Some suggest that America cannot compete with China or India unless we reduce our standards to combat cheaper labor off shore. Indeed that has become the basis of a political talking point for those attacking US corporations conducting business overseas. Those aligned with labor unions use this as a rhetorical weapon against the private sector and perpetuate a narrative that is both inaccurate and void of realistic solutions. They accuse pro-business legislators of supporting corporations and therefore they support killing American jobs.
Clearly, no one wants to see America lose manufacturing jobs, but the presumption that the only way we can compete with China is to lower our own standards is a false premise entirely. This unfortunate conventional wisdom is a result of much propaganda designed to undermine US business and its ability to succeed against global competitors and those who support the free market.
The idea we need to lower labor cost so we can level the playing field with China is both unrealistic and fool hearty. It assumes that cheaper labor will make us more competitive and presumably solves our problems. That, however, is absolutely the wrong way to look at this complex and multi facetted problem. Politicians are for the most part either ignorant of real solutions or they simply pander to an uninformed populous voting block.
The fact is America has always led in just about every category in commerce and there are very good reasons why that is so. We drive global lifestyles trends. We lead in invention and technological advancements. We lead the world in the development of new markets creating paradigms that alter consumer behaviors in way that improve peoples’ lives.
The press and some politicians, however, have deliberately mischaracterized and vilified US corporations for years. They say corporations are greedy and want cheap labor for bigger profit so they send jobs to China. But why do they not tout our accomplishments, nurture our strengths and inspire honest dialog to drive towards real solutions? Alas, it is political “silly season” so perhaps that’s why, but if we don’t replace our current failed political leadership we will continue to lose ground at an even more alarming pace.
The truth is many US companies simply cannot afford to manufacture domestically anymore because their own government has declared war on them. We’re all aware of these barriers: EPA kills affordable US energy so domestic production costs are artificially high. Companies are burdened with the highest corporate tax rate. They are saddled with draconian job killing regulations and red tape. Their own government imposes prohibitive legal costs for basic operational and compliance requirements. And our failed public educational system produces a poor quality workforce rendering companies non-competitive, etc. etc.
Yet corporations are labeled greedy uncaring villains that deceive, steal and pillage while destroying careers in America. That grossly unfair characterization is not exactly incentive to those who have the means to invest here. Having had a career of 30 years in various consumer product industries, I can assure you that it is virtually impossible for many industries to manufacture in America, sustain company growth and compete in the global marketplace under the current anti-business political climate.
The misinformation from the press and dishonest politicians don’t stop there. They also perpetuate an entirely false characterization of American branded products manufactured overseas. When US companies cannot afford to set up a plant in the US they go off shore to hire manufacturing vendors. These companies are simply buying a service. US based corporations that compete globally necessarily shop for the optimum suppliers to allow their businesses to succeed. Clearly, other nations are doing a better job supporting these businesses.
Good vendor support ensures a company’s sustained growth and its ability to compete world wide. Even though US companies may use overseas production services this greatly benefits America and US consumers. Here’s why: typically with popular consumer goods only 10-15% of the price of the product is paid to the Chinese factory while the US company keeps 85-90%. So even though the label may say Made in China (a Fed requirement which is not entirely accurate) the product is an America brand in most cases.
The sale of these products around the world contribute to the US GDP, the US tax base, the corporation’s customers (domestic retail stores), their share holders (US pension and retirement plans), the enhancement of the purchasing power of US consumers, as well as to the creation of domestic jobs in various commercial and retail sectors.
If America can be more competitive in providing these corporations with the necessary supply chain and infrastruture support that allows them to succeed, the entire nation would be much better off and America will once again be a powerful pro-growth economic engine. This can only happen if our government gets out of the way and allow the private sector to innovate and do its thing.
Why are these facts not more widely told? Instead, all we hear from the main stream press is the “evil” corporations are killing US jobs! We need to set the record straight because America cannot afford not to have an honest discussion and to solve real problems. This rhetorical poison is simply the most damaging part of our corrupt public discourse that continually stops real solutions dead in their tracks. Politicians with an agenda that is antithetical to American free enterprise need to be defeated or else we will face purpetual economic decline or worse.
In order for America to develop the right solutions, we must first change the current leadership that continues to drive us down this perilous path. America must remain at the forefront of innovation and lead the world as we have always done. That turn around will not happen under the current conventional thinking. Perpetuating class warfare and anti-business narrative is counter-productive and profoundly destrutive.
If private industry and government remain adversaries, this will subordinate America to follow and be reactive to our global competitors. This will not only weaken us further it will guarantee a trajectory of decline from which America may never recover. The right solutions for America have always manifested when we lead and the world is always a better place as a result. A people able to pursue its self interest free from government force is always the winning formula as America’s history attests. Those who dispute this deny the truth and will force us to repeat the same policies that caused the devastating consequences of the social and economic collapse we are witnessing in Europe. On November 6th, let’s turn this ship around and hire a new captain to help us steer clear of the iceberg infested waters we are currently navigating.