Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chinese Garlic 2 . . .

The original Chinese Garlic post raised concern that "free trade" policies threaten national  security.

Today I read this article from Business Insider that did not make me feel better: 19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Make You Weep.  Among some of the more concerning points:

  • The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001
  • The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.
  • The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
  • From 1999 to 2008, employment at the foreign affiliates of US parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million
  • If our trade deficit with China increases at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
  • As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
  • Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
  • The Census Bureau says 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty, which is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.
  • In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.

And leaders don't consider this exportation of jobs and shuttering of factories a threat to national security?


Anonymous said...

Let's keep giving tax incentives to Corporations that ship jobs overseas. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the Republican Party doing their bidding have ensured that this policy stays in place. The Obama administration attempted to stop this practice earlier this yr., but was blocked by the GOP. The same party that claims to be for the middle class. It's pathetic. The GOP along with Corporate America are selling the livelyhoods of millions of Americans right down the drain in the name of higher profits. It's treasonous.

Strikeslip said...

Let's not blame just the Republicans here. There is plenty to go around.

We are overtaxed and overregulated which prices us out of the world market -- and the biggest taxers and biggest regulators have been the Democrats.

The union thugs that pushed wages and benefits to unsustainable levels had a lot to do with this too . . . and they are being empowered by Democrats.

This problem is a bi-partisan creation born out of the dysfunction of both parties which no longer represent the average citizen. The radicals/Marxists have taken over the the Democrat leadership, and big business types control the Republican. Globalization suits both just fine.

Anonymous said...

with the highest corporate taxes on the planet, the overregulation of the economy,union strangulation ,endless disincentives to invest and with the threat of more to come is it any wonder that the economy of this nation is in the dumpster? Let's keep electing the same old politcians with the same old worn out ideas and i'm sure it will all get better.

Anonymous said...

There are approximately 335,000 factories in the United States. How many of the manufacturing job loss has been due to mechanization and increased productivity? How much income was produced to American shareholders and how much expansion of non manufacturing jobs for Americans has taken place due to foreign investment success? Check the American employement and payrolls of cell phone providers and the rest of the cell phone industry in the US. Production relates to the location of capacity to market. Market demographics are exploding in China and India. Of course, manufacturers will look to be closer to markets. What is the alternative? Creative destruction is disruptive but in the long run not only healthy but essential.The world cannot be shrunken.We must compete within it, not try to shut it out.

Anonymous said...

Blame yourselves! In the 70s, there was plenty of work to go around, perhaps more than we could handle. Employees and employers begged Congress to allow some jobs to be exported overseas. It started with the "lesser" jobs. Tax incentives were given to export jobs. Let's not forget about NAFTA, too. Soon, companies began to realize they could get a lot of cheap labor and still sell their products at the regular prices. In the meantime, the employees and their unions began feeling so good about themselves, they began patting themselves on the back and demanded salary increases. And Congress was spending so much money on its own, that inflation was inevitable.

Now, we realized our poor judgement and can't reverse course. Unions (outdated relics of the industrial era) are too greedy for their money, e.g. GM, and many local and state governments are money-strapped because unions won't undergo a reality check. Congress can't spend money it doesn't have fast enough, e.g. the "stimulus" package and obamanationcare. But that's ok because the public likes the cheap products imported and the extra time off.

Anonymous said...

Union thugs? How about the corporate thugs that destroyed this economy due to their greed? You're out of line. What are doing, going back to the 1920's or 30's when working people who asked for a decent wage were labeled commies & thugs? The vast majority of union memebers who u label as "thugs" are honest, hard working people who only ask for a decent wage for an honest day's work. I guess you're not a "thug" if you're willing to keep you're mouth shut about working conditions or are willing or forced to work for peanuts while corporate big wigs & Wall St. thieves rake in millions.

Strikeslip said...

Ohhh Spare Me the "decent wage for an honest day's work" nonsense. I'm a member of a union, and frankly I'm getting awfully tired of their political involvement -- because THAT seems to be the Union Elites main concern rather than their members.

With the exception of public employees who are forced to join because of "agency shop" rules, Union membership has dropped over many years for a reason.

Unionized Autoworkers have been making six figures for years. Per an article in the Washington Post a few days ago Americans are willing to do those jobs for half of Unionized pay -- and it still is a comfortable living. THOSE people are working at new auto plants (owned by foreign companies) down South. THEY are happy. THEIR jobs are secure. The Unions priced their own members right out of a job. That does not sound very smart.

Strikeslip said...

Here is an example of where Union excesses have taken us: Teachers in Buffalo Spent $9M On Cosmetic Surgery in 2009.

The Buffalo taxes that pay for this nonsense are what have driven Buffalo from a manufacturing powerhouse to a has-been of its former self.

No wonder Carl Paladino is Mad As Hell.

Anonymous said...

Yea, you're tired of their political involvemment because they're not endorsing your right wing candidates. I'm also a union memeber, & I'm glad that my union is politically involved. If they weren't, we'd all be thrown to to the wolves, i.e. the corporations that don't give a damn about the middle class. And if auto union memebers are making 6 figures, so what? If that's the case, then they are a small minority. Would it gall u if they were making that kind of money & weren't in a union? CEO's aren't. And union membership has dropped because Corporate America is outsourcing jobs once held by union memebers to 3rd world countries where they can be paid slave wages. Apparently, u have a problem with union members making a decent wage with benefits, but don't mind worker exploitation in Asia, etc. Millions of "union thugs" have given concessions such as pay & benefit cuts to help their companies survive.

Strikeslip said...

Of course I mind worker exploitation in other countries where they are paid slave wages . . . That is where WE should be imposing some kind of duty or tariff on products from those countries to remove the incentive for our companies to get around our minimum wage laws -- at least for those companies whose primary clientele are Americans.

That said, you assume that auto union members making 6 figures are a small minority -- but whatever they are paid they have priced themselves right out of their jobs, so it is hardly "so what?"

Union leadership seems to forget that their employers must be kept profitable for union members to keep their jobs. It should be a partnership, but union leaders do not seem to look at it that way. When the pay and benefit concessions are made by union members, it is not to help their company, but rather is a desperate attempt to hold on to one's job. Decisions on where to locate new plants are made years in advance. By the time the concession stage is reached, it is usually too little too late.

That is why all the new auto jobs have been in the South and why the economy is much better in the South.

I'll agree with you that CEO pay seems outrageous. The reason for that is they sit on each other's boards and vote themselves pay raises. Shareholders, however, have to approve of this. Union pension funds own a lot of shares. I don't see them taking any action in regard to curbing CEO pay, so they must feel it is fair.

Anonymous said...

Poor union work performance is another reason we are not competing globally. And, look at the national performance record of public school teachers who I think are unionized.

Bob the Builder said...

New York State is still being run by the unions. It is costing taxpayers billions due to "Prevailing Wage Laws" that force non-union employers to pay union wages and benefits when working on state-funded projects. Some of these workers are making $100,000 per year doing construction work. The prevailing wage for electricians is over $45 per hour.
The teachers union dictates educational policy. It goes on and on.
Explain to me how an assembly line worker deserves $50,000/yr. to do work that non-union workers would do for minimum wage.