Photo: rchappo2002 on flickr
Once upon a time, the United States was the greatest industrial powerhouse that the world has ever seen. Our immense economic machinery was the envy of the rest of the globe and it provided the foundation for the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world.
But now the once great U.S. economic machine is being dismantled piece by piece. The U.S. economy is being gutted, neutered, defanged, declawed and deindustrialized and very few of our leaders even seem to care.
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It was the United States that once showed the rest of the world how to mass produce televisions and automobiles and aeroplanes and computers, but now our industrial base is being ripped to shreds. Tens of thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas. Many of our proudest manufacturing cities have been transformed into “post-industrial” hellholes that nobody wants to live in anymore.
Meanwhile, wave after wave of shiny new factories is going up in nations such as China, India and Brazil. This is great for those countries, but for the millions of American workers that desperately needed the jobs that have been sent overseas it is not so great.
This is the legacy of globalism. Multinational corporations now have the choice whether to hire U.S. workers or to hire workers in countries where it is legal to pay slave labour wages. The “great sucking sound” that Ross Perot warned us about so long ago is actually happening, and it has left tens of millions of Americans without good jobs.
So what is to become of a nation that consumes more than it ever has and yet continues to produce less and less?
Well, the greatest debt binge in the history of the world has enabled us to maintain (and even increase) our standard of living for several decades, but all of that debt is starting to really catch up with us.
The American people seem to be very confused about what is happening to us because most of them thought that the party was going to last forever. In fact, most of them still seem convinced that our brightest economic days are still ahead.
After all, every time we have had a “recession” in the past things have always turned around and we have gone on to even greater things, right?
Well, what most Americans simply fail to understand is that we are like a car that is having its insides ripped right out. Our industrial base is being gutted right in front of our eyes.
Most Americans don’t think much about our “trade deficit”, but it is absolutely central to what is happening to our economy. Every year, we buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.
In 2010, the U.S. trade deficit was just a whisker under $500 billion. This is money that we could have all spent inside the United States that would have supported thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.
Instead, we sent all of those hundreds of billions of dollars overseas in exchange for a big pile of stuff that we greedily consumed. Most of that stuff we probably didn’t need anyway.
Since we spent almost $500 billion more with the rest of the world than they spent with us, at the end of the year the rest of the world was $500 billion wealthier and the American people were collectively $500 billion poorer.
That means that the collective “economic pie” that we are all dividing up is now $500 billion smaller.
Are you starting to understand why times suddenly seem so “hard” in the United States?
Meanwhile, jobs and businesses continue to fly out of the United States at a blinding pace.
This is a national crisis.
We simply cannot expect to continue to have a “great economy” if we allow our economy to be deindustrialized.
A nation that consumes far more than it produces is not going to be wealthy for long.
In the years since 1975, the United States had run a total trade deficit of 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world
The United States spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States
The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2
The Bureau of labour Statistics originally predicted that the U.S. economy would create approximately 22 million jobs during the decade of the 2000s
Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975
Between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 per cent to 10.1 million
Back in 1998, the United States had 25 per cent of the world's high-tech export market and China had just 10 per cent
The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high
In 2008, 1.2 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.
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