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Att tjäna sitt bröd (6)

Paul Krugmans kommentarer till den ekonomiska utvecklingen i USA:
"But if the number of jobs isn't rising much, aren't workers at least earning more? You may have thought so. After all, companies have been able to increase output without hiring more workers, thanks to the rapidly rising output per worker. (Yes, that's a tautology.) Historically, higher productivity has translated into rising wages. But not this time: thanks to a weak labor market, employers have felt no pressure to share productivity gains. Calculations by the Economic Policy Institute show real wages for most workers flat or falling even as the economy expands. (...)

So a recovery that boosts profits but not wages delivers the bulk of its benefits to a small, affluent minority.

The bottom line, then, is that for most Americans, current economic growth is a form of reality TV, something interesting that is, however, happening to other people."
(NY Times: Our So-Called Boom, 30 dec 2003)
Kommentarerna till Att tjäna sitt bröd (5): Produktivitet" kom in på varför "Acme" blivit det generiska företagsnamnet på engelska.

Men inte bara fiktiva företag heter Acme:
"Rockford, Illinois: The stock market is surging and the economy appears to be booming, but Judith Pike is getting out of business. 'I'm finished; I'm out of here,' said Mrs. Pike, owner of Acme Grinding, whose customers have been vanishing and whose work force has shrunk from 40 to 4. (...)

Considering that nearly every scrap of data suggests that the American economy has finally climbed out of the doldrums and is humming at its fastest pace in at least four years, Mrs. Pike's timing may seem unfortunate. But here in Rockford, and in the nation as a whole, factory owners like her have seen their worlds turned upside down. And their struggle goes a long way toward explaining why this continues to be such a joyless recovery."
NY Times: The Joyless Recovery, 4 jan
Fast allt är inte hopplöst: artikeln berättar också utförligt om de nya planer och ideer som finns i Rockford: satsa på flygplatsen, callcenters (fast de riskerar också att flytta utomlands), omlastning mellan lastbilar och tåg.

Dock: "So far, none of this has come close to filling the void left by the loss of manufacturing jobs".

Kommer nya ideer att skapa nya jobb? Hittills har det varit så. Den mänskliga kreativiteten är enorm, så det finns utrymme för optimism. Men hur väl det går den här gången, eller hur lång tid det tar, vet vi inte. Och vad händer under tiden med dem som blivit onödiga?

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04 jan 2004


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