When Ronald Reagan was president, Big Business came up with a very smart way to increase it’s profits.
Why not have their products made much more cheaply in China and sell them for more profit?
The average hourly wage for a factory worker in the US is $23.32 and in China it’s $1.36.
The average workday in the US is 8.6 hours. In China it’s 12 hours.
There are no unions in China so labor is very cheap.
And since Ronald Reagan busted the Air Traffic Controllers union in the summer of 1981, when he fired 13,000 striking air traffic controllers and destroyed their union, it’s been downhill for unions ever since.
Reagan gave dedicated union foes direct control of the federal agencies that were designed originally to protect and further the rights and interests of workers and their unions. And Reagan was a role model for the virulently anti-labor George W. Bush who followed Reagan’s lead.
Remember Reagan’s “Trickle-down Theory”? It was the idea that tax breaks and other economic benefits provided by government to businesses and upper income levels will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole.
This is the results of that Trickle-down Theory:
In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2010, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 35.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 53.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 89%, leaving only 11% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).
The number of American workers in unions has been declining ever since and it declined sharply last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, with the percentage slipping to 11.9 percent, the lowest rate in more than 70 years. The report found that the number of workers in unions fell by 612,000 last year to 14.7 million, an even larger decrease than the overall 417,000 decline in the total number of Americans working.
“It was a very tough year for unionized workers,” said John Schmitt, a senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “We’re seeing declines in the private sector, and we’re seeing declines in the public sector.”
And now China has become the country with the second largest gross national product in the world and soon it will surpass the US in gross national product.
Meanwhile what happened as a result of this is millions of manufacturing jobs in the US have been lost and the products that were once made in America are now made in China.
And now It’s hard to find much of anything that’s not made in China.
And this has indeed increased profits for Big Business and it’s been so successful that most things that were once made here are now being made in China and of course, the jobs are gone with it.
I’m sure it’s just a matter of time when we see China selling millions of cars they make sold all over the world including here.
So more and more money is going to Big Business and less and less is going to workers here.
China, which owns an estimated $1.28 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, is the number one investor among foreign governments, according to the July 2013 figures released by the U.S. Treasury. This amounts to over 22.8% of the U.S. debt held overseas and nearly 8% of the United States’ total debt load.
Big business is still making billions while workers in America are lucky to have a decent paying job and if they do have one they’re not getting the raises they once were.
And pensions and health insurance? Well, that has been getting more expensive so workers have to work harder and longer to be able to retire.
Workers are thankful that they have Social Security and Medicare but Republicans are trying to cut Social Security and Medicare too so it’ll be interesting to see what happens as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class shrinks further.
So much for Reagan’s “Trickle-down theory.”
I guess if the Republicans have their way and continue breaking the unions in the US, labor will be as cheap in the US as it is in China.
And Big Business won’t have to bother having to deal with China at all because they’ll be able to find cheap labor here.
Of Course by then they may have to ship their products to China because less and less workers here will be able to afford them.