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96% of American Work Produces Nothing

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As Americans we like to think we’re the hardest working, smartest, and most productive people to have ever lived.  Maybe we were at one time.  But not anymore.

In fact, we work less hours per person per year than the average OECD nation.  What’s worse, when we do work – get this – 96% of all the work done in America produces ZERO wealth. Don’t believe me?

First, let’s get one thing straight.  Transferring goods and services from one person to another person does NOT produce wealth. All that does is MOVE existing wealth from one person to another person.   This is equivalent to taking a dollar from your left pocket and putting it in your right pocket.  You had to work to make that happen, but you’re no wealthier for having done so.

So, how did I come up with the ridiculous claim that 96% of all work done in America produces zero wealth?   Easy, the government told me so.  The US GDP in 2011 was right at $15 trillion. Of that $15 trillion, the following industries and the government accounted for 96.1% of that “income”.

  • 33% – Government Revenue (taxes collected)
  • 17% – Retail
  • 12% – Healthcare
  • 9% – Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
  • 8.5% – Transportation
  • 8.3% – Financial Services
  • 8.3% – Professional Services (non-financial)

The following, along with all other unlisted industries, accounted for the remaining 3.9%:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical
  • Consumer Goods
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Technology
  • Machinery & Equipment
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Semiconductors
  • Software & Information Technology Services
  • Textiles

Seems to me we like buying crap, eating crap, taking drugs, going to look at stuff, sitting on our butts, and having the crap, food and drugs brought to us so we don’t have to get off our butts.  Oh yeah, and we like to shuffle paper for other people (skimming a fee from them for doing it, of course).

What we don’t like is doing research, inventing stuff, and building stuff.  In other words, we don’t like to work.  Well, at least not the kind of work that produces actual wealth.

The US, once the world’s leading producer of wealth, now spends 96% of its labor moving or consuming other people’s wealth while at the same time being the world’s largest debtor.  All the while forcing the rest of the world to use our worthless currency at the literal point of a gun.

How long do you think the rest of the world will allow this to continue?

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http://selectusa.commerce.gov/industry-snapshots

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18144320  

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