For months, I’ve been telling my friends that the bad economy cannot be fixed by the government alone, nor is it the government’s sole fault that we’re in this mess. Yes, the deregulation that started under Ronald Reagan and continued through Bush I and Clinton before it imploded on Bush II has to take a lot of the blame. The tax cuts on big business have hurt the economy, as well, even as we hear the battle cries from the far right to cut them some more.
However; the bigger slice of the blame game needs to be laid at the feet of the companies themselves. Our government is in their pockets and have made it easier for the companies to only look out for themselves in the last thirty years, but We the People have elected them. As long as companies don’t hire American workers to work in American plants and as long as the American government doesn’t place a high tariffs on non-American made goods coming into this country, we will continue to have high unemployment.
For example, according to this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek (pg.50), Apple employs 25,000 Americans. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? That is until you learn that Apple’s products are made by Hon Hai Precision Industry in China. Hon Hai Precision (AKA Foxconn) employs 250,000 employees to build Apple products. Do the math – for every 10 Chinese employee, Apple has 1 lone American employee.
Yes, but Julie, that’s because our unions are demanding such hire wages, I hear you say.
Uh, no. Unions aren’t as powerful as they once were – for one thing – and for another, you don’t believe that a worker on the factory floor deserves a fair wage for his or her work? I could get into all that anti-union rhetoric, but I’ll save it up for a later article. In a nutshell, anyone who lays our economic problems at the feet of unions is someone who has never read a business magazine, gone to college or is making millions as a talking head.
The need and greed for high profits is what’s causing the massive overseas drive of American jobs. And, because there is no moral hazard – such as taxes or tariffs – companies will continue to drain our population of jobs.
And, it is not just the big companies.
I know of a company with less than 1000 employees – right here in southeast Wisconsin – that has a temporary need for one employee. Rather than hire an American, they’ve contracted a company in India and now an American employee is training an Indian employee over the phone to do this job. And, it isn’t a call center job. And, there isn’t a union employee in sight.
In conclusion, this economy has just been brewing for the last ten years, we’ve been shedding jobs for a very long time. Relaxing the regulations on the financial markets has caused the economy to implode and relaxing tariffs and taxes on corporations – especially those that have been cutting American jobs – has finally killed the American dream. And, no, the government can’t fix all of it and the people who can – CEOs of corporations – don’t want to fix it. They don’t care. They’re too busy laughing all the way to the bank.