Nov 10, 2006


Is what your family will ship out of this country this year
That's the latest US Census Bureau estimate on how much the average family of four will spend this year for imported products and services. Imports to the US this year will average out to $7463 for each and every person. In contrast the average person, in 1960, spent less than $11 per month on foreign products.

China holds the US economy hostage.
With unemployment at a five year low the effect of such an outrageous outflow of American dollars is noticeable only by the lack of American made goods on retail shelves. In fact, the lower cost of imported goods is actually improving the living conditions of many Americans. Wal-Mart has been criticized as being the largest importer of products from China and other foreign markets. But a study completed for Wal-Mart, by an independent group, stated that that Wal-Mat saves the average American family $2329 per year.

But what happens when (not if) China revalues their currency, the yuan. Yesterday the Chinese issued a statement that they would consider "selling" all their US dollars, and exchange them for euros, in response to comments by our newly elected Congress that a sizable tariff could be considered to slow the torrid flow of imports. China has such a large holding of US dollars that a flood of dollars on the market would cause it's value to drop so precipitously that it could devastate the US economy.

So at the present time only smallish isolated groups have been hit by the outsourcing epidemic. There isn't an industry or its employees that hasn't felt the effect. Currently the outsourcing community is targeting accounting, legal and medical offices to ship there data entry overseas. The next time you go through McDonald's drive-thru you might be speaking to someone in North Dakota or North New Delhi.

The government is helpless to curb the flow of imports. When President Reagan first presented an investment tax credit, over 20 years ago, to get the nation out of a deep recession, it was meant to be American tax dollars supporting American businesses. There were screams of isolationism and protectionism that the program was changed to include all capital business purchases. Twenty years later a politician suggests a tariff be put on Chinese goods and the next day Beijing sends a strong and real threat.

To me there can only be one answer. It's the same answer that worked through-out American history whenever something threatens the US. It's the American people themselves, Americans helping Americans, Americans supporting Americans. What a novel idea. I know it's hard to do but please buy American.