The Cause of the Crisis

February 10 2010:

This week, I would like to explore the causes of why there are so few companies who manufacture their clothes in the USA.  I have not done extensive research on this but from what I have been able to gather, I think the causes are many.  In no particular order, here they are:

1.   Saving money by hiring cheap labor:  In countries such as China,  there  is a vast number of workers willing to work for pennies on the dollar compared to US workers.

2.  Lifting of tarrifs on international trade:  lifting tarrifs was a positive thing as it encouraged free trade but many US companies  took the additional savings as a way to increase manufacturing their products abroad.  This led to a loss of jobs for American workers.

3.  Lack of Protectionism: in the late 1990’s when many products were still manufactured in the US, the mere mention of the word “protectionism” with the goal of keeping manufacturing in the US was scorned and labeled as anti- free trade.   Politicians and companies alike were careful of making any statements or actions that could  be considered supportive of protectionism.

4. The explosion of companies offering cheap goods produced abroad: Walmart, the most successful business of its kind, led this explosion.

5.  Lack of press: No press or attention was given to the growing number of US companies taking their companies and jobs abroad.  These moves were seen as “good for the economy”.

6. Lack of concern or lack of diligence of labor conditions: many US companies failed to send their representatives to oversee working conditions in their companies.  They failed to take note of the sweatshops and cruel labor that their foreign workers endured.

There are probably countless other reasons why American companies stopped producing their goods in our wonderful country.  Whatever the reasons, the net effect is the same:  huge loss of jobs and lack of quality Made In USA goods in favor of cheaply produced, unsafe products and an economy currently in ruins.

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