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Old 11-22-2009, 10:43 AM
Franc Tireur Franc Tireur is offline
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The New New Economies: Full Spectrum Poverty, Green Investments and the Tobin Tax

Despite much talk about a “jobless recovery” many signs in the US economy are pointing towards a protracted upturn and expansion, if at all. U6 unemployment is about 20 percent and companies are still letting workers go. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) publishes statistics monthly regarding the health of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors and, while both have shown improvement in recent months, employment is not increasing.

Due to the financialization and deindustrialization of the US economy over the last 20+ years, employment prospects in manufacturing are not as promising as those in non-manufacturing: an indicator of a US manufacturing industry in decline for decades as employers have taken advantage of outsourcing to countries with supplies of cheaper labor. Non-manufacturing, to be sure, does still include noteworthy services and goods, such as arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, finance and insurance. According to ISM, however, businesses in these categories are still struggling.

Why are these areas of the US economy doing so poorly? Some analysts point to the decline of the dollar, which, whilst improving manufacturing competitiveness, has hurt other areas. Against a number of currencies, the dollar has lost approximately a third of its value over the last eight years and around 10 percent of its value over the last 12 months. Comparatively, the Brazilian Real has gained roughly 30 percent in value. This does not necessarily benefit Brazil, which is among some of the most closed economies in the world, for a falling dollar and economic recovery increases demands for their assets and overwhelms central banks. While US exports improved demonstratively in the third quarter of 2009, imports shot up at an even quicker rate, negating the argument that the dollar’s value has played the keystone role in the market corrections currently underway.

What’s more likely, is that the manufacturing ISM survey speaks more to global rather than US economic conditions by painting a portrait of world trade, still dominated by manufacturing. Sure enough, the recovery in the US manufacturing parallels the recoveries charted in similar analyses for Europe.

Read more: http://www.inteldaily.com/news/173/A...009-11-20.html
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