Hard to believe, but if you are reading this (and you are a manufacturer in the United States) you are one of the lucky ones. We still consume, but we no longer build. How and why that happened is a story in its own right.
“There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million can diagnose.”
John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920, page 235ff
Manufactures – those that build things and contribute wealth to society suffer a myriad of problems because of our dishonest and fraudulent financial system. If the lost jobs and the future of manufacturing is to be reversed and improved, we will need to get back to an honest financial system that rewards honest work, provides low interest and stable exchange rates, and a living wage for workers.
“If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course, essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer.”
John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920, page 240
Manufacturing jobs and employment:
With commodity money such as gold or silver, there is more investment in productive ventures; there are more and higher-paying jobs than otherwise. Because manufacturing is capital intensive, there are also more manufacturing jobs. With fiat, irredeemable paper ticket-token or electronic-checkbook money, there is less investment in long-term productive enterprise; there are fewer and lower-paying jobs.
U.S. Manufacturing Employment January 1980 to June 2009; Source: BLS
The difference of course is that official inflation rates – albeit low – are only available to banks and related financial institutions. Manufacturers cannot borrow at these rates, and regular working class people shoulder rates on debt as high as 20-30%. There are very few businesses that generate enough profit to offset or justify the rates at which they can borrow money. Historically, the non-financial returns from manufacturers and others – i.e., productive businesses that benefit workers and contribute to the weath of our nation – are on the order of 6-7%.
Fiat currencies and the type of financial and monetary syste, we have now cause higher interest rates and a shorter investment-time-horizon, causing a decrease in manufacturing activity. Generally, there is an increase in the so-called service sector because it has a much shorter investment-time-horizon. A near zero interest rate today is not a market-driven event. It is blatant market manipulation by the Federal Reserve creating additional money out of nothing to buy bonds.
Manufacturing as a percent of the civilian labor force 1949 – 2009; Source: BLS
With commodity money and an honest financial system, job security is impacted mostly by increases in productivity, which tends to destroy some jobs and create others. Decreasing prices help offset the negative effects associated with the destruction of jobs resulting from productivity (labor saving) improvements.
With fiat money – the kind of monetary system we have now – job security is impacted by rapidly changing interest and foreign exchange rates, and less of a propensity to save and invest for the long term.
Unemployed 16 years and over; Source: BLS
We are working to bring more of this information to public awareness, and return our nation to the engine for jobs and prosperity we were known for. Historically this was a very important part of how America was viewed around the world. America was the land of opportunity. People came here, worked hard, and their families and the economy prospered. Better goods at cheaper prices, a living wage and a better future for our children.
As more people become aware of what happened, and how it happened, we can restore America to an honest and fair financial system. This is the magic of our democracy.
If you can help us with suggestions for this website, our message and research, or you have specific expertise working with students, please allow your voice to be heard. Please pray for our cause and our work, and please help return fairness, honesty and prosperity to our financial system.