The Disintegration of America’s Wealth

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In 1950 one out of every three American workers was employed in the manufacturing industry. America was the manufacturing superpower of the world, and our middle class was both booming and enjoying a high standard of living. We were the richest and most productive country in the world.

In 1994 only one in eight jobs (12.5%) were in manufacturing. In 2014 the U.S. only employes one in twelve (8.3%) Americans in manufacturing.

In just 20 years, America has done nothing to reverse this trend. In fact, we’ve accelerated it. America has put in place some of its most self-devastating policy decisions (NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA, KORUS, etc.). In the end, this country has almost completely converted from a self-sufficient sovereign state, capable of manufacturing what it needs to sustain and protect itself, to a country of servants: serfs, working at the behest of foreign employers or engaged in the sales, marketing, and distribution of foreign-made goods, working at the discretion of foreigners, for wages they determine, and forced to pay their prices for needed goods. This is the definition of a servant.

A country that ends up producing little of value will have little to consume at home and little to trade abroad, and will have a low standard of living. The way this country was built was by developing world-leading industries and dominating the markets for products that we invented. We conceded that we are instead going to exist by selling our assets and eliminate most of our ability to produce for ourselves. No country can sustain itself under such policies.

From 1994-2004, manufacturing was the second fastest job-losing sector in our economy (second only to agricultural employment). From 2004-2014, the government predicts that most of the employment growth will come from retail, health care, leisure and hospitality, government jobs, and “professional and business services.”

The high-paid workers of this country consist of salespeople, attorneys, doctors, and managers. We did not build a superpower on the heels of these professions. We did it with manufacturing.

Many say that we are shipping jobs overseas because they are too low-paying or too rudimentary. Anyone who has worked in a factory operating a million-dollar piece of equipment can tell you the satisfying difference between being forced to work in a restaurant as a waiter and creating an actual American product. An American-made product? Seems almost fantastical, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be.

Why do we send factory jobs overseas to replace them with jobs in retail and hospitality? Factories sustain communities. Retail and hospitality enrich absentee corporations and shareholders. Offshoring and outsourcing strip us of technology, taxes, profits, and career opportunities. Why would America voluntarily choose the path that leads away manufacturing jobs, which pay much more on average than service jobs?

Some other countries, like Japan, pay wages as high as or higher than America because their manufacturing is capital- and knowledge-intensive, requiring fewer workers per unit of output. In addition, other countries like China that pay wages as low as one-tenth of ours do not have the same standard of living as we do. Their goods cost a fraction of what they cost here in America; therefore it is not possible to compare the wages on an absolute basis. Can you imagine a world where we not only consume our own products, but also do so with real wealth and not debt?

Many people also say education is paramount to reversing our place in the world. They say that not enough Americans are being trained for engineering, science, or production occupations. There is no point in educating people when there are no jobs – these industries are being systematically and predatorily destroyed by foreign-subsidized competition producing and operating both externally and domestically.

Our country’s economic vitality is propped up by foreign loans to our government and the foreign subsidized consumption of our incredulous trade deficit. Such tactics cannot last. We are living in a fool’s paradise.

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6 Responses to The Disintegration of America’s Wealth

  1. BIGuru says:

    “In 1950 one out of every three American workers was employed in the manufacturing industry. ” That is 33.33% of GDP, now in 2014, it is 8.3%. I have always said that USA has to have 30% to manage over Time but our so called Professor Economists do not get it. Sad…

    To know more please view: http://www.hoover.org/research/peter-thiel-markets-technology-and-education. Thank you.

  2. Clyde B says:

    ” There is no point in educating people when there are no jobs”

    There are high technology jobs going begging and unfilled everyday we’re told.

    Forbes magazine and others report that there as many as 4 million job openings in the US but the potential candidates are not sufficiently prepared by the education system to fill them.
    Our highest educational priority should to focus on preparing students to adequately and capably fill these jobs and those that will follow.
    If there are these many jobs at the top of the manufacturing chain unfilled, just imagine how many down stream jobs might open up were these jobs filled and the attendant manufacturing facilities were ready to produce at capacity.

    America prospers when we utilize our plentiful natural resources to make things. We can not, however, hope to survive in a service economy where no wealth is created.

    Bottom line is that we should prepare to adequately manufacture goods to meet the demand that would be refocused with passage of The Balanced Trade Act of 2015. Implementation of Advanced Industrial Ecosystems coordinated with properly focused education will assure that preparation is sufficient.

  3. BIGuru says:

    Clyde B: Only you and I know the tricks of the trade…You said:

    “Bottom line is that we should prepare to adequately manufacture goods to meet the demand that would be refocused with passage of The Balanced Trade Act of 2015. Implementation of Advanced Industrial Ecosystems coordinated with properly focused education will assure that preparation is sufficient.”

    And I agree. Balance Trade by itself can cause serious issues but when we add them to AIE, it is very simple for the rest of the World to support including the Plutocracy. Basically we control the direction but they have no choice but play for their needs. How?

    We are going to develop new products and technologies that Asia can not at this time. And I have thousands of them like over $5 Trillion projects. So, even the greedy will be very happy. And in the mean time I can get old students and new student for four years to get engineering degrees and related associates to work on new items….it is a done and done dill. And these students can pay for the student loans easily. The government can make money and adjust the loan interest too…

    All, we have to do is to get these old and inflexible folks to understand it….It is not really like Manna from Heaven…it is here and ready to go. China did this…Why can not we…

    • Clyde B says:

      B I Guru,
      I suppose I should be more concerned about the social issues and costs of forced balanced trade on other nations, but I can’t.
      We, the US, have borne the brunt of a literal draining of our treasury for the benefit of approximately 2 dozen nations. Our ignorant policy makers share the blame but I have no doubt that regardless of our position, those grossly over populated countries with whom we have built up the enormous deficits, would have held to the same policies they have been following. Their constrained domestic consumption coupled with their ever growing populations demand that they limit imports and push everything they can out the door for export. This will not change unless we force it. It is high time we did just that. We can not negotiate a mutually beneficial trade agreement so long as we ignore the driving forces behind those nations positions. As I’ve previously stated “it is not possible to push a rope”. Translated – “we can’t force exports”, even with AIE. We can only control imports. At the present, every imaginable demand for goods is being met by imports to the point that no incentive exists for domestic manufacturers to fight the regulations, tax structures and environmental restraints necessary to overcome in order to be able to start up or expand. We need the Balanced Trade Restoration Act to be passed to get the ball rolling.

    • Clyde B says:

      “Clyde B: Only you and I know the tricks of the trade…”

      Kind of lonesome, isn’t it?

  4. BIGuru says:

    It is sad…Philosophically speaking…as per Judaism which takes the key units for all Western Religions (Genesis and on) …we human beings come with Human-Spirit and Divine-Spirit. That is we ALL are two units in one. Like a smartphone and the cloud. We do our stuff under the human side with strong but low benefits from the spirit side due to the creation to provide new information to the Universe for it to grow. In the process, there are good Divine spirits but not so good Human-spirits (due to nurture) that govern our deals. This is where things get messed up. Extreme cases it happened to very high up people that have no idea what is what from the Human side. Hence we are going to uncharted territories depending on who is where doing what…Thank You…

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