For decades after World War II Americans had great jobs and lots of them, certainly the best economy in world history. That was attributable to the postwar boom and our capitalist economy but there is another aspect to the story.
Europe and Japan were severely damaged in the war and so America was producing many of the manufactured goods that might have been made overseas. It is said that after World War II that the United States was producing 50% of the world’s finished goods or manufactured goods (cars, tools, furniture, washing machines, housewares, etc.)
But that number now has fallen to about 12% and this alone is why we have declining living standards. Manufacturing has been fleeing America for 50 years now, along with mining. Yet manufacturing and mining are the backbones of wealth creation.
Manufacturing and mining “create” wealth in one simple way, by taking resources out of the ground like coal, crude oil, iron ore and copper ore. These resources have no intrinsic value; after all what would you do with a lump of iron ore? But man gives them economic worth by refining them and then transforming them into products with a monetary value. This “creates” wealth where there was none.
If you want to know about the underlying problem with the American economy in 2016 just look at this from CNSNews.com. Keep in mind that manufacturing jobs “create” wealth while government jobs “consume” wealth:
Government employees in the United States outnumber manufacturing employees by 9,932,000, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Federal, state and local government employed 22,213,000 people in August, while the manufacturing sector employed 12,281,000.
The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment data for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. For half a century—from January 1939 through July 1989—manufacturing employment always exceeded government employment in the United States, according to these numbers.
Then, in August 1989, the seasonally-adjusted employment numbers for government exceeded the employment numbers for manufacturing for the first time. That month, manufacturing employed 17,964,000 and government employed 17,989,000.
Manufacturing employment in the United States had peaked a decade before that in June 1979 at 19,553,000
From August 2015 to August 2016 seasonally-adjusted manufacturing employment declined by 37,000–dropping from 12,318,000 last August to 12,281,000 this August.
…The 22,213,000 government employees in August, according to the BLS, included 2,790,000 federal employees, 5,120,000 state government employees, and 14,303,000 local government employees.
This shocking disparity alone explains why America used to be much more prosperous, and why the whole global economy today is in such straits. This is why there is so much stasis in places like Europe and Japan, which are very socialistic nations with big government bureaucracies. And now the US.
Here is another view of the problem. Stephen Moore wrote the following in an essay called A Nation of Takers on April 1, 2011 in the Wall Street Journal:
If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.
It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?
So there you go. Toss in our sky-high national debt rate under Obama and you have the recipe for disaster. At the same time the leftists who want bigger government and who favor government employment for themselves, and more and more debt to pay for government, are using that same government to drive manufacturing and mining jobs out of the US in two ways:
*By imposing excessive taxes, costs and mandates, excessive regulation, ‘green’ regulation and obstruction, high energy costs through government-imposed scarcity like the shutdown of power plants, and artificially high labor costs imposed by labor unions, which are aided by government. This ‘creeping socialism’ has been increasing since the 1950s.
*Much of our American economic decline stems from globalization and the departure of manufacturing jobs to lower-cost nations. Democrats and liberal Republicans are big-government globalists, while Donald Trump and American conservatives oppose globalism and wish to put America first. These globalist international trade agreements like NAFTA have allowed other countries like Mexico and China to take advantage of the US. Trump wants to renegotiate these agreements.
This economic decline started after World War II when great American jobs abounded. Seeing us all happy with free-market prosperity leftists and labor unions began aggressively propagandizing American workers by telling them that they should not be happy with all the great things that they had but should be angry and should demand even higher pay, more benefits, better pensions, longer paid leave, shorter hours, etc.
Leftist said that the boss was a thief and a slave driver, that our labors as employees were really making rich corporate fat-cats richer, that corporations had too much power, that we needed bigger government to protect the worker, etc. Big business was accused of every imaginable evil including making hazardous and dangerous products.
The ‘hippies’ of the 1960s, along with their Big Media and university cronies chimed in with bottomless anti-corporation and anti-capitalist rhetoric, particularly against the oil companies that were providing our basic energy resources. Meanwhile history has shown that the communist Soviet Union played a big role in dissemintating these ideas through their fellow travelers in the US in the universities, unions, media and Hollywood.
Today the situation is reversed. Tens of millions of Americans have no jobs at all, while poor, lazy people in the US can easily have a middle-class standard of living on welfare without lifting a finger. And now that the freeloaders have food, clothing and shelter they are doing what they are instructed to do by the left – they are crying for more and more like free college and medical care and air conditioning and cable TV and now even pets and scooters and every other convenience.
This is also why government bureaucrats are the best-paid people in their economic class while often contributing the least. Millions of government jobs are even fake jobs. I know all about this. Years ago I had a fake government job for 6 weeks but quit because my conscience would not allow me to stay on. Yet they had even offered me full-time, permanent “employment” doing absolutely nothing.
Because the more that you give to certain people for free the more that they think that they are entitled to. This grows on itself. This is one of the dark sides of human nature and it appeals to weak and greedy people who collect over on the political left, who always want an easy life and something for nothing, which we conservatives do not believe in.
Labor unions were and remain today very significant job killers. Unions came along after World War II and wiped out much of the wealthy industrial infrastructure of the Northern Tier of the US from Illinois to Massachusetts through pure greed. This started the trend to forcing jobs out of the US by making labor too expensive here in the US.
Through violence, strikes and endless union confrontation over wages and absurd work rules businesses were forced to close or ceded the business to other nations, like the steel industry did. Railroads also were undermined, and we know that the US auto industry was decimated. In my Nikitas3.com hometown in Massachusetts the unions drove out 11,000 General Electric jobs. Those unions were warned for decades to stop their bad behavior but they did not so GE packed up, as they said they would.
Even as recently as Autumn 2012 Hostess Bakeries (Wonder Bread, Twinkies) was having financial trouble. Rather than making concessions to help the company the bakers union went on strike and Hostess closed immediately, throwing 18,000 workers nationwide out of their jobs.
And this, friends, is why labor unions, which controlled 40% of the private labor force after World War II, today have only about 7%. Because when you kill the companies that you work for, you lose the jobs. Duh… Meanwhile most American workers no longer want the unions. They have seen what unions do.
Today tens of millions of Americans would give anything to have the steady, high-paying jobs that we had back in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet many of the same unemployed people still support Democrats since they do not understand how Democrat policies caused our current economic disaster. This happens because Democrats like Obama blame everything on Republicans, conservatives, Bush, Reagan, corporations, oil companies and now Donald Trump, while millions of Americans believe every word.
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