My first talk show was back in the early 70’s. At that time almost everything was MADE IN THE USA. Factories that employed 20 people actually created over a hundred jobs down the line. Suppliers, cargo, materials, local food and drink establishments, builders and local merchants all were part of “The Miracle of Main Street.” Money circulated 7 to 10 times locally and a good standard of living was ready for anyone willing to start on the factory floor. Today those stores in towns are empty and have plywood over the windows. Yet, at the edge of town sits Wal-Mart sucking up the money and sends it to Arkansas and then China daily. It’s the big vacuum cleaner for global policies that has ended the “American Dream.”
Ever since 1985 I have warned America that the economy would go into the tank. Why? First there was “Equity Stripping.” Junk bond kings would buy a successful US company, fire the US workers and move the plant offshore and the savings on labor paid off the bonds. Example: Mr. Coffee.
Soon other factories moved offshore for this simple reason: If your competitor moved to Asia or Mexico you also had to move to keep you in the price lines and allow for massive advertising campaigns. You could pay sports stars millions as your product cost to the retailer was still better than the old price. But it gets worse. Two US Federal agencies funded with your tax dollars are there to move jobs offshore. Go and study OPIC and AID. Overseas Private Investment Corporation is a US Government agency that helped thousands of factories to leave the USA. Go to their site and get out your puke bag. Your tax dollars fund the agencies to move jobs offshore. Then there is AID or the Agency for International Development that functions along the same lines as OPIC. As banks that make loans cannot own a piece of a US factory the rules are gone when you move a plant offshore and bankers can get a piece. Years ago Charles Kernigan who heads a sewing union pretended to own a plant he wanted to move to 37 cent per hour labor in Honduras and with a hidden camera got video of the reps from the US Agencies telling how he could get loans and save money and how they would help him do so.
The guiding hand behind all the de-industrialization of the USA is David Rockefeller who along with George H. Bush, Sr. and other associates had a global dream where the US would do the technology and other countries would produce the goods. This policy would also let banks get back bad loans made around the world. When you moved a factory from the USA it was to cut costs. Thus in the third-world such as Mexico, South America and Asia the workers cannot afford to buy what they make. There are no parking lots at the plant for workers as they are gathered up in old buses and returned home after a long shift the same way. Often the workers must wear different colored shirts that designate what part of the plant they belong in. This prevents unions from recruiting as the colored clothes lets “security” know when the serfs are up to something. Reports of labor activists being either blacklisted or shot has been reported in media outlets around the world.
Back in the USA our workers cannot compete with “penny wages” that even THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has admitted. Often soldiers who were called up from the military reserves go overseas on duty and often when they return their job is gone. I must congratulate CNBC for their series on “American Greed” that has produced hour long documentaries of what’s happening as our economy is exported. Just when the policy-makers try to give us hope we learn that companies like Wal-Mart employ workers at low wages and let them work no more than 30 hours on the clock. This keeps benefits down and workers resort to food stamps and financial aid from the states or federal government. Thus we promoted moving the factories offshore but we are also subsidizing Wal-Mart as their workers get government benefits to make up for low paychecks. The downward spiral of our economy has been slowed down with strategies of the Federal Reserve that is not Federal but a private bank owned by twelve companies.
I howled with laughter over the last twenty years as I saw one trick after another to prop up a “ghost” economy. One of the areas is constant wars someplace. When Clinton said we would be in Bosnia for a year you must understand that we’re still there and in other hot spots. This keeps cash flowing and often a high school graduate goes into the service for a job or has to flip hamburgers and cut lawns. The massive damage of hurricanes like Andrew and Katrina and others kept the economy going as we had to constantly rebuild. Now we learn that cheap drywall bought from China emits deadly fumes and thousands of homes have it and it has to be replaced. Copper water pipe from Mexico degrades and causes water to turn blue.
Alan Greenspan did every trick in the book to keep us afloat as our dollar has devalued. I watched as he promoted what Wall Street calls MEW or “Mortgage Equity Withdrawal.” The Fed promoted families to borrow against their home equity with a second mortgage and spend the money.
Loan programs with negative amortization meant that you could buy a home with a low monthly payment but the mortgage amount would rise to a point where the house was “loaned out.” When all that crashed we watched as the Fed told banks to issue giant mortgages to anyone who had a pulse. No credit check for jumbo loans on a house that soon goes into foreclosure. News reports tell of 22 million houses that are empty and all of the tricks have run out of time. Now, the USA has to face reality. Reality is “things as they really are and not what you wish them to be.”
A recent New York Times article revealed that the mass population of New Orleans and other damaged areas cannot qualify for mortgages to rebuild. A figure of over 80 percent being turned down was noted. Many in the deep South inherited their small home from earlier generations and they worked for low pay. Now, they can’t rebuild.
Only three things create wealth. Manufacturing, mining and agriculture. With the never-ending regulations of OSHA and other federal agencies it’s almost impossible to start and run a business in the USA. Sure, GM had a good year but how many billions of your dollars has bailed out falling giant companies?
Did you know that most apple juice comes from China as new regulations make it virtually impossible to own an apple orchard? Thus they have been cut up into lots for new homes. Years ago a book titled THE DEATH OF COMMON SENSE told of how the government regulations kill possible regrowth. Worse, Obama has added over 200 new regulations. Then the distortions like the Ethanol issue. Ethanol is made from horse corn that is grown to feed animals and after the process over 90 percent is left and the mash dried for feed. We do not use sweet corn for Ethanol.
Recently the fact that FEMA is buying hundreds of millions of MRE’s or “meals ready to eat” shows that they are preparing for something. Then the FCC bought uncountable millions of new HD TV converter boxes from China and not the USA. Our military buys supplies offshore from boots to ammo. Thus it will take more than rebuilding from disasters to bring the jobs and factories back. Until that happens we are stuck in a downward spiral that gets worse by the day.
Although I am involved with a group building a new TV network, I have time to watch the blonde “talking heads” on news channels. To them why we don’t have an economy is a mystery that they cannot comprehend. Let me help all the news folks: “You can’t do business with people who don’t have any money.” When our country lost over 50,000 factories to Asia and Mexico our economy also was exported. Example: How much was an ounce of gold in 1996? What does that same ounce cost today? Oops, the policies of the “Free Traders and Globalists” failed for the USA but instead transferred our wealth in pieces to the third world.
So, you tell me – where does a High School graduate get a job in today’s USA? Surely it won’t be on the factory floor like it was prior to Nixon and then Bush/Clinton. Although Reagan made great speeches between his naps the economy was being slowly moved offshore and when a factory was dismantled and the crates shipped abroad our government called that “a positive export.” I remember Carla Hills commenting on the closing of a plant in Illinois that made brooms. She said that was not a good job anyhow but the workers yelled back that working there paid their bills. Note that as the basic USA economy was dismantled all we heard was nonsense about gun control, gays, abortion, and so forth. The “Hot Button” topics diverted the attention of the media as our country was slowly shipped abroad. Our imports are so vast that steel shipping containers are piled to the sky in port cities and some are now being used to build houses.
Let’s talk about what went wrong and what we can do to rebuild America instead of leaving our kids and grandchildren only of a future with endless debts.
–Chuck Harder, [email protected]
Chuck founded the first 24/7 full service network with news, sports, national weather in Tampa: Sun Radio.