Is China really responsible for all the lost jobs in the United States?

February 25, 2014

The reason for this post is because I left a comment for “Google robots, iPhone trackers—which sci-fi movie is coming true?” and a guy named Dave [I think it’s a guy] left a reply.

Dave pulled this quote from the comment I wrote: “If we don’t do something soon, the day will come when there are no jobs and no consumers because every job will be automated.” And Dave replied, “What? Have you any proof for this baseless assertion?”

Yes I do, Dave, and I’ll get to that, but first I want to deal with China getting the blame for jobs vanishing in the United States.

Heritage.org says, “Those who attack China often do not examine real economic events: They do not measure actual failed businesses and actual job losses. Instead, they assume the U.S.–China trade deficit means that both production and production jobs are moving from the U.S. to China. … Imports do not cause unemployment; quite the opposite, they are a signal of prosperity and plentiful jobs.”

Cato.org supports what Heritage says: “In the quarter century between 1983 and 2007, as real GDP more than doubled and the real value of U.S. trade increased five-fold, the U.S. economy created 46 million net new jobs, or 1.84 million net new jobs per year.”

If what Heritiage.org and Cato.org says is true, then what’s causing lost jobs in the United States?

First, after the 2007-08 global financial crises caused by US Banks and Wall Street greed, trade between the United States and the world shrunk by 12 percent and six million jobs were lost—jobs that were not lost to China where jobs were also lost.

Did you know that the United States has the largest manufacturing sector in the world, and that China is only number two? (Greyhill.com)

I wouldn’t be surprised if you said no.

Just how large are US exports to the world? NPR.org reported: “In 2011, the U.S. exported goods and services worth $2.1 Trillion”—more than what China sold to the world by about $80 billion. “China exported goods worth an estimated $2.021 Trillion to the world [in 2012] and imported goods from other countries that added up to an estimated $1.78 Trillion.”

At this point you may be confused and ask, “How can the U.S. be the world’s leader in manufacturing when millions of jobs are being lost in that sector?”

Bright Hub Engineering.com offers one answer: “Robots have replaced a lot of activities formerly carried out by a human, with one robot replacing as many as ten workers.”

“In the last fifteen years, manufacturing in the United States has undergone a fundamental shift,” Arena Solutions.com reports. “As millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost to … automation, output has steadily continued to grow. And while U.S. manufacturing output has decreased by only 1% since 1990, manufacturing jobs have decreased by over 30% in the same time period.”

Losing manufacturing jobs is not only happening in the US. The Harvard Business Review.org says, “Manufacturing employment decline is a global phenomenon. As a Bloomberg story summarized: “Some 22 million manufacturing jobs were lost globally between 1995 and 2002 as industrial output soared 30 percent.”

Instead of bashing China, blame the real culprits for millions of lost jobs on robots and the greedy rich who are behind the decisions to replace humans with automation. If one robot can replace ten humans, that’s a lot of money saved leading to increased profits and wealth for the rich.

After all, Robots don’t need Social Security, medical care, retirement plans, paid sick leave or vacations—in fact, they don’t earn any money, even minimum wage with no benefits.

One way to stop this from happening is to pass laws that protect humans from losing jobs to automation.

Other choices are to stay in school and work harder to earn a better education leading to jobs that robots can’t replace any time soon—and stop blaming teachers for a student’s lack of interest, cooperation or laziness. The other choice is to end up working for poverty wages in the fast-food industry or retail stores like Wal-Mart—that is until those jobs are also replaced by robots.

And if you drive an 18 wheeler; work for UPS or FedEx, be warned, Google—for instance—is working hard to take driving cars and trucks away from humans and turn driving over to robots. Meanwhile, Amazon is working on another project to turn delivery of goods bought from its Website over to automated drones that will fly in and deliver what you buy.

Sounds cool until you realize that means an end to a human’s job.

Also discover STEEL (no, not steal) FROM CHINA

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

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America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 5/5

December 13, 2011

The educational system and labor market in China are based on merit, while in the United States, the emphasis is on self-esteem and feeling good about oneself.  In America, merit is not important and the happiness of the individual is.

In China, those that work harder and do a better job, regardless of self-esteem or happiness, tend to prosper. in fact, Asian-Americans have the lowest self esteem in the United States.

Gallup studied China’s work ethics. Not surprisingly, the credo “work hard and get rich” is by far the most popular choice, selected by 53% of respondents. About one in four Chinese (26%) opt for “don’t think about money or fame, just lead a life that suits your own tastes,” while less than a tenth of Chinese identify with all the other responses. Perhaps most telling: Only 2% of Chinese choose the collectivist exhortation to “never think of yourself, give everything in service to society.”

In short, it would appear that the country’s commitment to material self-betterment through hard work is firmly rooted and unchallenged.

However, in the United States, a Yahoo.com, ABC News Piece said, “Between 1979 – 2007, the income of the top 1% of Americans increased by 275%. For the other 99% of the population, income only increased 29%.”

The problem is that when prices of everyday items such as food goes up due to inflation, many people cannot afford to buy them. In addition, equity in homes, where most of middle class wealth is, lost value.


Chinese Education: Social Life and Work Ethic

  Studies also show that countries that have a large income gap such as the US, also have high numbers of unemployed, incarceration, teen pregnancy, poor health and lower life expectancy. It may not surprise you that Chinese-Americans [including all Asian-Americans] have the lowest teen pregnancy rate too.

In fact, prison inmates by race breaks down to about: African-American 39.4%, White 33%, Latino-Hispanic 20.6%,  and Asian-American 1.7%.

That’s right. For Asians it was one “point” seven percent [1.7%] and Asian-Americans graduate from high school and college in the highest ratios.

In addition, the King’s College of London’s World Prison Population List reports, “The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world,” while China doesn’t even make the top sixteen list.

The US has about 2.3 million people behind bars at 756 per 100,000 people, and China has 1.56 million at 119 per 100,000.

Since the lack of an education often lands Americans in prison, low paying jobs or unemployed, one would think that working hard to earn an education would be popular in the US, but it isn’t. Instead, in the US, it is the old blame game. “It’s the teacher’s fault I earned a failing grade or the class was boring.”

It does not matter if the child does not do homework, study for tests or hates to read [because it gets in the way of video games, Facebook or TV], it’s still the teacher’s fault. However, in China, it is seldom the teacher’s fault and parents often take all or most of the blame for a child’s failure in school.

The Wall Street Journal in From College Major to Career says, “Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students’ career prospects, in terms of employment and pay… Some popular majors, such as nursing and finance, do particularly well, with unemployment under 5% and high salaries during the course of their careers.”

In addition, the attitude of America’s Baby Boomers is not much better than the children they raised that are now having trouble finding jobs because they did not take earning an education seriously as most Asian-Americans do.

The next question should be, “How long will the United States hold onto global super-power status with attitudes such as these?”

Return to America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 4/5

December 12, 2011

“What are these jobs that Americans will not do?” Slate.com asked. “Do they exist or are they a figment of the business community’s imagination? It turns out that their claims are largely true—there are plenty of jobs Americans avoid.


Manufacturers Looking for Skilled Workers

Let’s take a tour of them.

“Americans shun pretty much any unskilled labor that requires them to get their hands dirty: landscaping, entry-level construction, picking fruits and vegetables (Reuters reports that “up to 70 percent of U.S. farm workers are estimated to be undocumented, totaling about 500,000 people”), cleaning hotel rooms, busing tables, and prep cooking in urban restaurants,” and “American workers appear to be less interested in some kinds of factory jobs.”

In addition, “Americans, it seems, are also less willing to take stressful jobs that require lots of training and long hours, and that require them to work in unpleasant environments…”

For example, “The American Hospital Association says there are 118,000 nursing vacancies in the United States.”

In fact, the Washington Business Journal reported October 2011, “U.S. manufacturing companies have as many as 600,000 jobs that they cannot find workers with the proper skills to fill, according to a survey by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.”


What the American Self-Esteem Boosting Parenting Movement did to the US – Did your child have fun today by skipping homework and avoid reading a book?

The survey found 5 percent of current manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, 67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers, and 56 percent expect the shortage to increase in the next three to five years.

What about China? Do the Chinese have a similar attitude?

Continued on December 13, 2011 in America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 3/5

December 11, 2011

DailyKos.com says, “American’s won’t work 12 hour days , $5 an hour for seven days a week.”

However, many Chinese will and they will work more than one job while saving between 30 to 50 percent of what they earn while sacrificing sleep.

However, in 1973 after graduating from college on the GI Bill (working nights and weekends), my first job was working 12 or more hours a day sometimes six and seven days a week on a salary without overtime.

Change.org says, “Despite high unemployment, Americans won’t work as farmhands. Have you ever read John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which is about two caucasion drifters working as farmhands moving from farm to farm to survive? at 112 pages, it is a small book and I recommend it.

The Center for Immigration Statistics tells us what the jobs are that educated Americans won’t work at. CIS says, “Of the 465 civilian occupations, only four are majority immigrant. These four occupations account for less than 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Moreover, native-born Americans comprise 47 percent of workers in these occupations.

“These high-immigrant occupations are primarily, but not exclusively, lower-wage jobs that require relatively little formal education.

“In high-immigrant occupations, 57 percent of natives have no more than a high school education. In occupations that are less than 20 percent immigrant, 35 percent of natives have no more than a high school education. And in occupations that are less than 10 percent immigrant, only 26 percent of natives have no more than a high school education.”

With no choice, American born citizens will work jobs most educated Americans refuse to do.

In fact, in October 2011, the New York Times reported about a Colorado farmer that decided to hire locally unemployed Americans instead of immigrant labor.  It took the farmer six hours to learn he had made a mistake.  At lunchtime, the first wave of local workers quit and never came back. Some of the workers said the work was too hard.

Since Chinese value education and work harder than most to earn one, they tend to stay in school longer.  In fact, Asian-Americans  had the lowest unemployment rate of all ethnicities. In 2010, 12.5% of Hispanic or Latino, 10% of African-Americans , 8.7% of Whites but only 7.5% of Asian-Americans were unemployed.

Continued on December 12, 2011 in America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 2/5

December 10, 2011

My parents generation is the one John Steinbeck wrote of in Cannery Row. One review says, “The novel depicts the characters as survivors, and being a survivor is essentially what life is all about.” The same theme permeates Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice
and Men
.

However, today, many Americans have forgotten the sacrifice it takes to survive and expects government to bail them out.

My father, at 14, was mucking out horse stalls at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California—the sort of work immigrants do today.


It started in America and swept around the globe!

My mother worked in a laundry and at home, she baked and decorated cakes for special occasions that she sold to neighbors, co-workers, friends and family.

My older brother worked most of his life until the day he died at 64 in 1999 working the jobs that immigrants do.  When he didn’t have work, he spent his days going to dumpsters looking for cardboard and searching the roadsides for empty soda cans and beer bottles to sell at the local recycling place.

Richard, my brother, “once” told me shortly before his death that he was proud he never collected a welfare check or depended on government handouts. The Latinos he worked with called him The Horse, “El Caballo”, due to his strength.

When I was fifteen, I went to school during the day and worked nights and weekends [30 hours a week] washing dishes in a coffee shop often until 11:00 PM only to be at high school the next day by 8 AM.

After a few years in the US Marines and a tour in Vietnam, I washed cars, swept floors and then bagged groceries in a super market while I attended college on the GI Bill.

One summer job before my fourth year of college had me cleaning empty 50,000 gallon stainless-steel tanks at the Gallo Winery in Modesto, California. It was a dangerous job cleaning out the tanks where the wine was fermented, and I witnessed fellow workers injured and rushed to the hospital.

However, the generation that won World War II and made America strong and powerful is mostly gone or retired. Today, the work ethic in America has changed.  The reason it changed has a lot to do with the way children have been raised since the 1960s by parents obsessed with their children’s self-esteem and happiness, while making sure these children never face a boring day and blaming teachers for the child’s bad grades instead of holding the child responsible.


Unfilled jobs due to skills gap

Since 1960, the US has not won a single war.  After more than a decade and about 50,000 dead, we lost in Vietnam. Today, after another decade at war, we are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with no victory in sight.

It’s as if today’s younger generation is incapable of making the sacrifices the Great Depression (1929 – 1942) generation did when 25% of all workers were completely out of work. Some people starved and many lost farms and homes.

However, I’ve met Chinese immigrants willing to do the same work for the same low pay that Latino immigrants from south of the border do and often charge less while saving money to put their children through college.  It’s called sacrifice.

Continued on December 11, 2011 in America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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