In May, the Bush economy eked out a paltry 73,000 private sector jobs: 20,000 jobs in construction (primarily for Mexican immigrants), 21,000 jobs in wholesale and retail trade, and 32,500 jobs in health care and social assistance. Local government added 5,000 for a grand total of 78,000.

Not a single one of these jobs produces an exportable good or service. With Americans increasingly divorced from the production of the goods and services that they consume, Americans have no way to pay for their consumption except by handing over to foreigners more of their accumulated stock of wealth. The country continues to eat its seed corn.

Only 10 million Americans are classified as “production workers” in the Bureau of Labor Statistics non-farm payroll tables. Think about that. The United States, with a population approaching 300 million, has only 10 million production workers. That means Americans are consuming the products of other countries’ labor.

In the 21st century, the U.S. economy has been unable to create jobs in export and import-competitive industries. U.S. job growth is confined to nontradable domestic services.

This movement of the American labor force toward Third World occupations in domestic services has dire implications both for U.S. living standards and for America’s status as a superpower. ~Paul Craig Roberts