U.S. Corporations, supposedly the bedrock of America's system of capitalism, have decided that their best bet for the future is to closely ally themselves with China, its manufacturing industry and cheap labor to maximize their profits. In doing so, they have sold out America, its manufacturing sector and its workers. These economic predators have sold themselves to the highest bidder and have now proven, without any doubt, that they have no loyalty to the nation they call their home.
Their policies and actions have been a major contributing cause of this country's ongoing economic problems over this past decade. Since the beginning of this new century more than 42,000 U.S. plants have been closed and 15 million American workers have lost their jobs. This has greatly reduced the purchasing power of consumers and has dealt a huge blow to this nation's faltering economy.
What a terrific partnership this has been for these corporations and China; it's like a marriage made in heaven. Those very clever Chinese, with the help of their U.S. corporate facilitators, have been given the ability to directly tap into the massive American consumer economy. These two partners have been able to pull off an economic coup and now the largest portions of the U.S. retail sector, as well as the American people, are hooked on imported Chinese products.
Yes, this is a perfect partnership. China provides the cheap slave labor to manufacture the products that are then exported to the world's largest market, one that Corporate America controls. What a great arrangement! U.S. corporations' profits soar, CEO incomes and bonuses skyrocket, Chinese corporations, their workers and the Chinese economy all benefit greatly. Of course, when we speak of this transfer of economic wealth, while China is the primary beneficiary, Japan, India, Taiwan, South Korea, and others are also major recipients.
While corporations prosper millions of American workers draw unemployment checks instead of paychecks, they struggle to find any kind of job even for the minimum wage; our economy continues to spiral downward. The Middle Class continues to shrink, the 1% of Americans grows richer and our dysfunctional government in Washington, most of which is controlled by Corporate America, does as it is told by their masters.
America 's economic stability and growth have always been very dependent upon three key factors: a strong manufacturing sector, a stable and skilled workforce, and a consumer-driven economy. Manufacturing, together with the farming sector, has been the main foundation upon which this nation was built. While a service economy complements the manufacturing sector, it in no way can supplant it as the engine of the overall economy.
While the outsourcing of jobs involved with manufacturing durable goods such as appliances, machinery and equipment, and non-durable goods such as food and clothing, have the greatest negative impact on this country, in recent times, we have seen more and more outsourcing of services. For example, when you have a problem with a computer modem, router or some other electronic device and call the 800 number of the company from which you purchased it, chances are that the customer representative who comes on the line to assist you is located in India, Pakistan, Singapore or some other overseas nation.
Trying to get assistance in solving these troublesome problems can often be very trying and disturbing when someone who doesn't speak English very clearly is on the line; that only compounds the problem. When you consider that customer satisfaction is paramount to a company's success in retaining its customers, that kind of policy makes no sense. But, then again, these corporations no longer seem to care that much about what their customers may think. Their main goal is to reduce payroll and increase profits.
Let's talk about something really shocking. Check out this article from Alternet.org entitled, "Do You Know Where Your Medicine Came From?" American companies and workers can't even make many of the medicines that its citizens use on a daily basis. A good portion of medicines come from Canada and large portions from China, India, Japan, Brazil and Croatia. How would you like to see "made in Croatia" on your container of medicine? As the article states, "up to 40% of them are manufactured overseas (along with 80% of active ingredients for pharmaceuticals)." And not only that but in 2009 the FDA estimated that only 11% of almost 4,000 foreign factories were inspected by it. Think about that when you next take your medications.
There is, however, still one manufacturing sector which has not allied itself with China and never will; one that is highly profitable and one in which unemployment is virtually non-existent. It is the U.S. defense industry whose assembly lines that produce weapons of war for America's military machine run continuously. This sector is one of the few major industries whose operations remain, for the most part, in America and still employ American workers. This defense industry is untouchable and, if anyone in the Congress even dares to suggest cutbacks, he or she immediately becomes a pariah and risks being reelected.
So with profits soaring what are these major corporations doing with all that money? Well they are spending it on remaking the entire American political system. They are using massive amounts of money, plus their great power and influence to "buy" the U.S. Congress and its members. They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to hire thousands of lobbyists to pressure members of Congress to create legislation that benefits them. They want no regulations or restrictions of any kind that might interfere with their objectives. They want it all and this government is making sure that they get their wish.
Don't corporations understand that what they are doing is going to backfire on them in the long term if they continue pursuing policies that are eroding the consumer-driven economy? Maybe they do but their relentless pursuit of ever greater profits results in each of them competing against all the others and none of them are willing to distance themselves from their competitors to reverse the process and bring back jobs to America. How can we expect that to happen when greedy CEO's have their incomes and bonuses tied directly to short term performance? They simply won't do any such thing.
Can anything be done about these corporate practices that have become so pervasive? There just might be. There is something brewing in the world that soon may have a massive negative effect on globalization and world trade. This has been talked about for many years but now its drawing ever closer to reality. This very dangerous condition involves the steady decline of world oil supplies due to the depletion of the largest deposits of oil while, at the same time, new reserves are not being discovered. Petroleum experts and analysts have been predicting for years that the world is heading for a serious energy crisis when the world supply of oil begins a significant downward trend that cannot be reversed; that developing oil shortages will, of necessity, raise the price of this precious resource to levels previously unimagined.
That this energy crisis will happen is inevitable; it's not if it will happen, but when. And when it does, almost certainly by the year 2020, or even sooner, we will see U.S. corporations having to taking drastic actions to try to adapt. The days of massive imports from China, Japan and other overseas nations will be drastically reduced. Then what will the huge transnational corporations do? Will then try to resurrect an American manufacturing sector that they have decimated? Had they any vision they would realize that they need to change their strategies right now instead of waiting for disaster to happen.
This current situation is entirely unsustainable. Will this alliance between U.S. corporations and China, Japan and other overseas nations continue unabated, bringing more and more damage to what's left of our industrial base? Is there some way that corporations can be induced to significantly scale back their foreign involvements? Or will the onset of a world energy crisis that has the potential to end globalism force them to change?