Economic growth averages 2.2% since Obama stimulus

There are the 4 major components to economic growth.

1) Energy

2) Resources

3) Workforce growth

4) Productivity increases.

We’ve hit peak oil, peak fish, peak iron. Workforce growth peaked at around 1970 in the US. Of these 4 components only productivity has been increasing during the last 30 years. This is why 6% to 12% economic growth hasn’t been seen in decades.

As a reminder in 1934 the economy grew 11%, 1935 9%, 1936 13.9%. as a result of spending 5-6% of GDP on infrastructure. Unemployment dropped from 23.5% to 9.9% by 1936. In todays 17 trillion dollar economy, that’s 850 billion, which would create 21 million jobs and increase Social Security revenues, ensuring SS is good thru 2090.

Hematite iron ore found in the US was depleted by 1973. Taconite iron ore is found much deeper, its harder and has to be broken up before moved to the blast furnace to make iron. Taconite mines are now 1 to 1.5 miles deep.

The up coming explosion in renewables can create an energy boom. Once Humans start using space based resources, we will have a resource boom. If we don’t tackle climate change, the upcoming extinction makes it all moot.

About the best we can expect is an average of 4% growth over the next decade. And that’s a lot better the 2.2% we’ve seen since 2010-2011. But Bernie proposed 1 trillion over 4 years, sorry folks that's not enough. Hillary proposed 1 trillion over 5 years...hello?

Large scale projects need time to get spooled up, so spending 400-500 billion in yr 1, 600-650 in yr 2, and 850 in yr 3 does make sense. Infrastructure spending on this scale will transform the labor market in a variety of ways. The skilled labor pool vanishes, and yes, employers will have to compete with each other to acquire the labor they require. What also happens is young able bodied males will move from jobs in retail & retail management, sales, PC and device support that pay 25k to 35k to jobs that pay 2 or 3 times that figure. The Atlantic Wind Connection will soon start construction, working offshore 10-20 miles from land generally starts at 85k to 100k. Installing solar PV pays 40k to 65k.

So as infrastructure projects spool up, millions of workers are attracted to the field, potentially 20 million. So what happens to the middle manager who is over 50 and lost their job and had to settle for less? Their experience will be in demand again. Those in retail will notice their able bodied male counterparts leaving the field. Within 4-8 years the entire US employment paradigm is altered, younger people who played by the rules, went to college and can't earn enough to pay back those college loans will find they are in demand.

Renewables can hire 1.1 million just in solar PV and wind installing current systems. Pumped hydro storage another 550k. Super Grid work will hire another 460k. These are conservative numbers and in no way represent an upper limit to what wan can do in scale and number of projects. Tidal , geothermal 100k-200k. When high speed internet, bridges tunnels, high speed rail, light rail and other traditional infrastructure jobs are counted up, at some point we may want to open up our borders to add to the labor pool.

If we don't do this, climate change can become an extinction event. The path of 2.2% GDP growth is the path to extinction. Remember that when the next President starts talking about job creation.

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Roger Fox's picture

And yes, its on purpose.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Arrow's picture

The case for infrastructure spending to kick start the declining middle class is compelling.

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I want a Pony!

...makes it all moot."

Ain't that the truth! I've been waiting since Carter for the seriousness of the looming disaster to penetrate the American Consume It All mentality.

Still looking like an increasingly unlikely probability considering the foreshortened window for mitigation efforts. Oh well.

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"I fear that monstrous russian dictatorship going to attack the free world with bioweapons it seized in unexisting Pentagon funded humanitarian Ukrainian biolabs."
Greg Galloway 3/14/22

Roger Fox's picture

National Renewable Energy Labs have both laid out the path to 100% renewables.

The funny thing is there is a lot of money to be made doing this.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

CaptainPoptart's picture

One must ask why the oligarchs would oppose this vision of the economy since there is such an expansion of the economic pie. This would logically benefit everyone including the wealthiest and should have their support. Is it just the fossil fuel industry that retains the power to block these policies? Why would they wish to stick with 2.2% growth when so much more is available and all would profit? I just don't understand and never will unless the explanation is that we are dealing with sociopaths.

Thank you for an excellent essay.

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I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance. - e.e.cummings

Cassiodorus's picture

Bondholders like austerity planning or something. It's also nice to smash the working class so that wages stay cheap.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

CaptainPoptart's picture

also holds disposable income down which is harmful to an economy that is 70% dependent on consumer spending. It has even begun to push bonds into negative territory. Seems to me like they would prefer an economy that is growing from 6 to 12%. Financialization only lasts for so long.

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I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance. - e.e.cummings

Roger Fox's picture

For the most part, but new fortunes are there to be made.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

jwa13's picture

already expended in fossil-fuel production & consumption (mainly in energy generation), NEARLY ALL OF WHICH is owned by the oligarchy. Moving toward renewables in a big way means that those sunk costs (look up the economic term-of art) are, indeed, well & truly "sunk" - viz Peabody Energy.

Furthermore, continued movement toward renewables implies a parallel movement toward "distributed generation" - i.e., every homeowner owns/operates her own solar panels, and sells some fraction of her power back to the grid. In other words, under this paradigm, the power-generation monopolies soon are OUT of BIDNESS -- OF COURSE the oligarchs are flatly opposed to renewables and distributed generation.

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When Cicero had finished speaking, the people said “How well he spoke”.
When Demosthenes had finished speaking, the people said “Let us march”.

k9disc's picture

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Roger Fox's picture

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

k9disc's picture

True statement, and if it's about money that was a loser move.

But it's not about money, it's about power. They are happy to lose money to gain marketshare.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

They are buying time for the fossil oligarchs to establish a choke hold on renewables.

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to be made goes to people other than the PTB. Herein lies the issue, no one in power now wants to give up that power(money) to other people. So nothing changes.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
Now you know. . .
Sign at protest march

Imagine spending all that money and employing all those young people and experienced managers rebuilding this country and helping to save the planet for human habitation, rather than lining bottomless pockets and propping up an anachronistic empire. And doing something about the most dire threat to the nation in the bargain.

Nah. Makes too much sense. Besides, the people who would make the money are not the people who currently own our politicians.

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Please help support caucus99percent!

k9disc's picture

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Cassiodorus's picture

Oh and it needs to be added that climate change death is also certain if we buy a bunch of solar panels -- what really needs to happen is that the fossil fuel companies need to be put out of business, and the sooner the better.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

that hoarded solar panels.
I think it is the mic's control over the budget, their theory of holding onto oil as the most valuable commodity for the military.
My 2 cents.

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Roger Fox's picture

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

Hawkfish's picture

See their article here.

Note that this is a specific solution to a specific problem given existing infrastructure. The problem is supply chains, the infrastructure is the seriously over-provisioned reactors on aircraft carriers (~10x IIRC) and the solution is to make fuel for the carrier's jets on the carrier itself, using local resources (CO2 in sea water and the reactor itself.) If they can make this work (and there is no scientific reason why they can't) it is a big win for the Navy.

I'd also like to say something about the military as an organisation as opposed to a toy for those in power. Soldiers have often traditionally been natural allies of workers and they have a lot in common. A fair bit of the leadership is pretty sane too: they believe in climate change and hate being ordered off to unnecessary wars that kill the soldiers under their command with no clear goals. They also tend to have a strong sense of honour and duty, which is why they obey the orders of civilian leadership - even when they strongly disagree with it - instead of staging a coup to deal with the BS. We in turn have an obligation to repay this devotion by electing leaders who value their commitment instead of treating them like yet more disposable workers whose job is to make TPTB richer.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Roger Fox's picture

"The Electric Boat".

Laser weapons to act as air defense for carrier groups. Requires lots of electricity.

Giant electric motors to turn the propellers that make ships go. Requires lots of electricity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_electric_propulsion

Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System. Need more electricity?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_Aircraft_Launch_System

ONR has been funded 2 research companies efforts at fusion, specifically proton boron fusion whose output can be pure DC electricity, no thermal plant needed. EMC2 is working on the Ployell fusion reactor, in theory a gigawatt reactor would fit in a 30 ft room, at this size 2 can fit into a 560 ft Ohio class sub. or a 505 ft Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. In a Fleet carrier... you could probably fit 4 or 5 reactors.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

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Considering my kids can't get any steady job, full or part time, that told me long ago that he didn't want to fix the economy. He probably promised the neocons he'd make sure they had plenty of "volunteers" for their global occupation army in trade for being allowed to wear that "really cool jacket". Actually what he said was He called his Air Force One windbreaker “spiffy.” Brian Williams dedicated an entire segment to Obama's official over wear.

Beats fixing the economy, doesn't it, Barry?

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Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

in our review of environment saving options is population control. I realize it's an inconvenient topic, but we can't get an infinite amount of resources no matter how clever we become. btw I have absolutely no solutions to offer but am curious if anyone else does.

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Roger Fox's picture

and getting to 100% renewables.... to prevent an extinction event?

Carrying capacity of the planet.....? Think about it....... its probably going to solve itself, assuming there's a habitable planet to live on.

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FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

MarilynW's picture

What might happen is a "self-correcting" factor that will affect the average life-span of the average human. Climate change is predicted to decimate human populations but many humans reproduce more when under duress.

Look at the present day food riots in Venezuela for example. The country with the world's richest oil reserves was too dependent on the high price of oil. 85% poverty rate with on going food riots. How will that effect future generations in that country? And will this catastrophe spread to other countries whose economies are based on oil?

It looks to me that if we do not control population willingly it will be imposed upon us by climate change.

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To thine own self be true.

MarilynW's picture

many nations whose economies depend on fossil fuels. This change which MUST occur in order for us all to survive will not happen without human sacrifice. I don't know how we can make the change without the sacrifice.

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To thine own self be true.

give up their monopoly/oligopoly market position.

Utilities are enacting an all out assault on net metering (see HI, CA, NC, AZ). They want to pay solar producers the same rate they pay from other suppliers who produce with fossil fuels and nukes, not the retail rate they charge folks with a solar array on their roof. This, of course, makes solar financially impossible.

Utilities are firmly entrenched in local and state government. They are filled with incredibly intelligent and talented people that know how to maintain their market position. Their support at the federal level is bolstered by the fossil fuels lobbyists. These folks own the D's and R's.

Storage will be the great equalizer. If we can get a battery topology that will compete with grid power, people that have the means will be able to disconnect from the grid. Some folks have already done so. Ideally as a transition, we would use solar/wind/micro hydro etc first then have the grid as back up. But utilities are already denying any system that has batteries to connect to the grid.

I'm not seeing the US get to renewables effectively for a very long time. The good news is, many countries aren't gonna wait for us to get our act together.

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