TGR: So, you're saying we're confusing the market's performance with the economy's performance?Highly recommended. Here is just a bit more evidence to prove Casey's point that Japan won't be heavily investing in U.S. treasuries anytime soon:
DC: Yes. The fact is that the economy itself is doing very badly. The numbers are phonied up. I spend a lot of time in Argentina. Anybody with any sense knows you can't believe the numbers coming out of the Argentinean Government Statistical Bureau, nor can you (any longer) believe the numbers that come out of Washington D.C. The inflation numbers consider only the things the government wants to look at and are artificially low. It's the same with the unemployment numbers. None of these things is believable.
TGR: Isn't the unemployment figure a lagging indicator of a rebounding economy?
DC: If you look at the way unemployment was computed until the early 1980s – something that John Williams from ShadowStats does – the numbers would indicate about 20% unemployment today. Besides, even while the population keeps rising, the number of people reported as actually working is level or even lower. Most indicators of the economic establishment, in my view, don't really make any sense. GDP, for instance, includes government spending – much of which amounts to paying some people to dig ditches during the day and other people to fill them in at night. So-called "defense" spending is almost totally wasted capital. The practice of economics today is pathetic and laughable.
TGR: So, the economy is not rebounding?
DC: No. My take on this is that we entered what I call the "Greater Depression" in 2007. And now, because the government has printed up trillions of dollars in the last couple of years, we're in the eye of the hurricane. We've only gone through the leading edge of the storm. People think this will just be another cyclical recovery like all the others since WWII. But it's not. It's going to wind up with the currency being destroyed. It's going to be a disaster… a worldwide catastrophe.
Zerohedge will have more on the chart tomorrow. Just wait till that gray line starts increasing.
So you know how America manufacturing has been going down for decades due to those uncaring corporations who outsource making widgets overseas for the sake of cheap labor? Mark Perry puts that myth to rest in a recent post:
As a share of GDP, manufacturing has declined in most countries since the 1970s. A few examples: Australia's manufacturing/GDP ratio went from 21.3% in 1970 to 9% in 2009, Brazil's ratio went from 24.6% to 13.3%, Canada's from 21.7% to 11.3%, Germany's from 35% to 19%, and Japan's from 35% to 20% (I'll maybe create a chart with a more complete list).
Bottom Line: The complaints about the "decline in U.S. manufacturing" are really a somewhat misguided acknowledgment of the global shift in production that has taken place since we entered the Information Age with the commercial introduction of the microchip in 1971 and gradually left the Machine Age behind. When we complain that "nothing is made here anymore," it's not so much that somebody else is making the stuff we used to make as it is the case that we (and others around the world) just don't need as much "stuff" any more in relation to the size of the economy.
The standard of living around the world today, along with global wealth and prosperity, are all much, much higher today with manufacturing representing 16-17% of total world output compared to 1970, when it was almost twice as high at 26.7%. And for that progress, we should applaud, not complain.I am currently reading and almost finished with Paul Krugman's Pop Internationalism where he makes the same point (surprisingly) that manufacturing has decreased in the U.S. due to us adopting a more service sector based economy. We no longer need as much manufacturing so capital is invested in other sectors of the economy like information technology. The same can be said for the dying newspaper industry. The Daily Show has an amazingly hilarious take on that: