Although I'm loathe to agree with Pat Buchanan or give Human Events any publicity, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while, so I agree with Jack Cafferty. Buchanan is right on this one and how badly our rotten trade laws have hurt the United States. From The Cafferty File:
The past decade of self-delusion and self-indulgence has damaged the U.S. severely... and we may not be able to fix it.
In a column for the web site "Human Events," Pat Buchanan points to some staggering statistics about how far this country has fallen... including:
•The U.S. produced 32-percent of the world's gross domestic product back in 2000... it's now 24 percent - the sharpest decline by any country in modern history - except for the late Soviet Union
•The U.S. started the decade with a budget surplus... but ended with a deficit equal to 10-percent of GDP
•The economy was at full employment in 2000... now we have 10 percent unemployed... and another seven-percent that's underemployed or has given up looking for work...
•As many as one-third of all U.S. manufacturing jobs disappeared in the past 10 years, our national debt doubled... and China practically holds the mortgage on us
•Add in two wars, tax cuts under Bush, astronomical deficit spending, the housing crisis - and we have a real mess on our hands
Buchanan writes we did this all to ourselves believing we were "the greatest empire since Rome" and "the indispensable nation"... while buying into the global economy and free trade.
Meanwhile - prospects for robust and sustained economic growth in this new decade appear bleak. Top economists predict U.S. GDP will expand less than 2-percent per year for the next 10-years. They point to factors like a poor job market, a weak real estate sector and the banks.
Here’s my question to you: What’s to blame for America’s economic demise?
No one wants to pay a good wage because it cuts into profits. So jobs get shipped overseas because they will make it cheaper and goods can be imported here and sold cheaper at a higher profit. Everyone’s happy, right? What is forgotten in the equation is the consumer has to have money to buy the goods. No good-paying jobs, or no jobs at all, the consumer can no longer consume. We are a consumer-driven economy and our car has lost its engine.
Lew in Readfield, Maine writes:
We have only ourselves to blame. We want more and more government services and we want to pay less and less taxes. We want to inherit great wealth but eliminate the estate tax. We want great goods that come at a slave-labor price. Our parents were "The Greatest Generation"...... We Boomers will be forever known as the "The Selfish Generation".
Jack, You can call it "free trade" you can call it "global economy", you can call it "outsourcing". Whatever you call it, it's a loss of employment in a system that requires employment in order to sustain itself. The sad thing is, it's only going to get worse.
Jason from Iowa writes:
Human nature and human stupidity killed our economy…. We are focused on our government being the source of tyranny; it’s too bad that we have missed where the true source is and that’s the leaders and CEOs in business. The tree of liberty could use the watering of the blood of our corporate tyrants.
We are the only nation in the world that does not practice some kind of protectionism of its jobs. The stupid trade agreements of the last 30 years have destroyed the blue collar middle class.
Ron from Clearwater, Florida writes:
Jack, Sometimes I wish we could just have a King, no left and right, no lobbyists, no arguing, no corruption… just one honorable person who could straighten out the whole mess in a year.