Friday, July 22, 2011

Where the jobs are & cognitive dissonance in the "deficit debate"

Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt at NYT's Economix:
(A)ccording to (an eye-opening report for the Council on Foreign Relations by Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate, and Sandile Hlatshwayo) close to 98 percent of the 27.3 million new jobs in the American economy in the last two decades were created in the nontradable sectors (those sectors whose output is not traded across international borders), led by government and health care in first and second place.

These two sectors alone accounted for 40 percent of the total job growth over the last two decades. They were followed by retailing and construction, both of which grew on the back of heavy debt financing and a real-estate bubble.

Gambling mogul grapples with insanity

There is a point at which cognitive dissonance and intellectual incoherence moves dangerously close to the very edges of apparent sanity. In quotes caught by Andrew Leonard at Salon, it looks like Las Vegas' billionaire gambling mogul Steve Wynn is staring deep into that abyss.

Wynn on President Obama, his "pure socialist" talk and the "fear of government" in the United States:
(T)his administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. A President that seems -- that keeps using that word redistribution. Well, my customers and the companies that provide the vitality for the hospitality and restaurant industry, in the United States of America, they are frightened of this administration… And those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President… it's Obama that's responsible for this fear in America. The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution, and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don't invest or holding too much money. We haven't heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody's afraid of the government, and there's no need to soft peddling it, it's the truth. It is the truth.  
Wynn on the "delicious" worker's - and capitalist - paradise that is the People's Republic of China:
September will be our fifth anniversary in the People's Republic of China in Macau, and we love it there. We are so grateful to be part of that market and to be allowed to participate in that community. We find the political environment, the regulatory environment, the human resource environment that we're in to be absolutely delicious. Life is quite straightforward in China. The government is predictable. Our employees are eminently trainable. They're anxious to please. 
Obama's USA = a climate of "fear."  PRC = "delicious" political and human resource environment. The guy is, not to put too fine a point on it, a complete idiot. Or something...