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article imageOp-Ed: US jobs figures scare world markets out of billions, yet again

By Paul Wallis     Jun 4, 2012 in Business
Sydney - Lousy US jobs numbers have trashed the global stock markets, yet again. Most exchanges were down at least 2%. The joke is that the stingy, psychotically employee-hating US employment culture is now seen as a benchmark of global financial health.
The world is paying billions per hour for this insane corporate culture while the US continues to bleed.
As the Sydney Morning Herald explains, these cultural gerbils are also affecting foreign markets, which apparently have to be hit with a rock to remember the still extremely shaky condition of the US economy.
Local market players took their cues from a big selloff on Wall Street that was prompted by a weak US jobs report.
IG Markets strategist Stan Shamu said the US jobs data showed it was ‘‘now clear that not all the macro risks are confined to Europe’’
Well, wow. The US has some sort of economic problems? You don’t say. The financial media, in their surprisingly unacknowledged brilliance, have been focusing on Europe’s tinpot economies as if they were in the same league as the United States economy. They’re not. All the basket cases in Europe barely equate to the Californian economy, let alone the US itself. If Greece goes down, the world gets a mildly sprained financial ankle. If the US goes down, it’s global body casts for everybody.
Business culture vs. reality
The decayed intellectual fruit salad formerly known as the US business sector has managed to lay another egg. (Nothing like mixed metaphors for a no-talent, irresponsible, brain dead dunghill of a commercial demographic.) Even bacteria know toxic situations when they find them, but not the US business geniuses. Instead of contributing to stimulating the economy on which the nation depends, they’re sitting around on the sidelines bragging about making billion dollar peanuts while the world’s biggest economic cash cow drops dead from neglect.
They don’t even get the basic idea that money has to come from somewhere. Main Street turns over more money in a fortnight than Wall Street does in a year. Main Street built America. Wall Street built a garish hot dog stand with delusions of self-importance. Wall Street can be replaced with a spreadsheet. Main Street, and Main Street’s cashflow, can’t. No jobs, no Main Street. At the moment Main Street is about 50-50 potholes.
Not all employers are responsible for this horror story. Some employers are actually paying wages with credit cards, (very risky indeed) but the big guys aren’t doing anything to stimulate employment. There are no expansion plans, no visions and most of all no apparent interest in reviving Main Street, which is the only way the US economy is going to return to anything like normal.
The culture is the problem. The smart executive motif may look good in movies, but it’s utterly useless in the real world. The story so far is that a culture of delirious deal making nobodies have hyped up prices in multiple sectors, crashed markets, outsourced jobs, trashed hundreds of billions of private capital and made a lot of money for themselves in the process. Hilariously, they’re revered as heroes of libertarian values by the arch conservative capitalists. The fact that the capitalists apparently don’t seem to recognize how much this culture is costing them is also amusing.
The irony is that the 1%, legendary beneficiaries of most of the nation’s wealth, apparently aren’t very good at arithmetic. If these “elites” checked their holdings before 2008 and after, they might learn how destructive the much-mythologized “management class” really is. In the meantime, everybody’s super, 401ks, properties and capital assets get wiped out. Millions of jobs, homes and lives went down the tube thanks to Wall Street and the banks.
Until this culture is totally eradicated, the US is at the mercy of the barbarians prophesied by the book Barbarians at the Gates. No ethos, no accountability and they call their clients muppets. These alleged "people" are going to save the US? Not bloody likely. They’d sell it for firewood if they could get a decent price for it.
The US jobs market- Dead in the water
The US created a mere 90,000 or so jobs in March 2012. Compare that to the millions of people out of work and those on the poverty line or below it, and “lousy” is flattery. The current US job creation figures are just another reminder that since 2008 the US economy has gone from god-awful to marginally less god-awful. This isn’t a recovery or anything like a recovery.
2008 wasn’t a punch; it was a bullet in the entire concept of job markets globally. The current “recovery” is more like physiotherapy after a train wreck- Exercise the victims and see if they can walk again. The US job market is in terrible shape economically. “Churnover” jobs are now the norm. College grads are now getting lower pay even for Masters Degrees. A job is now a short term prospect for those on the conventional job market. Low wage jobs may as well not even be counted as jobs. Recoveries are not sustained by people who are eternally one paycheck away from the scrap heap, either.
The economists- The “Interest rates solve everything” joke backfires- again
Economists aren't helping. They're perpetuating a series of myths. One of the worst myths is interest rates. In the US and Japan, interest rates are at zero per cent, and nothing’s happening. Banks can borrow at zero per cent, make as much as they like and only have to repay the principle. The trouble is that they don’t invest in job creation. They invest in the markets and corporate finance. The markets create no jobs; in fact, they’re shedding them at record rates. Corporate finance pays for corporate management, and not much else, definitely not jobs.
Expensive money tends to make people a lot more cautious. Ironically, even the notorious 80s credit rates, (for bona fide credit, not junk), were strong economic influences. The current interest rates are just mild breezes, economically. If you have to pay 15-18% interest, you pay attention to what you borrow. If you have to pay under 5% interest, you borrow a lot more- Often more than you can handle. That lesson has yet to be learned.
The other myth is a picture of the job market which is becoming more and more hopelessly out of date by the second. The New Economy is creating jobs while the Old Economy is destroying them. Even the idea of New Economy jobs isn’t getting a mention in economic thinking or business thinking. Everybody still works in the 1950s, according to theory. There are no computers, no better ways of working, and no smarter ways of employing people. Everybody is living on the set of Leave It To Beaver, commuting and going to the office. That world no longer exists, and that’s the model for a recovery? Even the slightest hint of better employment options has yet to be heard.
Whoever wins in 2012- Forget about the War on Terror for a moment. Start a War on Parasites, Obsolescent Economics and Idiots. That war, you might win. If you lose, forget about being the world’s only super power. You’ll be the world’s only super-deadbeat. This is the Peter Principle come to its ultimate incarnation- The world's least competent people, handling the world's worst problems.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Usa unemployment, interest rates economics, job market economics, usa business culture, usa employment culture
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