For U.S. Workers, Global Capitalism Fails to Deliver : Michael Spence, Nobel Prize in economic sciences

Ce qui est valable pour la classe moyenne américaine est valable pour la classe moyenne canadienne, et en fait toute la classe moyenne des pays industriels.

Extrait de: For U.S. Workers, Global Capitalism Fails to Deliver, By CHRYSTIA FREELAND | REUTERS, The New York times, April 14, 2011

NEW YORK — Global capitalism isn’t working for the American middle class. That isn’t a headline from the left-leaning Huffington Post, or a comment on Glenn Beck’s right-wing populist blackboard. It is, instead, the conclusion of a rigorous analysis bearing the imprimatur of the U.S. establishment: the paper’s lead author is Michael Spence, recipient of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences, and it was published by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Spence and his co-author, Sandile Hlatshwayo, examined the changes in the structure of the U.S. economy, particularly employment trends, over the past 20 years. They found that value added per U.S. worker increased during that period — 21 percent for the economy as a whole, and 44 percent in the “tradeable” sector, which is geek-speak for those businesses integrated into the global economy. But as productivity soared, wages and job opportunities stagnated.

The take-away is this: Globalization is making U.S. companies more productive, but the benefits are mostly being enjoyed by the C-suite. The middle class is struggling to find work, and many of the jobs available are poorly paid.

Here’s how Mr. Spence and Ms. Hlatshwayo put it: “The most educated, who work in the highly compensated jobs of the tradeable and non tradeable sectors, have high and rising incomes and interesting and challenging employment opportunities, domestically and abroad. Many of the middle-income group, however, are seeing employment options narrow and incomes stagnate.”

Mr. Spence notes the benefit to consumers of globalization: “Many goods and services are less expensive than they would be if the economy were walled off from the global economy, and the benefits of lower prices are widespread.” He also points to the positive impact of globalization, particularly in China and India: “Poverty reduction has been tremendous, and more is yet to come.”

À quoi sa sert à avoir un choix de plus de 200 paires de chaussures chez
Wall Mart, si tu n'as plus de ‘jobs', ou peut-être ça sert justement d'avoir un choix de chaussures parce que tu ne peux plus faire des courses ailleurs.

Mr. Spence’s paper should be read alongside the work that David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been doing on the impact of the technology revolution on U.S. jobs. Mr. Autor finds that technology has had a “polarizing” impact on the U.S. work force — it has made people at the top more productive and better paid and hasn’t had much effect on the “hands-on” jobs at the bottom. But opportunities and salaries in the middle have been hollowed out.

Taken together, here’s the big story Mr. Spence and Mr. Autor tell: Globalization and the technology revolution are increasing productivity and prosperity. But those rewards are unevenly shared — they are going to the people at the top in the United States, and enriching emerging economies over all. But the American middle class is losing out.

It may seem surprising that it takes a Nobel laureate and sheaves of economic data to reach this conclusion. But the analysis and its provenance matter, because this basic truth about how the world economy is working today is being ignored by most of the politicians in the United States and denied by many of its leading businesspeople.

Eh, oui, pourquoi  ? Car qui contrôle les politiciens, tous nos chers groupes d’intérêts qui veulent maintenir le libre-échange pour faire des montages de profits, et pour le peuple vous n’êtres que du bétail, déplorable, mais d’une triste réalité.

Consider a recent breakfast at the Council on Foreign Relations that I moderated. The speaker was Randall Stephenson, chief executive of AT&T.

One of the Council of Foreign Relations members in the audience was Farooq Kathwari, the chief executive of Ethan Allen, the furniture manufacturer and retailer. Mr. Kathwari is a storybook American entrepreneur. He arrived in New York from Kashmir with $37 in his pocket and got his start in the retail trade selling goods sent to him from home by his grandfather.

He asked Mr. Stephenson: “Over the last 10 years, with the help of technology and other things, we today are doing about the same business with 50 percent less people. We’re talking of jobs. I would just like to get your perspectives on this great technology. How is it going to overall affect the job markets in the next five years?”

Mr. Stephenson said not to worry. “While technology allows companies like yours to do more with less, I don’t think that necessarily means that there is less employment opportunities available. It’s just a redeployment of those employment opportunities. And those employees you have, my expectation was, with your productivity, their standard of living has actually gotten better.”

Mr. Spence’s work tells us that simply isn’t happening. “One possible response to these trends would be to assert that market outcomes, especially efficient ones, always make everyone better off in the long run,” he wrote. “That seems clearly incorrect and is supported by neither theory nor experience.”

Mr. Spence says that as he was doing his research, he was often asked what “market failure” was responsible for these outcomes: Where were the skewed incentives, flawed regulations or missing information that led to this poor result? That question, Mr. Spence says, misses the point. “Multinational companies,” he said, “are doing exactly what one would expect them to do. The resulting efficiency of the global system is high and rising. So there is no market failure.”

Exactes, les multinationales sont imputables aux actionnaires, non au peuple, donc, ils utilisent l'échiquier mondial, pour optimiser leurs profits, et, malheureusement M. le peuple des pays industriels, vous ne pourrez jamais battre un Chinois, qui gagne dix fois moins et aussi entreprenant et brillant que vous, ça, c'est la vraie vie, non des modèles économiques qui ne représente absolument pas la réalité.

Mr. Spence is telling us that global capitalism is working, but that the American middle class is losing out anyway.

Mr. Spence admits he has no easy answers. American politicians are focused on a budget debate that is superficial, premature and ultimately about something pretty easy to figure out. Instead, we should all be working on the much bigger problem of how to make capitalism work for the American middle class.

Oublie, ça fait longtemps que les États-Unis auraient dû sanctionner le Yuan trop bas, mais, malheureusement ce n’est pas le peuple qui contrôle le Congrès,
ça aussi c’est la vraie vie.