Real engine of US power stalling?

Former Reagan administration official Paul Craig Roberts is his usual cheery self over at CounterPunch. According to numbers recently issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The government is now the largest single sector of employment in the country, passing manufacturing and even the services industries
  • Imports exceed the total value of manufactured goods (not just exported manufactured goods) by at least 5 percentage points of GDP.
  • The number of legal and illegal immigrants exceeds the number of new jobs created. This raises the question of where what Roberts estimates are 5.2 million high school and college graduates are going to find work. He doesn’t estimate how many people will retire.

I have no clue what this means, although somehow it doesn’t seem good. It does suggest that the DoD budget may be difficult to rationalize not because it is justified by any threat but because it represents one of the larger jobs programs in our economy. As I mention in If We Can Keep It, reductions in defense employment must be done carefully and with attention to limiting the amount of disruption to lives of the people affected.

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