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First we outsourced jobs to China, now we insource their construction industry

By       Message Michael Payne       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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When is this going to stop? U.S. corporations have outsourced millions of Americans jobs to countries overseas, primarily China; a major cause of our economic crisis. Now China is on the way to becoming a major force in our domestic construction industry. China's influence and involvement in the affairs of America is growing, to the point that it should be a matter of grave concern.

The China State Construction Engineering Corp, the largest contractor in China, recently was awarded a $100 million subway ventilation project in New York's Manhattan area. This contract follows their other two contracts for infrastructure work in the U.S.; the $410 million Alexander-Hamilton Bridge Project also in New York and a $1.7 billion contract to construct a casino resort in Atlantic City, N.J. China, now the prime producer of U.S. manufactured goods is in the process of establishing itself as a major force in construction projects to repair America's infrastructure.

To review just how the foreign influence within America began, the Japanese first entered the U.S. auto market in 1956 with Toyota automobiles. I don't remember that but I do remember when a friend of mine bought a small Toyota sedan in the 1960's, I thought he had lost his senses. And we know what happened after that. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and other Japanese automakers took control of the automobile market. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have been struggling ever since.

In the 1980's, under the Reagan administration, U.S. corporations discovered a new fertile field that they could exploit to generate lucrative profits and the era of outsourcing was born as millions of jobs were transferred from America to overseas nations, with China and Japan being the biggest recipients. Not only have we outsourced manufacturing jobs overseas, but consider what often happens when we contact customer service at any one of our major telecommunications companies. You will most likely be given assistance by one of their representatives in India, Pakistan or Indonesia.

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We must ask ourselves this question. Has America now regressed to the point that its workers, its engineers, its technicians and other associated craftsmen are no longer competitive with other nations of the world? Even in their home country, the USA? That the only way by which major corporations feel that they can make a profit and assure their future is to have foreign nations do their bidding?

America, once the world manufacturing leader, has now been largely transformed into a massive distribution center for Chinese products. The Chinese now are dominant in producing the goods America needs and use the extensive U.S. distribution system free of charge; a really sweet, very profitable deal for them.

It looks like America is heading into dangerous, unknown directions. While we experience continued severe economic problems resulting in massive layoffs, we are also witnessing this unnerving trend developing which could further negate the need for American workers. Couple this trend with the out of control growth of our national debt (with China being our principal creditor) and things begin to look very ominous.

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As long as China keeps lending the U.S. the many billions that it takes to fund our trade deficits and our rapidly escalating national debt, our government remains passive and submissive, acting as a debtor nation should toward its masters. But to continue to follow this path is leading us on the road to economic ruin. We are sinking into an economic quagmire, one that threatens our survival.

If anyone thinks that America cannot go bankrupt, or in more specific terms, default on its massive debt, it's time to think again. China is now holding the bulk of our foreign debt and, at some point, if we cannot pay even the interest on the debt, then they will have a major claim on the debtor's assets; in other words, if we default on our debts, China could become the biggest landlord in America; they could literally own a large part of the United States of America. Though that might not seem plausible to many Americans, it is not out of the realm of possibility given the ominous signs beginning to emerge.

So, how does America extract itself from this economic quagmire? This situation is so critical, so threatening that President Obama must do something extraordinary, revolutionary. He needs to take a page out of the presidency of John F. Kennedy, who in 1961, his first year as president, launched the Apollo Program within NASA to land the first man on the moon. He did this because of the great strides Russia was making in the exploration of space. Congress approved the billions needed, NASA began the training of astronauts, a huge group of engineers, scientists and other technicians worked feverishly, and in 1969 Neil Armstrong was the first man to land on the moon.

Mr. Obama, in his first year, faces a critical situation far greater than JFK did at that time; our economic survival. He should announce a bold new program designed to revolutionize the American economic system, utilizing a vast array of the best and brightest economists, engineers, scientists, mathematicians and other talented individuals to launch a program called, for example, "Manufacturing Rebirth". This should not be the typical one-day photo-op effect for "a jobs meeting". It should be a team of experts dedicated full-time to research, studies, conferences, and whatever else it takes to fix our broken system; to operate on the scale of NASA. And there should be no limitations to changing whatever no longer works.

I can suggest a few areas that should be addressed: our role and position in globalization; the use of tariffs in selected unfair trade situations; the use of tax incentives to retain or return outsourced American jobs; the use of tax penalties to punish corporations who continue to outsource; a fast track program to jump start new businesses in the green economy such as solar and wind power, alternatives to fossil fuels, electric autos. And last but not the least by far, an expeditious plan to exit Iraq and Afghanistan, to bring our troops home, and stop this senseless, massive drain on our economy.

In 1961, the challenge came from Russia and America, led by President John F. Kennedy, met that challenge. Now an even greater challenge comes from China. Will America and President Obama have the strength and resolve to rise to the occasion and meet it?

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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