Bill Bonner (@Daily Reckoning): The biggest single expense for most businesses is the payroll. People are expensive. So, if you’re a good businessman, you try to get rid of as many people as possible – and not hire more of them. Even when you think business is improving, you try to service the new sales with the same staff. A little more over-time... streamlining administration... making the enterprise more efficient.
In that regard, computers and modern communications technology have been helpful. They make it easy to fire people! But they don’t seem to lead to the kind of GDP boosts that you need to create jobs and increase standards of living.
That’s why the ten million or so jobs that disappeared in this downturn won’t come back. And it’s why the real unemployment rate in the US hasn’t been this high since the Great Depression.
Or... you weaken your currency and give the whole population a nice little real wage cut, without them really noticing much, or agreeing to it. A matter of political will and expediency.