Hitting Close to Home

David Ferriman wrote an article for OpEdNews earlier this year that was glossed over by the mainstream media. It was worth saving, though. We knew we’d have occasion to use it some day.

“The U.S. Trade Deficit is Killing the Economy,” is how David began.

“If the United States were a business, it would be a dismal failure. Its stocks would be in the tank. The president and all of Congress would be fired. The stockholders (the American people) would have lost everything – all of their holdings. The doors would close, the workers would be laid off. The United States would have no choice but to shut down.

“For companies to do well, they must turn a profit. The United States has been in the red – a trade deficit – for decades. In the first decade of the twenty-first century the United States lost $ 6.4 trillion. By comparison, we owe foreign nations over $ 4 trillion of our current $ 15 trillion debt. Rather than creating wealth by manufacturing, we are pretending to create wealth by printing money. This is not sustainable. In the real world, things have value. When a company makes a product and sells that product, both the buyer and the seller exchange something of value – dollars for goods. This exchange of valued items creates a better economy for manufacturers as they can use the dollars they earn to increase production, pay workers higher wages and invest in the future.

“In contrast, in a service economy, as seen in America today, once the service has been rendered, there are no lasting goods. Payment rendered for a washed car gives money for the service but adds nothing of new value. The car will get dirty again, and can be washed for a price but it is still the same car. All this does is prolong the value of the car. It does not add anything of value to the economy as a whole.

“This is what we see happening in the global economy. The United States buys foreign products and the money these nations earn from our purchases is then reinvested to improve the foreign nation. This can be done through investing in infrastructure, manufacturing or foreign investment (buying U.S. companies, for example). These nations have an economic plan and invest in their future.

“However, America has no plan, which is why the U.S. economy is in a downward spiral. Services are rendered, but nothing of value is being added to the economy. The nation is just bleeding wealth year after year to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars that could have been reinvested in the American economy.

“Unlike the dollars used to buy foreign goods, the products are limited in their capacity to create new wealth. As wealth leaves the country new dollars must be printed to keep up the appearances and lifestyles of a manufacturing economy. But inflation inevitably catches up, wages go down, revenue falls and then only those at the very top find a profit – this is creating the current failing economic trend. This is why America is failing – we don’t make anything of real value anymore.

“For America to succeed, the government must become more involved. Tax reform is needed to provide incentives to bring American manufacturing back. Companies must be given disincentives for offshoring American jobs. Most importantly, the backing must go to American companies, not to foreign-owned American-registered companies.

“Until this nation learns to keep the dollar home and balance its trade at the very least, we will just keep failing.” –

That’s all quite accurate, and quite basic. The part about the president and Congress being fired is just a dream, though. That’s not how it’s done in a democracy. They were elected, remember.

Remember also what Mark Twain said; “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

And that great humanitarian, Joseph Stalin, nailed it when he said; “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

Far from being a dream, however, is what Mr. Ferriman says about the tack our leaders have taken – especially in this twenty-first century. They’ve led us into a “service economy” and have given away most of our manufacturing capacity.

But what they failed to realize is that once we’ve established and strengthened those foreign competitors, and have chosen instead to rely upon those foreign sources of supply, we’ll forever find ourselves prostrate, and with the heavy foot of the monster we created upon our throats.

The U.S. economy is in a downward spiral because America has no economic plan to invest in its future, Mr. Ferriman points out. We don’t make anything of value, and that’s why America is failing, he says. And he’s right.

Well, what is there that Americans can produce that can be considered to be “of value”? “Of value” to whom? we should ask ourselves. Just what is the meaning of that term -“of value”? In this twenty-first century, there is absolutely nothing to be found in our shops and retail stores that can be produced in this country that can be considered “of value”.

Those Americans fortunate enough to have a job and be in a position to “demand”, will peruse the “supply” and purchase only that which is “of value”. Unfortunately, those items “of value” will have been manufactured by “outsourced” overseas manufacturing facilities, and because of the cheap wages paid to foreign workers, Americans will never again be able to offer items “of value” to themselves. What a lousy hand we’ve been dealt.

But wait a minute. Haven’t we been preaching all along that our patented containership will eventually “revolutionize the world’s economy”? (Those were John Fossey’s words, not ours.) And haven’t we recounted – maybe a hundred times – the steps FDR took to end the Great Depression?
And wouldn’t our revitalized shipyards, our patented systems, MARAD’s Title XI, and the Jones Act, all combine to eliminate any and all foreign competition?