Like Rome Before Us, America’s Main Export is Trash

A professor of Roman History at the Ohio University said that near the end of Rome’s Empire, goods from all over the world poured into the State. Rome enjoyed spices and oils from the south, meat and fur from the north and livestock, soldiers and agriculture from the east and west. What came out of the Roman Empire? Nothing but garbage and sewage.

A recent article from U.S. News conjured up memories of this lecture and the knowledge that a soon-to-be-felled Roman Empire once shared a similar quality. In the article, Jodie Allen reports that experts recently found that America’s biggest export is literally trash. Although America has not yet resorted to consuming only foreign goods and exporting only waste, this finding should send a chilling message to America’s politicians and citizens: We need to make more of our own stuff!

Our current trade deficit remains abysmally high. So high that the number tallies up to a total of 11 digits every month. That means every month our country practically gives away 10’s of billions of dollars, funded through debt and the Great American Sell-off. Every year our government runs at a deficit and our country trades at a deficit. This deficit duo of debt is bankrupting America and it must stop.

Millions of Americans lose their jobs every year not because they lack proper skills or are relatively unemployable to their peers, but because American workers must now compete on a global scale with workers in countries who are willing and able to work at a huge discount. Out of greed and in their eagerness to resort to a time when lax regulations allowed for the exploitation of workers, American companies moved their operations overseas to enjoy greater profit margins. At first, many Americans were satisfied because it meant the occasional cheaper item. But as time went on even patriotic and loyal companies had to resort to outsourcing and offshoring just to remain competitive. Now, because of “free trade” and greed America’s manufacturing base has been gutted, our wealth destroyed and our jobs evaporated.

America needs to put pressure on Congress and push for sweeping reformations of our trade policies. For starters, America needs to excuse itself from the WTO so we can fix our trade deficit. Second, “free trade” needs to be abandoned and policies that will encourage America to produce for ourselves and export only that which we can produce more efficiently in exchange for something we cannot produce as efficiently. Otherwise, American consumption comes from American production. If we do not demand that our country adopt these policies our factories will continue to close, our only options for employment will be in the low-paying service sector and eventually the biggest wealth transfer in history will accelerate rapidly to the detriment of all Americans.

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