After watching ABC World News’ “Made in America” series, several thoughts:
1. Don’t view it on a full stomach.
2. The media has failed to ask the right questions because they, like our elected officials, don’t understand the problem.
3. Spending more money is never the solution.
The series illustrates the astronomical amount of goods made in China, and postulates how great it would be if we could “buy American.”
Gee, Diane Sawyer and company, tell us something we don’t know.
Perhaps if the network researched why America manufactures virtually nothing, thus identifying the problem, it could then report on the ways to bring back American companies and jobs.
But that would take foresight and initiative. And when it comes to the American media, those traits are in short supply.
Sawyer states that if the average American family spent $64 on American-made goods at Christmas, over 200,000 jobs would be created.
Why stop there? Well, ABC thought of that. Reporting that total Christmas spending would total more than $465 billion, it stated, “. . . if that money was spent entirely on U.S.-made products, it would create 4.6 million jobs.”
Great, if you’re playing make-believe. But in the real world, things don’t work that way.
First, we live in a global economy. That’s fine, but things don’t work so well when our trade deficit is over $500 billion per year and growing. That trend will only continue until the problem is identified, let alone solved. But stating a pie-in-the-sky wish to “buy American” is insulting.
Second, spending more money won’t solve anything, and only masks the issues. Yet that’s a lesson lost, as we continue to fall for the duplicitous line that if we just open the wallet and increase the budget, all will be well.
For example, what do we do about the nation’s abysmal academic achievement? Spend more on “education.” Of course, we’ve been doing that every year, and the scores haven’t improved, but so what? We’ll just spend more money!
Too much crime? Hire more cops, despite the fact that most municipalities are going under just trying to pay current salaries and exploding pension and benefit costs. More money won’t deter crime. Smarter policing, and infinitely more important, smarter kids, will.
Not enough jobs? We refuse to educate our workforce and have no manufacturing base, so instead we create trillions in “stimulus” (aka, “taxpayer”) funds. The fact that it didn’t work has not deterred the politicians, as they seek more.
And now, ABC would have us believe that spending $64 is the panacea to America’s chronic unemployment problem, and will help manufacturers stay in business.
Such news reports only divert attention from the real problems: our atrociously unfavorable trade policies, the world’s highest corporate taxes, and the lack of an energy policy. By understanding these issues, we could stave off the total loss of manufacturing. And no nation has ever survived without a healthy manufacturing base.
So what to do?
- Trade policies need to be wiped clean and rewritten from scratch, with America’s interests coming first. We may not always have the leverage to call the shots, but we do now. So let’s do it.
- If you want less of something, tax it — a concept lost on most elected officials. Hopefully, a new Congress will incentivize companies to keep jobs stateside by slashing the corporate income tax. Most CEOs would rather keep operations here but the government has taken that option away from many.
- By far, the most effective solution to give manufacturing a permanent rebirth is energy independence. But it seems that drilling for oil and natural gas, mining clean coal, and expanding nuclear power is just too politically incorrect for ABC’s focus.
America will never compete with the lowest labor costs in the world. So the only way to offset that is to have the lowest energy costs in the world. And America can do that, because it possesses the greatest concentration of energy resources on the planet.
Lower fuel costs give manufacturing companies an edge, and that means greater commerce and more jobs. Businesses can take billions in savings from cheap energy and expand operations, hire more workers, and open new manufacturing doors.
And when the ancillary benefits are realized, the economy goes into overdrive.
Incomprehensibly, many major media outlets and the majority of politicians in both parties do not recognize these root causes of America’s economic crisis. And you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what it is.
Connect the dots, and America thrives again. Keep the same policies in place, and we go the way of Europe.
And what a story that would be.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.
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