and America’s Standard of Living
Guest post by Jeff Wiltsie, Vanamatic Company
On July 4, 2010, the United States will celebrate 234 years of freedom from tyranny as written in the Declaration of Independence. The strength of our nation and the foundation for which it was built ushered in a manufacturing revolution building the greatest economic powerhouse in the world. A free people, unencumbered by the excesses of government, built the American powerhouse through hard work, determination, sacrifice, ingenuity, innovation and the desire to be extraordinary. Our manufacturing processes have been copied, stolen, used, and improved throughout the world in an attempt to build a competitive economic powerhouse, yet, none have succeeded.
Today, we face new challenges at home and abroad. Our manufacturing base has declined from 27% of GDP in the 1950s to 12% in 2008. Some projections show manufacturing below 10% of GDP by 2013. Along with the decline in manufacturing is a decline in the American standard of living. Government spending is now a bigger percentage of the GDP than manufacturing.
No matter what they say in Washington, the decline will continue as long as their actions don’t measure up to their words. They say we need to rebuild manufacturing with new higher paying “green technology” jobs; then turn around and write legislation to implement a “Cap and Trade” energy policy which will increase the cost of energy. Who uses the most energy in America, “manufacturing or the service sector”? The net effect of this policy will be the loss of more manufacturing jobs.
President Obama promised to eliminate unfair tax advantages for multinationals who offshore jobs and import goods to the United States. A significant portion of the manufacturing decline in America can be attributed to high corporate taxes and these tax loopholes. S.829 – Patriot Employers Act is the President’s version to close the loopholes. It has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for review. The majority of bills and resolutions never make it out of committee.
The Healthcare fix is about to be put in place; it will reduce healthcare costs for manufacturers, if the calculations are right! Let’s look at the history of Medicare as an example of government run healthcare. The following excerpt is from an article written in 1993 by Steven Hayward & Eric Peterson title “The Medicare Monster, A Cautionary Tale”.
“The cost of Medicare is a good place to begin. At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $ 12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly “conservative” estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.”
Congress and the administration are legislatively hand picking future economic winners and losers. Most manufacturers will not be winners. It’s time for Real Change – Rebuild American Manufacturing and the American Standard of Living. Contact your Congressional Delegates.
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