Free Trade Will Kill The United States Economy

Generator and welding machine in back of truck
Generator and welding machine in back of truck

With the advent of World War II America recovered from the greatest depression the US had ever seen.  With the advent of free trade, America will once again return to economic dark ages.

The engineers of free trade agreements said the jobs lost to cheap overseas labor will be replaced by high paying service sector jobs.

Service Sector Jobs Do Not “create” Anything

Tech jobs design stuff, such as routers, switches and software, but we need working people to make those items.  Who is going to assemble the circuit boards?  How is going to install the circuit boards?

In other words, we need hands-on people to assemble those products.

We need ship builders, we need people to build bulldozers, build DVD players, make clothes,,,,. It is those jobs that support the middle class.

Is a financial analyst going to pour asphalt on the weekends?  How else are roads supposed to be built?  Someone has to operate the equipment.  Someone has to build the equipment that pours the asphalt.

What about the heat exchangers, cooling towers, pressure vessels, separation towers,,, are tech jobs going to build those items?

What do tech jobs add to the economy or infrastructure? Do tech jobs build drilling rigs? Do tech jobs drive trucks? Do tech jobs build our bridges? How about our roads? Do tech jobs build our roads and highways?

What about our pipelines? Do tech jobs dig the trenches, lay the pipes, weld the pipes, x-ray the welds, fill the trenches back in with dirt?

What about the refineries? Are tech jobs going to build and weld the columns, ladders, walkways,,,?

Are tech jobs going to build and install the pumps that make the refinery work?

Not Everyone Wants A Tech Job

Not everyone wants to sit a desk for 8 – 10 hours a day.

Not everyone wants to go into debt for a college degree.

Not everyone wants to spend 4 years of their adult life sitting in a classroom.

Not everyone wants to analyze stock trends or write code.

There are people out here that want to get our hands dirty, people that get satisfaction from building something with our hands.

Who built the highways, who built the railroads, who built the refineries, who built the skyscrapers, who built the bridges?  It was not someone sitting at a desk.  An engineer might have designed the refinery, but a design is useless without someone that knows how to put the steel together.

U.S. Companies Failed to Compete

Anyone over the age of 40 should remember TV commercials, roadside bill boards, newspaper articles saying imported cars were going to kill US car companies. All of that was nothing more then propaganda.

Would you like to know what enabled foreign car makers to get a foothold? It was the lack of foresight by the big three.

When gas prices spiked in the 70s, people started buying smaller cars. Who was making the best car at the time? Toyota.

What car company gave the consumers what they wanted? Not Ford, Dodge of GM, it was Toyota.

In the 1970s and into the 1980s the big three auto-makers failed to adapt to a changing car market.  As a result of that failure, companies like Nissan and Toyota were able to get a foothold.

College Cost Increasing

Wonder why college cost are skyrocketing?  The cost of a college education is directly related to how many jobs there are that do not require a college degree.

There was once a time with a young man could finish high school, go to work at a shipyard, earn a good paycheck, buy a home, start a family, and have a good retirement.

Since the 1980s those types of jobs have been going away.  Now that good paying jobs need a college degree, the cost of college has skyrocketed.

Competition is not only a driving factor of innovation, but also in cost.  The more competition there is, the lower the cost

With no competition from working sector jobs, colleges are free to charge whatever they want.

Skilled Labor Shortage

In the late 1980s and into the 1990s is became clear fewer and fewer young people were going into manual labor.

Now that the baby-boomers are retiring, this is going to leave the US with a skilled labor shortage.

In the 1980s shipbuilding all across the US collapsed.  For one reason or another we went from building 20 – 30 ships a year, to only a couple of ships a year.  For the past 25 – 30 years the US has not had a commercial ship building industry.  We have military ship building, not almost nothing for the civilian market.

One of the advantages the US had during World War II, we had factories that could be retooled.

Since the 1970s and 1980s, those factories have been demolished.  In a lot of cases all the remains is an open field.

Without an active industry to supply the next generation of skilled workers, what are we supposed to do in times of need?

Lets say the US went to war with someone like China or Russia, what is the US supposed to do for ships, trucks, computers, and even steel?

Where are the skilled workers  supposed to come from?

Generation of Unskilled Consumers

The baby-boomers were a generation of skilled workers.  These are the people who built our interstate highway system, built our dams, built or bridges, built our nuclear power plants, built our ships, trucks and cars.

Generation X is when the population started to shift away from a skilled workforce. High school students in the 1970s and 1980s were told they need to go to college and get a degree. Young people shifted away from the shipyards and steel mills and started going to college.

By the time Generation Y entered the work force, millions of US jobs had been shipped over seas.

Generation Z (also known as iGeneration or the Internet Generation) has almost no skilled labor jobs available to them. The shipyards and the steel mills have been closed to close to 2 decades. College cost are skyrocketing, and there are fewer jobs to go around.

In twenty years when Generation X starts to retire, the last generation of skilled workers will leave the job market.

How is Generation Y & Z supposed to support the retirement needs of baby-boomers and Generation X when Y & Z do not manufacture anything?  Consuming does not add to the wealth of a nation.

What skill does Generation Y & Z have that can be sold to the rest of the world?