Unless a nation can take raw materials, convert it into greater-value finished goods which it can sell to the markets at a profit, it is not creating actual wealth - instead it is enjoying wealth created by borrowing or by bringing their manufacturing base and the wealth created by prior generations to the pawn shop. I have been saying for three years that it cannot last forever. That time has arrived.
People in the technological center have been saying this for years: we need a moon-shot style program for advanced robotics and totally automated manufacturing plants. Republicans are going to have to accept "socialist" eduction and higher taxes to aid the sciences, and stop shouting that we spend a zillion dollars on tanks and missle systems.
We need a moon-shot style program to develop an alternative to foreign oil - an easy one given that we have natural gas to fuel automobiles and nuclear and coal to produce electricity. Republicans are going to have to accept taxes on foreign gasoline so we can make domestic sources competitive.
We have to have a national health insurance program of some sort, simply because that is what our competitors in other countries have - we can no longer compete on the world market with our current cost structures.
And yes, unions will have to give too. This is going to take all of us.
On the same day that we discuss dumping the largest single manufacturing base in this nation our markets reach 5 year lows, Unemployment hits 16 year high, consumer confidence is at record lows, Purchasing Managers reports show record slowdowns of orders.
At a time when manufacturing is the ONLY source of muscle to grow this economy with any degree of volume, some folks want to cut it down at its knees. No economy in the world can recover with services only recovery. We can't make a recovery simply by pushing money around or pushing bits around. If we are not PRODUCING, we are a consumer economy. And a consumer economy will not grow long term. We have watched that bubble pop.
The couple of Trillion bucks that we are waving around at the financial sector, while blowing off the auto industry and the couple of million folks that it will impact is nothing compared to what is going to happen if this economy goes into depression because of a collapsed manufacturing base. This is not some silly parlor debate. The stakes are staggering.
Every 2 MILLION jobs that do not FAIL at this point in time are jobs that PRODUCE growth in this economy. Every 2 MILLION jobs that do fail are jobs that destroy this economy. Cities and States are already lining up at the US Printing Shop waiting for money as their tax bases are looking bleak. Their unemployment rates are skyrocketing and their revenue projections are down for 09-10. Add 2 Million more to that mix and the dominoes will start falling quicker and quicker.
Not doing EVERYTHING to fix this NOW is just weapons grade stupid.