Good Evening Brothers and Sisters,
In the Morning Call Friday, September 17, 2010 is an article in the YOUR MONEY section titled, “More people in U.S. living in poverty”. It states, “ rate climbs as recession pushes more middle-class workers into the ranks of poor. Those falling below the poverty line today are full time workers who cannot earn enough to meet their needs or middle class workers driven into the ranks of the poor by lost jobs or shrinking incomes.” Economists and other analysts actually said the data was better than they expected given the severity of the recession and the massive job losses last year. They credit the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the expanded unemployment payments with keeping millions more from the same fate. These same analysts worry that poverty levels will continue to climb. The incomes of ordinary families has also declined over the last decade. The Census Bureau reported the mean household income dropped 4.2% since 2007. In the previous 3 recessions an income dropped after years of income increases, this time comes on top of years of income stagnation through 2003-2007. We are in a sad state of affairs and yet the largest outsourcing has yet to be done. At the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals 2010 world summit, one presentation had a slide:
“Outsourcing is one of the greatest organizational and industry structural
shifts of the century.”
James Brian Quinn, BuchananProfessor of Management, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (Letter to Mike Corbett, April 2, 2002)
No wonder this has been the GREAT RECESSION. As Ross Perot said when he ran for President, “That giant sucking sound you hear will be all the jobs leaving this country!” He was dead on target. We have lost over 290,000 manufacturing jobs in PA alone since 2000 due to outsourcing. If you remember the discussions about NAFTA only the dirty jobs were going to go, we were going to have all the intellectual and research jobs. Well, we’ve seen engineering jobs at Mack Trucks go global and our country has seen over 1 million high tech research, software development, chemical engineering and other scientific high paying intellectual jobs sucked away from us just over the last 5 years. No wonder the recession became the GREAT RECESSION! There are very few good paying jobs left. No economy can survive without investing in jobs and leveling the playing field – we need fair trade. The free trade has been that we freely gave up our standard of living so companies could and did put profit over people. The Germans only buy German products, the Italians only Italian products, the Koreans only Korean products, the Japanese only Japanese products, the Americans will buy anything but American products. What are we out of our minds? If we bought products made in the USA it would force corporations to bring manufacturing into the USA because their foreign products would rot on the shelves. We can fix this but it is up to us not our politicians. If every American bought one American made garment it would add almost 9 billion dollars to the economy. The amount of jobs that would create is extraordinary. Our politicians caused this problem. Look at Toomey and Dent. They still want to outsource and not fund the Stimulus Act that kept millions out of poverty. They believe people aren’t trying to get jobs, that’s why people are unemployed. Ask our recently recalled Brothers and Sisters what kind of jobs were available when they were laid off in 2006.
As a country we cannot lose jobs to other countries and lose the revenue they create in taxes and continue to function as a country. Remember “It’s the economy stupid”? During the 90’s millions of jobs were created and the government had a surplus instead of a deficit even with the signing of NAFTA, which started the giant sucking sound of jobs leaving, but the full effects of which we feel today with the lack of jobs.
In a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal, Thursday, September 16, 2010, The Cato Institute (a conservative think tank) stated, “ in all fairness, both parties got us into this mess. “Deficits don’t matter,” Vice President Dick Cheney scoffed as the Bush Administration and a Republican Congress led one of the biggest spending sprees in American history, nearly doubling the federal outlays over eight years.”
During those eight years the American worker was trashed while money was spent on wars and for the first time in history taxes were cut not raised to pay for the wars! The first time in history a war was not funded by a tax increase. Now a new administration is spending on the American people with health care for all and stimulus for jobs and unemployment benefits for those who have lost jobs the same forces from the Republican Congress that believed deficits don’t matter are now saying they do. Apparently deficits only matter when American people receive benefits from their tax dollars. They believe we deserve nothing but the rest of the world should receive our tax dollars. If we buy American we can create enough good paying jobs to improve the economy and pay down the deficit. It is up to us. What we do matters and if we convince others to do as well it can change this country back to greatness.
Our trade deficit and economic problem’s will worsen unless we as a people decide to buy American because it is the American thing to do. To truly be patriotic we must support our economy and each other by buying American. The outsourcing of jobs threatens our economy and our National Security. It can be difficult to find American made products but they are out there.
***The solution is just too simple. The American people need to start requiring the government, that works for us, when using our money to purchase all goods and services bought on our behalf, to be only from United States sources. That is what our founding fathers wanted.
The concept that they are saving us money by buying off-shore is bogus, as the jobs lost and subsequent lost income will eliminate the ability for us to buy any products at all. This can only exacerbate the increased unemployment, and cause company bankruptcy. Don’t be fooled, their intention is to grab more power by making us all poor, and by controlling more big business.
If Obama won’t help, the people can do it themselves. Let’s say 300,000,000 Americans each simply reallocated 1 dollar per day, spending 1 dollar less on foreign-made goods, 1 dollar more on American-made goods. (That’s $30 per month, per person, and it is not an extra $30 per month, but just where you spend it!) After a year, this would add up to $109,500,000,000. What could the real, productive American economy do with an extra $109.5 billion? How about 2,737,500 new jobs paying $40,000 per year?
The greed of us all wanting lower prices is also cutting our own throats in the process. The government and businesses, as well as the consumer has forgotten what made this country the greatest in history.
In 1933 President Roosevelt signed into law the Buy American Act. It helped with our expansion and job creation over the following decades. We need to get back to this basic reality. The time for action is now! This week and for the rest of the year try to buy something American. This election vote with your wallet. This means people who want your job overseas or in Mexico don’t deserve your vote. All of us at Macks I hope do not want our jobs in Mexico. That’s what Freightliner and Navistar have done. By buying American we will be sending messages to the companies, the government and to those who can’t understand how important this is. Our companies (Mack, Americold, First Student, Lower Saucon) can’t afford healthcare and want to dump it on us. Every negotiation is about cost shifting to you. Look at our retirees with lifetime language for healthcare but the company never put money away to fund it. They would threaten bankruptcy because of healthcare. They sued our retirees in court to reduce or eliminate their healthcare. Our pensions would be in trouble except for federal laws that force them to fund our pensions. Who among us could believe there is not a healthcare crisis in this country? The Census Bureau shows an increase of 4.4 million people in 2009 without healthcare. That means we are now at 50.7 million people without healthcare. Who pays for them? We do through taxes and higher healthcare costs. A job crisis? The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 9.6% unemployed on benefits and a total of 16.6% unemployed with or without benefits as of August 2010. There has also been a fear whipped up over Social Security and is now threatening the lifeline for millions retired and for those yet to retire. The battle ground is upon us. The middleclass may not exist in decades to come unless we do something about it. For our children and our children’s children sake we must act now to return jobs to this country. We can do this, we must do this! Buy American.
Edward P. Balukas