Skip to comments.Stop trading U.S. jobs away
Posted on 05/25/2003 1:23:39 AM PDT by sarcasm
We're in a modest economic recovery, one that is still fragile. And this recovery is not creating jobs. I'm far more concerned about the jobless nature of this recovery than the level of interest rates or market levels.
Government and corporate policies are sending more jobs, capital and American know-how overseas to produce goods and services more cheaply. The proof is in the numbers: The U.S. account deficit, the broadest measure of transactions with other nations, swelled to $503 billion in 2002.
That's not the way it was supposed to work. Increased global trade was supposed to lead to better jobs and higher standards of living by opening markets around the world for U.S. goods. Now some people, myself included, are rethinking the belief that free trade benefits all nations.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, rising trade deficits cost 3 million jobs in the U.S. between 1994 and 2000. And a report by Forrester Research predicts that nearly 500,000 tech jobs will be moved overseas by 2015.
We're also exporting capital. Companies like Motorola have invested billions in China - the country with the largest U.S. trade imbalance with the U.S.
Another problem resulting from America's trade imbalance: Intellectual capital is being shipped overseas - in some cases, raising national security concerns.
So what's gone wrong? Alan Tonelson, author of "Race to the Bottom," says unequivocally that corporate America is largely to blame. "They sold America a bill of goods during the 1990s, because they said that all of these new trade agreements ... were going to boost exports from their American factories. And what they've done is they've used these trade agreements to send production abroad."
Of course, American business needs to look for ways to control their costs. And consumers are often driven in their purchases by prices.
But it's not just corporate America that needs to adjust to the new global marketplace. Federal and local policymakers need to recalibrate as well.
David Huether, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, says policymakers need to ensure that the regulatory environment is conducive to maintaining our competitive edge.
"To make domestic manufacturers more competitive," he says, "we have to make sure that there aren't future increases in regulation that would push up costs here."
He adds that the federal government should promote trade adjustment assistance to help displaced workers find new employment.
We also need legislation that encourages companies to keep jobs here.
"The only way we can get in on this game is to ... make penalties for those who manufacture overseas and benefits for those who manufacture in the United States," Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) told me. "I have a bill to keep the jobs in this country. It's going to be an uphill fight because we've got to really change the culture."
Changing the culture won't be easy: The middle class has little representation in Washington, the multinationals have little incentive to produce here at home, and working men and women in this country are watching their paychecks shrink in response to the competition of lower-paid foreign workers.
Huether says that policymakers also need to lower barriers to trade overseas.
"Our tariff rates on industrial goods average less than 2%," he says. "The rest of the world, particularly developing Asia, is a lot higher - in the area of around 10%."
On the corporate side, Huether says businesses need to invest in their employees.
"The way that manufacturers compete is through their very high productivity, and one of the ways to do that is ... by maintaining a very able and trained work force," says Huether.
There's no easy corporate or government policy solution to America's export problem. It's time for corporate leaders and policymakers to heighten their efforts to keep American jobs from going overseas.
Was the United States a declining nation when it imposed tariffs to protect its industry?
"Companies" don't erect trade barriers - nations do. And all our major trading partners do, in fact, have trade barriers in place (try selling a US-made PC in China!).
Don't you think there's a reason when you travel to Canada from the US, for example, that you have to tell the border guards that you're not coming there to work?
It's a relief to know that we do things so much smarter now, even though we're a far less educated nation then we were back in the days that we imposed tarriffs. </sarcasm>
Free market bump.
Welcome to the 21st century and the race to the bottom. The economists are half right, third world nations have a comparative advantage of "low cost labor" a thinly disguised euphemism for sweat shop labor and CEO slave masters.
How might you ask do traders and investors become billionares by trading away a nations wealth, health, and prosperity ? Corporate welfare and political coruption is how. For example: Feinswein uses her power and position in the Senate to steer government contracts to her billionare husband Richard Bloom. Government contracts are money taken by the force of law, "taxes" from the people of the United States. Through a series of sub contractors, holding companies, and other business gimics all this wealth is then exported to third would nations such as China. In the lexicon of modern business this is refred to as, "win-win." China wins, Bloom wins, Feinswine wins, and the statists in government win having to exert ever greater amounts of control over the population.
Is it any wonder that Feinswein is an ardant supporter of gun control ? Just like the former USSR, a growing portion of domestic economic activiy is devoted to the "black" market or underground economy. By some estimates the black market in the U.S. is 10% of GNP, and this consists mostly of illegal drugs. If the U.S. government had prohibited shoes or tooth brushes instead of mind altering drugs, we would see a blosoming "black" market for these items.
Why is the "black" market called black ? End Of Rant.
We are in the middle of a geosynchronous slowdown in economic activity. Both Japan and Germany could soon slip into severe recessions with France, the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Asia not far behind. Even China is suffering from banking problems and a lack of domestic demand coupled with high unemployment. Using the hot media word "robust" to describe anything economic today just doesn't apply.
Chavez's opponents, who have organized months of violent protests, accuse him of authoritarian, communist-style rule in the world's No. 5 oil exporting nation. One person was killed and 22 hurt on Saturday when shooting erupted at an anti-Chavez rally in Caracas. The Venezuelan leader declined to comment on the violence, which came a day after government and opposition negotiators agreed to a pact that could lead to a referendum on his rule. ***
Venezuela's Government, Foes Agree Referendum Pact - Disarm civilian population*** In the 19-point accord, both sides agree to shun violence, respect democracy and hold referendums for the president and other elected officials as laid down in the constitution. The accord also endorses plans to disarm the civilian population. At least 50 people have been shot to death and several hundred injured in political violence over the last 18 months.
Both government and opposition negotiators hailed the political pact as a mechanism to reduce tensions. "This clears the path to a referendum as an electoral solution to the political crisis," opposition representative Alejandro Armas told reporters. Venezuela's constitution allows for a recall vote on the president's rule once he has completed half of his six-year mandate. In Chavez's case, this is Aug. 19. To trigger the referendum, the opposition must collect signatures from 20 percent of the electorate.
The government also insists that the National Assembly must first select a new National Electoral Commission. But the assembly, where pro-Chavez deputies hold a slim majority, is still haggling over candidates for the electoral authority which would verify the signatures for a referendum and set a date for the vote.***
There won't be much of a market left in this region if Latin America continues to turn Left.
Unemployment rate does not measure the real joblessness. Many people are not counted, others are counted as employed if they do part time temporary odd jobs, while trying to get the real job back. There are lies, bigger lies and statistics.
Also other countries count unemployment differently. Besides, your way of reasoning is - "in other countries like in Liberia or Chad people starve and get chopped into pieces so consider yourself being in the paradise", or "why are complaining about your chest pains? - the guy next to you has sarcoma!"
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