Paul Craig Roberts continues to insist that the U.S. economy is on the fast track to disaster. He asserts that “Another five years like the last, and little will be left” of American prosperity.
Why? Because free trade in today’s world means that American wages must fall in order for Americans to remain employed in any industry save ones that require its workers to be in close physical proximity to U.S. consumers. So the wages of motel maids and bartenders might not fall, but those of any workers whose jobs can be ‘outsourced’ will plummet. Here’s P.C. Roberts again:
Globalization is wiping out the American middle class and terminating jobs for university graduates, who now serve as temps, waitresses and bartenders. But the whores among economists and the evil men and women in the Bush administration still sing globalization’s praises.
Today’s Wall Street Journal ($$) presents evidence that is at odds with P.C. Roberts’s fantastical image of impoverished America. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Five years after the dot-com bubble burst, job growth has returned to Silicon Valley. But it’s a different kind of growth than in past recoveries, favoring higher-skilled workers.
Netflix Inc.’s hiring shifts are typical. During the tech boom, the online movie-rental service created 100 customer-service jobs near its Los Gatos, Calif., headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley. After the tech bust in 2000, Netflix eliminated half of those positions. But the total headcount at Netflix’s Silicon Valley offices has grown 20%, to nearly 200 staffers in the last few years.
That’s because Netflix, while shedding some lower-end jobs, has aggressively created new, higher-level jobs. It’s adding jobs in departments such as Web engineering and product development: That groups’ hiring of engineers jumped 20% to more than 50 people in 2005 alone. “Our new engineers have an average of seven to 15 years experience,” says Patty McCord, Netflix’s chief talent officer. “Five years ago, we hired people with three to five years of experience.”