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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2003, 05:15 AM
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Here is the extent of the decline of our manufacturing sector:

For over a half century, American manufacturing has dominated the globe. It turned the tide in World War ii and hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany; it subsequently helped rebuild Europe and Japan; it enabled the United States to outlast the Soviet empire in the Cold War. At the same time, it met all the material needs of the American people.

. . . .

However, manufacturing as a share of the economy has been plummeting. In 1965, manufacturing accounted for 53 percent of the economy. By 1988 it only accounted for 39 percent, and in 2004, it accounted for just 9 percent.

. . . .

The loss of the manufacturing industry manifests itself most clearly in job losses. According to the Economist, “For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, fewer than 10 percent of American workers are now employed in manufacturing” (Oct. 1, 2005). But even this figure is probably double the actual percentage, because many workers in a typical manufacturing firm have service-type jobs. In comparison, during the 1970s, approximately 25 percent of American workers were employed in manufacturing. From 1990 to present, manufacturing jobs have decreased every single year; since 1996, they have plummeted by almost one fifth.

. . . .

With the birth of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico became a major recipient of outsourced U.S. manufacturing jobs. Mexico is now a global leader in auto parts manufacturing and one of the world’s largest tv set producers. Now, with the startup of the Central American Free Trade Area (cafta) this January, analysts are anticipating another exodus of U.S. jobs to south of the border. U.S. household names such as Dell, ibm, Sara Lee/Hanes and Maytag have already been moving business into the Central American region.

. . . .


The Trumpet is this:

TheTrumpet.com is the official website of the Philadelphia Trumpet newsmagazine. Each weekday, theTrumpet.com features reporting and analysis of recent global geopolitical, economic, social and religious events and trends.

The Trumpet magazine, which began in February 1990, is published 10 times a year by the Philadelphia Church of God. It is available by subscription absolutely free.


The article is from the early 2000s. Things have undoubtedly gotten worse by nose. The statistics are reliably sourced although this is not a publication I would normally quote from.

Not many American economists would want to discuss this issue honestly I suspect.

Here we go. USA Today from 2002.

Fifty years ago, a third of U.S. employees worked in factories, making everything from clothing to lipstick to cars. Today, a little more than one-tenth of the nation's 131 million workers are employed by manufacturing firms. Four-fifths are in services.

The decline in manufacturing jobs has swiftly accelerated since the beginning of 2000. Since then, more than 1.9 million factory jobs have been cut — about 10% of the sector's workforce. During the same period, the number of jobs outside manufacturing has risen close to 2%.

Many of the factory jobs are being cut as companies respond to a sharp rise in global competition. Unable to raise prices — and often forced to cut them — companies must find any way they can to reduce costs and hang onto profits.

Jobs are increasingly being moved abroad as companies take advantage of lower labor costs and position themselves to sell products to a growing — and promising — market abroad. Economy.com, an economic consulting firm in West Chester, Pa., estimates 1.3 million manufacturing jobs have been moved abroad since the beginning of 1992 — the bulk coming in the last three years. Most of those jobs have gone to Mexico and East Asia.


This is a topic that the corporate-owned American media shies away from.

But those of us who remember 1955, 1965, etc., the silence covers the terrible fact that we once had a robust manufacturing sector, and that it is now gone.

As the Trumpet points out, our manufacturing sector is what won WWII. If we had to fight a war today for our national survival, we would have to import the socks for our army. You can't fight a war if you have to import the socks for your soldiers. Unfortunately, most American women wouldn't know how to knit a pair of socks if their lives depended on it. (I do know how and can do it but I am the exception.)

The International Criminal Court considers violations of international criminal law, laws to which

we have agreed.

The trade courts are very different because they theoretically and we will see increasingly in practice allow corporations to challenge NATIONAL, not international laws passed by countries that are members of the trade groups established by the agreements.

We have already seen that an international court determined that our laws that labelled meat according to the country of origin violate the WTO agreement.

That is a terrible attack on a US law that was established by our democratically elected legislature.

It's wrong.

And damages awards are coming.

The trade courts do not deal with human rights issues. They deal with questions of invvestment and the marketplace.

I support international courts that attempt to enforce human rights and make peace.
I do not support international trade courts that allow corporations to petition them as plaintiffs.

Corporations, if they want to sue a country, should sue in the country they wish to sue. I know that is limiting on the corporations, but so be it.

A corporation is the creation of civil (not criminal) law and not a human being. A corporation is created only by law and should answer to the law, not circumvent it through a system of supranational international courts.

Taxation without representation. That's what these trade courts will impose on us. It's just a matter of time. Think it through. Eventually, you will figure it out.
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