Empire on Lenin - Part 3

Greg Schofield g_schofield at dingoblue.net.au
Wed Dec 12 18:57:57 MST 2001


--- Message Received ---
From: Mark Jones <mark.jones at tiscali.co.uk>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 17:58:21 +0000
Subject: Re: Empire on Lenin - Part 3

"At 12/12/2001 15:58, Greg Schofield wrote inter alia:"

">Look at the US today, yes its military production sector is incredibly
>strong, but what of the rest of its productive capacity - a steady decline
>for decades now."

"This is just one assertion I chose almost at random. Like many others it is
wrong."

"It's important to have some grasp of the facts. Taking the latest period,
1995-2000, typical manufacturing industry in the US increased its output by
around 10-20 per cent. American firms now produce more than twice as much
output with the same number of workers as they did in 1973, whereas British
firms produce almost the same as before with only half as many workers."

"(Robert Rowthorn, professor of economics at Cambridge, cited by William
Keegan in The Guardian, Sunday November 4, 2001)"

Mark I was making an assertion there is no doubt about it, I had understood that since the 1980s at least USA production had gone through a cycle of disbursing productive capacity around the world - the car industry (world-car) being a prime example, but also the shutting down of much steel production and the moving off-shore of critical parts of the production process.

There may be some reason for manufacturing increasing output because of this disbusement, as well for what is implied by your comment that little real disbursement has taken place. Perhaps the increased productive output is because US workers are finishing more products, the parts of which a manufactured elsewhere?

Or did I miss something fundemental, that the movement towards disbursement in the 1980's onwards was in fact a charade?

I pose the question honestly, as I would suppose before your response I would have assumed that most people accepted a period of disbursement of productive capacity especially to cheap labour countries. I therefore scratch my head as I find it hard to discount what I thought was a general movement over a prolonged period, and must assume that somehow these figures for manufacturing are a result of this and not the proof that it did not happen.

As you are in a much better position than me could you resolve this dilema. I don't doubt the figures, I just doubt this interpretation of them - what is going on?  PLEASE EXPLAIN.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia

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