The American Dream
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
There are 27 members on Barack Obama’s job creation panel, and most of them are corporate executives. The formal name of the panel is the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which is kind of ironic considering the fact that many of the CEOs on the panel have been rapidly shipping jobs out of the United States.
So what hope is there that things are going to turn around if many of the folks that are supposed to be helping Barack Obama create U.S. jobs are actively destroying them instead? And how is the American middle class ever supposed to recover if corporate executives keep taking their jobs away and sending them to the other side of the world where it is legal to pay slave labor wages? These issues go to the very heart of America’s economic problems, and yet very few of our leaders are talking about them. But they should be talking about these things, because the economy is the number one issue for most American voters right now.
During most of the decades since World War II, the U.S. economy was a job creation machine.
But this past decade was different.
So how many total jobs do you think were created during the decade that just ended?
Would you believe zero?
Yes, it is true. A total of zero jobs were created last decade. The following is a quote from a recent article in Washington Monthly….
“If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.”
But aren’t we the greatest economy on earth?
Don’t we have great success stories such as Apple and Microsoft and Google and Facebook?
How could we have created zero jobs over an entire decade?
Well, the truth is that globalism has fundamentally altered the relationship between the big corporations and the American people.
You see, they don’t actually need most of us anymore. They can just set up facilities on the other side of the world and hire workers for 10 to 20 times less money.
Over the last couple of decades, tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions of jobs have been shipped out of the United States.
Even many of the corporate executives on Obama’s job creation panel are guilty of doing this.
The following facts were taken from a recent article in the Los Angeles Times….
*Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox, eliminated 4,500 U.S. jobs during the first six months of 2011.
*Kenneth I. Chenault, the CEO of American Express, got rid of 550 U.S. jobs earlier this year. But it wasn’t because American Express was not making enough money. According to the Los Angeles Times, “American Express announced it had made $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, up 48% from the same period the previous year.”
*Antonio M. Perez, the CEO of Eastman Kodak, got rid of 9,200 U.S. employees between 2004 and 2011.
*Jim McNerney, the CEO of Boeing, announced in January that 1,100 U.S. jobs would be eliminated. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that “Boeing reported that profits rose 20%, to $941 billion in the second quarter of 2011.”
*Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, has eliminated 22,000 U.S. jobs over the last four years.
And as I noted in a recent article on The Economic Collapse Blog, if you go back even farther the job losses at GE get even larger. The truth is that it is standard operating procedure at GE to look for ways to aggressively cut jobs in the United States and GE has been adding thousands upon thousands of new jobs overseas.
In fact, just check out the following quote from a recent article posted on the Huffington Post….
As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.
At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.
So should we be disgusted by this?
Of course we should be.
About the only thing that the “experts” on Obama’s jobs panel will be able to teach him is about how to ship U.S. jobs out of the country.
So it should be no great mystery as to why we have so many unemployed workers in the United States today.
And since we are now competing for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe, there is also substantial downward pressure on our wages and on the standard of living that we all enjoy.
The statistics tell us that incomes for middle class Americans just keep declining and declining and declining.
For example, the following comes from a recent article in the New York Times….
Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent.
So are you alarmed that the number of unemployed Americans continues to go up and our incomes continue to go down?
You should be.
Rampant unemployment and declining incomes are also two of the biggest reasons for the current housing crisis. Without good jobs that pay well, Americans simply cannot afford to buy homes.
During the recent economic downturn, the homeownership rate in the United States experienced the largest drop that we have seen since the Great Depression.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
When we buy stuff that is made in the United States, the money stays here and it goes to support U.S. businesses and U.S. workers.
When we buy stuff that is made overseas, the money that we spend does not support U.S. workers. If U.S. workers cannot find jobs, the tax base is diminished and the number of people receiving government assistance goes up.
The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.
That represents a whole lot of money that could have gone to U.S. workers. It also represents a whole lot of money that taxes could have been paid on.
But instead, Americans have become highly addicted to cheap stuff from overseas. Today, our stores are absolutely packed with stuff that was made in China.
Unfortunately, that also means that we are sending massive amounts of our money to the Chinese government. 7 of the 10 largest corporations in China are owned by the government. Many other key corporations in China are deeply subsidized by the government.
Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars that should go to support U.S. workers goes to China instead.
This is helping China to rise dramatically even as the United States falls apart.
The signs of this are everywhere.
For example, did you know that China has surpassed the United States and is nowthe largest PC market in the entire world?
But most of our lawmakers continue to insist that trade with China is a wonderful thing for us.
Even the construction of many of our roads and bridges is being outsourced to China. Just check out the following quote from a recent ABC News article….
In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
“When we subsidize jobs in China, we’re not creating any wealth in the United States,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
If only our founding fathers could see us now, eh?
As China rises, big U.S. corporations are flocking to invest in that nation.
In a recent article, I noted some of the significant new investments that U.S. corporations are now making in China….
*Coca-Cola is opening up three new factories in China this year.
*Disney recently broke ground on a $4.4 billion project that will be known as Shanghai Disneyland.
*Procter & Gamble has invested over a billion dollars in operations in China.
*Caterpillar has built 16 factories in China and now employs more than 8,000 workers there.
*Ford is currently “building three factories in Chongqing as part of $1.6 billion investment that also includes another plant in Nanchang”.
But as China rises, the U.S. continues to rot. We do not have nearly enough jobs for all of our workers and our state and local governments are going broke because there are not nearly enough tax dollars coming in.
Unfortunately, things are going to get even worse if something is not done quickly.
According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.
Something has got to be done about the millions of jobs that are being shipped out of the United States, but unfortunately many of the corporate executives on Obama’s job creation panel that are supposed to be helping create jobs are actively involved in booting our jobs out of the country instead.
We are in a whole lot of trouble.
The entire system is falling apart all around us and there seems to be no help on the horizon.