“Black Friday” and More Problems For America!

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Our nation’s economists tell us that more consumer demand is the best way to cause faster recovery from the recession and its impact on our economy and jobs. So doesn’t that mean that the strong retail sales last Friday estimated at $11.4 billion for that one day must be good news ? And the estimated total retail sales of $586 billion for just November and December at $586 billion are even better, right? Unfortunately it’s not true any more!

In past decades much of our Christmas spending was for things made in America, so those expenditures directly helped our economy and jobs. “Buy American” really meant something good for retailers, the buying public, and for workers all across our country. But now our biggest retailers like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot import much of their merchandise from foreign suppliers. Christmas sales require temporary additional sales people, but there’s very limited business for American producers and workers. It’s the workers in China, Japan and other low-wage countries who benefit now.

What does this mean for our nation’s world financial position and our role in industrial leadership ? America has been running -increasing trade deficits –the difference between the total amount we buy and sell abroad each year. That amount this year will be about $600 billion – almost exactly equal to the $586 billion that we’ll spend on Christmas in the last two months of this year.

Yes, buyers of gifts pay for their purchases, but it’s Uncle Sam that must pay other countries for our national trade deficits to them. China is by far our biggest supplier and creditor. They hold several trillion dollars of U.S. securities that they use to buy prime U.S. companies to add to their industrial strength while we become less able to compete. Our ongoing “de-industrialization” greatly threatens U.S. national security.

What’s the answer? It’s not to “kill Christmas” buying at all. It’s to reduce the flow of imports by regaining control of our rich U.S. domestic market and using increased sales here to rebuild America’s industries. For success, there must be a strong leader under President Obama, and we need him or her now. Economy In Crisis and other top trade policy groups
have solid plans and ideas ready to contribute. It’s not “rocket science”, but a full national commitment is required!

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