Skip to comments.America Is Preparing Kids For The Future As Servants
Posted on 04/18/2007 7:59:30 AM PDT by A. Pole
In the 1950's 30% of US employees were in manufacturing - almost 1 in 3 jobs. This country was a relative manufacturing super power, we were the world's richest and most productive country. In 1994 approximately 1 in 8 jobs were in manufacturing. In 2014 if the US government (Bureau of Labor Statistics) projections are accurate that figure will have slipped to 1 in 12 jobs.
The government is telling us in black and white that the policies they are enacting will decrease both absolute and relative manufacturing employment to levels below that of the 1950's - over 2 million below.
In less than 20 years since America put in place some of its most self-devastating policy decisions (NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA, etc.), this country will have almost completely converted from a self-sufficient sovereign state, capable of manufacturing what it needs to sustain and protect itself, to a country of servants serfs, working at the behest of foreign employers or engaged in the sales, marketing, and distribution of foreign-made goods working at their discretion, for wages they determine, and forced to pay their prices for needed goods. This is the definition of a servant.
A country that ends up producing little of value will have little to consume at home and little to trade abroad, and will have a low standard of living. The way this country was built was by developing world-leading industries and dominating the markets for products that we invented. Now we have conceded that we are instead going to exist by selling our assets and eliminate most of our ability to produce for ourselves. This would make any country extremely vulnerable.
From 1994-2004, manufacturing was the second fastest job-losing sector in our economy (second only to agricultural employment). From 2004-2014, the government predicts that most of the employment growth will come from retail, health care, leisure and hospitality, government jobs, and professional and business services.
This country needs salespeople, waiters, attorneys, doctors, and managers. But how could we have ever built a superpower country on those professions alone?
Many say that we are shipping jobs overseas because they are too low-paying or too rudimentary. Anyone who has worked in factory operating a million-dollar piece of equipment can tell you the satisfying difference from being forced to work in a restaurant as a waiter because of lack of alternatives. Why would we send factory jobs overseas to replace them with jobs in retail and hospitality? Factories sustain communities. Retail and hospitality enriches absentee corporations and shareholders. Offshore outsourcing strips us of technology, taxes, profits, and career opportunities. Why would we choose that path as manufacturing jobs pay much more on average than service jobs?
Some other countries, like Japan, pay wages as high as or higher than America because their manufacturing is capital and knowledge intensive and requires fewer workers per unit of output. In addition, other countries like China that pay wages as low as 1/10 of ours, also does not have the same cost of living as the US. Their goods cost a fraction of what they cost here in America; therefore it is not possible to compare the wages on an absolute basis.
Many people also say education is the key. They say that not enough Americans are being trained for engineering, science, or production occupations. There is no point in educating people when there are no jobs when these industries are being systematically and predatorily destroyed by foreign subsidized competition producing and operating both externally and here in this country through insourcing.
We are living in a fools paradise, being propped up by foreign loans to our government and foreign subsidized consumption of our incredulous trade deficits which is approaching $800 billion ($1.6 million per minute) this year alone..
The net takeaway of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report is that if you expect to earn a decent living by producing a product any product in this next 10 years, you will have little opportunity to do that in this country.
Goodwill Industries and other “sued clothing stores” are thriving due to the massive amounts of used stuff that people no longer need or want.
The problem with Latin American and other places was not the trade balance but government spending and government loan guarantees. The market would quickly have sorted things out had politicians not been involved. The capital would have been used for investment rather than socialism. It's the difference between teaching someone to fish versus giving them a fish.Thank you for your detailed and well reasoned response.
The problem in the US is out of control government, not out of control business. Business operates within constraints imposed by markets, which will be imperfect, but correct themselves quickly. Government operates outside those constraints. So asking government to constrain markets is like asking the wolf to guard the hen house.
I am a business professor with a PhD in marketing. To fully understand what I am talking about requires quite an education. I have had eight years, and still do not understand it fully. But certain things are well-known, even to liberals. One of them is that free markets are way more efficient than controlled ones.
The two industries with the most out-of-control pricing are health care and education. It is no coincidence that these are the two industries with the most government regulation. Imposing more restrictions on imports and exports would yield results comparable to those we face in education and health care: it would dramatically increase the price of everything and produce a semi-permanent class of people who produce nothing but useless paperwork.
You assume that we will be able to leave and that may be a terrible assumption to make. Do you not think the Jews wanted to leave Germany? What’s more, as technology increases, it will actually become more difficult to leave.Plenty of good points there.
Lastly, with globalism in full flight, who is to say that the multinationals won’t have a grasp on the entire planet?
History teaches us that we might not be able to leave. The Bible prophesizes of another totalitarian regime that is the most ruthless of all. I doubt that we’ll care whether that regime is socialist or facist. Hopefully, that will be thousands of years from now.
Will the Chinese sell us weapons to fight back with after they go to war with us?
Capitol doesn't win wars. Manufacturing wins wars.
They are thriving because other people need or want it.
One year running your own business (or Pretzel Cart by Holland Tunnel) would probably eclipse them eight :-)
But Liberals (commies really) may well know it, but they do not strive for it. Their aim is full control as demonstrated by commie "paradise" shiny example. I grew up in the commie system, where all (not much) was taken care of. Now I am filthy capitalist pig, started from zero (OK, suitcase of clothes) and standing on my own feet, watching in horror where is America marching towards. Seems very similar: brainwashing, using masses to gain control, eventually to screw them all with totalitarian system and power. It worries me. Been there, hate to be there or my children again.
The KEY is Freedom, Competition and government nose out of our businesses.
Most of these things have been around since the industrial revolution and now all of a sudden they are the cause of off-shoring? I believe you should pay more attention to more recent events such as free trade agreements, Most Favored Nation status, WTO, etc.
What stopped India from inventing the airplane? The submarine? The air conditioner? The transistor? I don't know. What prevents GM from being Toyota? I don't know. There are a lot of moving parts involved. And a secret sauce that's not easily definable. I wouldn't be too sure that India (or China) can just step into our shoes. Note that Vinod Khosla helped co-found Sun. Why couldn't he have done that in India? Indra Nooyi is Pepsi's CEO. Why isn't she the founder of globe-spanning soft drink company in India? Again - it's not as simple as it sounds.
It's a combination of patents and trade secrets and some undefinable secret sauce. Why do Acer and Lenovo persistently have lower margins than Dell? Why does Toyota lead the world in profitability? Why do all three German automakers thrive despite strong competition? How is it that Colgate Palmolive and P&G are beating the pants off Chinese, Japanese and European consumer goods makers in China? It's that undefinable element.
I think American companies will do well the way they always have - by inventing new products and services and improving existing one in the way Americans have always done. Some might say this is taking things a little too much on faith. I don't think so - look at how many of the most profitable companies in America are only a few decades old, and compare that to a similar roster of foreign companies that make the list. Just because they can compete on the low end doesn't mean they can compete on the high end.
That should have read: Why does Toyota lead the world's automakers in profitability?
Nothing, as a matter of fact American businesses are showing them exactly how to do it. American engineers are wearing a hole in the carpet between the U.S. and Asia.
Good for you, my friend. God bless and good luck.
I think not.
You don't think?
Not the way you do, for sure. Only in an upside-down world are freer markets feared more than state regulation of them.
It will sustain itself as it always has. By being at the forefront of technology, information and innovation, and by adapting as the world changes.
We cannot predict where the future growth will come from anymore than we could have predicted what the Internet would become in 1980. But we do know what kind of system will keep us competitive; and that is a system that is open and honest and free of government intrusion.
You want to be rich yourself? Figure out the next big thing and make that thing happen. Given the fact that you have free and open, instantaneous communication with just about anyone in the world, there are very few boundaries except those imposed by your own fears. I suggest you stop thinking about what may not be possible and focus on what is possible.
Every American economic pessimist in history was wrong. Don't join them.
The majority of people have IQ's around 100.
And we have already reached the point where even people having IQ's above average are finding our technological world harder and harder to keep up with.
I would guess that maybe only 10% of college graduates were smart enough to begin with to make a real contribution in our brave new economy.
The rest are in over their heads, and spend more time hiding their incompetence from peers and superiors, until they bail out for a job somewhere else, where they repeat the cycle.
Point is, the majority of people are incapable of embarking on careers in science and technology.
Most people just aren't smart enough (and God bless them for it, but that's another story).
But they can be adept at working with their hands, which is just what nature designed the majority of people to do.
This free-for-all economy ignores human nature as much as communism did, and will fail just as communism did.
It's not a free market..... It's having your stuff made somewhere else and shipping it back. There is no trading going on here, they are laborers only.
I was responding to your comment #47, which clearly tried to diminish the impact that regulation has on U.S. business.
If I were a young person thinking about a major, I would major in some technical field such as engineering or Biology, and minor in business. I would take my electives in introductory languages so that I had a working knowledge of Spanish and Arabic and Chinese.
We simply do not know what will be important in the future. That is what makes the present so exciting. If I were designing a curriculum, I'd make students take 120 one unit classes to graduate, as opposed to 40 3 unit classes.
The people who do the best in the future will be very adaptable, not particularly locked into any one way of thinking, and functionally skillful in a multitude of areas, both technical and cultural.