The United States is rapidly becoming the very first “post-industrial” nation on the globe.All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing.
[Note: Deindustrialization has continued since this article was published in 2010. We’ve updated the facts when appropriate.]
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It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to aeroplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.
But now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of America. Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period.
The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us.
The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally outproduce the rest of the world combined. Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else in the world. If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?
Any great nation throughout history has been great at making things. So if the United States continues to allow its manufacturing base to erode at a staggering pace how in the world can the U.S. continue to consider itself to be a great nation?
We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world in an effort to maintain a very high standard of living, but the current state of affairs is not anywhere close to sustainable. Every single month America does into more debt and every single month America gets poorer.
So what happens when the debt bubble pops?
The deindustrialization of the United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country. But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them.
For people like that, take this article and print it out and hand it to them. Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber.
Dell Inc. has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.
Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.
In 2008, 1.2 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.
If our trade deficit with China increases at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
From 1999 to 2008, employment at the foreign affiliates of US parent companies increased an astounding 30 per cent to 10.1 million
In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 per cent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 per cent.
Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford's new 'global' manufacturing strategy.
Source: Economy In Crisis
As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
In America today, consumption accounts for 70 per cent of GDP. Of this 70 per cent, over half is spent on services.
In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.
Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products. Asia now produces 84 per cent of them worldwide.
The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.
One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
In September 2011, the Census Bureau said 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty, which is the highest number of poor Americans in the 52 years that records have been kept.
So how many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?
How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?
How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realise that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?
How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide?
The deindustrialization of America is a national crisis. It needs to be treated like one.
If you disagree with this article, I have a direct challenge for you. If anyone can explain how a deindustrialized America has any kind of viable economic future, please do so below in the comments section.
America is in deep, deep trouble folks. It is time to wake up.
Source: The New York Times.
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