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Bad Economic Trends

A few years ago, I read an article that said that in 1975, America produced 93 percent of what we consumed. Today, that figure is down to less than 11 percent. Gary Indiana, once a proud steel town is now a vast wasteland, not as fortunate as Pittsburgh, which has reinvented itself as an arts town. And it’s not alone. Small town after small town has died as the myth of a “service economy” comes home. Maytag goes to Mexico; lumber is being harvested at bargain rates by the Japanese, who process it ten miles offshore and then sell it back to us. Coal mining is a dying industry, choked by government and cheap oil, with nothing American to replace the jobs. The American economy is in a shambles, with little hope of recovery, unless we make a couple of fundamental changes. Doubt it?

#1 Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, the United States has fallen to seventh.

#2 The United States once had the highest proportion of young adults with post-secondary degrees in the world. Today, the U.S. has fallen to 12th.

#3 In the 2009 “prosperity index” published by the Legatum Institute, the United States was ranked as just the ninth most prosperous country in the world. That was down five places from 2008.

#4 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.

#5 The economy of India is projected to become larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2050.

#6 One prominent economist now says that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#7 According to a new study conducted by Thompson Reuters, China could become the global leader in patent filings by next year.

#8 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. Approximately 75 percent of those factories employed at least 500 workers while they were still in operation.

#9 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#10 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#11 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent.

#12 The television manufacturing industry began in the United States. So how many televisions are manufactured in the United States today? According to Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, the grand total is zero.

#13 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#14 Back in 1980, the United States imported approximately 37 percent of the oil that we use. Now we import nearly 60 percent of the oil that we use.

#15 The U.S. trade deficit is running about 40 or 50 billion dollars a month in 2010. That means that by the end of the year approximately half a trillion dollars (or more) will have left the United States for good.

#16 Between 2000 and 2009, America’s trade deficit with China increased nearly 300 percent.

#17 Today, the United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that China spends on goods from the United States.

#18 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#19 American 15-year-olds do not even rank in the top half of all advanced nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

#20 Median household income in the U.S. declined from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009. That was the second yearly decline in a row.

#21 The United States has the third worst poverty rate among the advanced nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#22 Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.

#23 U.S. government spending as a percentage of GDP is now up to approximately 36 percent.

#24 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government public debt will hit 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.

Which one of those is good news? Right, none. The funny thing is, there will be those who read this and start pointing fingers, trying desperately to apportion blame. That will do nothing, except delay coming to agreement on a solution. With that in mind, here’s what I propose.

Prohibit foreign owned companies from obtaining mining, lumber, or other material leases of Americas natural resources. Only Americans should profit from American resources.

Prohibit government purchases of any foreign made product. Our government should buy American, and only American.

Place a duty on all products that were formerly made in America and have since moved to offshore production. Make the duty high enough that it makes economic sense to reimport the jobs.

Do likewise with all imported goods. America should be built with American labor, with American materials, and by American workers.

Make it profitable to make, buy, and sell American, to Americans first. Our policies should be aimed at making America as self-sufficient as possible, and only to worry about other countries secondarily. America’s business is the business of making America great.

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. October 27, 2010 at 10:54 am

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