Pundits and business news people are pointing to the home mortgage crises as the source of our economic woes. But there is another factor that, in my opinion, is much more serious. It is now almost impossible to find American made goods. We have lost nearly all our manufacturing capacity. Just go to any store and check the origins of most of the products on the shelves. Only occasionally will you find an American-made product.
This is a problem for two reasons. First, our national wealth is being shipped abroad at staggering rates. It is not only our thirst for oil that is draining our nation of wealth. It is the balance of payments. We are simply buying far more stuff from the rest of the world than we are selling. And this condition has existed for quite a few years now. Then the nations, such as China, are using our money to build their world wide economic capacity. China is now buying up ports, air ports and other world transportation facilities. Note that they now have a presence in the ports on either end of the Panama canal.
This puts our national security in jeopardy. If we are again forced into a world wide armed conflict, we will be severely hampered by our lack of manufacturing capacity. Again, a lesson from history makes this very clear. During the War for Southern Independence, the confederacy was badly hampered by a lack of manufacturing. Dixie was a farming society, depending on agriculture for income, and trade for manufactured goods. When the war started, the south depended almost totally on imports to provide the equipment for war, and the Union blockade of her ports assured that needed material was almost impossible to obtain.
Today, if the U.S. were to become entangled in another major war, we would have a very difficult time, at least initially, in obtaining war material. Much of it would have to be imported, often from nations that do not like us very much. Any chance of victory would require a rapid rebuilding of our manufacturing base, and by then it might be too late.
Yes, the financial and housing markets are in trouble and that is dangerous for our economy. But the loss of manufacturing could easily cost us our freedom. We must have action from Congress and others that will reconstruct our manufacturing base, and that requires reductions in taxes and regulations. It also requires actions by the Unions to help control the cost of production.
American workers can and do produce the best products in the world. But no matter how good they are, if they cannot compete in the market due to excess prices, we will never recover and will constantly be in danger.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/
Frank this is one of your best letters.
Anonymous, I see you are a Vicente Fox supporter. Are you Latino?
Below is a link to an interesting article about Vicente Fox and his followers.
No, I'm a business owner and I went from hiring 1 Latino in 1999 to now employing almost all Latinos (of my 20 full and part-time employees, only one is not Latino) because they have proven to be better employees who show up for work consistently and, well, actually come prepared to work! That's why my business is doing well while so many others aren't...I have the best employees. By the way, all of my Latino worker are citizens are have a green card. I've tried to hire traditional Americans, but Americans have just become too lazy and they only want to get paid and not work, or just sit around and draw unemployment or disability.