How does a post industrial economy work exactly?

  1. i was talking to someone about how manufacturing jobs were being outsourced to china and how the federal government should be discouraging this because it makes poor economic sense for the citizens of the usa and the guy said something in the lines of "its not as bad as all that. north america is now becoming a post-industrial economy and the loss of manufacturing jobs isn't as big a deal as you might think. we're now getting into a lot of service jobs so its ok". i left it at that because we were tight on time but i still don't understand how this post industrial economy works and why it isn't a negative thing to lose manufacturing jobs in this type of an economy.

    so whats the deal here?
  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Simply put, it isn't inherrently negative to lose manufacturing jobs if they are replaced by service jobs.

    I tend to be of the perception that most socialist-types reject the entire concept of "services" - many people who buy-into the socialist ideals heavily seem to be baffled by why the US economy remains the strongest in the world despite the loss of the manufacturing jobs they consider to be the only "real" jobs.
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
  4. russ that is pure CORP BS
    the fact is it works very very poorly for workers
    with low pay and benies for them

    and very very well for the ownership class
    who make far more as a result of low pay and cheap labor costs both here and over seas
    and avoids many rules in modern countrys
    about heath safty and polution
    so is a disaster for the enviroment too

    and is a war on labor, unions and the middle class
    and a disaster for the working poor
    with those who have too much getting even more
    and the rest of us getting screwed

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
  5. Why is it everyone seems to think manufacturing jobs are inherently better than service jobs? What's so special about them compared to service jobs?
  6. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Dunno - that was the implication of my post. The fact of the matter is that American workers are paid well and unemployment is low. What's there to complain about?
  7. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    No, the fact of the matter is that 'the rich get richer while everyone else gets poorer' is a lie fed to the public by liberal politicians. We've been over the numbers many, many, many times and I know you've seen them because you've been in this discussion before. Over the long-term, everyone (every income bracket, I mean) is getting richer in the US.
  8. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    The fact is that American manufacturing wages are flat or falling nationwide, and employers have been shifting health-insurance costs and pension costs onto their employees for well over a decade. This at a time when the costs of food, housing, food, tuition, etc are increasing and the buying-power of workers' pay-checks are diminishing. I have always managed to roll with this stuff, but the broader effects over a work-force (often with less flexibility than mine - esp young families with kids) are evident, especially in rural places like Maine where there are high energy costs, no real public transportation, and long commutes to any jobs with reasonable wages.
  9. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    The census data is corrected for those things, turbo-1: cost-of-living is another term for inflation.

    And there will always be areas hit hard by shifts in business patterns (I'm from Pennsylvania!), but overall the US job situation is solid. For every dying manufacturing company like Bethlehem Steel, there is a primarily service company like Microsoft taking its place in the economy.
  10. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    Come to Maine and learn to live on a manufacturing/support job and raise a family (much less a crappy service job!). You will not prosper, unless you are willing to make some extreme sacrifices. I have young nieces/nephews that are trying to build families with both spouses working in well-paid (by today's standards) positions, and they are struggling to position themselves to care for their children without losing their jobs. One niece works for a telecommunications company that is so aggressive that they want to cut the federally-mandated child-care time in half so that she would have to return to work just weeks after the upcoming birth of her baby. This is really sick. She has worked for this company for over ten years and risks losing her job if she wants to use her family leave for her first baby. I should mention that she lost her first pregnancy in a miscarriage that left her and her husband very down. (slight understatement)
  11. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    It doesn't sound like Maine is adapting very well to the changes. Try California.
  12. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    We cannot afford to move to CA after living our lives earning ME wages. Regional disparities like this are the primary reason why places like Maine, with collapsing industries and plummeting real-estate values are being preyed upon by "timber companies" like Plum Creek - real estate developers, in reality, that buy up huge tracts of forest land and break it up and sell the waterfront properties for huge profits while saddling our towns with the costs of providing police, EMC, hospital capacity, telecom, etc to these people who come in with no previous investment in our economy.
  13. It doesn't work. A post-industrial country is defined by de-industrialization, automation through information technology, and a rich financial system. The idea would be that wealth can be created through investment into other countries, or -maybe- wealth creation by exporting/selling very high-tech ideas.

    Now, partly de-industrializing an economy is not a bad thing in itself. It makes an economy more robust against world market fluctuations. I.e., if prices fluctuate suddenly, an export driven country like Germany or Japan takes bigger hits than the UK, for example. Moreover, if more countries become wealthy, the hope would be that you can trade high-end goods between each other, and everyone will own SUVs and game stations instead of only a few nations being the sole consumers of wealth.

    Unfortunately, the bigger picture still is that you can only make money by swapping goods between countries, and exporting high-tech ideas, or movies, don't weigh up against even exporting simple things in bulk, like grain. If more goods come in than goods come out, you're running a trade deficit, and this can only make a country poorer. In the end, this is what is happening to the US at the moment. The Chinese banks now hold 3 trillion dollars, prices of imported raw materials (like steel and oil) go up, and people in the US are trading their SUVs for smaller cars whereas Chinese are trading in riksjas for automobiles. Sure, US investors in China made some money by lending the money such that China could construct factories, but those factories now export some very expensive products, and China became a wealth creation machine against the US dollar.

    Bottom line: De-industrialization is not a bad thing unless you give away all your manners of wealth creation. It distributes wealth amongst countries, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and the de-industrialized country is always poorer (relative to others) by definition.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  14. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    This discussion ended 4 years ago.
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