Tag Archives: service economy

Everlasting Night

The United States, and most of the western world, no longer makes things. Our everyday necessities, shoes, clothing, hammers, computers, are now made in other countries. The United States is now almost entirely a service economy, insurance, bond trading, tourism, real estate, retail, and so forth, none of which actually produces a product, a “thing”, like a hat or a bicycle. The entire service economy succeeds only so long as the people who make the “things” perceive that what we give them in return, paper promissory notes, are worth something. But what happens when our promises are no longer accepted? What happens when the service economy slows and comes to a halt because the people who make the “things” we need to survive no longer load the container ships and send the “things” to us? At that point we will have to start manufacturing things again, and rebuilding a manufacturing economy will be a whole lot harder than it was tearing it down. And how will those of us in a declining service economy restore our industry? By a Deus Ex Machina? Or is that machinery gone forever as well?



He looked just like you would expect

An empty man to look

A man self-lacking in respect

A case right from the book

He settled wearily on the couch

He sighed and closed his eyes

Said, Doctor I no longer vouch

For what I know are lies

What do you mean? I murmured low

He sighed again and said,

I don’t know why it’s gotten so

The world I trust is dead

You see I once believed in all

The government would say

The TV news now has the gall

To claim that just today

They found that things that we once made

Are made in China now

The Chinese put us in the shade

They’ve stolen our know-how

We do not make the little things

Like hammers, hats and shoes

Or screws and nails and front porch swings

The stuff that folks all use

They claim that we’re in service here

In good old USA

And what is more, this much is clear

We’ve traded jobs that pay

Enough so that a factory hand

Can have a wife and kids

He knows he can support them and

His job won’t hit the skids

I never thought about it much

But doctor, now I see

That service jobs and others such

As those are never free

And have you lost your job I asked

He paused to catch his breath

I did, he said, and now I’m tasked

To bring about the death

Of all the lands that once employed

Its workers making things

I’m tasked to see that they’re destroyed

From commoners to kings

He left me then and shuffled out

I thought him odd but sane

And as I chanced to look about

I glanced out in the rain

And saw the lights go slowly dim

And streetcars to a crawl

I knew at once because of him

For on my desk a scrawl

“When men deny the grace of work

They cannot see the light”

And as I watched by some strange quirk

Came everlasting night