You throw back the comforter made by Guanzhou Meishi Textile Co. and slip out from under the Egyptian cotton sheets. After brushing your teeth, you dress, putting on a shirt made in Thailand and a tie imported from the U.K. The look is complete with a suit made in Hong Kong. Not wanting to be late, you check the time on your Swiss-made watch as you slip into a pair of Italian loafers.
In the kitchen, you turn on the TV to catch the news, and it has a familiar brand name, Samsung, recently shipped from South Korea. You grab a bowl made by Talavera in Mexico and spoon in some peaches from Chile. (Chile peaches in Georgia?) The kids are playing with Mattel toys, purchased at Walmart, the world’s leading importer.
You check your voice mail on your mobile phone, manufactured by LG, another South Korean company. You kiss the kids and head out to your Honda CR-V, a product of Mexico. You then drive off to the unemployment office after filling your car with gas refined from Saudi Arabian oil.
Does all of this sound absurd? Well, maybe the Italian loafers, which most of us can’t afford. Everything else is an indication of the plight America is facing. If you wonder why you’re in the unemployment line, just look at the labels on most of the things you own.
America no longer manufactures much of anything. We have become a nation of hamburger flippers, insurance salespeople and service technicians. Even the service manuals are printed in a foreign country, but instead of using English to explain how the item is assembled, the manufacturer gives us pictures. I guess they think we are too dumb to read.
For decades, the United States was the world’s technological leader, manufacturing every item that we used. We led the world in vehicle design and manufacturing, supported by a huge steel industry that no longer exists. Innovation came from American companies, not foreign knockoffs.
We would be speaking Japanese or German today if it wasn’t for our manufacturing capacity during World War II. We built more than 2 million trucks, 300,000 aircraft, 22 aircraft carriers and tons more war material. We produced eight times more oil than the rest of the world.
Today, third-world countries are stealing our jobs, making America the new third world, while China has the fastest-growing economy and is the world’s largest exporter. Why? China is not over taxed, over regulated or union controlled, thereby enabling their companies to manufacture at a lower cost than we can produce goods. The United States has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years.
Our county’s very survival will depend on getting manufacturing jobs back in this country. To accomplish this, the government must establish a tariff to be applied to all goods imported into this country at a cost lower than that which Americans can make the same goods. If we want more manufacturers to build factories here, corporate taxes will have to be reduced significantly. The government needs to eliminate oppressive corporate regulations and mandates, which add to the cost of running a business.
Forget about free trade. It’s time that we look after ourselves and not the rest of the world.
Calderone is a conservative who lives in Midway. He is a professional salesperson and for 30 years has written articles for trade publications in various fields. He was a Courier columnist from 2006-07.