U.S. To Become First Post-Industrial Nation
America is rapidly shedding its manufacturing sector to the detriment of its economy. As other nations work to build up industrial bases and create jobs for their citizens, the U.S. government currently seems compelled to enact policy that enables outsourcing and job loss.
While Americans once outproduced the rest of the world, we now are only able to out consume everyone else. This consumption has led to an explosion in imports in the past thirty years. According to the U.S. Census, in 2008 alone we had a trade deficit of $834 billion. While only possessing about 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes about 25 percent of its oil supply, according to the Energy Information Administration.
These are incomprehensibly large numbers, and ones that spell trouble for the economy. Historically great nations have always been producers. From Ancient Greece to Great Britain, a shift away from producing goods has always resulted in decline. Our current importation of goods will only lead to lower standards of living and further job losses if not corrected.
From cellphones to televisions, the U.S. no longer produces any of its electronic goods. Key industrial choke points such as cement are now almost entirely controlled by foreign nations. If facts, such as these are not frightening enough, here are 19 more.
As we move toward becoming a nation dependent on others for all of our goods, we risk losing our freedom and sovereignty. Just look at how our oil dependence limits our strategic options for a taste of the consequences of losing the ability to produce manufactured goods domestically.
Our ideological passion for free trade does not make sense pragmatically. Free trade is not fleecing the economy for all it is worth. Clearly, free trade and fair trade are not the same thing. What America needs is a movement toward fair trade. More sensible, fair trade policy would help to end outsourcing, high unemployment and stagnant wages.
As a new Congress begins its work today, we the people must demand fair trade solutions to our economic problems, or else resign ourselves to a status quo that will lead to ruin.