First 100 Days: Manufacturing a dream and a recovery

January 19, 2009

Scott_Paul– Scott Paul is executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a labor-management partnership of several leading U.S. manufacturers and the United Steelworkers. The views expressed are his own. —

Barack Obama knows the story of American manufacturing firsthand. He cut his political teeth as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago in the shadow of shuttered steel mills, working to salvage hopes and dreams that had been crushed by the weight of layoffs and economic decline. As President, he can authoritatively recall America’s industrial heritage and decline, but more importantly, Obama can lead the nation to a renaissance in American manufacturing.

Manufacturing has boosted the American economy, jobs, and wages for generations dating back to World War II. Recently, it has fallen on very hard times. Nearly one in four manufacturing jobs has vanished since 2000, and 40,000 factories have closed since 1998. Last year, manufacturing accounted for nearly a third of all lost jobs in the U.S., while factory orders plummeted to record lows.

The health of manufacturing is important even for those who do not hold factory jobs. That is because manufacturing jobs pay better wages than other forms of employment—twenty percent above the U.S. average. Manufacturing jobs also have a stronger multiplier effect—supporting as many as five other jobs—thus contributing disproportionately to the economy. Manufacturers are large local taxpayers, supporting vital public services and schools in communities across the nation. American manufactured products tend to have a much smaller pollution footprint than Chinese products, and we are already deploying new technologies to compete in the clean energy economy of tomorrow. Finally, our national security depends on a strong defense industrial base to supply our troops and protect our interests.

If the creative destruction of capitalism and the arc of history were responsible for American manufacturing’s steep decline, there would be a legitimate debate about whether or not it is worth saving. But public policies have contributed tremendously to the predicament we now face; smarter public policies can get us on the path to recovery.

Wall Street’s woes and the collapse of the housing bubble bear some responsibility for manufacturing’s current condition. Credit markets and consumer demand have dried up, idling factories all over the nation. A substantial, strategic, and sustained economic stimulus package is needed for the overall health of the economy, as well as to boost manufacturing.

The stimulus should focus on investments in infrastructure such as mass transit, a smart energy grid, roads and bridges, which not only provide the greatest return on investment for American taxpayers by generating more jobs and economic growth than any type of tax cut, but will also make us more competitive in the long run. A sizable stimulus that includes a $148 billion annual new infrastructure investment can create up to 2.6 million jobs, including more than 252,000 in manufacturing. But manufacturing job gains are reduced by one-third unless all infrastructure materials are sourced domestically.

Dramatically reducing America’s trade deficit—which stood at a record $700 billion in 2007—will also boost manufacturing. American workers and companies often face global competition subsidized by governments, as well as violations of intellectual property, disregard of reasonable labor laws, and non-enforcement of environmental regulations. Governments such as China’s artificially lower the value of their currencies to gain a trade advantage. Simply enforcing domestic and international trade laws designed to ensure a level playing field, while ending subsidies and currency misalignment will boost our exports, reduce our trade deficit, and create jobs.

If Obama delivers on a manufacturing agenda, every American will benefit. He will also offer a new generation of Americans the same opportunity as their parents and grandparents had: to achieve the American Dream and join the ranks of the middle class.


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From one Scott to another. Can you state anything more obvious? Manufacturing has always had the benefits of the things you mentioned.

But flight of manufacturing jobs well before “W”. Actually they started seriously durings his fathers administration and then accelerated into-through the Clinton administration.

Oh gee did I write something wrong? You got it President Clinton in a big way pushed for the exporting of American manufacturing jobs. Plus another reason is that it costs too much to manufacture items here. Why?

Wages are 300 to 400% higher here than the other manufacturing locations. Ummm…. local taxes, ordinances, environmental laws and a host of treaties that Democrats n Republicans have both signed on for/to. Oh yes, let’s not forget the massive regulation and insurance cost’s for business in this country.

We are victims of our own success and we are just stuck on ourselves. We won’t admit we have to change alot of things, including the mind set that we are number one. We aren’t, China is.

American quality has gone down. Japan, Europe and Korea have passed us.
Americans are complacent and lazy. All of the developing countries of the world do just as much and with less. Japan and Korea have lower employment costs for the companies/corporations because they don’t have unions which demand better and better contracts every time they negotiate. Sure they give up some stuff but get that part they gave back to the business 2 or 3 fold in the next negotiation. American workers of manufacturing are demanding more and more and more. Yet they turn out the same thing, no higher value, no more efficient and no better. Just better for the employee.

Now when that happens the company looses out the stock holders loose out. Some of you say,” So What!?!?!? “. Remember this though, without investors the company can’t grow, modernize, advertise, push it’s products, bid for contracts and/or make new products. If any of those items are gone from a manufacturer it will eventually die.

Then you have the lifetime benefits, yep that’s another major reason the Manufacturers head out of country. Some American manufacturers pay almost 41% of total company receipts to retiree benefits. That’s a huge chunk and will kill almost any company, except one sponsored by a government.

Americans need to get off their butts. Get that drive to suceed back. Make long term concessions for the good of the company and country. Not expect everybody to take care of them and have no personal responsibility.

America. American companies and mostly American workers need to take some responsibility like our parents, grand parents and great grand parents did. Are we any less capable? Just less willing.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

I’m a second generation factory worker.I have worked hard for my company for 36 years.I have sacraficed my body for the company.Now all of a sudden they announce a plant clousure,They say it is not logistically profitable to operate this factory.They are moving our manufacturing south of the border,so it will be more profitible for the board of directors and the company.This will affect over 600 local jobs at this plant.Not to mention all the local companies that support us.It seems you cannot purchase a major appliance,car ,truck or anything that is made in the USA anymore.Didn’t we used to be the industrial capital of the world?I’m sickened by this fact.Legeslature needs to impose strict tarrifs on all companies that send manufacturing jobs out of the country.I’m an angry American

The irony is that even China and India knows that they need to consume their own productions. They already know all manufacturing build countries. They also know that Great Briton lost their might without factories.

Posted by JJ | Report as abusive

Yes! Bring back manufacturing. Anything that can be produced here, should be. For more information on why we must do just that, please go to the NOV-DEC issue of Foreign Affairs and read the article called Freight Pain. That should convince anyone that we must rebuild American manufacturing. In fact, if you think about it, if we were successful, I imagine that we’d see a labor shortage for awhile. Which might spur even more innovation in computerized manufacturing. I have hopes that the powers that be will see that this orgy of imports has got to be reversed. Ancient Rome did exactly what we have done, imported foodstuffs and what constituted manufacturing at the time, from a place called Cisalpine Gaul. Not too long after that, the barbarians owned the place. And consider England before WWII. It could not feed itself and had to depend on the US for just about everythign to fight Nazi Germany. Anyone getting that panicky feeling yet? Please do!

Posted by Wyn Dale | Report as abusive

Low Cost / Long Term Loans must be made available to Manufacturers. Historically Real Estate has been much favored and Manufacturing neglected. Without support from lenders there can be no recovery. A long term view is necessary and a Buy American campaign is urgently needed. No Handouts or Bailouts, Just sincere support, Please Help Now Before It’s Too Late.

Posted by Very Afraid | Report as abusive

How about this, when Americans start accepting Chinese labor wages, then Companies will start to move jobs back to the U.S.
It’s ignorance to think that if Companies move their jobs over here, that Americans will be better off. People want to keep their overvalued wages, keep their undervalued goods, and keep their relatively good living standards.
That’s not going to happen, but as Mexican’s former president says “Too bad! tough it out”.

If companies went back to the States, imagine how expensive our goods would become if you take into account the new labor costs. You’ll have some nice inflation then!

It’s my theory that the Dollar is overvalued, and will experience a correction sometime in the next decade, maybe tomorrow, lol. Then, real wages will fall towards the World mean (will still be too high relative to the rest of the world), and jobs will re-appear in America. If real wages continue to be too high, then Americans will have to continue to buy inexpensive products with their overvalued dollars. Boo hoo for you and me!

I don’t know about you, but I would rather have an overvalued currency which lets me buy things relatively cheaply, than an undervalued currency which leaves my living standards in the toilet.

If you’re going to complain about trade wars and China’s undervalued currency, then go live in Polluted china, and go over there to work at the factories for peanuts. Otherwise shut up, and stop acting like you know all of the answers about how to get the country out of the recession or pretend to be a patriot by bringing up the “Send Jobs back to America routine”. Those arguements are logically flawed, and you’re arguing for a debasement of OUR currency, which will bring our real wages way down, along with our living standard.

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

When the finger pointing starts, Americans need to turn it around and point it at themselves. I have been in manufacturing for 30 years. “Made in America” went out of style a long time ago. It is a free market economy and purchasing American Made products is a free choice every American could have been making for the last 20 years. Other countries have always had purchasing loyalty, even if the price is higher. Americans have not and still do not. If they had, jobs would not have migrated because it is the consumer who determines the market, not the manufacturer. Manufacturers only react to consumer demand. Throw any argument against it, and the bottom line is still the same. No need to point fingers across borders, point them right here in America.

Posted by Dr. Frank | Report as abusive

Got to love it – everyone has an opinion but most don’t get it – people have always been and will always be EXPENDABLE!!!. Be it labor or war – the ruling minority will always mximize it’s profits or wealth accumulation at the total expense of the working classes. Marx was right on recognizing that this is the natural order – he was wrong on how to fix it. The only way this ever changes is when world-wide labor rates equalize – and this will not happen anytime soon. So, if you want a decent wage you can become self employed, become a professional – i.e. doctor, dentist, vet, or another lousy lawyer. But the best solution is to become a congress person – you get to do almost nothing, don’t need to have any substantial knowledge, you can spout off your opinions all day, and get you paid for it.

Posted by DJ | Report as abusive

First of all, I’d like to say there are some great comments on here and I am a proponent for bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., but there are many issues that need to be addressed first. Bringing wages down to standards set in any of the third world countries that we have a lot of our manufacturing base in is not the answer. Unless our standard of living dropped as well, housing would have to drop to about 10% of what it is today. I don’t think that’s the answer either, I think it has to do with the uneducated middle class, or lower middle class and below, who don’t mind working for lower wages as long as they are able to provide a roof over their heads for their families and food on the table, however they shouldn’t be racking up credit card bills to buy a 50″ plasma they could never pay cash for in a 6 month period or less either… If you want one, save for a couple months and pay cash for it or do it in a responsible manner by paying down on your credit cards. It’s the sense of entitlement, to buy now, things I could never afford with my salary if I didn’t have a credit card and the ability credit cards and banks have given, even pushed to the consumer. I am not saying do not use credit, use it responsibly. Stop living in a situation where you are paying over 50% of your bills in relation to your household gross income, it makes no sense whatsoever. If that means you don’t drive a brand new car for a few years, until you can afford it…do it. I think the housing situation needs to be addressed first and foremost. Foreclosures need to be stopped, because they are already bringing down the economy in all sectors. Banks are getting massive infusions but are not lending to small business owners and they are keeping a very tight leash on the purchase of homes. They got us here in the first place by offering Alt-A loans and Option Arm loans, Stated Income loans and now the government is bailing them out, and all of these toxic loans still have not reset. There are still millions of these loans out there, waiting to be reset and when that happens…more foreclosures. The people need to take part of the responsibility as well; just because someone offers you a steak, when you are used to eating a burger every day doesn’t mean you should take it and eat steak every day if you can’t afford it. Banks need to start lending again, and we all need to go back to Financial Responsibility 101. We, as Americans love to spend money, we work hard and there are a lot of very bright and educated people in this country we call home. Our problem lies in the fact that we spend too much of what we don’t have, in hopes that we can pay it off in the future. Where we got these irresponsible financial advice from, I’m not sure…maybe because our government overspends. I am not saying they are fiscally irresponsible in all aspects of government spending but they need to take a look at their budgets as well.

Posted by Damian Palmares | Report as abusive

Infrasturcture spending do not create a big job number and the result is slow. The manufacturing that create jobs are notebooks and LCD TV and Bluray DVD so US should make it mandatory for the products to be made in USA

Posted by sharkfin | Report as abusive

while i suppose it’s somehow useful that Obama “cut his political teeth as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago in the shadow of shuttered steel mills”, the facts are that he did nothing to improve the lives of those constituents while he was living off their tax dollars. nor did he do anything for that state’s economy.
this article provides no objective basis to believe that he will deliver any positive results as president. i suspect the meddling by him and his cohorts will worsen our plight.
this article is devoid of critical thinking or any helpful info for this nation’s economic problems.

Posted by co2islife | Report as abusive

As a US citizen and registered voter, although a new one since I became a citizen in late ’06 I have yet to understand the thinking behind the US policy of freely accepting American companies to just close shop and move everything overseas. I subscribe to several US news magazines as well as European and International ones, yet I still don’t understand why so many educated US policy makers think it’s quite OK to just allow, and by that I mean allow w/out a fight that a USA manufacturing company just shut down any day just b/c some CEO said so, and then it’s the end of what is often a long history of local manufacturing jobs, a way of life, community support, etc… I mean, hello!!! is anyone listening? China will do it for less but at what cost to local communities? I think that globalization is, for the most part a BIG LIE, I mean each country should do every thing within it’s power to maintain it’s own local manufacturing bases b/c that’s what keeps the local economy going strong. W/out that, other jobs, if any pay much less and things start to break down and so forth and so forth…. Don’t let anyone tell you that great things will happen and substitute for local manufacturing jobs… That’s what people such as George W. Bush say but they most certainly don’t need a real job, they are set for life… I recently moved to TX, Bush country and I can tell you all first hand, there are only $10 an hour warehouse jobs, w/out benefits here, w/ some luck still. If one has the right connections here (churches) there might be jobs out there… And I say that based on observations since I still have my job, thankfully…

Paul is correct to identify the trade deficit as the biggest factor in our economic decline, but his proposed solution – enforcing existing trade agreements – falls far short. This is the same kind of dithering that has perpetuated a $9.2 trillion trade deficit since our last surplus in 1975. It’s time for America to grow a backbone and return to a policy of using tariffs to assure a balance of trade.

Americas manufacturing is done is China and Americas services are preformed by Indians. Very unfortunate for the average American. Luckily you have a lot of CEOs who have made themselves filthy rich while arranging affairs this way. Too bad its only .000001% of the population though I guess the many will just have to suffer.

Posted by madepoor | Report as abusive

I for one am getting very sick (literally ) and tired of the poisonous, second rate, junk coming out of China I would welcome more American made products if they were available. Should the government actually be on our side, as they should be, and enforce the standards that we were used to in the old days. Of course with the value of the dollar declining, I can understand their wanting to make things ‘appear’ as if they are ok, by substituting junk made by an ill kept slave force for what used to be products we could actually trust to last and not make us sick. What will become of us when Walmart is the only game in town, and Chinese ( literally poisonous ) Junk is our ONLY option? What can be done about this?

Posted by BJ | Report as abusive

Perhaps tax reform would be the most effective means of assuring a recovery in American manufacturing. Start with cancellation of the double taxation of corporate profits. This would be far simpler than the cumbersome re-arrangement of tax limiting functions such as ‘accelerated depreciation”, etc. And it would be far faster in its effect by increasing investment in American manufacturing without violating the commitment to free trade.

This is exactly what I’ve been telling my representatives for the pass ???? years, since Ronald Regan. Letting our industries leave this country to go to third world countries for cheap labor. All we got from that was polluted products, cheap products, and unemployment. Close the borders and keep OUR people working. pmartin

Posted by Patty Martin | Report as abusive

American’s trade policy has been a disaster for our country. China has taken full advantage of the greed of some American executives. We have too many CEOs and corporations that have placed profit above any social responsiblity and above any allegiance to their neighbors or our country. Corporations should be required to demonstrate that American workers can not meet their requirements before they ship jobs to India and China. Corporations bring in engineers from India while laying off thousands of Americans. Their motivation is to drive down wages. There is no shortage of American talent or skills. It is too easy in this country for corporations to out source work overseas, and too easy to bring in foreign workers to replace American workers.
Chinese goods are only cheap because of exchange rate manupulation.

It is past time for Congress to protect the American workers, after decades of selling out the American worker. No doubt, we have had the best Congress money can buy. Now, we need a real change in Washington.

Posted by Jim West | Report as abusive

The U.S has the 2nd highest corporate taxes in the world. Corporations are in the business of makine a profit. Lower the corporate taxes and the businesses will come home. You can’t force a company to stay here they will close. You cannot operate in the red and survive. Cut taxes on everyone, individuals and businesses, and watch the economy soar it is a no brainer.

Posted by kim | Report as abusive

Obama has already put more restriction on the auto industry which will cost them more revenue and there will be more to come in the name of “green”. It is cheaper to do business over seas. Less restriction, cheaper labor, cheaper taxes…yet we continue to talk about more unions, more restriction, and restribution of wealth!!! Poor man ever give you a job…HHHMMM US govt is going to taxe me into the dirt because i have money….Guess what Im going overseas with my money and company…WAKE UP.

Posted by Thomas Jefferson | Report as abusive

I do understand the way of thinking here, but as a person that works in an industry that is ever changing but remains with the “basics”,(I.A. stagehand.), the ‘Corporate’ mindset of RESTORATIONS of PAST ‘glory’ MUST be revamped. As we have come to the current condition that we are attempting to survive it will behoove ALL to reeducate AND become INNOVATIVE in what we will do for this nation, to share with the world. We all know that, as with our jobs having been “exported”, the world is only performing that which we’ve TAUGHT THEM.If we are to “LEAD” the world again we must do so with THOUGHT and resolution.

Too much GREED in this country for anything to work. Maybe we can boost gun manufacturing since we love our guns…

Posted by JS | Report as abusive

Mr. Jefferson.. The gov. taxes me to death and companies overcharge me to death. Man ( and GREED ) is bound to cause his own demise…

Posted by JS | Report as abusive

Wow – if we manufacture more and sell it abroad we can bring in more money and recover our economy. Uhhh… We are in a reccession/depression, friend; there IS no money to bring in….

Let the crash happen; let the governments try and keep us alive through t; let the environment crash ‘cuz we can’t prioritize money to reduce damage to it; and watch us scramble to invade places with cleaner air and more water. Maybe then the survivors will begin to get a clue and reduce our consumption and over-population problems.

Too bad our kids get to be the hungry ones….

Posted by YaRight! | Report as abusive

You know – it’s funny. Manufacturing is increasingly robotics, materials engineering and advanced metallurgy or chemistry, and thinking the U.S. will recover based on increased temporary funding for these skills and thereby return to prosperity is very obtuse.

The conditions as we became the world’s powerhouse had to do with having more natural resources and a growing immigrant population; more agricultural transportation infrastructure; and more kids leaving the farm with well-fed dreams leading them to education and specialization. None of these factors are our strengths anymore.

If Obama and congress truly want to help – increase corporate and Wall Street oversight and correction; and have moderate national protectionism for key industries – to heck with free trade which ignores environmental and societal/pay inequality; provde incentives in math and science tracks for Universities through civil science awards (student loans paid in full by government after graduation with honors in high tech, engineering and medical fields).

Build power infrastructure which can distribute solar and wind generated power more widely from remote sources, while reducing the lobbying effect of high pollution energy companies and monsters like ExxonMobil.

Break up big corporate farming by nationalizing, and provide incentive to green farming initiatives; water conservaton; low impact organic fertilyzer use; and methane collection/fuel use.

Break up the Big super-banks and knock the medical insurance companies back to covering hair transplants by providing U.S. citizens wth basic universal healthcare, like every other civilized nation does.

There’s plenty of other good options, but trying to promote high school level manufacturing jobs as a long term goal is not on the ‘good idea’ list.

Posted by YaRight! | Report as abusive

it is a form of intellectual vanity to think that only money improves people’s lives — or that only people who have money provide benefits to society. time is not money. time is purpose. even a “community organizer” donates “time” as an in-kind contribution.
our grandfathers built the strongest economic prosperity the world has ever seen, on a simple handshake — a bond of trust — those bonds of trust have been broken by Wall Street greed, quick-fix economics, and corporate arrogance and blindness.
do you really want to fix this economy?
then fix this broken trust.
my point is this: the 40% of the world’s wealth lost since September 15th 2008, should have been properly and prudently invested in long-term infrastructure growth, research & development, and manufacturing capabilities for our future — globally as well as locally. China was not advised properly to diversify its U.S. holdings. where was Wall Street’s fiduciary responsibility? the bloated real estate bubble and the oil-gas price-hike tsunami ending in 2008 was actually a double-TAX on working people and the poor.
the bottom line:
if Wall Street and world investors cannot figure out a way to invest in the business of the people’s future, then “we the people” will do it through our own elected representatives. no matter how imperfect that process is, it is still a far cry better than the self-dealing, self-aggrandizing, reckless Wall Street crowd that played with people’s lives as if they were white chips in a poker game with table stakes of money-for-the-sake-of-money and no other purpose.
the purpose of a national currency is a sustainable national prosperity.
all countries have a right to work for a sustainable national prosperity.
because we are interconnected, we should work for a sustainable global prosperity.
issues such as global warming, and global pollution and poverty must be fixed.
global education should be free.
in rebuilding the economies of the future, we must be mindful that greed destroys public trust.
in a free market it is still everybody’s choice…
a choice between personal gain and sustainable global prosperity…
choices made for the benefit of humanity will be a welcome relief and will stand the test of time.

Never better said……I’ve watched this decline since Reagan was in office and wondered why no one seemed to care. I guess it’s because greed ruled over common sense.

Posted by Yvonne | Report as abusive

- mostly low-quality, but low priced and affordable = Chinese goods

- high-quality, but high-priced and barely affordable = European goods

- mostly low-quality AND high-priced = US made goods.
Gone is the time of high-quality affordable US goods.

Something has to change!

Posted by redneck | Report as abusive

A couple of thoughts. First, rather than cutting taxes on corporations, perhaps corporations ought to reduce management compensation and general wastefulness? Thain’s redecorating at M-L was egeregious but by no means rare in corporations public and private. Second, unions exist because of absentee ownership and “professional” management’s self-perpetuating aggrandisement.

I agree manufacturing is a critical need in our country – but it needs to be small scale, geographically diversified, vertically-integrated, and co-operatively owned and managed by its worker-employees if it’s to make a difference for America’s future. Manufacturing may need less governmental oversight, but ONLY when owners and management can be shown to do right by their employees in terms of working conditions and co-ownership of the business.

No one model always works, so many small projects being tried in many locations based on many ideas have a higher probability of overall success than rescuing or renovating a handful of big businesses with bloated managements and staff, overpriced and unwanted product, and absentee “stock” ownership.


Posted by Marc Kivel | Report as abusive

By the way, BJ et al, there are many American manufacturers of all sorts who produce everything from adhesives to zippers. When folks decide to stop looking at the low,low price and buy for quality that lasts and supports our country and neighbors they can absolutely ignore the import junk and find made in America products. Google “Made in America” to get started…

And for those who say, we can’t afford American made products, I say, then best we’d spend what we do have on quality local and domestic products and learn how to maintain rather than discard them, eh?

Posted by Marc Kivel | Report as abusive

I want to believe in what President Obama says.I really want to believe in something at long last that says we the people count…… not just as tax payers or just as voters but,” WE THE PEOPLE “.I want the working class to be hear and be respected ,not just for their working abilities but, for their voices and ideas as once was true.We as a people can bring back this nation to it’s former worth if we all count as a whole unit working together to make it happen. Greed and selfishness have destoryed this nation,lowering all our self-worth.Only working as a whole can we reshape the future for all.I really believe WE can do it!

talking about china,, they send us all kinds of great products.DOG FOOD ,LEAD toys,babys milk,tires,ect. when will this end.maybe we should inspect everything at our ports before they can be sold.Becuase they don’t care about anything but money….not even the health and safety of the consumer

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

it’s real simple… am I really so smart and everyone else so dumb.. ?? Britain, America, Taiwan, China, even Hong Kong… all became rich through their historical manufacturing times… when they made goods, exported them, and imported money back… Thirty years ago China had nothing….. NOTHING…. now it is our biggest creditor…. we depend on them to lend us money…the USA has now become a service industries country…. we cannot built wealth selling pizzas to each other…. simply cut the corporate tax rate to 25% and that’s all we need to do…. letting corporation make money… will truly trickle down to the people… all this stimulus crap… it is nonsense…. supporting manufacturing is the only way forward… CUT THE CORPORATE TAX RATE and watch us recover over the next ten years….. not rocket science. I am convinced we are led by a bunch of morons in this country…… sad times for a once great nation. How quickly times change…..

Posted by Simon Dawson | Report as abusive

The economic crisis is brought on by speculation in the dirivative security market, unregulated, based upon repackaged mortgages. They were based upon the notion that houses and land would always be worth more tomorrow than today, and that mortgage borrowers would always repay their loans, or else sell the house on to someone quickly at a profit, and that person would have a new mortgage.

Same think happened in the Panic of 1837….and the banks collapsed, and the government tried to restart stuff with massive infrastructure projects like railroals and canals. End results, huge government debt, massive inflation, and ten years to recover…but the government spending did NOTHING positive to recover the economy.

This recovery is put together as a stimulus purely by the uneducated members of congress, and the spin masters of the Democratic party pandering to its voter base.

It is going to be a total disaster.

Posted by rufus | Report as abusive

If you want manufacturing to return to the USA, stop the Unions from preventing our technology expertise from replacing people jobs, and employ robotics and just-in-time subassemblies to be manufactured virtually on site by the suppliers. See the Ford manufacturing plant in Brazil. Fantastic….and no union to prevent it from making better cars cheaper without strikes or loss of down time from human issues. We are not going to ever be able to compete manufacturing with cheaper labor countries with talented skilled labor, so we have to CHANGE and allow the corporations to use more productive methods.

Posted by rufus | Report as abusive

in order to turn our economic system around–and i am not to sure it’s a good idea–it is obvious that it does not work

we have no choice but to restrict all imports–yes i know the arguments for not doing it but, the reality we have to use our labor and our dollars here-makes no sense to export them, we are going to have massive amounts of unemployed people for a long time–and they will have to have income and hope that things are going to get better which I doubt–you need a paycheck that reflects an increase in wealth–throw as much money as it takes to recreate our steel industry and our clothing industry basid on products produced in our country

Posted by ilaboo | Report as abusive

We need to get back to being a nation of workers, rather than one of bureaucrats and lawyers.
And the unions need to get realistic about what the workers can afford. When ANYTHING gets priced beyond the competition, the business goes elsewhere. High pay and tremendous benefits mean squat when you can’t hold a job.

Posted by Lee Taylor | Report as abusive

Due primarily to trade imbalances, fully proven by our enormous ‘balance of trade deficits’, we’re not selling to the countries that we buy from, especially China and India.

Under current conditions, there is too much ‘leakage’ in our economy for our economic ship ever to be completely ‘bailed out’.

We talk so much about ‘energy independence’, especially as the prices of oil skyrocketed. That can happen again. It is not just oil – it is steel, computers, cell phones, clothing, computer software, automobiles (even those made here) …

Furthermore, our corporate leaders are selling out to foreign investors. Utility companies, chemicals, plastics, computers, electronics, … are all basically now controlled by those foreigners who are pocketing the profits rather than reinvesting here.

Reports have shown steep declines in corporate investment here in the United States, too. That investment was supposed to happen primarily because of the false notion that massive tax cuts would funnel back into the economy. Clearly, that ‘trickle down’ theory has failed one more time.

Our ‘stimulus’ funds will similarly end up in the banks of India and China and Saudi Arabia and…

… and we’ll end up going to them to beg for more funding of our burgeoning federal deficit.

Unfortunately, the onus rests with corporate America which is both reluctant to make goods here at much higher costs and to make investments in expansion here.

The ‘bailout’ funds are being improperly handled, too, especially indicated by the massive funding required to make a corporate behemoth out of the Pfizer merger with Wyeth. The banks got our tax dollars to feed their greed, not to extend more credit to the “Joe the plumbers” among us (Take that, John McCain!).

Are we going to be as economically dependent as we were in 1776?

Time and corporate proactive trend reversal will tell.

Posted by Bernard Campbell | Report as abusive

Bring manufacturing back! It is the backbone of creating wealth. A “service” economy, which is becoming more and more obvious to people living in the real world, is nothing but one parasite sucking life from another until they’re all dead. When are the “experts on the economy” going to grasp this reality?
Which countries are becoming more and more wealthy? Those which are manufacturing real products. A guy who is servicing something, like your furnace, although necessary, is not producing wealth; he/she is only taking money from your pocket.
Fire these “service economy” advocates who are blinded by their theories and will not grasp reality until their country is in ashes around their feet and they’re wondering why the grocery stores, hardwares, and other stores are sitting empty and they’re standing hungry and naked, and asking: “How did this happen?” Duh! Then, maybe they’ll get a clue!

Posted by S Barringer | Report as abusive

Do you know what an International Trade Deficit really is?

The International Trade number is either Positive number or Negative number.

If it is a positive number, this means America is exporting more American Produced Goods and Services than America Imports from the rest of the world. This is very good.

If it is a negative number, this means America is Importing more Produced Goods and Services from the rest of the world than America Exports. This is very bad.

In the Above table America is in last place NO. 188. That is very, very Bad.

188. United States $ -568,800,000,000 2008 EST.

This trade number has decreased a little because of the latest Economical down turn. This Trade Deficit number was $ -760 billion dollars just before the latest down turn.

America Imports more goods from the rest of the world than any other country in the whole world.

America may even Import more goods than all the other countries of the world combined.

That is why all the other countries of the world keep worrying about America turning to protectionist International Trade Polices.

Because they all know that is exactly what a politician would do if he cared about the financial health of his country.

I was Industrial Engineer for Rockwell International for 30 years. Dealing with Production Numbers is exactly what I have done all my life.
The American Politicians are Destroying America by sending all the good paying America jobs off shore.

America will soon be a third world country.

As you can see, America has the worse International Trade Deficit than any country in the entire world.

WE are in last place.

This is why America is leading the world into a world wide DEPRESSION.

Thanks to them Damn Stupid American Globalist Politicians.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++

The World Fact book

Rank Order – Current World Trade Account Balance

Rank, Country, Current account balance.

Date of Information: This page was last updated on 24 February, 2009

China $ 368,200,000,000 2008 est.
Germany $ 267,100,000,000 2008 est.
Japan $ 187,800,000,000 2008 est.
Saudi Arabia $ 141,000,000,000 2008 est.
Russia $ 97,600,000,000 2008 est.
Norway $ 84,350,000,000 2008 est.
Kuwait $ 65,210,000,000 2008 est.
Venezuela $ 48,440,000,000 2008 est.
Netherlands $ 47,000,000,000 2008 est.
Libya $ 43,330,000,000 2008 est.
Switzerland $ 40,810,000,000 2008 est.
United Arab Emirates $ 36,410,000,000 2008 est.
Algeria $ 35,800,000,000 2008 est.
Sweden $ 35,220,000,000 2008 est.
Singapore $ 32,120,000,000 2008 est.
Iran $ 27,470,000,000 2008 est.
Malaysia $ 27,440,000,000 2008 est.
Taiwan $ 23,950,000,000 2008 est.
Qatar $ 22,710,000,000 2008 est.
Hong Kong $ 22,440,000,000 2008 est.
Angola $ 21,010,000,000 2008 est.
Iraq $ 19,600,000,000 2008 est.
Azerbaijan $ 19,360,000,000 2008 est.
Canada $ 12,820,000,000 2008 est.
Oman $ 11,200,000,000 2008 est.
Austria $ 10,630,000,000 2008 est.
Finland $ 10,630,000,000 2008 est.
Nigeria $ 7,722,000,000 2008 est.
Brunei $ 7,101,000,000 2007 est.
Argentina $ 6,000,000,000 2008 est.
Uzbekistan $ 5,726,000,000 2008 est.
Trinidad and Tobago $ 5,721,000,000 2008 est.
Denmark $ 4,333,000,000 2008 est.
Belgium $ 3,972,000,000 2008 est.
Luxembourg $ 3,186,000,000 2008 est.
Turkmenistan $ 2,897,000,000 2008 est.
Philippines $ 2,687,000,000 2008 est.
Indonesia $ 2,485,000,000 2008 est.
Bahrain $ 2,269,000,000 2008 est.
Gabon $ 2,026,000,000 2008 est.
Ecuador $ 2,008,000,000 2008 est.
Israel $ 1,893,000,000 2008 est.
Equatorial Guinea $ 1,837,000,000 2008 est.
Bolivia $ 1,789,000,000 2008 est.
Botswana $ 1,611,000,000 2008 est.
Egypt $ 1,483,000,000 2008 est.
Timor-Leste $ 1,161,000,000 2007 est.
Burma $ 762,000,000 2008 est.
Lesotho $ 666,000,000 2008 est.
Chad $ 527,000,000 2008 est.
Papua New Guinea $ 438,000,000 2008 est.
Cote d’Ivoire $ 407,000,000 2008 est.
Congo, Republic of the $ 406,000,000 2008 est.
Cameroon $ 377,000,000 2008 est.
Kazakhstan $ 326,000,000 2008 est.
Namibia $ 326,000,000 2008 est.
Paraguay $ 178,000,000 2008 est.
British Virgin Islands $ 134,300,000 1999
Bhutan $ 116,000,000 2007 est.
Nepal $ 58,000,000 2007
Cook Islands $ 26,670,000 2005
Suriname $ 24,000,000 2007 est.
Palau $ 15,090,000 FY03/04
Comoros $ 8,000,000 2007 est.
Guinea-Bissau $ -6,000,000 2007 est.
Swaziland $ -10,000,000 2008 est.
Tuvalu $ -11,680,000 2003
Kiribati $ -21,000,000 2007 est.
Mongolia $ -23,000,000 2007 est.
Tonga $ -23,000,000 2007 est.
Samoa $ -24,000,000 2007 est.
Belize $ -32,000,000 2008 est.
Micronesia, Federated States of $ -34,300,000 FY05 est.
Laos $ -37,000,000 2008 est.
Anguilla $ -42,870,000 2003 est.
Bangladesh $ -55,000,000 2008 est.
Vanuatu $ -60,000,000 2007 est.
Sierra Leone $ -63,000,000 2007 est.
Sao Tome and Principe $ -71,000,000 2008 est.
Dominica $ -72,000,000 2007 est.
Central African Republic $ -77,000,000 2007 est.
Gambia, The $ -116,000,000 2008 est.
Burundi $ -120,000,000 2008 est.
Grenada $ -138,000,000 2007 est.
Solomon Islands $ -143,000,000 2007 est.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines $ -149,000,000 2007 est.
Saint Kitts and Nevis $ -163,000,000 2007 est.
Cape Verde $ -167,000,000 2008 est.
Mauritania $ -184,000,000 2007 est.
Syria $ -192,000,000 2008 est.
Saint Lucia $ -199,000,000 2007 est.
Antigua and Barbuda $ -211,000,000 2007 est.
Djibouti $ -212,000,000 2007 est.
Guyana $ -220,000,000 2008 est.
Rwanda $ -220,000,000 2008 est.
Liberia $ -224,000,000 2007
Eritrea $ -247,000,000 2008 est.
Barbados $ -254,000,000 2007 est.
Seychelles $ -307,000,000 2008 est.
Niger $ -321,000,000 2007 est.
Cuba $ -330,000,000 2008 est.
Congo, Democratic Republic of the $ -402,000,000 2007 est.
Malawi $ -420,000,000 2008 est.
Togo $ -433,000,000 2008 est.
Mali $ -446,000,000 2007 est.
Maldives $ -472,000,000 2007
Zambia $ -478,000,000 2008 est.
Benin $ -485,000,000 2008 est.
Fiji $ -507,000,000 2007 est.
Guinea $ -535,000,000 2008 est.
Malta $ -538,000,000 2008 est.
Kyrgyzstan $ -574,000,000 2008 est.
Tajikistan $ -584,000,000 2008 est.
Zimbabwe $ -597,000,000 2008 est.
Haiti $ -664,000,000 2008 est.
Macedonia $ -740,000,000 2008 est.
Cambodia $ -869,000,000 2008 est.
Armenia $ -877,000,000 2008 est.
Moldova $ -903,000,000 2008 est.
Burkina Faso $ -908,000,000 2008 est.
Uganda $ -933,000,000 2008 est.
Sudan $ -952,000,000 2008 est.
Kosovo $ -964,000,000 2007
Mozambique $ -981,000,000 2008 est.
Mauritius $ -982,000,000 2008 est.
Tunisia $ -993,000,000 2008 est.
Uruguay $ -1,000,000,000 2008 est.
Thailand $ -1,064,000,000 2008 est.
Madagascar $ -1,088,000,000 2008 est.
El Salvador $ -1,222,000,000 2008 est.
Nicaragua $ -1,310,000,000 2008 est.
Bahamas, The $ -1,442,000,000 2007 est.
Chile $ -1,574,000,000 2008 est.
Ethiopia $ -1,609,000,000 2008 est.
Albania $ -1,639,000,000 2008 est.
Morocco $ -1,667,000,000 2008 est.
Ghana $ -1,807,000,000 2008 est.
Kenya $ -1,859,000,000 2008 est.
Sri Lanka $ -1,981,000,000 2008 est.
Honduras $ -2,047,000,000 2008 est.
Senegal $ -2,078,000,000 2008 est.
Yemen $ -2,175,000,000 2008 est.
Tanzania $ -2,275,000,000 2008 est.
Jamaica $ -2,448,000,000 2008 est.
Panama $ -2,536,000,000 2008 est.
Cyprus $ -2,609,000,000 2008 est.
Bosnia and Herzegovina $ -2,850,000,000 2008 est.
Estonia $ -3,037,000,000 2008 est.
Iceland $ -3,257,000,000 2008 est.
Guatemala $ -3,316,000,000 2008 est.
Georgia $ -3,334,000,000 2008 est.
Costa Rica $ -3,454,000,000 2008 est.
Peru $ -3,631,000,000 2008 est.
Slovenia $ -3,706,000,000 2008 est.
Belarus $ -3,832,000,000 2008 est.
Dominican Republic $ -4,230,000,000 2008 est.
Lebanon $ -4,344,000,000 2008 est.
Jordan $ -4,870,000,000 2008 est.
Latvia $ -5,126,000,000 2008 est.
Slovakia $ -5,359,000,000 2008 est.
Colombia $ -5,592,000,000 2008 est.
Croatia $ -6,156,000,000 2008 est.
Czech Republic $ -6,460,000,000 2008 est.
Lithuania $ -6,775,000,000 2008 est.
Serbia $ -6,889,000,000 2007 est.
Hungary $ -8,557,000,000 2008 est.
Ireland $ -8,621,000,000 2008 est.
New Zealand $ -9,047,000,000 2008 est.
Pakistan $ -10,570,000,000 2008 est.
Bulgaria $ -12,540,000,000 2008 est.
Vietnam $ -12,740,000,000 2008 est.
Mexico $ -13,450,000,000 2008 est.
Ukraine $ -14,220,000,000 2008 est.
Korea, South $ -19,880,000,000 2008 est.
South Africa $ -21,670,000,000 2008 est.
Portugal $ -23,970,000,000 2008 est.
Brazil $ -27,330,000,000 2008 est.
Romania $ -28,030,000,000 2008 est.
Poland $ -29,510,000,000 2008 est.
Greece $ -36,260,000,000 2008 est.
India $ -38,390,000,000 2008 est.
Australia $ -43,840,000,000 2008 est.
France $ -47,270,000,000 2008 est.
Turkey $ -51,680,000,000 2008 est.
Italy $ -68,820,000,000 2008 est.
United Kingdom $ -72,540,000,000 2008 est.
Spain $ -152,500,000,000 2008 est.
United States $ -568,800,000,000 2008 est.

Countries for which no information is available are not included in this list.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++++++

Why is the American Politicians Sending all of the highest paying jobs off shore to China when American workers have an unemployment rate approaching 10%.

Why does the American Politicians care more about giving all the high paying jobs to the Chinese workers than they do to American Workers?

The most Important Question is why we Americans elect those A-S-S H-O-L-E-S back in office.

We deserve exactly what we get.

We are our own children and grand-children lives up forever.

Thank you Grandpa..

Mar 04, 2009 @ 11:38 PM
Harry Dingey, Baguio City, Philippines

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++

Do you know if American was to pull out of NAFTA and the WTO right now..

Do you know if America just stopped exporting everything to the rest of the world and just produced everything America now IMPORTS?

America would automatically Experience a net increase in newly created jobs to the tune of well over $760 Billion dollars of new jobs every year.

All these Stupid Globalist American Politicians tell us:

“Oh no American can not turn to protectionist because look at all the jobs America would lose from the reduction in the world buying all the American produced goods”.

That statement is hilarious.

The only Goods America has produced in the last 20 years is Political Horse S-H-I-T..

What Rock have all these Globalist American Politicians been living under for the last 20 years..haha

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++++++

Posted by Harry Dingey | Report as abusive

Do you know if American was to pull out of NAFTA and the WTO right now..

Do you know if America just stopped exporting everything to the rest of the world and just produced everything America now IMPORTS?

America would automatically Experience a net increase in newly created jobs to the tune of well over $760 Billion dollars of new jobs every year.

All these Stupid Globalist American Politicians tell us:

“Oh no American can not turn to protectionist because look at all the jobs America would lose from the reduction in the world buying all the American produced goods”.

That statement is hilarious.

The only Goods America has produced in the last 20 years is Political Horse S-H-I-T..

What Rock have all these Globalist American Politicians been living under for the last 20 years..haha

Posted by Harry Dingey | Report as abusive

Manufacturing will return to America when trade is fair & the playing field is leveled. There aren’t enough Americans that will pay extra to buy products made by companies that must pay US minimum wages, meet EPA requirements, OSHA requirements, and all other US legal requirements. Most of these requirements have humanitarian value (or we would not have them). The answer? Apply tariffs to all products (and components of those products) that “correct” the cost of the product so that it would have the same price tag it would have if it were made in a country with the same legal requirements as US manufacturers must survive. By the same token, we should agree to have our exports subject to tariffs where our minimum wage is less than theirs, and where our pollution controls & safety standards do not measure up to those of the country to which we export. This proposed tariff system would truly level the playing field for all countries and competition could take place where it counts… in product quality, design, features, reliability, etc. Wouldn’t this make more sense than rewarding the countries with the worst standards? I think so. Would it add bureaucracy? Sure… some. Would it pay back a hundred fold? Absolutely.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Obama doesn’t care about helping our economy recover. He just wants to take control of it. I think everyone could have gotten behind a sizeable stimulus of infrastructure projects, Republicans and Democrats. Our infrastructure is crumbling and what better time to repair it than when millions of manufacturing and construction jobs have been lost. Unfortunately feminist groups threw a fit because these “shovel ready” project jobs would have gone mainly to men. Instead they insisted that we focus on “social infrastructure” and spend more on education and health care where women work. Nevermind that these two industries have added jobs in this recession. Obama and Congress don’t care about helping the hard hit areas of our economy. They just want to give away money to their favorite interest groups who will donate to their reelection campaigns and solidify their power base.

Posted by David | Report as abusive


Here is my Job creation Computations:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++
Total USA Imports in 2006:
$ 2,211.7 billion —– Total Imports.
$ 309.4 billion less — (minus spent on Imported Crude Oil)
$ 1,902.3 billion / 30 billion=63.41 million jobs lost from Imports. ======================================== ==========

Total USA Exports in 2006:
$ 1,451.7 Billion / 30 billion=48.39 million jobs America gained from Exports

If USA Pulls out of NAFTA and WTO right now:
USA would absolutely gain a total of 63.41 million Jobs by Manufacturing all IMPORTS right here in the USA.

So, 63.41 minus 48.39 = 15.02 million NET JOBS GAIN. But, a lot of Exports must be purchased in the USA. That would mean an even larger number of jobs created in America than I have estimated.

My calculation means an ABSOLUTE 15.02 million Jobs gained if the rest of the world did not buy even one penny of USA EXPORTS.

SO MOTE IT BE. . . . .

Do you truly want to help straighten out the United States Government now? Then, copy and post this article everyplace on the Internet you can post.

BY: Harry Dingey

Have a good day my friends.

Posted by Harry_Dingey | Report as abusive