The U.S. used to make things and export them. Some said that the U.S. fed the world from a mid-western 'bread-basket'. At the same time, the U.S. had a viable labor movement which seems to have simply withered away with the decline of American industries and productivity. After all, a nation cannot limp along on one leg. It was the Reagan regime which cut off the labor leg. Amputated, we have not gone far but backward, at best, in circles.
That the U.S. trails the world is proven by the CIA's own 'World Fact Book' which lists the U.S. on bottom with the World's Largest Negative Current Account Balance. Our benefactor/owner, China, is on top with the World's Largest Positive Current Account Balance. Simply that is because the China makes things and thus employs its population. China sells those things to us (the U.S.) but only because it props up the U.S. dollar in order to get it back via sales. It's a scheme that will eventually collapse.
The U.S., I seem to recall, once led the world in steel manufacturing, and, I believe automotive manufacturing as well. The US boasted a viable electronics industry but that is now found in Japan and elsewhere and throughout Asia. We lead in NONE of those areas today. China even sends IT pros to America where they took those jobs from Americans. The collapse of U.S. industry must be traced to Nixon's visit to China. I spoke with Bush Sr but could never pin the bastard down. I still want to know: what DEALS were cut and why?
The Chinese outsmarted both Bush and Nixon. The big factor is 'oil'. The U.S. used to produce it but reached a point at which 'secondary recovery' was no longer profitable. The vast oil fields of Texas are but a memory. The Chinese, by contrast, planned ahead.
The invasion of Iraq was never about Saddam's moribund or completely non-existent WMD program and less about fighting "International terrorism", a strawman! It was about gaining strategic control of Iraq's oil reserves for the purpose of propping up the dollar as the currency of choice in the critical international oil market.
If you doubt this, I suggest you consider the reasons Dick Cheney convened and conspired with his so-called 'Energy Task Force', a 'task force' which literally carved up the oil fields of Iraq between them. A war followed! A 'coincidence' if you are uniformed and/or naive, a 'conspiracy of rich men to procure their commodities' if you happen to be a realist and are likewise informed about the oil industry.
"I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth."
- Sir Thomas More (1478 - 1535), Utopia, Of the Religions in Utopia
Now --why does China own us? The trend began with overtures to China by Nixon, Bush. I spoke with both Bush Sr and Milton Friedman about this back in the late 70s. Neither man was coherent. The CIA'S World Fact Book confirms my fears though neither Bush nor Friedman wanted to talk about it. I was right. Friedman denied that the US was exporting jobs but the record proves that that is precisely the effect. In the meantime, China supports the dollar only because if it does so we may buy the 'product' that they produce.
In the meantime, US productivity vis a vis the rest of the world has 'tanked' as evidenced by our prominent position on the very bottom of the CIA's World Fact Book. Last time I checked just one percent of the population owned more than some 90 percent of the rest of us combined. It is significant that as this result was coming about, US labor declined concurrently with US productivity. See the CIA'S World Fact Book which lists the US having the world's largest NEGATIVE Current Acct Balance.
The Wal-Mart effect targets US workers and manufacturing. Its most pernicious effects are seen in clothing --low-cost goods with a hidden higher price: lower wages, lost jobs. Underlying every sector, however, are US trade deficits benefiting American consumers but only so long as they have jobs themselves.
As has been the trend at least since the regime of Ronald Reagan, manufacturing suffers most as Wal-Mart grows more intrusive, exploiting the trade deficit with its own undervalued currency. In effect, American consumers have under-written China's economic boom. What have we earned in return? Simply, the utter contempt shown us by China --it's government and its people.
By 2007, some 133,000 manufacturing jobs had been lost in the US; sixty-eight percent were the direct result of Wal-Mart's "partnership" with China. The effect continues to devastate US workers, the US economy overall.
The US-China trade deficits amounted to more than $1 trillion in US Treasury bills some three years ago. To be honest, I dare not look at what that figure may be today. Thus, China has rehabilitated its own economy on US backs.
It should come as no surprise that American jobs are exported during GOP regimes. The official record proves that it has been going on for awhile now.
Job Growth Per Year Under Most Recent PresidentsI could forgive a lapse here and there, a random failure, an 'Act of God', bad luck or misfortune, perhaps, a witches curse in which only one party fucks up so consistently. But, alas, the more rational explanation is not to be found in our stars, witches brews, Tarot Cards or random incompetence. None of those are to be blamed. We screwed up.
Bush 0.6Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Survey
Moreover, it is not China's fault that Richard Nixon, George Bush Sr, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan were either stupid or venal or both! It is not China's fault that these crooks and/or liars were willing to sell out the soul of our nation. It is the fault of a system of our creation, in which the GOP, most prominently, made a Faustian bargain with a war machine that has reduced the U.S. to the status of an impotent, bloated empire. We are, like Rome, whose currency was worthless and whose teeming masses could not be fed anything better than bread thrown them at a 'circus nor find jobs but that of Legionaire. It was not glory but plunder that defined the fall of Rome. It is not glory but bankruptcy and vassal state status that defines the fall of the Great American Empire!
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,Cassius, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."