Presidents have been unwilling to name, much less remedy, the deep economic forces that are turning payroll jobs into what I've termed "The Task Rabbit Economy" -- a collection of ad hoc gigs with no benefits, no job security, no career paths, and no employer reciprocity for worker diligence. But there are signs that maybe this issue is starting to break through.
Some manufacturing is coming back to America, to be sure, but not the assembly line jobs that used to be the core of manufacturing employment. Computerized machine tools and robots are doing an increasing portion of the work -- which is why many companies can afford to bring their factories back here. Get it? Technology and globalization are driving the good deals American consumers are getting this holiday season. But the same forces are keeping wages down, and are even on the verge of eliminating many of the low-wage retail and related service jobs many Americans now need to make ends meet. To put it another way, American consumers getting great shopping deals are also American workers on the losing end of those same deals.