As we watch our country distance itself from its former glory of the undisputed mightiest and largest economy in the world, literally by the day, and the heir apparent – China – is gaining speed in overtaking us just as they have the number two and three economies in the world – Japan, and Germany respectively – to reach the number two spot within the past two years, the question: “what is going on here?” is a very relevant and worthwhile one to say the least. I’m starting this blog to explore the question, try to answer it with my own limited knowledge, and hopefully, with the collective wisdom and intelligence of this blog’s patrons we can come up with some good theories on what is going on, what precipitated this momentum, why it is happening, what’s being done about it now, if anything, and what we can propose doing to counter a seemingly irreversible course of losing not only our economic preeminence, but our very standard of living. This is serious stuff folks, and it’s happening right before our eyes, and rather quickly.
How many times have you gone shopping for something – electronics, shoes, clothes, furniture, etc., etc. and seen a Made in the USA label? Personally, this is a rare occurrence for me anymore. I don’t think any of us would argue that a lot of manufacturing, now even services, has been outsourced from this country to cheaper labor overseas in the interest of higher profits, global price competitiveness, cheaper prices domestically, and so on. Has anyone, namely our politicians and corporate leaders really weighed the true cost of outsourcing abroad though? While we continue to lose jobs and have an erosion of wealth and our standard of living, not only from lost and reduced wages and concessions, but home values – for many people their largest asset – have gone down dramatically as well. Are the masses really prospering from the presumed “cost savings” of outsourcing abroad? I think not!!!
Indeed for many of us there has been a reduction in our standard of living marked by stagnated or reduced real wages, a loss of real net worth from real and financial assets, and dimming prospects for any real rebound – especially considering the trajectory our country is on right now with relentless government spending, persistent budget deficits, trade deficits, current account deficits, and a deepening set of systemic problems, not the least of which is our faltering domestic economic activity and workforce for lack of jobs.
I hope this will be an intelligent forum and kept strictly factual without deriding any other country, citizens or economies. Clearly all of these entities may be mentioned, and surely we’re all entitled to our opinions, but I hope we will keep emotions on the sidelines and participate in truly intelligent and factual discussion. I truly believe we are on an economic precipice and unless we as a nation – that is each and every one of us – get a handle on what’s going on, and make substantive changes to counter the trends that are firmly in place, we are doomed to falling behind and losing our economic preeminence, our upward mobility, and the very lifestyle we know as Americans. Thank you in advance for your contributions to this blog.