It was not really a revelation, but it reinforced my notion that our economic problem here in the good old US of A is that we are not productive enough and therefore do not have enough jobs to spread the available or potential wealth around.
I was having my semi-truck loaded with produce (something fortunately we do produce, even though we also import but then again also export) when I read the inscription on a an air bag, used to cushion loads: “Made in Turkey”.
Now I have nothing against world trade and I do not hold it against the Turks that they are industrious enough to produce products that they can ship to us. I recently read that folks in Turkey are pretty happy with their government because their economy is doing well.
But is there any reason on God’s green earth that we could not produce those air bags right here in this country and thus create jobs for people here and thus stimulate our own economy? I know. The answer is the cost of labor is so much cheaper overseas, particularly in developing countries (is Turkey a developing country?) that it is more economical for business to have things made over there and shipped back here.
Well it is not economical for our own well being as a nation.
Our government already subsidizes low-paid employment via food stamps and even unemployment insurance benefits (for seasonal work) and other social programs, maybe we could do that for production of some goods that do not seem to be made in America anymore.
There is plenty of blame to go around for who lost American industry, but part if it goes to capitalists who do not want to support their own nation who gives them a home and protection from the world at large and part of it goes to organized labor who has been quite willing to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. And liberals (I am a middle of the roader) have gone too far in trying to protect us all from the often hard realities of life, killing the work ethic in the process and running up the national debt.
Strangely, both liberals and so-called conservatives in our government have been quite willing to mortgage our future by piling up the national debt — they just spend the money for different things.
And now the so-called conservative element sees a golden opportunity to get rid of all those programs that help people as opposed to business by starving the beast big time by refusing to raise the debt ceiling or raise taxes.
Economic experts assert that a failure to raise the debt ceiling will or could result in a collapse of the whole economic system, here and abroad.
Some in the Republican Party (who call themselves conservative) claim that there is plenty of money available without raising the debt ceiling. I imagine they simply mean cut the social programs they do not like and cut the business regulations they do not care for and cut costly environmental regulations they do not care for.
So far, all the Democrats have come up with to help the economy are road repair projects that although certainly worthwhile only supply jobs temporarily and really do not produce anything, along with some relative small-scale green energy projects that don’t seem to have much of an effect on the economy either, as promising as they may or may not be.
Our education system may be a large part of the problem. At the low end it churns out students who cannot read or write or do arithmetic after 12 years, and at the upper end turns out large numbers of graduates who either cannot find jobs, despite what they have supposedly learned, or they go into things like the stock market or bond trading and such and make good money but produce nothing for society as a whole. And I know that activity on Wall Street has its rightful place and some utility value in making the economic engine run, but as things now stand it has too big of a place, serving only to make the super rich richer.
Whatever the case, unless we become far more productive, we will certainly face ruin.