The Decline of the American Empire

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It begins with a penchant for exploitation; I have to
pay Americans $X by law, I can pay illegal aliens
1/2X and they can’t complain.

It continues with; I have to pay expensive utilities, taxes,
transportation, I can avoid this by moving the factory to
another country.

It persists with; I can sell these goods in America for ten
times what they cost to manufacture
.

It ends with Americans not buying the goods, the factory
being taken over by the host government, and the value of
the money made, dwindling to less than what it was when
Americans worked in the factory in America.

That the term ‘Recession’ may be a far more generous
description of the fall of the American Empire is held
silent.

The likelihood of America going into a depression,
and taking parts of Europe with it, is not beyond
contemplation.

Too many mistakes at the same time can turn a
misfortune into a catastrophe.

The ‘migration’ of manufacturing to third world
countries has tossed a segment of the American
population into poverty.

Not all Americans are highly educated and skilled
professionals, hence there needs to be blue collar
jobs. That a Cambodian works for 3c a day can
not be factored into the equation. The Cambodian
can not buy the goods he manufactures.

Buy is the operative term in manufacturing.

Americans, who no longer have jobs, can not buy
the goods, either. People in the third world buy
from China, as America has assisted China in
producing goods so much cheaper.

Nations as China, India, and other ‘large markets’
which have gained the expertise, do not depend
on American products, creating their own, cheaper
and often better.

Cheaper, because costs, from labour to utilities are
less, and without high taxes, sell for less. Better as
one isn’t dealing with a ‘disposable’ culture but with
items manufactured for a less affluent market.

Hence, this American microwave may sell for $300,
this Chinese product for $200.

It is the same product. The American manufacturer
opened a factory in China, trained the workers, used
local materials, and then, when the lease was up, the
factory was taken over by the Chinese.

The Chinese received a ‘free’ factory, ‘free’ trained
workers, and ‘free’ technology.

Recognising the vast ‘Third World’ market, China did
not seek to sell goods to France but to Cameroon, not
to Germany, but Trinidad. Entrepreneurs from all over
the world were invited to China to become ‘middle men’.

America, looking at the larger markets, found itself with
merchandise that gathered dust on shelves, because when
a consumer’s main expenses are food and fuel, one wears
last year’s Nike’s, doesn’t buy that new flat screen T.V.,
and looks for bargains.

The first error America made was in moving production
overseas.

That error could of been addressed by reopening factories
in America under a different set of rules.

Letting workers become shareholders, moving to four day
weeks, or double shifts, a trim management structure, etc.

This would, of course, pump money into a community,
and keep it there.

Associated businesses, i.e. those which produce the raw
materials and components for the product would maintain
viability. The communities around the factories would
develop and adjunct businesses, be they bars, or movie
theatres, doctors or florists would prosper.

Of course, this was never done, and although it will be
at some future date, the time between now and then will
see America dropping to the economic level of a nation
like Mexico while India and China replace it.

If there was no war in Iraq which eats money producing
nothing, the possibility of moving the ‘now’ and ‘then’
closer in time, offers hope. However, whenever the war
ends, the returning soldiers will find no jobs, no homes,
and like a large segment of those who fought in Viet Nam,
be ‘unnecessary.’

America’s wealth had a basis. Americans were innovative and
productive. After World War II, where the rest of the world
was struggling to rebuild, America was churning out products.

After the halcyon days of the 1950s, Japan was able to gain a
foothold due to American help, and went on to produce with a
vengeance.

Then came the Korean War, and South Korea joined Japan in
American investment, so two economic powers were produced
that later would challenge America’s market share.

Europe returned to high productivity by the 60s, America
gained another challenger.

The shortsighted policy of finding ‘cheaper’ places to
manufacture has resulted in disaster. For the purpose
of manufacturing is to sell the goods. 

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