Our nation is suffering from the loss of manufacturing

Written by Susan Mannella on .

In reference to your May 23 article "Where the Jobs Are ... and Aren't": The shift to a service economy is not only reducing the number of positions with higher pay, it is also reducing the standard of living for all Americans.

The U.S. foreign trade deficit was $450.3 billion in 2009 and $1.04 trillion in 2008. That's a lot of money leaving this country to buy foreign manufactured products. The dollars leaving the United States are stored in the banks of our trading partners (China, Japan, South Korea, etc.). The service economy will not bring these dollars back to the United States.

A foreign trade deficit is directly connected to the American standard of living. The standard of living has declined for all Americans (cost of goods and services increase and our ability to pay decreases). Sure, it might be cheaper to buy finished goods made in China, but the cost of health care and an education in the United States is exploding. It might be cheaper to buy clothing made in Vietnam, but the cost of gas and electricity are going through the roof in the United States.

According to the Commerce Department, for every billion dollars the deficit goes up, we lose 20,000 jobs in America. For 2009, that would equal 9.006 million jobs lost as a result of the foreign trade deficit.

In his 2010 State of the Union Address, Barack Obama said he wanted to increase exports. Message: Mr. Obama wants to bring over 9 million jobs back to America and improve the standard of living for all Americans. The Constitution of the United States (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, "Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations") gives our government the power to reduce our foreign trade deficit and, hopefully, turn it into a foreign trade surplus.



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