Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Today's Guffaw: Obama is to Blame for Loss of Jobs
The last time I was in a department store, every clothing item I picked up was from China, India, Indonesia, or VietNam. Are there any shoe factories in the U.S. anymore? How about toys? Linens? Rugs? We used to have a Levi factory here in Woodstock. It closed several years before Obama. Now it's a roller rink offering low level service jobs (and not many at that). A few miles south of us the Merrilat cabinet manufacturer laid off workers with the housing collapse. They used to run round the clock with three shifts. No more!
I'm no fan of Obama but the collapse of our manufacturing predates this administration by years...and years. Democratic policies have been disastrous, but what have the Republicans done to fix things when they are in office? Darned little. Like Joe Sobran always quipped. We have the choice of the evil party or the stupid party.
And what about ourselves? Some of our problem is due to the greed of American consumers who want more and more and more junk at cheaper and cheaper and cheaper prices. I like cheap too...that's why I go to the thrift store. But I don't need fifty pairs of shoes and twenty five dresses. And who needs every electronic gadget on the market? We can't compete with countries like China that keep their prices artificially low and pay slave wages and use convicts as factory fodder. We can't compete with the sweatshops of the third world and we shouldn't try. I don't know how you get other countries to pay a living wage, but the way to stop this country being a dumping ground for cheap goods is protective tarrifs and trade balance. We've been running a trade deficit since the 1980s and a long-term trade imbance destabalizes an economy. Unemployment increases, currency is undermined, and foreign debt becomes a serious problem. Sound familiar? Pretty soon we'll be a third world country ourselves. The middle class is disappearing. They're working at WalMart and McDonalds.
What can the individual do to stop the insanity? Live like a Christian for starters. Moderation in all things. As I look around my house, my own words convict me. But I want to get to the point where I have moderation indoors and glut outdoors. You can have too much stuff, but you can never have too many flowers and vegetables. Make your abundance visible in your garden and share its produce. As for the stuff, follow the Fly Lady's advice. If you have two of something that you only need one of, keep the one you like best and give the other away.
Now if I can only follow my own advice!