When I was a student, family farms were prosperous. Younger children moved away to get other types of jobs. Now the family farm is a remnant of history — replaced by agribusiness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agribusiness

We used to produce 95% of our clothing in the U.S. Now the figure is 5%:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34106.pdf

Manufacturing in general used to be done here. Now things for us are produced mainly in China where workers are paid minimum wages with no benefits. Now China is beginning to move in on our specialized product areas (e.g. chips and other electronic stuff, cars, etc.):

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&resnum=0&q=Manufacturing+in+China&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=I7fpSoK1G83hlAeFmej_BA&sa=X&oi=news_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCwQsQQwAw

If one wants to know where our jobs are, one need only look overseas where competitors produce stuff cheaper than we can because we pay our workers decently and they do not.

We tentatively tried an import tax on tires from China recently. The result was a none too subtle threat from China which holds billions in loans to the U.S.:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-09/16/content_8695853.htm

A recall of these loans would be disastrous for our economy.

The bottom line here is that it is not our economy, itself, that has produced our unemployment figures. Rather it is the export of jobs overseas.

Our economy may begin to recover, but we will need a considerable shift to such things as government funded infrastructure repairs and whatever else we can figure to give our own jobs. Practical training in some areas could help.

But I see no easy answers here and my heart goes out to the older ones who are too often last to be hired in competition with younger (cheaper) workers.

Help!

What do you think?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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