So JHK shows us an old manufacturing city of NY etc. Well he only sees a part, only the part he wants to see in http://www.kunstler.com/Greenwich%20Winter.html , for every force going in a given direction, there is an equal force going in the opposite, sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker (or anyone can assign which is stronger or weaker, etc.), for every dying manufacturing city in the US there is another one being born in the US, or more importantly, there are 10 being born worldwide and such.
For every interpretation of reality, there is an equally justified and correct and opposing interpretation (and it is anyone's guess which is the correct one, but the truth is there are no true interpretations, just subjective interpretations fighting to make believe they are general and true: or trying to achieve the largest consensus possible amongst people so as to become the "Correct because Dominant" interpretation of reality and such (when the interpretations are simply not just a command language, a subtle programming language used to program what people think and do and act and behave: case in point, the "Hard Work" myth forces people to work hard and invent hard work even when it is not necessary and force others to do the same by creating ever new tasks and goals and interactions and creates a consensus culture to create a never ending list of tasks and interactions amongst people (and expectations and goals, projects) and interactions amongst groups to enforce and create and justify the "Hard Work" myth, and since all behave and are programmed in such a way, it becomes the norm, the invariant, the interpretation of reality, when it is an arbitrary assignment and programming of people to act and interact in a given way or when the interpretations are not hiding a personal interest and personal gain of an interpretation against another (as in political debates wanting to impose certain political programs against others but really hiding a personal interest: more welfare because I want to freeload and such or less taxes for my company so I can gain but make believe that I will generate jobs or justify a personal guilt complex such as society doesn't generate enough jobs so I can keep on not working, but subtly trying to justify it through imaginary structural reasons when I am just lazy and such)).
So what is the correct interpretation ? there is none, my take on it is the following:
1) The USA, EU and JAPAN are destined to remain low economic growth economies for many years because all of the past reciprocal conditions, quirk conditions of technology level, cultural atmosphere, psychological atmosphere, lesser globalization from (once) 3rd world countries, etc. are no longer operating, the configuration of forces and combinations that created that growth are no longer operating and present, just like the weather changes day to day, so does it change on larger scales and longer time spans and in endeavors as complex as economy.
2) It will be increasingly harder to justify paying more for manufacturing in the first world when you can get the same labor for 200 or 300 dollars a month in Indonesia and India, etc. as opposed to 1,000 to 3,000 dollars a month in the USA, EU and JAPAN.
3) Even the Services and Intellectual, Information Economy jobs being paid more in the first world are not justified much anymore, nay, in these sectors the justification is even less because Information Economy workers are everywhere at any price worldwide thanks to the Internet and technology and such. And especially, in theory, Information Economy workers have a huge amplification of power and effects, a huge economy of scale as information chunks properly configured can even further optimize and eliminate the needs for further jobs (especially in the information economy as we are saturated with information, free information from the Internet and such) but even this interpretation may be completely false or better irrelevant, it doesn't matter or it could be a justification for being lazy and not working (as in being subject to another will power commanding you ? but that is what everyone seeks, only to fight it back, but need the fight anyways ? contradictions abound).
So, what is the truth ? There is no truth, it is a vain endeavor to search any truth or create any theory: things were, are and will be anything at all according to the collective forces of many millions of will powers assigning things to be in any way at all as Man is the Infinitely Programmable Machine.
In other words, anything goes, any interpretation, any political position anything at all, no matter how wrong, how absurd how far out, how impossible etc. So we can say that today the USA has never been so rich, that it is a complete Utopia on earth as all 300 million live in a paradise on earth and it is exactly 100 % true. Or you can say the exact opposite and that too, is 100 % true. AMEN.
We are only the value the reciprocal people we interact with give us in the end (and in a sense), we are only the program the reciprocal environment we find ourselves in forces us to play out, no matter what.
Beware of the word ALL:
"the spectacle proclaims the predominance of appearances and asserts that all human life"
That has created many philosophical errors, never use all, but "a lot", or "much" or "many" since you cannot see ALL of anything and be sure...
THE APE HAS TALKED ONCE AGAIN