A national economy based upon 90% service-related jobs
Is a formula to national poverty.
Certainly, service jobs are necessary and make all our lives worthwhile and comfortable as long as we can afford them. If youse put high finance (hedgies and vulture capitalists and Ponzi schemers) at the apex of the pyramid, by the time you've come down 1% (for the elite RICH) and just before youse get to the lowest 16% (those in the poverty classification), youse gots lots of room to maneuver.
But brain surgeons and skilled landscapers live in different worlds; both are in the service-industry, but at different levels. Mining, agriculture, and manufacturing when arranged satisfactorily contribute to wealth and lifts people out of service into productivity. All IMHO.
I'd like to argue with you Ace but there is some validity in what you say. Let's take manufacturing for example. Weed out all the people that are Non-producers and you have very few people actually making the product. You have a group that handles paperwork to deal with government regulations. Maintenance people don't produce but perform service jobs so others can keep producing. More automation reduces the number people needed for actually making product. How about material handlers that just move product and raw material around? Then we have all the logistics in getting raw material to the plant and moving product out to the customers. People in the stores are service-related. And I can go on.
Now there is the case of people doing jobs for others when many of the average working person use to do the work themselves. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not. This frees up people for other things, some being productive and some being recreational. This does allow people do actually earn money from doing tasks such as landscaping that many years ago was rare.
Now if your argument is that we need more manufacturing, mining, agriculture and etc done here in the States, well I am with you. But to do that we need to reign in the government and provide a business friendly environment. Remember that no government produces anything but simply provides services.
My argument is that a healthy, wealthy national economy is based upon productivity by competent willing workers. All workers in a productivity chain are contributing. Mining, agriculture, and manufacturing are the classical basic essentials of building a strong national economy. Managers, accountants, financial wizards are all willing workers in a thriving national economy.
Excuse my utililtarian approach, but a service-based economy is too many people chasing and wiping other peoples' tails without producing much wealth. Youse don't have to be an expert in either micro- or macro-economics to understand that civil servants, welfare recipients, nursing homes employees, nonsentient patients, physcotics, and an overcrowded prison system do not contribute much to the wealth of a nation.
Money-spinning is an adjunct to the wealth-building paradigm if the profits are brought home and distributed through the national system; if the capital goes overseas and the profits made overseas stay overseas, youse are only perpetuating the impoverishment cycle. All IMHO.