America’s Economic Policies Destroying Us from Within
Our nation loses 14 manufacturing plants per day and has lost over one-third of its manufacturing jobs over the last dozen years. The United States used to be a wealthy country, not one buried in debt. We accumulated abundance through most of the twentieth century, as we were a very productive country whose wealth derived to a great extent from manufacturing. Our companies invented and produced many of the things we needed and much of what the rest of the world needed.
Today, American-owned corporations manufacture less and import more each year. This difference between the amount we import and export has created a huge balance-of-trade deficit.
As our American-owned companies produce less and become separated from their base of operations, customers and assembly lines, they become inefficient, uncompetitive, and ultimately go out of business. If not, these companies are easily taken over by foreign-owned corporations who, through their trade surplus with us, have gained huge supplies of our cash.
Japanese, German, Swiss, Dutch, English and other foreign corporations have purchased much of Wall Street in the last decade. Now very few American companies produce audio and other electronic products. Moreover, many of the products we say we manufacture are often only assembled here from components we import.
The American book publishing industry is now largely foreign-owned as well. German corporations alone are estimated to own a huge percentage of that industry. Our steel industry has been in a deplorable condition for years due to its inability to innovate. As a result, much of our steel is now imported. Foreign companies now own 69% of our movie industry and 81% of our cement industry.
Another reason why Americans should be disturbed by the decline of U.S. manufacturing is national security. As America’s manufacturing base has been whittled away in recent years, U.S. defense industries are becoming ever more dependent on foreign manufacturers for key components and materials.
Here are just a few examples of vital defense-related goods we now have to depend on foreigners for:
- Laser diodes. Essential in a variety of high-tech civilian and military applications. Virtually the world’s entire production comes from Japan
- Ceramic packaging. Essential in making many high-performance chips used in weapons systems. Ceramic packaging was in critically short supply during the Gulf War a decade ago because of the reluctance of Japanese manufacturers to supply the U.S. war effort
- Ferrite. Important in many high tech applications. TDK of Japan supplies the U.S. Defense Department
- Gallium arsenide. A semi-conductor material crucial for making high-speed chips needed in certain military applications
- Titanium and carbon fiber. Essential in many aerospace applications. Foreign suppliers dominate certain key stages of their production
- Charge coupled device. The seeing eyes on U.S. missiles. Their function is to lock on to the target and guide the missiles to it. Foreign producers dominate the industry
It should be noted that as with many other manufacturing industries now dominated by foreign producers, the United States pioneered the production of most of the devices and materials listed above. Unfortunately, as imports flooded our markets in the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. producers one by one exited these industries.
As this process developed, the U.S. sat by while other countries developed the ability to innovate and grow the technology, with no U.S. competition. These companies not only developed the technology, but the processes involved in manufacturing them as well. Now the U.S. is far behind the manufacturing capabilities of the rest of the world, and we need to do everything in our power to catch up or we reserve ourselves to the history books as yet another country destroyed by its economic policies.