This morning, the Sociopath in the White House is finally admitting the truth: the US economy is slowing down. Economic recovery is a myth. The signs are everywhere:
- Last Friday, August 9, the Labor Department reported that the US shed more jobs “than expected” in July. Some 131,000 jobs were lost and the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.5%. The private sector was unable to offset a massive government layoff of 143,000 census-takers, with firms creating only a modest 71,000 jobs.
- Until now, American workers who had survived successive cuts in staff were able to make up for the labor force by working harder for longer hours. No more. That lemon is squeezed dry. Yesterday, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 0.9% annual rate during the second quarter of 2010, despite increases in output and hours of 2.6% and 3.6%, respectively. The decline in labor productivity follows five quarters of strong productivity growth.
- As reported by Bloomberg, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) effectively pronounced the United States to be bankrupt. Last month, the IMF released its annual review of U.S. economic policy. Its summary contained these bland words about U.S. fiscal policy: “Directors welcomed the authorities’ commitment to fiscal stabilization, but noted that a larger than budgeted adjustment would be required to stabilize debt-to-GDP.” Section 6 of the IMF’s July 2010 Selected Issues Paper says: “The U.S. fiscal gap associated with today’s federal fiscal policy is huge for plausible discount rates…closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14% of U.S. GDP.”
Given the above, why is the Obama administration pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into training “offshore” foreign workers in South Asia and Armenia?
As recently as Monday, Obama, speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Atlanta, boasted about his efforts to reduce offshoring…. Despite President Obama’s pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia. After their training, those workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent’s low labor costs.
Under director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency.
USAID is also partnering with Sri Lankan companies in other industries, including construction and garment manufacturing, to help create 10,000 new jobs in the country.
[...] Even as controversy mounts over its funding of IT outsourcers in South Asia, the U.S. Agency for International Development has announced a program under which it will partner with the government of Armenia—a nation anxious to lure computer work from American shores–to promote the development of the country’s information technology industry.
Jonathan Hale, USAID deputy assistant administrator for Europe & Eurasia, is on a four-day trip to Armenia to meet with government and private industry leaders in the country…. Armenia is looking to establish itself as a center for low-cost IT and engineering work outsourced from the U.S. and other Western countries.
USAID, a taxpayer-funded federal agency, did not disclose how much it’s contributing to Armenia’s efforts to become a global IT competitor. Among the U.S. companies participating in the project is Oracle’s Sun Microsystems unit.
[...] “This action is contradictory to Obama’s commitment to create jobs and revitalize the American economy,” said Rennie Sawade, a spokesperson for WashTech, a Communications Workers of America affiliate that represents IT professionals. “Any taxpayer money that is appropriated to train workers to take American jobs should, without question, be directed toward the unemployed and the underemployed in this country,” said Sawade.
USAID officials did not respond to requests for comment.