Oh..........I believe; your singing to the choir with me!
Its just I’ve never seen it so starkly presented before.
For what its worth, (not much probably), I’ll give you my genuine thoughts on the subject, i.e., that it wouldn’t matter of Albert Einstein was in office, this very same scenario would have played out. Here’s the reasons:
1) Combination of wretched Corporate Management, Union Greed and Globalization gutted U.S. manufacturing. And probably the worst was the horrible “Free Trade” agreements and globalization; then
2) Relentless Open Borders policy provided an oversupply of cheap labor and that policy was gleefully enabled by both parties; the Corporatist GOP types like the cheap labor and the Dems saw the immigrants as shoring up their voting base, then
3) The advent of the Information Age and the Internet has killed one entire segment of the economy........retail. Just think of all the chains that have bit the dust and/or are about to; millions of retail jobs lost to Amazon. And the result has been the hollowing out of the Malls, the strip shopping centers, etc.; that, followed by
4) Clinton’s search for an Engine of Economic Recovery; he found it in the financial sector and started the process of undoing the bandaids like Glass-Steagal that had been put on the Depression era Banking system and.....voila! The great crash of 2008; which was propelled by
5) The “Ownership” society, housing bubble prompted by Bush and the horrible Mortgage management crisis, in concert with the free-wheeling Banks and you got the entire Housing sector collapsing.
But wait, there’s more! What with new inovation in technologies/computing and robotics, the Plants are coming back......Whirlpool recently announced they’ll start building appliances in the U.S. again; the catch is, they’ll be built by highly automated, robotic assembly lines.
Add to this a gov’t that got into the Education loan business and promotes the idea that every kid in the U.S. MUST get a college degree and we’re now faced with the new normal of, (drum roll please);
PEAK EMPLOYMENT! We’re PAST it; there will never again be a need for as many workers as a percentage of the population as there was in the 1970’s. And the number of workers as a percentage of population will head, inexorably.......down ...........forever!
Of course......no one wants to believe the future could ever be this bleak, and it may not be for one very strange reason......about the same time we past Peak Employment, we past Peak Population Growth, much like Japan in the 1990’s. Problem, short term is that there will be ever fewer workers to support an ever aging population in retirement, BUT once the Boomer generation shuffles off its mortal coil.........you’ve got reproduction at a level below the population replacement rate and the future starts to look more like, Italy, sans the beatiful women and great food.
There is one possible circumstance, I have always believed, where that down-spiral might be defeated. As a very modern manufacturer I see what it takes to keep a job from going to China. At the moment there are only about 12 million people in the US who actually make something. Most of the people out of work were paper pushers, assistants, HR experts, assemblers-—mostly “one-skill” people with pretty much zero flexibility in terms of being useful in another job. And typically unwilling to re-train themselves at a higher level in their old company. I know far too many people who think they are safe for a lifetime when they have learned one skill that makes them a living. Continuing education at one level or another is a must. How many houses have you been where there isn’t a single book in sight? Learning how to text on a piece of krap cellphone or cruise for porn on a PC are not life skills. That whole 100+ million people must commit to continuing more advanced learning-—take a job away from a Chinaman. That requires being the best at whatever it is they choose to do. What’s over is the days of half-assed commitment to a minimal-skilled job.