The jobs Americans can't do

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We hear a lot about the "jobs Americans won't do." Part of it is, there are just some low wages Americans won't accept.

Be that as it may, you never hear much about the "jobs Americans can't do" - because the jobs have gone south. Or overseas.

Indeed, the job loss in textiles and apparel manufacturing alone has now gone over the 1 million mark since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994, according to the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.

That's a 65-percent erosion. Unbelievable.

And according to AMTAC, the U.S. has lost 3.2 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.

No one blames NAFTA alone, but a U.S. trade surplus with Mexico has turned into a $64 billion trade deficit. And, as AMTAC said recently, NAFTA's implementation "was symbolic of a sea change in U.S. trade policy" - and the model has since been replicated in the World Trade Organization, the Central American Free Trade Agreement and other deals.

We're losing our shirt. Literally.

It remains to be asked: How can a great nation remain great if it doesn't make things? Can a superpower subsist on pressing each other's foreign-made pants?

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mgroothand
5
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mgroothand 06/10/07 - 08:09 am
0
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America's favorite pastime is

America's favorite pastime is watching TV, not one TV set is manufactured in the US. Most all, if not all, electronics are made outside of the US.

curly123053
4741
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curly123053 06/10/07 - 08:26 am
0
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Bring us the FairTax and we

Bring us the FairTax and we will see a lot of these jobs coming back home. The US Government has taxed a lot of these companies out of the country.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 06/10/07 - 10:19 am
0
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Since NAFTA was passed $14 an

Since NAFTA was passed $14 an hour manufacturing jobs in the US went to
Mexico where machiladoras paid skilled worker $100 a week. But there is
more! During the same time the "North American Free Trade Agreement"
has been in effect jobs migrated from Mexico to China where workers are
paid $100 a month. But wait! There's more. China has been outsourcing
jobs for some time now to Cambodia & Laos where sweatshop sewing
operations pay women $1 a day in wages, and they are glad to get the
work! Clearly we live in a global economy. United States cannot depend
on its military-industrial complex to keep this country's economy
afloat. China is eating our lunch, and India is eyeing the entree.
There has to be a balance of trade. We need a balanced economy & a
balanced budget. The operative word is BALANCE. Another key factor is
the educational skills of average American workers. Our institutions of
higher EDUCATION are still the best in the world, but our primary &
secondary schools are falling down on the job. If we want to be the
creme de la creme of the world's economies then we have to prepare for
it. An educated work force is key along with AMERICAN INGENUITY & APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES.

Daddyrabbit
0
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Daddyrabbit 06/10/07 - 10:20 am
0
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There are more jobs being

There are more jobs being lost than just the textile jobs, but all of it isn't because of NAFTA as bad as it is. Look at the auto makers, for instance, the wages most workers there get for doing ONE simple part of a job (no skill required) and nothing else is outrageous! It cost more to make things, not just cars. It's true you need money to survive, but, look at the whole picture. The Japanese, Koreans, etc don't pay their people (Mexicans either) exorbant wages. This allows them to charge the same or a little les for the producth and make a much larger profit. We need, for one a high tax on imported goods....NAFTA killed that. However, ask your congressman about the little known CAFATA! That one wasn't known to all.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 06/10/07 - 10:39 am
0
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DaddyRabbit is correct. It is

DaddyRabbit is correct. It is worth noting that Japan has a good
healthcare system & a good education system. Japan has also lost
jobs to China & other developing economies. DaddyRabbit should also
point out that the disparity between what ordinary workers make in the
competitive countries he cited & what the CEOs of those competitive
companies in those competitive countries make is much, much less than
the disparity between what ordinary workers and CEOs make in this
country. The investor class, the decision making class, those who sit
on the boards of directors of major US corporations, & highly paid
American CEOs support the Republic Party & its priorities for the
rich, influential, & well connected. That is a form of corruption.
BTW, I think labor unions, churches, & every other group or
instituion that gets tax breaks or exemptions should have to open their
books for complete audits. Offshore tax havens for the rich and for
corporations also need to be shut down. I support a complete overhaul
of U.S. corporate tax laws. There should be no cooking the books or
creative accounting, Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Corporations
must have social as well as fiscal obligations.

gcap
290
Points
gcap 06/10/07 - 10:50 am
0
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Wake up union guys!! If

Wake up union guys!! If Mexican and Japanese workers didn't make TVs, they'd still cost $2,000 or so instead of $200. If Asians didn't manufacture clothing, one would be hard pressed to find a suit of clothes for less that $1,000. Mine cost about $175. We're doing just fine, if our workers prepare themselves appropriately. Computer programmers, medical researchers, engineers, financial professionals, skilled construction craftsmen, truck drivers -- the list goes on and on -- are doing very well. The USA has outgrown the jobs you bemoan losing. Why are Ford and GM losing money left and right and relocating out of the US? Why is Toyota building new plants, AND PROFITS, in our country. The answer is simple: These companies demand productivity. Ford, GM and the UAW can't and won't build them right.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 06/10/07 - 11:48 am
0
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Can't dispute gcap, but the

Can't dispute gcap, but the issue is complex. Guess what? High skilled
white collar jobs ARE being outsourced to places like India. These
include; radiologists reading X-rays and other diagnostic images,
accountants, and even legal services. Outsourcing is moving into the
service sector as well. China's economy will surpass United States
in 20 - 30 years & India's economy will surpass China by mid-century.
Both China & India have more than a billion people. India has a
younger demographic profile. That is why India will outpace China. BTW,
the retirement/social security/pension crisis facing United States pales in
comparison to that facing an aging Chinese work force which has limited
family size. The demographic profile is why I support a massive
increase in the number of immigrants allowed to work in this country.
Economy of scale, you know? We could plan our development & plan our
economy to compete with China & India. We must balance our budget
& decrease national debt in order to preserve our standard of
living. Losing the middle class in favor or more rich & more poor is
not good for social cohesion. We have to work for America & each
other, not just for corporations.

gcap
290
Points
gcap 06/10/07 - 01:07 pm
0
0
JRHC, we seem to agree more

JRHC, we seem to agree more than disagree. And our dialogue is not unhealthy. In fact, seems the two of us can come up with more solutions than differences. Not so in or government, local to national. The tone of governments' influence on nations ability to thrive might be a difference we need to explore. In China, elderly are revered. In our country, they are too often ignored. About six million older Americans live without family support -- somehow. And government influence on our elders, indeed all Americans, is growing and our freedom to thrive is therefore threatened. Meanwhile, those in India and China are being given more and more freedom FROM GOVERNMENT and, consequently, are experiencing phenomenal success. I guess our dialogue reflects two criteria: 1) The citizens of the USA are under more and more government control and 2) The world economy is truly getting fired up. I'd hate to see the US fall behind because of government control. Our economy must remain free to continue to grow and thrive.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 06/10/07 - 01:43 pm
0
0
gcap, You are right about

gcap, You are right about traditional values in China, but it is my
understanding that it is changing fast there too. I know in Japan there
is an industry where children who are too busy to visit their aged
parents can hire someone to do it for them. That may be happening in
China as well. (BTW, Americans already work more hours than the
Japanese who often die on the job. Their word for it is "karoshi" -
death by overwork. We have to work SMARTER not longer.) The global
economy is heating up. We are already competing with China for oil
resources in the Middle East, Africa, & Latin America. China is
building 85 new supertankers. Remember how the energy shortage drove
innovations in the 1970s such as better insulation in homes? If we
tackle the problem of our dependence on fossil fuels with a Manhattan
Project-type program - we can spin off new technologies that stimulate
our economy. We need more efficient appliances & more efficient
vehicles & ultimately new energy sources besides fossil fuels. We
also need the skilled workforce to be able to adapt to the high tech
manufacturing processes involved in solar, wind, geothermal, tidal,
biofuels, nuclear, fuel cell, & other technologies

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 06:57 pm
0
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Cain...oddly enough I agree

Cain...oddly enough I agree with most of what you say today. I would like to point out that the Democratic party is no better than the Republican party when it comes to it's support for the rich. They are both money grubbing hogs when it comes to that. The difference is that the Democratic party does a better job of convincing the poor and middle class that they are on their side.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 06/10/07 - 08:15 pm
0
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I agree, kpc, that our

I agree, kpc, that our political system is completely sold out to
monied interests. Cutthroat capitalists probably would try to defend
that. I'm glad you don't. I understand that you think Republicans are
stronger on national defense, & this weighs heavily in your
calculus. You are absolutely right that both parties feed at the
corporate trough. I support campaign finance reform. McCain has
abandoned that issue because of the exigencies of running for national
office under the current system. Everybody is going for the bucks
wherever they can to finance their campaigns. That leaves them beholden
to those special interests when they get elected. We have the best
government money can buy. That doesn't bode well for popular democracy.
We end up with people in power who are chosen by the oligarchs. Maybe
Ron Paul is Mr Clean. What's his position on immigration and trade
agreements? I support a total rewriting of US tax laws governing
corporations and would like to see offshore tax shelters shut down.
I've never understood why advertising is tax deductable as a cost of
doing business either in the commercial sector or in political
advertising. Big media feeds at the money trough too.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 08:35 pm
0
0
Well I am capitalist through

Well I am capitalist through and through. Perhaps not cutthroat. I am in favor of keeping as much of my money as I can, and not giving it to the government who thinks they know better ways to spend it than do I. In the past, the Republicans have allowed that more so than the Democrats. Neither one is even close to perfect. Both tax too much and spend too much. I still hold to my theory that anyone who WANTS to be the President should be automatically disqualified from the position.

gcap
290
Points
gcap 06/10/07 - 09:01 pm
0
0
Folks, these comments might

Folks, these comments might be the best written opinion that has been on the Chronicle's website or, for that matter, pages is some time. JRHC sums it up nicely -- our leadership has sold us out. In my opinion, we have been sent tax bills to finance government perks and handouts. We must simplify the tax code to energize business AND take the burden of supporting an out-of-control bureaucracy. I've long liked the idea of a national sales tax, exempting medicine and food, and adding a flat income tax of, say, 20 percent on interest and dividends. That way, everyone would participate and the rich would pay on their investments at a lesser rate than today. All the while, business would flourish, employment would be high, and economic activity would support the system. An off-the-wall idea: Once we closed the doors to the IRS, those agents could patrol the Mexican border!

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 09:15 pm
0
0
gcap. A flat tax would be

gcap. A flat tax would be great, but it will never be allowed by the people, because it shifts the tax burdon away from the wealthy, who for some reason, people believe should pay a higher percentage of their income in tax. Most people are not interested in fair....they are interested in their selves.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 09:16 pm
0
0
gcap. A flat tax would be

gcap. A flat tax would be great, but it will never be allowed by the people, because it shifts the tax burdon away from the wealthy, who for some reason, people believe should pay a higher percentage of their income in tax. Most people are not interested in fair....they are interested in their selves.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/10/07 - 09:29 pm
0
0
Another reason $14/hr wages

Another reason $14/hr wages aren't as attractive as one would think is that federal compensation covering housing, medical and food can cost as much as $30,000 for a tax payer to afford. The Fair Tax plan, a consumption tax, would move more people onto the tax roll and still allow tax payers to decide what to do with their earned income.The wealthy would still pay more tax because they spend more, even liberals would be happy.Our economy would change for the better, including available jobs. Immigration, however, would still be a problem. More Americans would be willing to work if a "free ride" lifestyle were not so attractive. Vote buying would have to move to another area.

Does_it_really_matter
1
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Does_it_really_matter 06/11/07 - 04:52 am
0
0
Thank you kpc, gcap and JRHC

Thank you kpc, gcap and JRHC for the most informative posts. When hate is not an issue, one can really learn a lot. You all have made my day

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