Thursday, September 30, 2010

If you thought the loss of U.S. manufacturing was bad, you probably underestimated the problem

Brother Teamster Fred Crow from Cleveland sent us this great blog post from The Economic Collapse: 19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind.

One number especially tells the story of what happened to Cleveland and Detroit and Buffalo:

According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

Do the math: U.S.-based multinationals employ one-third of their workforce overseas. And there's not much stopping them from moving all of their operations offshore. Dell Computer, for example, is shutting down its last U.S. plant in November and expanding operations in China. Here's the kicker: Dell is the 11th biggest contractor with the U.S. government.

Some other scary numbers:

  • The United States has lost about 42,400 factories since 2001. Three-quarters of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.
  • Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.
Congress started to do something about the problem yesterday, just before they went home to campaign. The House of Representatives passed a bill that punishes China for wrongful trade practices that cost the U.S. millions of jobs. Even Republicans voted for it. Jim Hoffa said it just goes to show
Americans are furious that China is bleeding us dry.

Let's see if the Senate passes the bill in the lame-duck session. It's the very least they can do.