There’s a story about the chairman of an American company who, during his AGM speech after a particularly bad year, said, ” One might reasonably ask where all the Customers have gone. ”
A voice from the back of the room shouted, “You sacked them all, you moron.”
I used to tell that story as a joke, but these days, hardly anybody laughs.
In the USA, it’s the new reality.
Its economy, like Australia’s, is designed for, in fact depends on, growth. Growth requires increasing consumption, which in turn, depends on more and more consumers. And consumers depend on jobs.
So the intellectual giants at the helms of American corporations closed more than 45,000 factories between 2001 and 2010. Now they’re asking where all the customers have gone.
The answer of course is that they emigrated to China along with the jobs. Gollygee, as Gomer Pyle would have said, who could have seen that coming?
Meanwhile, the best that Harvard can produce – they work on Wall St – applauded wildly and gave said CEO’s huge pay rises.
And between the lot of them, what’s their solution? Hire lobbyists to bribe Congress to make sure nothing changes, all the while trying desperately to convince Americans that all these Nouveau Riche are really ‘job creators’.
Yeah, they’re job creators alright. It’s just that the jobs they’e creating aren’t in America.
The reason I’m banging on about this is that there are powerful forces at work here in Australia happy to create the same situation; using the resources boom to justify the demise of our manufacturing industry, along with its million plus jobs.
Maybe our lot didn’t go to Harvard, but evidently they managed to sleep through the same lectures.
And, it would seem, most of the last two decades.