The Economic Collapse blog – July 29, 2011
Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s highly touted “Jobs Council”, is moving even more GE infrastructure to China. GE makes more medical-imaging machines than anyone else in the world, and now GE has announced that it “is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing“. Apparently, this is all part of a “plan to invest about $2 billion across China” over the next few years. But moving core pieces of its business overseas is nothing new for GE. Under Immelt, GE has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States. Perhaps GE should change its slogan to “Imagination At Work (In China)”. If the very people that have been entrusted with solving the unemployment crisis are shipping jobs out of the country, what hope is there that things are going to turn around any time soon?
Earlier this month, Immelt made the following statement to a jobs summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….
“There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”
Apparently Immelt’s idea of being part of the solution is to ship as many jobs overseas as he possibly can.
A recent article on the Huffington Post documented how GE has been sending tens of thousands of good jobs out of the country….
As the administration struggles to prod businesses to create jobs at home, GE has been busy sending them abroad. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed 34,000 jobs in the U.S., according to its most recent annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it’s added 25,000 jobs overseas.
At the end of 2009, GE employed 36,000 more people abroad than it did in the U.S. In 2000, it was nearly the opposite.
GE is supposed to be creating the “jobs of tomorrow”, but it seems that most of the “jobs of tomorrow” will not be located inside the United States.
The last GE factory in the U.S. that made light bulbs closed last September. The transition to the new CFL light bulbs was supposed to create a whole bunch of those “green jobs” that Barack Obama keeps talking about, but as an article in the Washington Post noted, that simply is not happening….
Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.
But GE is far from alone in shipping jobs and economic infrastructure out of the United States. For example, big automakers such as Ford are being very aggressive in China. Ford is currently “building three factories in Chongqing as part of $1.6 billion investment that also includes another plant in Nanchang”.
Today, China accounts for approximately one out of every four vehicles sold worldwide. The big automakers consider the future to be in China.
Just a few decades ago, China was an economic joke and the U.S. economy was absolutely unparalleled.
But disastrous trade policies have opened up the door for a mammoth transfer of jobs, factories and wealth from the United States to China.
China has become an absolute powerhouse and America is rapidly declining.
Beautiful new infrastructure is going up all over China even as U.S. infrastructure rots and decays right in front of our eyes.
America is being deindustrialized at lightning speed and very few of our politicians seem to care.
Back in 1979, there were 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Today, there are 11.6 million.
That represents a decline of 40 percent during a time period when our overall population experienced tremendous growth.
We used to have the greatest manufacturing cities on the entire globe. The rest of the world was in awe of us.
Today, most of those formerly great manufacturing cities are decaying, rotting hellholes.
The following is what one reporter from the UK saw during his visit to Detroit….
As you pass the city limits a blanket of gloom, neglect and cheapness descends. The buildings are shabbier, the paint is faded. The businesses, where they exist, are thrift shops and pawn shops or wretched groceries where the goods are old and tired. Finding somewhere to have breakfast, normally easy in any American city, involves a long hunt. ‘God bless Detroit’, says one billboard, just beside another offering the alternative solution: liquor.
You can see some really shocking images of the decline of Detroit right here.
Our politicians insisted that globalism would not result in a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left America.
But that is exactly what has happened.
Sadly, most American families still don’t understand what has happened. Most of them are still waiting for things to get back to “normal”.
Millions of unemployed Americans are dealing with incredible amounts of stress right now as they wait for jobs to start opening up again. But the jobs that have been shipped overseas are not coming back. In a globalized economy, it doesn’t make sense to hire American workers when you can legally pay workers slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.
Millions of good middle class jobs have been replaced by low paying service jobs. Today there are huge numbers of Americans that are cutting hair or flipping burgers because that is all they can get right now.
Many others are only able to survive because of the safety net. One reader named David recently left a comment in which he shared his story. David did everything that the system asked him to do, but the promised rewards never materialized. Now David is broke, unemployed and he feels deeply frustrated….
A year ago I had a job, we were struggling, but bills were getting paid, and somehow we were getting by. Then I made the mistake of getting sick, one day before my company insurance kicked in. An auto-immune illness almost killed me, if it weren’t for the amazing efforts of my physicians and an emergency spleenectomy, I would not be here.
My wife would have been a single mother,raising two young sons, one of which is autistic. Instead, I pulled through. The disease damaged my liver, leaving me with a chronic condition, and even after a year, it is hard to get up and go some days. My “employer” dumped me as soon as I left the hospital, and I haven’t worked since. It isn’t for lack of looking. There just isn’t anything.
Oh, I get my government cheese money. Here I am college educated, unable to find something that can pay the bills better than the money that we get from the government. It sickens me to be this dependent on the system like this. But the system de-incentivizes work, and makes living on the dole make a perverse economic sense.
I used to have dreams, but I have given up on them. My wife and I have no savings, we have no life raft and if it weren’t for the generosity of her parents and mine, things would have ground to a halt a long time ago.
I believed every thing adults told me. Work hard, I did. Get an education, I did. Find a nice girl and settle down, I did. Two cars, a dog, a cat and couple of kids, a nice townhouse…the american dream. Yep.
I love my country. My heart is broken, broken because I have been betrayed. I did what you asked, I played by the rules. I did what you said to do; I submitted, I conformed, I stopped dreaming. Now what?
I am willing to pay for my faults and transgressions; my failures are my own, I get that. My children should not have to suffer for my failures, they did not do anything wrong. My youngest boy is autistic, we hope he will be able to integrate into society, but the fact is we may have to take care of him for the rest of his life. How do I do this with nothing, and no opportunity in the foreseeable future?
Depression, stress…yep, I’ve got all that. I used to be hopeful and optimistic about the future. Now all I am is afraid.
As the United States continues to bleed good jobs, stories like the one you just read are going to become much more common.
So what are our politicians doing about all of this?
They tell us that we need even more “free trade”!
Barack Obama says that we need more free trade.
The Republicans say that we need more free trade.
In Washington D.C. our politicians do not agree on much, but one thing they do agree on is that we need to keep shipping jobs out of the country.
Until the American people wake up and start demanding an end to the globalization of the U.S. economy, the job losses are just going to continue to get worse.
The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000. If this trend continues, millions more Americans will soon be surviving on food stamps or living in tent cities.
The American people are deeply concerned about the economy, but they still have not connected the dots on these issues. The mainstream media and most of our politicians keep telling them that the globalization of the economy is a wonderful thing.
It is so sad that people just do not understand what is going on right in front of their eyes.
Whether you are a conservative or a liberal or a libertarian, you should be against the deindustrialization of America.
Allowing our industrial base to be raped is not a good thing.
Allowing big corporations and foreign governments to pay slave labor wages to workers on the other side of the globe making things that will be sold inside the United States is not a good thing.
Allowing the destruction of our industrial capacity to threaten our national security is not a good thing.
Allowing millions of precious jobs to leave the country is not a good thing.
The biggest corporations are making some extra profits by exploiting cheap labor on the other side of the globe. Corporate executives love to shower themselves with larger and larger bonuses.
But our current trade policies are not working for American workers.
We need “fair trade”, not “free trade”.
The United States is being taken advantage of, and the Democrats and the Republicans are both laying down like doormats and letting it happen.
If you want to know where all the good jobs went, it is not a big mystery.
They have been shipped out of the country and they are not coming back.
Unless fundamental changes are made, things are going to get worse and worse and worse for American workers.
So what is going to happen next?
It is up to you America.