Diving into the Labor Pool (A reprint of Vol. XVI, Art. 4)

The FINANCIAL TIMES posted another interesting article on July 3rd.

“Sharp fall in US private sector jobs”, was the headline, and here are some pertinent excerpts.

“The US suffered the largest drop in employment in nearly six years in June, a sign of the deteriorating economic environment, according to a closely watched survey of business employment published on Wednesday.

“Non-farm private sector employment fell by 79,000 in the month, including a 3,000 decline in service sector employment, according to the monthly ADP survey.

“It was the largest drop in non-government jobs and the first decline in service-sector employment since November 2002, when the US economy was suffering the after-effects of the collapse of the internet bubble and the September 11 attacks. The drop in services jobs is significant because the sector is the powerhouse of US employment …”.

Something else the US news media played down was the testimony given last month to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce by Randy Mullett, Con-Way Inc. vice president of government relations and public affairs. Speaking on behalf of his firm and the American Trucking Association, Mr. Mullett revealed that as a result of rising fuel prices and the simultaneous downturn in the national economy, many trucking firms are struggling to survive while others have already been forced out of the industry.

“In the first quarter of 2008, over 1,000 trucking companies with at least five trucks failed, and 10,400 independent operators, drivers and employees have lost their jobs. This was the largest number of trucking related failures since the third quarter of 2001,” Mr. Mullett told the panel.

“This country is in an irreversible tailspin …”, we stated in Vol. XV, Art. 35, and we asked how thousands of new jobs could be created so that our buying power could be restored. No one in a position of authority is able to answer that question. But there is an answer, and history has proved its validity. We must revitalize our shipyards and build a merchant fleet. We were once “the gem of the ocean” and with our patented system for shipboard container storage and retrieval we can regain that enviable status.

Such an achievement would take the effort of millions of Americans, but millions of Americans – unemployed Americans – are available for the task. This unfortunate labor pool is increasing with each passing day, and unless positive steps are taken to revitalize our shipbuilding capabilities and initiate an economic revolution, a different but unpleasant revolution may take form.

We have the manpower. We have Title XI. We have our exclusive patented systems. And we have only ourselves to blame if we allow this nation’s officials to sit on their hands and do nothing.