In What’s going on with trade? we learned that a handful of “mercantilist” countries, principally China, have been selling the U.S. some $700 billion more goods than they buy each year, growing their economies at the expense of ours.
In How did this happen? we learned that this happened as a result of policies and actions not just of foreign governments and companies, but also of the U.S. government and American companies, with the unwitting complicity of American consumers.
In Direct Results, we learned that as a result, our manufacturing industries have lost millions of jobs, especially following the 2001 and 2008 recessions.
Now we consider, what have been the indirect results of sending those manufacturing jobs overseas?
As a result of offshoring, families and communities across America have been devastated by the loss of their source of “good” jobs, with former employees left to piece together a living with jobs, if they could find them, which paid less. The loss of these manufacturing jobs also led to the loss of other jobs that were supported by them.
The national statistics do not convey the uneven effects of these lost jobs. It is like during the Civil War, when towns would form military units that could be wiped out in a battle, with the town losing a whole generation of its young men. Now we have towns where the economic mainstay was the local manufacturing plant that got sent overseas, leaving the townspeople never really to recover.
The damage is much like a hurricane, where one business is spared while the one next door is wiped out. So, too, the results of our rush to offshore jobs have been felt unevenly across the land, with deep suffering in pockets surrounded by people who were relatively unscathed.
How bad is that damage? In a hurricane, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) issues blue tarps for use in covering the roofs of damaged homes. From the air, you can get a pretty good idea of the extent of the damage. We need to get up in the air and count the “blue tarps” of our economic landscape and determine just how much damage the offshoring of our manufacturing base has wrought.
From that viewpoint, we see that offshoring our manufacturing jobs, in addition to the direct consequences of the job losses, has had a cascading series of effects:
Let us look at each of these in turn.
GO TO Slack Labor Market.
May 15, 2014, Ontario, CA - MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, delivered the keynote address at the 20th annual World Trade Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the California Inland Empire District Export Council in Ontario, California. To view the conference agenda, click here:
May 7, 2015, Radnor, PA. MIAA's founder, Jim Stuber, appeared as the guest of host Richard J. Anthony, Sr. on The Entrepreneur's Network TV at Radnor Studio 21. The program featured a discussion of the problems caused by offshoring manufacturing and white collar jobs and how consmers can solve the problem with their spending decisions.
Studio 21 has made the program available for viewing here: