January 9th, 2009
America awash in cheaply made foreign imports, delves deeper into the worst recession since the depression. Official government unemployment figures released today indicate December ended with an unemployment rate of 7.2% and a total job loss in 2008 of 2.6 million jobs. The job loss tally was up from 2 million the November numbers, so December saw a further 600k jobs.
These government figures tend to drastically underestimate the true rate of unemployment. The governments own “broader” unemployment rate includes “underemployed” folks and is now 13.5%. Underemployed counts folks working part-time, but looking for full-time work. Neither of these rates counts folks that have given up looking for a job, or are doing a full-time job that they are overqualified for (imagine a steel worker doing a job pouring coffee).
A massive government stimulus plan is being drawn up, which will push the budget deficit up from $500 billion ’08 to $1.2 TRILLION or more in ’09. Much of this budget deficit will have to be funded by the Chinese, if they are still willing to loan yet more of our money back to us. They funded roughly 40% of the ’08 budget deficit out of the trade surplus they have with the USA.
The massive trade deficit, huge American job loss, a drastically growing federal budget deficit funded by foreigners – these are NOT independent events. They are intertwined, one feeding off the other making each situation worse and worse.
I was formerly a firm believer in “Free Trade”, but “Free Trade” was supposed to “Free AND Fair Trade”. However, I learned firsthand living in Asia that “Free Trade” means only free coming this way, and is no way fare going the other direction.
Washington is going to try shock therapy to get the economy going, when what we really need is “Free and Fare Trade” that justly levels the playing field. The government should have done this a long time ago, but has been too inept or corrupt to deal with real issues.
We can do something real for America by doing something as simple as buying products actually made here instead of the imported junk at the big retailers.
The USA can win this fight, but it going to be a long, tough one. Things are about to get a lot worse before better. It could literally take us 20 years to put America back where she was when I was a kid.
A hard fight with years of sacrifice and uncertainty, but the alternative is shown in every collapsed culture in history, like the Roman Empire – now just ruins. The USA, this shining light of democracy may one day die, but not while you and I still draw breath.
Founder of MadeinUSAForever.com, your source of products made in America.