ECONOMIC “PERFECT STORM” BREWING
By Frosty Wooldridge
Anyone notice foreclosure figures surfacing on the evening news programs? How about our $700 billion annual trade deficit? Have you heard about our borrowing $2 billion daily to float the federal debt? Stock market got your nerves on edge?
I attended a conference in Denver, Colorado featuring several top figures from New York.
A funny thing happened during the conference. Several men, like Dan Griswold of the CATO Institute in Washington, DC stood up along with Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal. They gave glowing accounts of the necessary and positive aspects growth. I sat in the audience intellectually barfing as I heard their drivel. They promoted, condoned and instigated endless immigration as if it was some great god of good fortune.
Later, Jon Caldara paired Griswold with me on local TV. The subject? Economics!
Griswold touted America’s thriving economy as the best ever. He prattled on about GNP, immigrants filling jobs, exports and Americans living at the highest standard of living in decades.
I wanted to reach across the table to wring his neck, but maintained my decorum. I said, “If it’s so great, how come, according to Brian Williams at NBC News, the average American credit card suffers a $9,149.00 balance (debt)? How about the national debt of $8.5 trillion? Consumer debt exceeds $2 trillion. We suffer a $700 annual trade deficit. What about the fact that we’ve gone from the world’s largest creditor nation in 1965 to the world’s largest debtor nation in 2007? How about California’s state debt of $38 billion? How about GM and Ford dying in Michigan with 60,000 employees to be laid off this year? Is anyone looking at how America’s middle class suffers execution with off-shoring, in-sourcing and off-shoring of manufacturing jobs, IT and other high tech jobs?”
Since 2000, the U.S. economy lost 2.9 million manufacturing jobs which is 17 percent of the workforce in that arena. Not a single manufacturing payroll created a new job. More than 40,000 manufacturing establishments closed with declines at 48 percent in textiles, 30 percent in electronics and 23 percent in machinery.
Real wages declined. Columnist Paul Craig Roberts wrote, “No sane economist can maintain that deplorable record of 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy.”
If you consider Bush’s plan, Social Security Regularization, to give Mexicans who have worked illegally in our country Social Security benefits, you’re watching a madman at work in the oval office. If you consider pension funds bankrupting or GM, Ford and Chrysler’s retirement funds running empty along with a sinking dollar on the world stage, you’re looking at an economic “perfect storm” that will make Katrina look like an afternoon breeze. As you watch our manufacturing plants die like a flower in a snow storm, you’re seeing Americans set up for a financial disaster that resembles the same kind of corruption and downgrading of their standard of living as you see in countries like Mexico or Columbia. You will see the rich get richer and the rest of us, poorer and poorer. It already happens at breakneck speed. But like a dog chained to a three foot tether, it wags its tail when the master comes with water and food—so too, do Americans keep thinking President Bush will bring them food and water. When, in fact, for six years, he’s kept U.S. citizens on a shorter and shorter chain—and supported the loss of our jobs to foreigners and illegals. It’s pathetic that we keep supporting his devastating destruction of our middle class.
Our trade deficits wilt our economy as the punch-drunk stepchildren of the U.S. Senate’s in-sourcing, out-sourcing and off-shoring practices.
If you’re looking for leadership from George Bush, that’s like looking for rain in Death Valley. If you’re looking for leadership in the U.S. Senate, that’s like looking for love in a bordello. In six years, they’ve led us into this “Perfect Storm” that gives the Peter Principle new benchmarks for incompetence.
We must create a trade-balancing quota system that Warren Buffet suggested. We might consider an import surcharge under article 12 of the World Trade Organization. We need to re-create our manufacturing base for our citizens instead of giving jobs to the Chinese. We must enforce balance of trade instead of allowing $700 billion annual trade deficits.
As more and more Americans suffer the onslaught of Bush’s inability to take command of this country’s economic future, we enter this “perfect storm” with no ability to escape it, no time to change course and no plan. Once it engulfs us, much like the movie “Perfect Storm” with George Clooney, you know what happens.
We need a new president that knows what he is doing, hires advisors that know how to steer out of this storm and engage the engines toward the American Dream instead of the coming nightmare.