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End of free trade
In a technologically revolutionized era, America entered the new millennium with a new sophisticated approach to marketing goods. Massive investments stimulated America’s creative ingenuity as productivity increased. Modern technological capability reached new heights as our once laborious factory jobs were replaced by high-tech machinery. Worker output soared stimulating training and education for new, highly specialized operations.
The period following Clinton’s insurmountable market growth stole back large gains from investors. A 9/11 emergency followed and corporate corruption was revealed through the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. So, where does all of this leave us today? The Bush administration has lost just shy of 3 million jobs, but to who? And where? Large retailers, such as Wal-Mart, America’s leading fortune 500 company are conveniently satisfying more and more of our specialized needs as part of a plan to deliver “Low Prices Everyday”.
If you ever take the time to look where your goods are produced, depending on the type of commodity, you will most likely realize how omnipresent Chinese in the American consumer market. Not to be fancy with my words. These cheap, inhumanely manufactured goods are coming from a dictatorship abusing the human rights of 1.3 billion people. Their 4.5 trillion-dollar economy is thriving and only 4.2 percent of their huge population is unemployed (compared to 6.4 percent of 290 million Americans). From textiles to manufacturing goods, sports equipment and much more, we are importing and buying cheap goods while relying on China to serve our everyday needs.
An AP report from Washington recently stated that “America’s trade deficit expanded in July to $40.3 billion as imported goods from China and the quantity of over seas crude oil sold to the United States each hit record highs”.
What ever happened to the ancient economic goal of Mercantilism, the trade theory stating nations should accumulate wealth (originally gold back in the 1600’s) by encouraging exports over imports. Currently we are importing 1.7 times more than we export.
It was nice to celebrate our first holiday of the school year reflecting back on America’s democratic spark of the labor movement. Our fellow grassroots protestors challenged corporate greed to win the fair, health aware, compensating wages of today.
In China, the cost efficient ability of only having to compensate human labor with a small wage presents production capabilities beyond high-Tech taxable equipment in America.
Most of our clothes are stitched non un-unionzed chinese workers. The Chinese population is driven to serve the enormously corrupt government for the overall well-being of society. Sadly enough, child labor does exist to manufacture products. Children are in fact regarded as cheap and obedient. Long hours are compensated in as little as pennies a day as oil burning barges transport these goods over the North Pacific for our personal use. We never really think about it, but I think now, with millions of lost jobs domestically, someone with power needs to regulate foreign trade, at least with countries that abuse unfair, inhumane labor, to gain a competitive edge.
Environmental Pollution effects are another serious disgust to the profitable global outsourcing investment opportunity facing today’s large retailers. China is already experiencing serious damage to agricultural production due to radiation seeping through the blazed ozone.
In 2002, China reported a $30 billion trade surplus. Last year America traded at a $478 billion deficit. Our consumption is making foreign countries rich while American producers struggle to compete and sell products at the high cost of a world-leading democracy. American businesses have a responsibility to comply with, among other regulations, minimum wage laws, pay social security, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation and Medicare while providing safe working conditions regulated by (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In return, promotion and job security become a motivating factor to employees influencing superior American quality.
From a militaristic view, the CIA world factbook reports that China, a nation with 1.3 billion people, has 375 million available military men, compared to 74 million available in the U.S. with a mere 290 million population. While 206 million Chinese were identified as “fit for service” (75% of the U.S. population), the CIA did not have America’s figure available for this category.
Despite cheapness in production, vast Chinese factories continue to operate at a loss. State owned enterprises receive large loans from the Government to win market share from the world’s economic leader. Many of these loans are never repaid and amount to being a waste of much needed resources to improve the quality of life in China.
From our perspective, it is important to identify that we have a problem. Not only are our domestic industries deteriorating, but as the prices of goods come down to reason with our budgets, we are ignoring America’s long-term economic interests. In the scheme of things, the prices we pay at America’s leading fortune 500 company goes to compensate an unprofitable Chinese business, socially irresponsible for the welfare of a large number of civilians under communist dictatorship.