $1 Trillion in US corporate profits sitting offshore and not ready to come home. We’re the only (major) country in the world (and one of only a few in total) that tax profits earned by companies abroad. That’s a disincentive to reinvest foreign profits domestically.

OK, say we let that capital “come home.” Then what?

Is our current problem a lack of available capital? No, quite the opposite. We are swimming in capital. So repatriating the money in question would merely add to the current excess of capital. It would do nothing to address our problems. Nothing. It would give us more of what we already have too much of.

And we’ve been on this track for a long time with nothing to show for it. Back in the ’50s, corporate income taxes accounted for 25 to 30 percent of federal revenue. In the ’60s it fell to 20 percent. In the ’70s it fell to around 15 percent. It’s now less than 10 percent, and some now want to eliminate it entirely.

And why? Again, lack of investment capital is not the issue. Lack of investments worthy of that capital is the issue.

The Business Week piece recommended earlier by SFD from Andy Grove, founder of Intel, is very telling. His conclusion?

“Our fundamental economic beliefs, which we have elevated from a conviction based on observation to an unquestioned truism, is that the free market is the best of all economic systems—the freer the better. Our generation has seen the decisive victory of free-market principles over planned economies. So we stick with this belief, largely oblivious to emerging evidence that while free markets beat planned economies, there may be room for a modification that is even better.

Such evidence stares at us from the performance of several Asian countries in the past few decades. These countries seem to understand that job creation must be the No. 1 objective of state economic policy. The government plays a strategic role in setting the priorities and arraying the forces and organization necessary to achieve this goal. The rapid development of the Asian economies provides numerous illustrations. In a thorough study of the industrial development of East Asia, Robert Wade of the London School of Economics found that these economies turned in precedent-shattering economic performances over the ’70s and ’80s in large part because of the effective involvement of the government in targeting the growth of manufacturing industries.

Consider the “Golden Projects,” a series of digital initiatives driven by the Chinese government in the late 1980s and 1990s. Beijing was convinced of the importance of electronic networks—used for transactions, communications, and coordination—in enabling job creation, particularly in the less developed parts of the country. Consequently, the Golden Projects enjoyed priority funding. In time they contributed to the rapid development of China’s information infrastructure and the country’s economic growth. “

Meanwhile, US conservatives go into fainting spells if government dares to save hundreds of thousands of well-paying auto-industry jobs at relatively little cost to taxpayers (certainly a lower cost than seeing all those workers on the unemployment line).

jm

June 6th, 2011
9:52 am

Smaller government = better government. Because:

Really small government won’t be doing the following:
(for you pot smokers) arresting people for using a comparatively harmless drug.
It won’t be harassing businesses trying to make a profit
It won’t be standing in the way of entrepreneurs
It won’t be hobbling our banking system
It won’t be an enabler to oversized big corporate banks
It will mean you have more of your own money to spend or save as you see fit

This list could be a 100 pages long, but I’m short on time.

Period. The end.

josef nix

June 6th, 2011
9:52 am

NORMAL

Thoughts and prayers with you and your Mom. Listen to her stories, so you can pass them on…

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2011
9:53 am

The Obama administration has made the business climate too unfriendly for the private sector.

Our Captains of Industry, they have very tender feefees, you see, and Obama hurted them.

Poor Boy from Alabama

June 6th, 2011
9:53 am

JB,

You’re missing the key piece of the story – it’s often easier and more profitable for companies to operate offshore. Moreover, many overseas markets are more attractive, in terms of growth and profitability, than those in the US. The key challenge for US policymakers is to create an environment where companies find it more attractive to operate in the US than someplace else.

Let’s take two of your key points:

1. Manufacturing output in the US has continued to grow. True, but your chart shows 2% annualized output growth. That’s kind of anemic growth isn’t going to attract new capital when there are much better opportunities elsewhere.

2. Taxes are now lower for corporations and individuals. The key question is, “Compared to what?” It’s hard to make a credible argument that the US is a low tax country relative to the competition. Use this link to see a comparison that the Tax Foundation did a couple of years ago:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/23561.html

Take a look at “The Betrayal of American Prosperity” by Clyde Prestowitz or recent writings by Nobel Prize winning economist Mike Spence. That will give you a better understanding of the challenges facing our economy today.

ROBERT

June 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Bingo- look at the brain on Brad.

New rule- if you didn’t start a company- i.e. Charlie Loudermilk with Aarons or the esteemed Cox sisters- then your comp is limited to $1 million. Far left, far right, or in the middle, there is no 5th generation CEO worth more than that- same goes for utility infielders and middle relievers.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
9:55 am

Bosch: I’ve wrote this several times, if we actually did live within our means our economy would have collapsed ten years ago.

I’d wager 20-25 years ago.

Southern Comfort

June 6th, 2011
9:55 am

Jay

Had people long ago understood that there was no such thing as a “jobless recovery”, people would have known this information long ago. We could have addressed it and had corrective actions in place during Bush’s years in office.

Bosch @ 9:31

HERO!!!!!

It’s the 70’s malais all over again…………….except this time we don’t have the cool cars, we have 4 dollar gas,SWAT teams will take your dog’s life for a bag of weed,

Dang it!!! Am I having deja vu, or have I heard that before…………….

Thank You Scout
June 5th, 2011
12:18 pm

Accolades to a political Hitman——–

When they bombed Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, El Salvador and Nicaragua I said nothing because I wasn’t a communist.

When they bombed China, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, and the Congo I said nothing because I didn’t know about it.

When they bombed Lebanon and Grenada I said nothing because I didn’t care.

When they bombed Panama I said nothing because I wasn’t a drug dealer.

When they bombed Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen I said nothing because I wasn’t a terrorist.

When they bombed Yugoslavia and Libya for “humanitarian” reasons I said nothing because it sounded so honorable.

Then they bombed my house with concussion grenades and shot both of my small dogs and wife.There was no one left to speak out for me. But it didn’t really matter. I was dead after a hail of 72 bullets from 12 amped-up SWAT members and pychotic ATF Federal agents.
.They did find a small baggy of weed though.

Sock puppetry lives!!!!!!! :)

Heywood Jublome

June 6th, 2011
9:56 am

US policy should deemphasize from low-paying widgets goods and support high-paying wedgie services.

poison pen

June 6th, 2011
9:57 am

NAFTA, is partly to blame as is technology. When a company can go offshore for cheap labor and almost no taxes compared to high taxes and a higher paying work force, guess which one they will choose.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
9:58 am

jm: Well, yes, lower taxes won’t fully solve the problem (though lower Corp taxes sure as heck would help a lot).

I would say “well fine then, let’s try it and see,” only you’d be proven wrong, it’d take 10 years to find out, economists would mostly agree on that except for a few wingnuts, and you’d still refuse to see that you were wrong on the issue, then demand even further tax cuts. And the cycle would continue.

It’s not Taxed Enough Already, it’s Taxed Too Little, Too Late.

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2011
9:58 am

by the way, if you can stomach it, here’s where the profits actually are earned.

http://www.esa.doc.gov/Blog/2011/05/26/economic-indicator-q1-gdp-and-rise-corporate-profits

Soothsayer

June 6th, 2011
9:58 am

pat

June 6th, 2011
9:58 am

Bottom line the stimulus failed. It’s not a business model paradigm shift that’s the problem, it’s a circulation problem. Kenesian models have always failed. The failed when FDR did them they fail now. This is because the basic premise is flawed. You can not jump start an economy by incurring more debt. We now have more debt and nothing to show for it.
You cannot blame business for trying to be more efficient. If you can get by with less, you should.
Face it, Keynes failed always has and we are right back to where we started.
Using an 80 year old model that has never worked is just plain stupid. Now it’s time to stop being stupid and support true real growth, doesn’t really matter what side of the polical fance your on….Economy should be politically neutral…

Call it like it is

June 6th, 2011
9:59 am

Okay, Jay is kind of going around the block to go across the street on this one. We have become a more automated society, “see car manufacturers” to which the machines produce more and they need less human interaction. This is nothing new and you can see it affect all aspects of our life, Cars, Farming, Clothing… Pretty sure they were talking about this in the 70’s. No new information here.

Really not sure what you want the right or left to do about this.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
10:00 am

Bosch: Like I wrote, I haven’t verified that, but common sense tells me that’s somewhat believeable rather than tax cuts will create jobs and get down the debt.

And the problem, of course, is that we could have spent more on the stimulus and done more things with it AND left the tax cuts out of it and things would be better now. Instead the stimulus was whittled down to whatever a supermajority could pass. It’s a bit like sticking your finger in the hole in the levee, versus patching it up with the proper materials, that naturally cost more money and effort.

carlosjvv

June 6th, 2011
10:00 am

It may very well be that our current political, business and economic state is the new normal. If so, don’t bother trashing the Democrats or Republicans as neither party will be able to do much to change things.

buck@gon

June 6th, 2011
10:01 am

It is said that there are in order of increasing diabolical influence: lies, damn lies and statistics.

We must add a new category to the end of this sequence: cherry-picked facts with little or no relation whatever. “what we’re experiencing may be driven as much or more by permanent changes in the economy than by temporary changes such as recession followed by recovery.” Fine musing there; hard to prove it false, but an argument it is not. “may be driven…?” Uh huh. “recession followed by recovery”….?!!! Anyone read the economic figures for the past few weeks. We might append to our initial assertion “…with little or no relation whatever, where the author also ignores the most damning of current facts to his case.” Anyone still thinking that we are in a genuine private sector recovery must be smoking something.

The only neighborhoods with growing incomes and property values are in and around Washington DC, thank you very much–that bastion of private sector growth—NOT!

“(For example, new business formation is a much less significant driver of job creation, a trend visible for more than a decade.” The tech bubble did burst after all, ten years ago. Surely one categorical driver of new jobs was stymied then. But what about other industries? Where and what will they be?

It is a given that manufacturing must be highly profitable, Jay. If it wasn’t profitable here, then it would move to China, as many more manufacturing jobs will move in the next ten years, if the Chinese have anything to say about it, AND if more Obamacare waivers are not granted to manufacturing unions and the companies they continually harass.

This whole article is a transparent interference-run for the ONE before whom every liberal knee must bend.

Sorry Jay, HE owns the economy now. It sucks, and more Americans are becoming aware of it every day. Sure there are some structural changes. If you look at the whole of American history though, our country has passed through every structural change so far with flying colors–mostly through private efforts and with only hindrances from the political rulers in Washington, DC.

But now with capital being global and with worldwide transportation only a phonecall away, and with Chinese, Indian and other asian workers themselves becoming more productive, and with American public education in a constant state of increasing failure to our children, there is ever less incentive for American investors and builders to pay for the bloated government that they see in Washington every day. They can do what they want and become more profitable increasingly by shipping their enterprises, if not their ownership overseas. There is even less incentive for foreign investors to start businesses here. Why go to the trouble of paying for prescription drugs for seniors and medicare for old millionaires?

I know Jay, that with your busy schedule, you can be excused for not answering your critics. But your critics also know how feckless your reply would be, were you to give it a shot. More questions you can not answer.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
10:02 am

jt: The only way out is to send Obama’s teleprompter

Disqualified from rational discussion. Again, the teleprompter meme only works for people who already hate the man. It won’t sway independents. Get a better argument.

Jay

June 6th, 2011
10:02 am

Really? So you’re saying that Obamacare and the Frank-Dodd bill have had no impact on our economy?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Obamacare hasn’t even gone into effect yet, and if the Frank-Dodd bill has had any negative repercussions in the finance industry, you sure couldn’t tell from the profits they’re making and the billion-dollar bonuses they’re paying.

When the GOP took control of Congress in 1995 didn’t we experience years of surplusses due to policy driven initiatives like welfare reform and balanced budget act?

Welfare reform was a bipartisan effort that, while useful for other reasons, had almost nothing to do with balancing the budget because the amount of money spent on welfare is minuscule in relative terms. There was no balanced budget act, and the fact that the budget did get balanced had a lot to do with the Clinton tax hikes of 1993. Republicans at the time predicted that those tax hikes would cause a huge economic disaster, but instead they were followed by years of very high growth.

Because again, the impact of tax and regulation is relatively minor compared to more fundamental, market-driven changes.

jm

June 6th, 2011
10:03 am

Jay 9:51 – Andy Grove has basically advocated for an end to free trade. I don’t entirely disagree that China’s currency manipulation justifies 30% tariffs on their goods. Just realize it would be starting a trade war with global ramifications (probably significantly negative, but the balancing has to happen).

As far as Andy’s comments on government investments. On the rare occasions when it is obvious (and you’re trying to come from behind), yes, I think government can play a productive role. When you’re trying to charge ahead from the lead (as hard as that is to believe currently), the role government can play in allocating resources effectively becomes much more challenging.

Ie, you cannot compare China in the 70’s / 80’s to the US today.

poison pen

June 6th, 2011
10:07 am

Meanwhile, US conservatives go into fainting spells if government dares to save hundreds of thousands of well-paying auto-industry jobs at relatively little cost to taxpayers (certainly a lower cost than seeing all those workers on the unemployment line).

Jay, some conservatives feel that way as did some Libs. Being a retired Engineer from GM I didn’t, the problem that I had with the whole bailout was very little, if any, restrictions on the CEO’s and their pay & bonuses 1 year later, after we the taxpayer bailed them out.
Obama made one good move and forced Rick Wagoner to step down, he didn’t go far enough with the rest of them, after all it was their fault not the citizens of the US.

jt

June 6th, 2011
10:07 am

jm -

Good post @ 9:52.
.
This weekend’s “Stossell” cited the following statistics.In 1950, 1 in 20 occupations required a liscense.Today…………………1 in 3.
600,000 dollars to buy a taxi “medallion” in NYC.
Close to 10,000 dollars to get a cosmotologist liscense in Utah.
Roofer liscense in Florida?……………..don’t even try…And now the state of Florida will be conducting urinalysis on welfare receipients.
As per the law………..a person needs a liscense to unclog a drain or build a deck here in Georgia.
.
The list goes on.
.
And some people claim that government is not the problem………………..Amazing.
.
Whatever you progs do………………………..For the sake of decency ………….don’t listen to the Paul Krugman’s of the world.
His answer……..(it is Keynesian)…………………….start another war.
.
Death and Destruction never helped anything recover.

Yahtzee

June 6th, 2011
10:08 am

Jay,

See JT’s post @10:07….policy and legislation initatives that contract economic growth, do market forces exist? yes, but when the government is choosing winner and losers, makes up the rules, and defines markets…government dictates the economy, not market forces

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

June 6th, 2011
10:09 am

I don’t think attempting to sell the public on a theory that what we’re seeing is a permanent change in the economy that’s been building over several years and it’s now the new normal will work. Any re-election strategy based on that attempted sell will be D.O.A.

Left wing management

June 6th, 2011
10:09 am

Jay: “As I’ve noted earlier, in policy terms neither party has come to grips with the implications of such change. They continue to assume that the economy functions more or less as it did 30 or 40 years ago, and that the old debates about the old policies are still relevant.

Which is the reason you’re seeing in country after country a precipitous collapse in social democratic parties with their outdated “third way” approaches. The Canadian and Spanish elections were just the latest examples.

But I disagree with you here:

In purely political terms, however, the GOP is well ahead of the Democrats. It has at least identified an alleged villain — government and taxes — to blame for the economic disappointment experienced by millions of Americans, and in political terms it doesn’t matter if the explanation is completely bogus: A bad explanation is easier to sell than no explanation.

This – incorrectly – assumes that the Republican narrative actually constitutes an “explanation” in the sense of an honest attempt to articulate what’s going on. It doesn’t. Instead, their “explanation” or narrative simply represents – particularly since the financial crisis – simply represents the naked power of corporate capitalism in all of its brutal truth.

Mick

June 6th, 2011
10:09 am

**But now with capital being global and with worldwide transportation only a phonecall away, and with Chinese, Indian and other asian workers themselves becoming more productive, and with American public education in a constant state of increasing failure to our children, there is ever less incentive for American investors and builders to pay for the bloated government that they see in Washington every day. They can do what they want and become more profitable increasingly by shipping their enterprises, if not their ownership overseas. There is even less incentive for foreign investors to start businesses here. Why go to the trouble of paying for prescription drugs for seniors and medicare for old millionaires?**

Nice summary – great specifics about how these people at the top want it all but don’t give a damn about the people in this country – invisible traitors who worship money above all else…yet, they live here and expect every perk of gov’t…

jm

June 6th, 2011
10:10 am

Jay 9:51 – as far as capital coming back from abroad.

A. go ask a small business guy, capital is tight
B. Yes, among the big boys, they’re awash in capital and additional capital will not add huge growth at the margins, though it will help

If you look at the most advanced and prosperous economies, after your country gets rich, your labor costs are too high. So, those countries that have gobs of capital and high labor costs have generally switched to the banking sector that has huge labor economies of scale.

The US has headed down that path. The US’s future is likely to be more financial services intensive, and if we were smart, we’d become the “banker to the world”, though that can never happen to the same extent in a country with 300 million people when compared to some smaller countries.

The US’s only hope is in businesses that have very high labor productivity, and for those well educated. Idiots (as always) will be left behind (has been happening since people moved from the farm to the cities), and people who get a good education and go into finance, technology, engineering, and manufacturing etc will do very well.

Sarah P.

June 6th, 2011
10:11 am

He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.

jm

June 6th, 2011
10:11 am

“Obamacare hasn’t even gone into effect yet, and if the Frank-Dodd bill has had any negative repercussions in the finance industry”

Jay, surely this is a joke. Do you think business does not anticipate and make decisions based on legislation that will be implemented in the future? Seriously?

josef nix

June 6th, 2011
10:12 am

When Choctaw Enterprises was readying to ship jobs offshore, their plan included FIRST having higher paying jobs with the training needed IN PLACE before the action was taken…it’s called foresight and its sorely lacking…this chicken little song and dance is, well, just that accompanied by a lot of fiddling while Rome burns…

“All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.”
–Edward Gibbon

jt

June 6th, 2011
10:12 am

SoCo-

I don’t understand your reference.
.
Anyway………………………..as per Adam,
I have been disqualified.
.
Progs have no sense of humor.
.
Ya’ll carry on………….hacking at the branches…and kidding yourselves.
.
Americans grow weary of the Washington’s centralized Warfare/Welfare/Police state.
So does the world.
.
With or without Ron Paul………..good decent people everywhere……… will hack the root.

md

June 6th, 2011
10:12 am

Looks like the chart coincides with Nixon’s trip to China………waking up the other sleeping giant and changing the global landscape forever.

Of course wages will go down…..they now have a market force driving them in that direction. Dorothy isn’t in Kansas anymore…..she is now in the big city and must play within the big city rules. Wages will more than likely continue to fall as the US worker prices themselves out of a job.

The world is awakening to what we have had for many years and now they will do whatever it takes to achieve our lifestyle…….while we continue to sit back and wait for our due…….as a spoiled nation.

@@

June 6th, 2011
10:12 am

CATO had a good piece on this back in 2009. Since jay’s team sees CATO as a right-wing rag, I won’t bother to link.

Whenever I see the word, “widget”, I always envision one of these….sealing up the cracks.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
10:13 am

Republicans at the time predicted that those tax hikes would cause a huge economic disaster, but instead they were followed by years of very high growth.

Much like Republicans are predicting the same thing now, and predicted that tax cuts would cause awesome job creation and so forth. When can we get back to being REASONABLE and realizing that such policies didn’t actually work? When is it ok to go “ok, that was a bad idea?”

Tell you what, I’ll admit the stimulus didn’t work and stop saying it didn’t go far enough if you guys admit that the tax cuts didn’t work and stop saying that we need to keep cutting them. You can have back the unspent stimulus funds if I can have my Clinton tax rates.

(ir)Rational

June 6th, 2011
10:13 am

jt – To expand on what you’re saying, not only do they require you to have these licenses, but recently they’ve changed the education requirements for many professions that have pushed some long time workers out of the profession. My father-in-law was a real estate appraiser, had been for 20 years or so, and suddenly there is a requirement that he have a college degree to continue doing his job. So now he is doing other things. In my profession, the year I started college, they changed the education requirements from having to have a degree to having to have a “professional” degree. Which means I will have to get a master’s probably just to get licensed in the state of Georgia. I’m not complaining about that, and actually agree that architects and engineers should be licensed, but I think it should be a matter of experience and the test, not necessarily the professional degree that is required. But hey, that is just me.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
10:14 am

jm: Jay, surely this is a joke. Do you think business does not anticipate and make decisions based on legislation that will be implemented in the future? Seriously?

I thought businesses weren’t doing jack because of all the “uncertainty?” What happened to that?

ROBERT

June 6th, 2011
10:15 am

Haywood Jablome- no- that is what girlfriends are for.

What is up with the piling on of charges. IMF dude sounds bad and he is a socialist- but can you really commit rape without sexually abusing and non invited touching? Like the tax code- could we simplifiy things a bit.

As to the offshore “fear”- inflation in India/Asia will take care of that. You can only keep those poor folks away from the media and desires of a second spring roll a day for so long.

(ir)Rational

June 6th, 2011
10:15 am

buck@gon – Now now, let’s not try and confuse Jay and the others here with the facts, they aren’t able to understand them (this early?).

Kamchak

June 6th, 2011
10:16 am

Sorry Jay, HE owns the economy now.

Yeah, because in 1981, a then 20 year old Barack Obama singlehandedly encouraged the U.S. economy into this Econ101 expiration dated, supply-side, trickle-on, phlogiston alchemy that we currently enjoy are witnessing the death throes.

Adam

June 6th, 2011
10:16 am

josef nix: this chicken little song and dance is, well, just that accompanied by a lot of fiddling while Rome burns…

I’m depressed enough to be part of the band playing “Nearer, My God, To Thee” while the Titanic sinks. Which would be appropriate and ironic since the architects of our economy over the past 10 years clearly thought it was unsinkable.

Southern Comfort

June 6th, 2011
10:17 am

The only neighborhoods with growing incomes and property values are in and around Washington DC, thank you very much–that bastion of private sector growth—NOT!

I see we have a faithful NewsMax reader in our midst today…

A recent Newsweek survey found that seven of the 10 richest counties in America, including the top three, are in the Washington area with its large number of federal government workers. According to the Washington Post, only three counties in the United States had a household income of more than $100,000 in 2010; all three are Washington suburbs.

Work-a-day Americans appear to have had enough. In a recent U.S. News and World Report poll, more than 31 percent of respondents demanded a cut to generous federal worker pay and benefits.

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/federal-workers-make-more/2011/06/04/id/398838

However, the truth is a bit more detailed that that, which was revealed by Forbes. I would gather that Forbes would be a far more credible source of financial information.

In fact, four of the top ten richest counties in the nation are concentrated in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, and a fifth, Howard County, Md., is equidistant between Washington and Baltimore.

In recent decades northern Virginia has become an economic dynamo, driven by a private sector that feasts on government contracting. These counties are also home to corporate lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who work in or around the nation’s capital, soaking up federal government spending. And government-related hiring manages to keep the unemployment rate in places like Falls Church City down to 5.7%

http://www.forbes.com/2011/04/11/americas-richest-counties-business-washington.html

It seems that the DC area REALLY IS a bastion of PRIVATE SECTOR businesses. Nobody wants to talk about that part of the private sector that sucks on the government teat to survive though. It blows the myth of the all-mighty, all-knowing private sector out of the water.

:roll:

(ir)Rational

June 6th, 2011
10:17 am

Now, all kidding aside, I’ll have to say this is one of the best posts I’ve read of Jay’s. I have to take issue with the comment’s section that has begun putting my comments way up the list from when I actually posted them. Often times putting them above the posts I’m responding to in them.

jm

June 6th, 2011
10:17 am

Adam 10:14 – turn the brain cells on buddy.

“Anticipate” does not mean no uncertainty. I can anticipate that the US government is headed toward running into a brick wall. The exact timing and severity of the collision is not knowable. But if the US was smart, it would act to avoid the brick wall.

AmVet

June 6th, 2011
10:18 am

The fiscally non-conservative Republicans cannot be trusted any more.

Not in matters where the lives of our servicemen and women are at stake.

Nor on matters where the health of our planet and responsible use of our natural resources are concerned.

And absolutely not on matters regarding economics.

The War on the Middle Class rages on, and the most bizarre part?

The middle class neo-cons fully support it…

buck@gon

June 6th, 2011
10:18 am

Jay,

Maybe it’s true that Obamacare has had no effect on the economy. Let’s look at the seemingly ludicrous claim you just made, why don’t we? How about we call McDonalds and ask them why they were one of the first large companies to apply for and be granted a waiver from Obamacare? If it had no effect then the government need not grant the waiver for years, right?

Is McDonalds a part of the economy? Of the 40,000 or so jobs created in May, weren’t half of them McDonalds jobs? What would happen if Mickey-D’s was forced into Obamacare now?

Your willful denial of the truth is staggering! Obamacare’s benies won’t start until 2014, but its creeping taxes and takeover of revenue grabbing begin sooner, don’t they? Isn’t Medicare Part C in jeopardy because of Obamacare? How about charitable hospitals? Weren’t they hit with an excise tax? How about drug companies? Blue Cross/ Blue Shield?

Let’s call Mickey-D’s Jay. Let’s find out who’s right? I’ll pay the long-distance.

Meanwhile, read media other than what the Obama regime orders you to read.

Soothsayer

June 6th, 2011
10:20 am

“He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

More “word salad.”

jm

June 6th, 2011
10:21 am

AmVet 10:18 – college educated unemployment rate: 4.5%

Neocons are smart to support lower taxes. The only people dumb around here are the people who are advocating a larger state, which 200+ years of economic growth have suggested is the wrong way to go.

ROBERT

June 6th, 2011
10:21 am

Southern Comfort- please don’t ruin the far left’s party with facts. Let’s stick to half stories for their reading pleasure.

Kam- Obama is like that kid in the little league world series- not only was he not born in the US he is also 84. I have proof and it is coming out in paperback soon. I am taking advance orders- send the money to Jay.

Southern Comfort

June 6th, 2011
10:21 am

If you look at the most advanced and prosperous economies, after your country gets rich, your labor costs are too high. So, those countries that have gobs of capital and high labor costs have generally switched to the banking sector that has huge labor economies of scale.

If you look at the fall of past great societies, it began to fall apart when they began to rely on other societies to provide them with the things that they normally would have provided themselves.

josef nix

June 6th, 2011
10:22 am

ADAM

Thanks for completing the metaphor/analogy/allusion…I thought I recognized the tune… :-)

jm

June 6th, 2011
10:23 am

BTW, you libs who hate Greenspan so much, also love it when, he, The Great Ignorant Idiot, also advocates letting the Bush income tax cuts expire.

When will you guys gain any measure of consistency…..

buck@gon

June 6th, 2011
10:23 am

Thanks SoCo!

I’ve long suspected that the growth in private sector employment was not really in manufacturing or productive industries as Jay and Barack Obama would have us believe, but in influence peddling, coercion, sycophancy and the crony-capitalist closely held Washington-centric “private” business that leeches off the public trough just in the way the Congress helps many bureaucracies to do.

Thanks for strengthening my understanding.

USMC

June 6th, 2011
10:25 am

“For the past 30 years, driven by the GOP narrative, we’ve been cutting federal taxes particularly on the wealthy and on corporations. But as the charts above demonstrate, it has done nothing to alter the underlying trends, which suggests that the problem has been misdiagnosed.”–JAY BOOKMAN

YOU CLEARLY LEFT OUT THE ISSUE OF SPENDING. Predictable :-)
(You also left out overbearing “Government Regulations” that hinder job growth and productivity)

Good little liberal

June 6th, 2011
10:26 am

Good article, Jay.

I would add a couple of things.

First, about the time of our economic stagnation happened about the same time as the explosion of our welfare system. Up until that time, government spending went back into the general economy, i.e. people were paid for producing. This was why the industrial build-up to WWII saved our economy.

Handing people money for doing nothing takes a huge part of the economic stimulation out of government spending. Paying huge amounts of money to people for NOT producing stops the economic cycle, This reduces the number of people that receive the down-end of that money.

And as we all know, the welfare system is nothing more than a vote getter for the Democrats. The number of poor people have not decreased since the welfare system was initiated. The system itself has initiated generational poverty, but it is that “US, twilight” poverty where people are fed, housed and educated at a comfortable level, causing a lack of motivation to get out of that poverty cycle. As Walter Williams points out in his new book, this has been the ultimate racism and has crippled a large part of minority demographics and now the Democrats are pushing this same dehumanizing, socially crippling programs into the largest growing minority demographic; Hispanics.

Under Obama, the number of people that have ceased to contribute to the true economic base has drastically increased, exactly what Democrats need to feed their never-satisfied-social-people-eating-programs. Until this government motivated cycle is stopped, we will continue to watch our economy crash and burn.

Anybody but a Democrat ‘12.

md

June 6th, 2011
10:26 am

Ironic that the AJC IT department is countering the phenomenon with perpetual job security…….dragging out the problem forever will either keep them employed or get them fired………but the problem just keeps on ticking……….

Left wing management

June 6th, 2011
10:26 am

Jay, I have a hypothesis.

As time passes we will increasingly see the 20th C post-war period – with its coalitions, its social pact based on a truce between labor and production, and relative shared prosperity – as a period of “interregnum”. The structural features of global capitalism in no way allow for that to be continued in the form we saw in the 20th C. That’s why I fear that in the future we will see all serious political discussion take 3 basic forms: neo-fascism, communism, and authoritarian capitalism (the so-called “capitalism with Asian values”).

In other words, the world is gearing up for the next time of struggles, a rejoining of the conflicts of the 1920s when things were literally up for grabs between communists and fascists. And driving it all is the motor of capital, which we have yet to come to terms with.

josef nix

June 6th, 2011
10:27 am

SoCo
@ 10:21

I see you’re familiar with Gibbon…a MAJOR historian… :-)

Kamchak

June 6th, 2011
10:27 am

BTW, you libs who hate Greenspan so much, (will) also love it when, he, The Great Ignorant Idiot, also advocates letting the Bush income tax cuts expire swiftly and repeatedly gets kicked in the balls.

fixed your typos.

AmVet

June 6th, 2011
10:28 am

jm, yep, sure are a bunch of college grads out there working in lousy, low-paying jobs that have zero to do with their degree.

These are the facts, though you will likely not agree with them.

As noted by Jay (and myself for years) a huge percentage of working class American families make less in adjusted inflation dollars than they did in the 1970s. Though their productivity has doubled.

We are the first generation of Americans who say we do not have it better than the previous one.

Middle class foreclosures and bankruptcies are at an all time high. Often due to catastrophic medical expenses.

CEO wages went up 240% from 1995 – 2005, while the average American worker’s went up 4%. (And last year again, Georgia CEO’s saw a 29% average increase. Did you?)

I know there are buffoons here want to lay this all at BHO’s feet, but are you kidding me?

Their has been an unprecedented and staggering amount of money moved UP the economic ladder since Reagan. Reverse income redistribution, as it were. Robin Hood on the take.

Welcome to the Corporatocracy.