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The Death Of The Rust Belt

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Abandoned House in Ambridge, Pennsylvania - Public DomainTheir names are familiar to all of us: Cleveland, Flint, Youngstown, Saginaw, Gary, Toledo, Reading, Akron, Flint and Buffalo were all once booming manufacturing cities that were absolutely packed with thriving middle class families.  But now most of the manufacturing jobs are gone and all of those cities are just shadows of their former selves.  When you drive through many of these communities, you will notice that a lot of people have a really hollow look in their eyes.  Decades of slow, steady economic decline have really taken a toll, and even the architecture in these cities looks depressed.  But despite all of the decay, there is still evidence that there was once something truly great about these communities.  Will we be able to recapture that greatness before it is too late?

A lot of writers make economics really complicated, but the truth is that it does not have to be.  For example, if you want your country to have a great economy it has got to produce wealth.  And one of the primary ways to produce wealth is to make stuff.  Immediately after World War II, the United States had the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen and we outproduced the rest of the planet combined.  Great manufacturing cities sprouted up all over America and the middle class thrived.  It was truly a great time to be an American.

But then we decided to start shipping in cheaper products from overseas.  At first it didn’t create too much of a problem for our massive economy, but eventually the floodgates opened up and we lost tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions upon millions of good paying jobs.  Our labor pool was merged with the labor pool of countries such as communist China where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to manufacturing workers.  Needless to say, our workers could not compete with that and our middle class started to shrink rapidly.

Today, there are many American cities that were once truly great that are now truly frightening to visit.  For example, a recent CNBC article detailed the plight of Reading, Pennsylvania…

In August 2008, factory workers David and Barbara Ludwig treated themselves to new cars—David a Dodge pickup, Barbara a sporty Mazda 3. With David making $22 an hour and Barbara $19, they could easily afford the payments.

A month later, Baldwin Hardware, a unit of Stanley Black & Decker, announced layoffs at the Reading plant where they both worked. David was unemployed for 20 months before finding a janitor job that paid $10 an hour, less than half his previous wage. Barbara hung on, but she, too, lost her shipping-dock job of 26 years as Black & Decker shifted production to Mexico. Now she cleans houses for $10 an hour while looking for something permanent.

They still have the cars. The other trappings of their middle-class lifestyle? In the rear-view mirror.

I once had an aunt that lived in Reading.  She is dead now, and so is most of the city.  At this point, more than 40 percent of those living in Reading are impoverished and the city government is flat broke.

But similar things could also be said about the rest of the Rust Belt

Perhaps no other region in the country has more eerie examples of urban decay than the once dominant industrial region known as the Rust Belt. Covering the Midwestern states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the region is plagued by a number of abandoned factories, houses and buildings that lay in crumbling ruins.

You can see some incredible photographs by Seph Lawless of the decay in the Rust Belt right here.  The pictures are incredibly depressing, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see that these cities were once truly impressive.

Just take Gary, Indiana for instance.  It was once known as “the Magic City” because it was doing so well, but now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole.  The following is from an excerpt from a Daily Mail article about Gary…

Gary, a struggling city 30 miles south of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan, is a prime example of the trend.

Known as the ‘Magic City’ in the roaring 1920s for its spectacular growth, Gary is still home to U.S. Steel’s largest plant, but the number of mill jobs has shrunk to 5,000 from 30,000 in the 1970s.

Gary’s population in 1960 was more than 178,000, but it disintegrated to just 79,000 by 2012.

Some one-third of its residents live in poverty and the home and business vacancy rate is about 35 percent. Gary recorded 43 murders in 2012 – three times as many per capita as nearby Chicago.

At one time, Gary was the envy of the rest of the globe.

But now very few people would ever want to willingly live there.

The following is how James Kunstler described what he saw when he traveled through Gary, Indiana…

Between the ghostly remnants of factories stood a score of small cities and neighborhoods where the immigrants settled five generations ago. A lot of it was foreclosed and shuttered. They were places of such stunning, relentless dreariness that you felt depressed just imagining how depressed the remaining denizens of these endless blocks of run-down shoebox houses must feel. Judging from the frequency of taquerias in the 1950s-vintage strip-malls, one inferred that the old Eastern European population had been lately supplanted by a new wave of Mexicans. They had inherited an infrastructure for daily life that was utterly devoid of conscious artistry when it was new, and now had the special patina of supernatural rot over it that only comes from materials not found in nature disintegrating in surprising and unexpected ways, sometimes even sublimely, like the sheen of an oil slick on water at a certain angle to the sun. There was a Chernobyl-like grandeur to it, as of the longed-for end of something enormous that hadn’t worked out well.

Sadly, what is happening to Reading and Gary is just a preview of what is slowly happening to the entire nation as a whole.

Since 2001, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities.

That is absolutely astounding.

Most of those jobs have gone overseas.  That is why it seems like most of our products say “Made in China” these days.  They are getting rich while our communities suffer, and then we have to beg the Chinese to lend our money back to us.

Meanwhile, we have a permanent epidemic of unemployment in this country.  Back in the 1980s, over 20 percent of the jobs in the U.S. were manufacturing jobs.  Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the U.S. are manufacturing jobs.

And an astounding number of our young men are just sitting at home instead of doing something productive.  As I wrote about the other day, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.

Also, the percentage of working age Americans not participating in the labor force is up to 37.2 percent – a 36 year high.

Not only that, but the quality of our jobs has also steadily declined as we have lost good paying manufacturing jobs to overseas workers.

Right now, half the country makes $27,520 a year or less from their jobs.

No wonder the middle class is dying.

And of course there is so much more that could be said about this.  For even more numbers about our manufacturing decline, please see my previous article entitled “Shocking Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Everyone Should Know“.

These problems were not created overnight, and they are not going to be solved overnight either.

But as a nation, we have got to understand that we cannot consume our way to prosperity.  That is only going to result in even more debt.

Instead, we have got to make the decision to produce our way to prosperity.

In other words, we have got to start making stuff in this country again.

That may sounds “crazy” to a lot of people, but it is possible.  We have just got to have the willingness to do it.

  • Guest

    Curious on why you didn’t mention Walmarts push to bring manufacturing back to the USA? I am not sure if any other big companies are doing the same but I am wondering with all the recalls lately with American car companies if they may decide to bring manufacturing back as well?

    • Firstgarden

      It all comes down to what goes in who’s pocket.

  • Firstgarden

    “Will we be able to recapture that greatness before it is too late?”

    It appears all the greatness has gone to the Cayman Islands.

  • Bill

    What’s up with the moderation????

  • Bubba Johnson

    Small business and individuals built a great America.
    Check out just how many tax and insurance payments must be figured and filed per employee.
    That is why the New Amerika is going down the toilet.

    • laura m.

      Over a cliff into the abyss-zero future. Some have to go overseas for jobs like back in the 1930’s!. Older folks know country is trashed and many quit voting 2-3 decades ago and gave up.

  • marty

    F**K the U.S.A. Land of faggotts and hypocrites it will soon be fixed by mushroom clouds.

  • DesertPaine

    This is not rocket science. Economic Collapse could have written this article 40 years ago, as did economists of the time. It all fell on deaf ears who found it easier not to listen. Yes, we CAN recover. But we will not.

    • krinks

      The only way we could recover it to take away the right to vote from anyone on any form of gov’t assistance. Never happen.

      • DesertPaine

        Sure it can. Back to the original property qualification for voting.

        Think twice about your wish, krinks. If you file a 1040 and take deductions; if you pay into Social Security; if you avail gov’t subsidies from gasoline to anything in the grocery store, you are on a form of gov’t assistance.

        • krinks

          Nonsense. Any so called deductions still mean a net paying of taxes. Gov’t doesn’t subsidized gas, they tax the hell out of it driving up the cost. Get your facts straight.

          • DesertPaine

            Yes. “So-called” deductions mean a net paying of taxes IF YOU FILE A 1040.
            Govt spent 70B, more, in wars to protect cheap oil. That’s the biggest subsidy of all. In your parsed factoids, you conveniently overlooked grocery subsidies that include, but are hardly limited to, corn subsidies that create the cheap HFCS that is much or most of processed foods.

        • jaxon64

          Absolute rubbish…a hard working American is allowed some concessions from the standard government, forced confiscation of the fruits of our labour and you call it a subsidy/entitlement???
          This is the first time in the years I have been coming to this webpage that I wish I could punch someone dead in their face…
          And your logic on gasoline which is taxed at a 400% and groceries is just off the wall silly…what a stretch to say that buying $4 a gallon gas is a subsidy because of the price fixing/fake wars to protect the petrodollar.
          PS: SSI confiscation from my check every week is not a choice–if it were, I’d opt out in a heartbeat from this ponzi scheme.

          • DesertPaine

            No matter how valid you believe subsidies are, they are still subsidies. Entitlements? No one brought them up but you.

            Have you priced gas in other countries?

            If you believe the government does not heavily subsidize corn, (and that that subsidized corn is not a staple in your pantry disguised as ketchup, tomato soup, salad dressing and a thousand other things) you are the only one who thinks so.

            P.S. The last paycheck I received with SSI deducted was 1995. It IS a choice. I feel truly sorry for people my age and younger who pay but will likely never see a cent. Read the law. Apply the law. Read more. Punch less.

        • bob cratchette

          yes but the ones paid into ss and the bums getting welfare have not paid a dime and get bigger tax returns that the money they paid in and pray tell how the govt subsidizes gasoline because to the general public they do not and what subsidies do i get at the grocery store please enlighten me, yes the farmers get subsidies but not me and you think the farmers pass on the savings for said subsidies to us if so you are a dreamer. the takers for the most part are leaches and would not take a job as a taster at a pie factory they take and that is all and contribute zero

          • DesertPaine

            What people who know no better than to pay SS, and “welfare bums” pay or receive is not anything we can do anything about except complain. What we CAN do is not pay taxes not owed. Can’t know why so many people choose to do so.

            Gov’t subsidized gasoline. Seems that the 2T on wars for oil is unconvincing. OK. $6B corn subsidy for your E10 and E15 gas expired, but BO is replacing it with new credits, including 200m for pumps.

            Gas today, gal. Norway, $9.91. Italy, $9.43. Netherlands, $9.33. UK, $8.35. &c &c &c.

          • bob cratchette

            even if no one paid the taxes it would take a while to break the govt they can print as many dollars as they want it would be better to just stop going to work and let everything come to a grinding halt for about a month and i mean every one stop going to work and see how long it would take to break the system when people were starving because no food was delivered and the trash started piling up and the illegals and the leaches had no food on the table see how long it takes our commie friends in dc to wise up

          • bob cratchette

            the farmers get the subsidies and i dont agree with it either but we the tax payer do not get any savings we are paying for the subsidies and nothing is going to change inn this country we have already passed the tipping point and america will never be the country it was sad to say but the economy will crash soon enough because all america and europe are trading nothing but worthless paper at this point tell me what we have backing our dollar and dont say gold because most of that has been given to china and the whole of the usa is not worth the amount of debt we have accumulated, no one is buying our debt any longer the fed is buying it tell me how that works the party is almost over and i think i heard some fat lady starting to sing so hold on the ride is is about to get interesting

      • laura m.

        Desert P and Krinks: No, we will not recover, we are a stupid country with moronic leadership. However, individuals can get retrained like my husband, brother, etc into a skilled trade and work till retirement. Installing, fixing stuff cannot be sent o’seas jobs like HVAC, plumbing, aircraft/autp mech., etc. Men esp. get off your butts and learn a trade like my generation- most retired now. Retraining took place in the early 80’s for us and many others. The future is bleak so best not to raise kids, as women need to keep working for sure: inflation cost of living.

        • DesertPaine

          I agree laura. We will not recover. Leaders are morons, yes. But it couldn’t happen if the people themselves weren’t far behind.

          Retraining, yes, important and vital. But – a monkey can be trained. A republic does not run on trained people. It runs on educated people. I’m glad your family improved themselves. But if they file 1040s, pay SS tax, obtain licensure &c., then the most highly skilled craftsmen in the world cannot add up to the critical thinking required to maintain a republic.

        • krinks

          If the people cared their leaders would reflect that. I recall a few years ago hearing about Germany. Their average auto worker made twice the wages and benefits as a union American auto worker and they produced twice as many cars in this system. They do this by not allowing cheap foreign crap made with slave labour into their markets. We could easily do that system here and open the factories back up.

          • Hammerstrike

            Many German workers are still very skilled, disciplined and hard-working.
            Hence German manufacturers are a lot less keen to move their operations overseas.

            Germany had a trade surplus with China a few years ago.

          • krinks

            Because German Law forbids most imports.

          • Hammerstrike

            Nah, because a larger % of Germans works instead of complaining about others not playing fair and giving their fair share to those that doesn´t.

          • amuncat

            Hey folks! REMEMBER, American workers are skilled and hard working!!!! It’s just that our corporations sold us down the river or cheaper…and the quality aint that great! We had the best in the world, it was all due to good old American worker!

          • Hammerstrike

            They exist but today, they are nowhere as numerous as those who are not, an endangered specie…

            Entire generations grew disgustingly spoiled after WW2 and now the weakest generation is coming online.

            Only the generations that grew up never knowing that prosperity, the Lifestyle can become that again.

          • Tempus Fugit

            ..no, no, if American workers were so good, then their work would never outsourced!

          • amuncat

            Have you forgotten that America made the best?!!! Not only that, one family member, usually the male, made enough so that his spouse, usually a female, could stay home, focus on raising THEIR children and making for a harmonious home!

        • Semper Fortis

          hey GENIUS, so everyone can be in the ‘service’ economy.??

          NOPE.. all that will do is push wages to NOTHING!!

          service job = SERVANT..

          • laura m.

            Semper F: I said skilled labor/technical jobs, not flipping burgers or mopping floors, sales clerk, or cashier, etc. There is a difference moron.

        • Annette Smith

          none of my son’s friends, nor him, are having kids. None. I think they see the writing on the wall. Life is truly changed from the way we had it. It won’t be coming back.

          • Hammerstrike

            That´s too bad for them.

            Why would long-term oriented group support the people who donb´t have children?

          • Mincing Rascal

            Is that because they see economic trouble ahead, or because they are too caught up in the materialistic lifestyle and the “never gonna grow up” mindset of so many younger people nowadays? Funny, all the younger people I see could have kids, if they didn’t have to have the newest iPhone, fanciest clothes and shoes, and a brand new car, and go out drinking and partying all the time.

            But perhaps I am being unfair, because the real issue with that generation (I guess it’s my generation as well) is that none of them are able to commit to anyone else. Who wants to marry a female more interested in her career and living a fake TV-inspired lifestyle of conspicuous consumption, or a guy who is addicted to pron and/or video games, and drinking/partying?

            I have 2 kids, and my third will be here at the end of the year. I am sick of seeing foreign invaders with children, that *I* am expected to pay for. Either way, you WILL pay for children, whether they’re yours, or some foreign turd’s.

            I have ZERO confidence in this country and it’s future, but it won’t stop me from living my life and doing what I want. I don’t have a fancy car, new clothes, TV, an iPhone or any of that materialistic, waste of money CRAP, but neither did my grandmother who raised 6 children in Appalachia with ZERO modern conveniences and somehow managed to do just fine and have 6 fantastic kids that any parent would be proud of. It’s really all about priorities and let’s be honest, today’s priorities are “Me, me, MEEE!”. And it’s another thing we will pay for.

          • kathrynddaniels

            My Uncle
            Joshua just got an almost new white Kia Rio Hatchback only from working
            part-time off a home computer. try this R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

        • amuncat

          That was then!!!! NOW, illegal aliens are doing this work as unliveable wages! The new crop coming over hell fast and furious as we speak will undercut the current illegal aliens! We is doomed!

        • Hammerstrike

          What is best for children is not being spoiled as happened to the generations after WW2, really.
          Yours, the baby boomers, otherwise known as the lamest generation.
          Today´s youth, aka the weakest generation.

          So I advocate the other way around, survivalist “tribes” that have many children rather than few.
          Instead, put an end to the wastefull lifestyle.

          • Mincing Rascal

            THIS! This is EXACTLY how I am raising my children. I ask myself “How would my Appalachian grandmother handle this?” Or I ask her, as she is close to 100 and has lived a harder life than anyone I’ve known, yet raised 6 wonderful kids. The moral decay started when those kids started raising THEIR kids, in a manner completely different than they were raised. I appreciate my father’s attempt to shield me from hardship, want and poverty but I don’t think it helped me. It just made me soft and weak, and I want my children to be like him and my grandparents, not like me and my generation of spoiled, useless brats.

            I still haven’t gathered up the strength to go back to Appalachia, I must be weak because I just don’t want to be cold! Haha :)

      • Harrison Bergeron

        Exactly. When the takers have the same vote as the makers… hello, not rocket science here…

      • ScroodeMcDuck

        Or revert back to “landowners” vote others do not. (real tax payers)

        • RealityCheck

          Hey genius….If you buy something, you pay taxes.

          • ScroodeMcDuck

            That’s correct Smartypants,Tariffs,not “real” taxes. How good is your history knowledge? “Real-estate” owners were the only voters at this country’s inception !! Look at who signed the document !(All subjects of the King) And Duel citizenships I might add ! Not the Consumers,Only the Owners,Not the workers,Only the Owners! Not the Farmers,Only the Land Owners.That is how it used to be ! Do you understand my sarcasm now!

          • RealityCheck

            Got ya covered.

    • Doom

      When the only people aware of our country’s problems have given in to this defeatist attitude programmed into them by alternative media of “oh nooo, we’re doomed, it’s all over”….then we’ve already lost. Ross Perot was right twenty years ago, and the next decade will see the rise of a third party candidate like him. Only this time, he will either win, or expose elections as a sham.

      • Mincing Rascal

        I never miss an opportunity to talk about how I was right about Perot. I was TEN freaking years old and knew he needed to be President…and yet, nobody listened. And now here we are. Damn right I’ll say “I told you so!”. Of course, I am very popular lol.

    • seth datta

      Its planned. Oswald Spengler wrote about this in 1918 in his book.

  • chas

    Your articles don’t support what is going on in country. Restaurants can’t open fast enough here in Reading, PA. People can’t stand in line long enough for chance to eat out. Actually, lines aren’t as long and time consuming as before and I don’t see how we can support a new Carraba’s and Bone Fish, but they want to open here. Reading is where the money is, don’t you know. Just because we have the worst school district (Reading) in the state and the city council and mayor are trying to run us into the ground even more doesn’t mean we aren’t doing well. Better than Cleveland where I lived until 1984.

    Hey, the feds took in record amount of taxes recently. Money from corps. is big and they want to hire more supposedly. WOW…it doesn’t get any better than this.

  • K

    Michael you are right, it is not impossible to turn this around. But I have to rate it at next to impossible. People just do not want to deal with reality. People can believe all sorts of insane things, as long as it makes them feel better. Yet the facts can be right in front of them. If those facts make them uncomfortable, they refuse to see them. Not so long ago, that kind of disconnect from reality. Would have qualified as a full blown mental illness. Seems that is no longwe true.

    • apeiron

      ” Almost invariably, people form their beliefs around what they find to be attractive rather than what they find to be true.” Blaise Pascale

  • Angry Jesus

    “They are getting rich while our communities suffer”? Please define “they”. The average worker in most any country that has entered into any given trade agreement is far from getting rich. In fact most of the working class worldwide is experiencing the same wage depression that the US is experiencing. This is problem with moneychanging as its practiced today, it allows those who do none of the work to capture all of the wealth. And in doing so they capture industry and move the jobs around to the lowest bidder. These people don’t care about quality of any service or product and they damn sure don’t care about the quality of life. Take a look at the holdings of any private equity/investment firm and you’ll realize the people that own everything never shed one drop of sweat or blood in building any of those businesses. Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone, Fortune Brands etc. they’ve ruined once great companies and products all for the sake of “money (earnings or yield)”. The age of the industrialist is past and the neo-rentier economy is now in full swing and complaining about it isn’t going to change anything. You need to educate people on the concepts of moneychanging, before anything starts turning for the better. And yes, I’m still angry.

  • steve

    If we want to “make things again”, bring back the railroads as they used to be. That has the potential of solving our energy problems as well as providing jobs for many people. We should look at steam for the power of the trains we build. Although many will decry the use of coal because of the pollution it causes as it is burned, we should research ways of curbing the pollution caused by burning coal.

    • Bruce

      How is bringing back the railroads going to cause is to “make things again”? Trains using steam is going to rebuild our economy, and solve our energy problems? HUH?

  • MeMadMax

    We won’t recover until there is a massive rebuild of the government and economic systems…

    That means alot of violence by the way…

    • GSOB

      First, the bankers and the politicians will
      continue to try to make the present system work, but it gets worse.

      Second, there will be a collapse in stages: inflation, then mass inflation, then
      price controls, then tyranny,
      and perhaps a worldwide
      deflationary depression.

      So… it’s better to go through a principled economic wringer now and thereby avoid the coming unprincipled wringer that is far, far worse in its effects.

      • Priszilla

        The current system works perfect for them.

        The government uses tax money to buy weaponry and ammo which is then destroyed (in wars).
        Then more tax money will find its way to the banks who own those weapons manufacturers.

        The banks also lend money to the government which then uses tax money to pay back the money with interest.

        That money is spent on welfare to keep the population quiet. They can keep pets and guns and cars and tvs and games, so they don’t watch too closely who pockets their money, and kills their kids.

  • xander cross

    Those pictures are very depressing.

  • Irina

    Below is a November 2013 article from Financial Sense. Gary Shilling explains in a concise and logical way why the U.S dollar and economy will not collapse. Having confidence and faith will help facilitate the U.S economic recovery.

    This year, longtime bear and well-known economic forecaster, Gary Shilling, recently made a splash in the financial community by turning positive on the U.S. economy and dollar. Given the lingering amount of pessimism by many investors after two major stock market crashes and the fear of another repeat event, there’s at least one thing that Shilling makes clear that investors SHOULDN’T be worried about happening anytime soon: a collapse of the U.S. dollar.

    1. Economic Productivity

    Among developed nations the U.S. has had the strongest productivity over the last decade. For example, the U.S. averaged 2.2%, Japan 1.6%, U.K. 1.2%, Germany 0.9%, Canada 0.9%, France 0.8%, and Italy flat. When you consider the deflationary trends now at work in emerging markets and other developed nations, Gary believes that U.S. productivity will continue to outperform and help keep the dollar strong.

    2. The World’s Largest Economy

    The dominant currency is typically found in the world’s largest economy and the U.S. is head-and-shoulders above the rest. As Gary points out, in 2012 U.S. GDP was $15.7 trillion. The second closest, China, was nearly half the size at $8.2 trillion. If you think China is about to overtake the U.S. in terms of size, Gary says “China would have to grow 12% a year for 20 years to catch up…it’s now down at about 7.5% growth and as the Chinese economy shifts away from being driven by exports…away from infrastructure, away from heavy borrowing, and so on, their growth is going to grow even more slowly.”

    3. Deep and Broad Financial Markets

    Here, Gary writes, “Internationally, money—especially today when it can be transferred anywhere in a split second—wants to be where the action is. That requires not only a powerful and large economy but also deep and broad markets in which to invest. Today, the U.S. Treasury market trumps all others in size and, in the eyes of investors…, in safety as witnessed by the mad rush into Treasury bonds in times of recent global trouble.”

    Similarly, he states, “American stock market capitalization is four times that of China, Japan or the U.K. and is over three times the Eurozone’s…Almost 50% of Treasuries are held by foreigners but only 9.1% of Japan’s government net debt is owned by non-Japanese. According to the IMF, 62% of the world’s currency reserves are in dollars. The 24% in euros is down from 29% four years ago. Foreigners so love investing in the U.S. that at the end of 2012, it exceeded U.S. investment abroad by $4.4 trillion, up from $4 trillion a year earlier.”

    4. Free and Open Financial Markets and Economy

    “Investors want to go where it’s free and open; they don’t like China. China periodically freezes their currency. They did that for example during the Great Recession. They had let it float up but then they froze it when they got worried. They’re now letting it float a bit, but they turn it on, they turn it off. Other currencies are much less free to people moving out. They typically manipulate currencies in a lot of places. The Swiss, for example…froze their currency 1.2 to the Euro when everybody wanted to be in the Swiss Franc because they worried that a strong currency would kill their exports to the Eurozone, which is their major trading partner.”

    5. Lack of Substitutes

    “Things can change over time but one statistic that I think is very important is global forex trading. Now, there’s two sides to this so the numbers add up to 200%, not 100%, because for every sale there’s a buy. But if you look at the trading, in 2001, the U.S. dollar accounted for 90% of all the daily trading in currencies. In 2013, it’s down from 90% to 87%. But if you think of all that’s happened in that time, the euro currency had come in, China has gotten stronger, etc. But it still has only declined 3 percentage points and it’s way dollar. And it is true that last year that Standard & Poor’s did ahead of anything else. The second one today is the euro at 33% versus [the USD at] 87%, the yen 23%, sterling 12%—in other words, this is the currency that people transact.”

    6. Credibility

    “The sixth characteristic is credibility. And that’s the only one where you can say there’s been any questioning of the downgrade the U.S. from triple AAA to AA+, but that hasn’t really hurt. You might remember that when they did that, Treasuries actually rallied…and it has not changed the willingness of foreigners to put money into dollar denominated assets. So, the credibility issue is the only one that is not absolutely triple-A, but it hasn’t had any decided effects so far.”

    • C.L. Strasburg

      Wonderful news for people with enough money to invest in the stock market. How does all this sunshine bring back a strong middle class?

    • sharonsj

      Economic productivity: Yes, American workers are highly productive, bu they aren’t getting paid for their work. Wages are stagnant or going down.

      World’s largest economy: It’s not trickling down to workers and that spot will eventually go to China.

      Financial Markets: They are all rigged so they don’t count.

      Free Economy: It ain’t free and we know it.

      Substitutes: Russia, the BRICS, and others are switching away from the dollar to trading in different curriencies, so there ARE substitutes.

      Credibility: I’d say the Fed spending billions every month to prop up the system isn’t credible.

      I’m only wondering if the end is going to be a long and suffering slide or a sudden blowup.

  • DJohn1

    It all dates back to Richard Nixon.
    Nixon took us off the gold standard with an immediate result of gold going from $35 an ounce to over $600 an ounce.
    He had good reason. The dollar was bankrupt. $400 billion dollars worth of bankrupt from Linden Johnson’s Vietnam War. I believe Kennedy might have backed us out of that situation. He did not get the chance.
    Signing up with a trade agreement with China did it. That was the mistake that wasn’t a mistake at the time. Nixon never got the chance to change things. He was ousted. He resigned and that was basically the end of his political career.
    The only place where a dollar still was worth a dollar was the Orient.
    We have had a number of betrays since them. Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and now Obama.
    Each in his own way, messed with the middle class.
    Each betrayed that class.
    Now it is finally catching up with all of them.
    Ross said it best. That huge vacuum sound is your jobs going south of the border.
    Now they hope to fix things? Not likely.

    • GSOB

      The U.S. government always sold its gold to the Federal Reserve Bank, – beginning in 1914.

      The Federal government abolished the gold standard in 1933.

      There have been no U.S. gold coins in circulation as money since 1933.

      The international gold standard was abolished in 1971, to reduce the pressure placed on the Fed bank by foreign central banks to give up the gold it holds.

      Legally, there is no “United States”
      gold stock. There is only the
      Federal Reserve Banks’ gold stock.
      It’s not stored in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
      It’s at 33 Liberty Street, New York City,
      New York.

      The Fed bank owns the entire U.S. gold stock.

      What the origin of the Fed bank indicates is that this central bank of the U.S. does what the major multinational banks want.

      • DJohn1

        You are entirely correct.
        That gold was confiscated in 1933 under FDR at roughly $20 an ounce and then sold internationally at $35 an ounce had nothing to do with the devaluation of that dollar. Right?
        The U.S. Economy between 1970 and approximately 1980 inflated at close to 12% a year. I was there making great money but the prices kept increasing on everything I bought.
        In that period, our contract regular weekly salary went from about 180 to over 600 a week because we had a Trade Union negotiating wages for us. But the cost of a basic American Car went from 3,000 to 8,000 in that same period of time.
        Under Reagan, the inflation was brought under control. The average price of a house lost $5,000 in value if the loan was not assumable because interest rates skyrocked to over 18%. My loan from the 70s was 7%.
        Most of the ability of the middle class to keep up with inflation was Unions. When they disappeared from the scene inflation was still around 4%. The raises were now at a governed 2.5%. That has gotten worse as time goes on.

    • Drud

      I agree all of these Presidents are complicit in our current woes, along with legions of Congressmen, bankers, CEO, lawyers, etc. There is no one person or party to blame, and there is plenty of blame to go around. That said, I believe blame to be perhaps[s the most worthless concept human beings have. It by its very nature can accomplish nothing, since it only deals with past events. Also, when I think about the motivations of the people who have put us in this mess, its seems to me that they simply all chose the easy path. The easy way always works in short term and is always a disaster in the long.

    • Hammerstrike

      It is not as much trade with China that caused deindustrialization as the redistribution of profits to the banking system centered around the federal reserve from the rest of the economy.
      You cannot compete with producing goods against someone who make his profits by getting his profits by getting money the federal reserve and lend it.
      Spend 1 billion and gain 1 billion and 70 millions doesn´t mean 70 millions in profits if the yearly inflation is 7%.

      Think about it, inflation is extra money being printed (mostly electronically nowadays).
      This money is used to buy goods and services but does not produce them.
      For this gain in buying power, someone gotta loose buying power and that is not just you as a consumer, when you go shopping, but also companies.
      These companies can either offshore or stagnate and eventually go bankrupt.

      The economic dynamics of economies from Russian federation to the US and A have been changed and it will continue to do so as long as dollars, euros, roubles and pounds gets constantly printed by cartels of private banks to fill their coffers.

  • B

    Michael,

    I am always amazed when I read you’re posts, and trust me, I read a bunch! I gave up tee vee about (5) years ago and never looked back!

    Wish I could say the same for my loved ones, but I digress, I wanted to let you know that when I read what you write it seems like I am listening to someone talk and that I am not really “reading”. Maybe its my way of thinking as an analitical
    thinking Mechanical engineering manager and a mechanical design engineer, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that my family were white hats in the union in south chicago and N.W. Indiana that broke the knees of Bethlehem and US steel corporations. Started in the late sixties and ended in the early eighties. I was there, and trust me, the push to move jobs overseas was not just a corporation greed factor! When my uncle took me down to the port of Indiana to watch the barges pull the tarps off imported steel from China as they were marked on the side in Chinese, with the blast furnaces in the background still billowing smoke, let me tell you from an insider young mans perspective, the union LITERALLY declared war on these corporations, from the inside out.

    The flame that lit the labor union was being stoked by non other than the South Chicago communist rabble rousers and community organizers. The informal meetings I was privy to when I was a teen was off the record pure Socialist/Marxist/communism. And an orcastrated effort in sabotage.

    This wasn’t what I remember as a little boy with my mom driving us to downtown Gary and holding my hand to walk across the street to some of the nicest retail stores in America. A short period of total American exceptionalism that I lived.

    And I lived the emplosion and the great exodus out of what turned into a war zone, I was there and saw first hand when Hammond dumped tons of junk under the viodocks, clossing off all entryways and streets from Gary into Hammond when Hatcher was allected mayor, it truly looked like parts of iraq now, and Im not kidding around.

    I could write a book about the situation we are in now and where it started, I was there, and am the same age as BHO.

    I have been screaming a message for over (20) years now, only to see this country splash into the toilet.

    Sad.

    God Bless you all, and thank you Michael.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      B:

      Great comment. I can only imagine the things that you have seen and heard over your lifetime. I wish I could be more optimistic that things will turn around. If we had made better choices as a nation, things could have turned out very differently.

    • chilller

      Thanks B…good post.

    • MeMadMax

      I wasn’t around at the time, but it sounds like the unions’ reaction was irrational.
      Like the old saying goes “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.
      I live by this notion every day.
      But it sounds like the unions did indeed bite the hand that fed them with their “war”.
      Instead of going to war, the correct response should’ve been “How can we help you compete better against the chinese”. Eventually they did change their posture many years later however, when it was far, far too late.

      • B

        MeMadMax, had I carried forward with my rant, I would have said the exact words and observation you post.

        Did you grow up in this environment?

        Do you know me, are you a mind reader?

        Just kidding of course, but let me share something with you that helped shape me as a young man.

        My Grandfather, having flown (12) bombing missions as a tailgunner, on a B-17 moved from the south to the north because of busting at the seams jobs opportunities. And he found a damn good job, and was able to retire, non union, with a great pension, great health insurance, and a bunch of ingraved ten year gold wrist watches. He was a very wise man who truly lived the American dream, and was a major influence
        To many….he was proud of his job, and like a mission, he served the company he worked for faithfully.
        The companys best interest were also his! He expected no handout, just a reward for being smart and working hard, in a non-union shop
        Without the BS politics.

        You know what, it worked!

        OK, let me fast forward to the mid to late 70’s. My uncle, five years my senior, went thru the tax payer funded indoctrinated millright training for blast furnace mechanic at Bethlehem steel.

        As he went thru, and finished the training and got the job, he had a hatred for the ” corporation” and a “strike” was just around the corner.

        Let me tie this together in regards to the comments made, my Grandfather
        Often asked, why would you bite the hand that feeds you?

        Why would you sabatoge a company that pays youre bills, why in this day and age would you fight your employer? Why are you so angry towards the company?

        For years I have known the answers, many years!

        The gold watches never sat on display, but the bronze star, flying cross and silver star were.

        Think about it, God Bless!!

    • Bruce

      If the decision to move overseas and south of the border was not corporate greed then why did it happen all over the south in NON UNION companies?
      I agree that unions strangled businesses up north in many cases however, don’t be confussed corporate greed was and is at the forefront of the mass exodus of companies.

      • Hammerstrike

        What about union/workers owned companies, then?

        No, the mass exodus of companies is because their environment have become toxic.

    • Mincing Rascal

      Good on turning off the Talmudvision. It is one of the most destructive forces in society. I wish you would write a book, but sadly, I doubt anyone would listen. Seems like people are unable to heed warnings or even care about anything other than debauchery, hedonism and materialism. So we are reaping what we’ve sown…but people like us pay the price. Like usual.

  • Uh-hUh

    Unless they destroy America, they cannot take over the world…it’s that simple.

    • nobody

      You’re completely wrong: America has been used to take over the world and now, with most of the job done, it’s simply no longer needed and has been purely and simply discarded.
      As such there is nothing for it to return to because tools don’t have a past.

  • krinks

    I grew up in the outskirts of Pittsburgh in the late 70s and eaerly 80s. I saw all of this as it happened. Republicans couldn’t jump on the “free market bandwagon” fast enough going so far as to create the whole Conservative Talk Radio movment to tell everyone day after day how wonderful it is to have their factories close and their jobs shipped overseas.
    As the cities died those with means left leaving behind the old, the poor, and the criminals. The Democratic Party’s wettest of wet dreams. An army of parasites with their hands out. Even to this day Democrat polticians attack wealth at every turn as if some homeless person will hire people.
    Pittsburgh surives as being in the 2nd oldest county in the second oldest state in the country. Health care thrives here. At least it did until Obama Care came to town.
    .

    • Brack

      Simply brilliant analogy.

  • I don’t know what he means by “we”. The american people did not choose to send our jobs to china. They simply blindly followed the economic gradient that had been constructed by the “best and the brightest” traitors that money can buy.

    • davidbyrden

      There IS another, alien species doing this to you, but it’s not from another planet.
      It is the “corporation”.
      By allowing “corporations” to have a separate legal standing, we have allowed them to act as living entities. We forgot that, even though they are composed of humans, they don’t care about the fate of humans any more than you care about killing your own skin cells on a sunny day.

      • jox

        Very good analogy!

      • Jack Dillon

        That’s only half of the picture. It is the large corporate business in bed with BIG government. Crony capitalism. So now, the government criminals cooperating with corporate criminals have the public at their mercy.

  • Captain Canuck

    “Produce our way to prosperity?” And sell what to whom?

    Throw away iPads and cellphones? Cars that get recalled?

    If America truly wants to recapture a manufacturing sector, its going to have to go back to basics, and start making quality, durable, products again.

    Not dishwashers and appliances that get thrown out after they break down every 5 years.

    Another sector that is completely lacking is solar and alternative energy.

    This drives me nuts here in Canada. Why are we not leading the world by developing new emerging energy technologies, instead of shipping out raw resources that will only get processed somewhere else?

    • K2

      All kinds of manufacturing jobs are needed, not just jobs that make things that last a lifetime.

    • Hammerstrike

      Green energies are a scam.

      • Eric Quintero

        Yeah thats why Germany closed down its Nuclear Power plants, right?

        I guess their solar and wind technology must really suck for them to have to close down so many nuclear power plants. I get it. I see the correlation 😉

        • Hammerstrike

          Exactly, how is it going to work out exactly?

          Well, at least this is good for Russia.

  • hj

    These are all Demonrat Party Utopias. Yes those Demonrats are geniuses.

  • Jeffrey Tull

    Recover the greatness? Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • GSOB

    What the Bible teaches is that it is immoral to secure multiple loans with the same piece of collateral.

    (Fractional reserve banking)

  • Richard

    Another excellent article, Michael. No silly rhetorical questions (well, one!) and very few tear-jerkers. Do you see why this makes your articles so much stronger and more effective?

  • GSOB

    What should we build on out of the ruins of the present system, after the collapse?

    • nobody

      Nothing, because whatever we’ll try is going to end up the same in the end.

      • GSOB

        Given the antinomianism of our day, it is unlikely that many people will apply themselves to the task.

        It has to be done.

    • Eric Quintero

      The United States Constitution. Its a masterpiece in political theory.

  • Boomer

    Who can afford the products made in here? Beside that the shareholders will vote the CEO out,you know why? Simple company loses money!!!!

    • nobody

      Maybe if they would have been of an excellent quality we would had paid the higher price. Unfortunately the USA industry has never been known for that (quite the contrary) and that sealed its fate.

    • Ian

      And because we can’t secure our borders and there is a flood of cheap labor coming in. Like a perfect storm of bad long term business decisions. Our government working with terrorists. Our problems are just coming home to roost

    • Angry Jesus

      “Who can afford the products made in here”? In terms of a honest monetary system, products made in the US should not be more expensive than the same product made in Saipan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia or China. In fact imports would generally be more expensive than locally made products. Theoretically speaking, the cost is probably the same no matter where the product is made as the materials and labor input is going to be about the same anywhere you go. The major difference lies within the division of the pie. Financiers, bankers, investors, politicians and merchants (moneychangers) have control of the pie and will only dole out enough to the rest of the populace alive to do their bidding. And yes, I’m still angry.

  • Ian

    How do we package apathy? Or corruption? Or greed?

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    The first order of business is to sweep away all current incumbents in office. The Founding Fathers never intended for us to have a permanent political class. If someone has been in office for more than six years, they need to be turned out. Next, declare that within ten years we shall become energy independent. If we were to do this using the new fracking technology I would bet we would be breaking into prisons to find workers. Next, secure the border. We can not allow ourselves to be a dumping ground for Mexican and Central American peasants eager to marry our Welfare State. Next tariffs. We can not compete with Chinese Coolies. Next, go to a flat tax and eliminate the thoroughly compromised IRS. I realize this is all rather revolutionary but we are at that point. Something has to be done or by God it will be done one way or the other. We are 17 trillions in nominal debt soaring to 30 trillions by the end of the decade. Unfunded liabilities exceed 100 trillions and may be 200 trillions depending upon who you read. Produce or die.

    • davidbyrden

      >> ” If we were to do this using the new fracking technology”
      …which poisons the earth for ever.
      Explain to your children why they can’t have clean water.

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        There are always tradeoffs, Dave. We pollute the air when we drive. Shall we give up the automobile? Surely, we can find some kind of compromise and put our people back to work? If we don’t…then our debts and unfunded obligations are going to crush us. If not fracking, what?

        • Eric Quintero

          Solar and wind. Like Germany. Fracking and Nuclear are foolish, Im sorry. We dont need to kill our environment (and ourselves) to extract energy. Thats just insanity.

          Germany has shutdown all of their Nuclear Power plants because they realized how horrible Nuclear Power really is. Americans are too arrogant to believe such common sense. Across the board, I must say, American Arrogance is our nation’s crippling hubris.

          • XSANDIEGOCA

            We have made peace with the auto. Germany produces some of the finest. Surely we can do the same with fracking. We won’t develop our own resources but we go to war in the ME at drop of a hat for their resources? Not this is insanity.

      • III

        “…which poisons the earth for ever.”

        *triplefacepalm*

      • GSOB

        Agree

    • Bruce

      I agree with the flat tax and placing tariffs on ANY and ALL goods not manufactured in TOTAL within the US borders. But this energy independent idea by means of fracking and literally destroying our enviroment and drinking water is proposterous.

    • III

      Flat tax? Aka someone with a salary of 20 000 a year gets taxed as much as someone making 2000 000 a year?

      • J

        Hey, if that were the case the person making 2000 000 would be paying more taxes then they are paying now. And it was Marx who came up with the segregated tax in the first place.

    • Drud

      No tax policy, fiscal policy, regulation, law, statute or any other type of legislation can ever really work until we fix the currency!

    • Jo Jo Dancer

      Wow

  • Vlad Lenin

    The US will get back to manufacturing at some point after the collapse. The dollar will be useless and we won’t be able to import anything. Cycles… Heck, we might even be foreign Wal Mart’s cheap product source. But, some of us could recover sooner and its called secession. The South, for example, with its agriculture and manufacturing could do very well by getting away from the “United” States. Cull out the true blue states and let them rot. But have good border security, because when they rot, the good people of those states (and a whole bunch of parasites) will be looking to leave.

    • grumpyhillbilly

      You’ll likely won’t see the return of manufacturing for a good long time. The infrastructure that benefits industry is crumbling beyond repair. Then you have do something about regulations, education, drug abuse, and inflated self esteems. Finally do you really think all those yuppies who live off both sides of government regulation are going to roll with the return of manufacturing in their backyards?

      • Hammerstrike

        You know what Mao did? Send spoiled brats to the countryside and make them do farm work for a few weeks or months. or better yet, boot camp.

        • Eric Quintero

          Yes, thats what we need: COMMUNISM! Everyone will work! All hail communism!

          This kind of thinking is very, very prevalent and will ruin the country.

          People will welcome the socialist police state with open arms! Communist beliefs always crop up as soon as the economy implodes. Its the human reaction in a way.

          I plan on leaving this country if people like Hammerstrike are serious. Which, I think they are.

          • Hammerstrike

            Work ethic is stinking, God-***ing socialism, I tell yah!

            When the KENYAN moslem commie in the White House turns the good ol´ USA into a socialist dunghole and fully abandonne israel, I´ll move the **** out of it.
            I´ll move to a country, any country with a higher living standard and me not needing to work that much for that living standard.
            Also, where I don´t have any duties toward society in exchange for my freedoms so although I stand with israel, I sure as heck ain´t gonna join the IDF and risk myself getting shot or stoned.

            I want to enjoy muh freedumz but I sure as heck don´t want to fight for them, I don´t want to work for ´em and I don´t want to think about how to keep ´em!

  • 68Impala

    No jobs and none on the horizon little money to spend and meat, poultry and fish prices have spiked an average of 8 percent since last year — soaring to an all-time high, national data show.

    The cost of ground beef has gone up 11 percent, pork has increased 9.4 percent and fish has spiked 4.2 percent since last spring, according to US Department of Labor statistics. Poultry prices increased 1.3 percent.

    The dramatic cost spike is due in part to a drought in California, thin cattle herds and a recent pork virus, according to experts.

    Ground beef at mid-level-priced grocery stores costs about $4.59 per pound, tilapia costs $5.99 per pound and pork chops cost $3.99 per pound — all marked up between 30 and 40 cents per pound since last year,

    Meat, poultry and fish prices have risen an average of 7.7 percent nationally since last year, according to the US Department of Labor statistics.

    Nationally, ground beef rose from an average of $3.31 to $3.85 per pound from May 2013 to May 2014. Bacon increased from $5.09 to $6.04 and sirloin steak spiked from $6.79 to $ 7.58 per pound during the same time period.

    Meat, poultry and fish rose 1.4 percent nationally in the past month — the sharpest increase since 2011. During that month, the price of whole chickens increased from $1.53 to $1.56 per pound, bacon increased from $5.69 to $6.05 a pound and ground beef increased from $3.89 to $3.85 a pound, according to the data.

    And it will only get worse.

    “.”

  • Northern Cousin Bob

    When I did an MBA three decades ago I could not understand why the International Bus Prof was pushing that all export/import scenarios where inherently good. I know now there was a big business funding audiece since multinationals only beneficiary of this hole-in-the-bottom-of-the-bucket economic model. At the same time, business schools shamefully ignored the societal benefits of integrating workers in primary to secondary and ultimately tertiary industries as Germany does. Instead we have tariff free borders with countries free of costly democracy costs, and now consider government funded medical research as high tech industry. None of this is sustainable.

  • Kim

    I just got back from long trip to California- I drove from Portland to San Francisco then on to the 99 highway from Madera to Fresno then to Bakersfield and points in between. The situation isn’t much better, or may be worse in some cases, for these California cities.

    Fresno, Stockton, Bakersfield and the smaller towns along the way are hopelessly depressed and the drought is taking its toll and it’s only going to get worse.

    The amount of vacant retail space in Fresno is frightening and it doesn’t take long for this vast amount vacant space to start deteriorating when no one is caring for it. It was sad to see.

    • guguciao

      How is Watsonville ? I remember visiting there years ago. Biggest strawberries I have even seen grow there.

      I bet Monterey, CA is still doing well…

      • Kim

        I didn’t go through Monterey. I went to Napa, Sonoma, and then further south on I5 eventually to Los Banos at highway 99. I stopped at most cities and towns but I don’t remember Watsonville, I’m sorry. I can say that most of the areas south and east of the Bay Area that I visited are showing economic signs and stress of water shortage.

  • Nys Parkie

    Gotta love NAFTA and any other treaty that screwed the middle class of this country for corporate profits.

  • Rob W

    Flint, Michigan. Coming soon to a city near you. I’ve been saying that for almost a decade, now.

    • blaaaaa

      Flint Michigan was a hellhole 35 years ago. The only good thing that came out of Flint was Grand Funk Railroad. Southern Michigan is a shell of it’s former self. To the North, we have clean air, excellent soil in which to grow, an abundance of animals to be harvested and….a good share of the World’s good water. Don’t come here.

      • Rob W

        I’m up there plenty for mushrooms and trout. Don’t try any funny stuff, I’m always ready for you toothless locals.

  • Yisrael

    It’s over for ” Old Glory” and the rest of the debt bloated developed countries. There’s no coming back folks because so called economics growth has reached it death limits! Game over man ! :-(

  • Not much better in New England. Remember Shoe Town, Brockton, MA? Well all that’s left is what’s on the sole. All I could see of a once thriving city was a downtown of junkies, tattoo shops, and displays for EBT card acceptance.

  • Bruce

    The government has fooled me many times however, when NAFTA and other trade programs were implimented primarily by Clinton I knew then it would be a catastrophe. In my part of the country we have lost all our textile jobs and just up the road the furniture factories that kept food on the table for many have collapsed roofs and walls over grown with vines. Thanks CLINTON!
    The real sickness of this situation is the greed that caused it to be implimented. Corporations increase their profits by paying slave wages and we as consumers eat it up. So many factories have closed up shop and moved elsewhere that we have no choice but to buy their products because that’s all that is available. We’re screwed and most know it. A few fools think we will have enough jobs in new technologies. That will never happen

    • Hammerstrike

      No.

      1 ) Finance-oriented economies. Manufacturing can´t compete with banking anymore.

      2 ) Work ethic. The Chinks aren´t just cheaper, they do jobs that most in Britain or California would find too complicated to do. School put more emphasis on science and less emphasis on basketball or gender studies? Parents protests.

  • Bruce

    The problem with that is that most people are stretched so thin financially they have NO money to invest. They can’t leave their minimum wage job because they need every single dime they can get their hands on. It simply is not a viable option for most.

    • guguciao

      Buying a domain name, and installing a WordPress blog costs less than 10 bucks. Monthly hosting starts at 5 or 6 bucks.

    • DesertPaine

      I disagree, Bruce. Most people will claim financial inability no matter how much money they have, and/or subscribe to some other reason not to step out and take charge until convenient to do so. Which it never is. Public education teaches how to be obedient, lobotomized employees, not thinking wealth creators.

  • underaged

    This is hardly new insight. The rust belt started dying 40 years ago. US corporate money started moving east and south (S. Korea, Japan, Mexico, etc) before most people on this blog were even born.

    What America got in return was cleaner air and water. Insects, birds and small mammals returned to areas thought lost forever to pollution.

    Parts of China, Japan and S.Korean have become a polluted, disgusting, wasteland. Good riddance.

    • Hammerstrike

      Insects, birds and small mammals never minded the pollution that much.

      Fast breeding = fast natural selection = resistance to pesticides, antibiotics and insecticides. Ever heard of evolution?

      If DDT use had not been limited, it would have become useless by now.

  • Poofi

    The key to survival is to have many job skills, so start your kids young and make them finish school!

  • Undecider

    What these towns did wrong was to be dependent on these industries. Change gears and stop feeling sorry for yourselves. Demolish all that useless garbage, take control of the land and develop farms.

  • Hammerstrike

    It is not just free trade, the inflation policies are changing the dynamics of economies, financial sector becomes more profitable and the rest of the economy becomes less profitable.

    Since manufacturing needs alot of investement, buying metals, energy, chemicals etc as well as employing a lot of people, it is particulary vulnerable, especially private manufacturing, the only remaining choice is the military-industrial complex.

    Work ethic too, while there are indeed fewer jobs available, a manufacturing economy would be too complictaed for today´s product of mainstream education and “culture” (if you can call it that) in general.
    Some go on about how Mexicans do the jobs Calis won´t, Polacks doing the jobs Brits won´t and so on but few seems to suggest doing anything to promote work ethic or other positive qualities while we get plenty of moralization when it comes to political correctness.

    Sorry to read about your aunt, Michael. -(

  • southernnorthcarolina

    One obvious, but not often mentioned cause of the rust belt’s problems: the invention and widespread use of air conditioning.

    A century ago, Houston (for example) was all but uninhabitable. But after WW2, vast areas of the country were open for business that really hadn’t been before. People, and companies, now had more options. And that’s a good thing, even if not so great for Buffalo.

  • truckerpete

    As we speak, there is a human tsunami going on down at the border. Tens of thousands are pouring in… begin bused in from Mexico and SA. Nobody knows because of our whor# media. These people are then put back on buses and being shipped north into these rust-belt cities where they’ll end up on welfare. What do you think will happen when between ten and thirty million new people come here? This crisis will truly finish off our already dead economy.

  • Priszilla

    War is consumption.
    Financing wars with debts is financing consumption with debts.

    You make any more wars, you lose.

    Just one more terror attack should put your government into overdrive to spend the last cent on useless weaponry you can’t eat.

  • wally

    Welcome to the welfare state. The liberal Utopia as it were. In America today if a person worked just 1 week a month at a minimum wage job they would have 97% of the same after expenses income of a person who made 60,000 a year. There is no insensitive to work. There was a time in this country where it was shameful to take government assistance unless you truly needed it. The total amount of people on SSI Disability is astounding. I have a friend who works at a medical office where people go to get the exams to qualify for Disability and she says it would piss me off if I saw the people who get medically approved. It is a sham, the whole darn system is a sham. I am lucky enough to still have a middle class job. Credit card providers must be running out of people to rob because I get no less than 1-2 offers daily from various cards. We are all Jack and Rose clinging to the rail as the second half of the Titanic plunges toward the cold Atlantic. It is all moving at warp speed now.

    • phagary

      Embrace the disease and enjoy the decline. Better times lie ahead after we fertilize the ground with the traitors and useless idiots. Climb onto that anchor that is dragging everything down. Get on disability if you are able. Take every ‘entitlement’ that you can. Help it to sink. Let’s get this over with.

    • Gay Veteran

      we live in a fascist state (fascism=merger of state and corporate power)

  • pat

    Time to cut taxes by 30% across the board, everywhere, everything…

  • alan

    Better get in there and get that copper wire quick!

  • 2Gary2

    Walker
    (college drop out) promised 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin. He isn’t
    1/2 way there and will never reach the level he promised. Wisconsin is
    being turned into another Mississippi under this a$$hole. He must be
    defeated in the upcoming election or Wisconsin will be the next
    Mississippi.

    Mary Burke will prevent Wisconsin’s downward trajectory. Vote democratic and restore sanity to our state.

    Defeat conservatives aka the American Taliban.

    • phagary

      #bringbackourhumvees
      Look it up as s captain, it is a testament to your lord god obama.
      I can hardly wait until nigbama destroys the ‘social contract’. Then people like me will not only mock and beat the useless id iots, such as you. We will be free to exact justice. Imagine a boot across your neck as urine splashes in your bloodied face. Know that when it is finished, you will die a painful, torturous death.
      We are many, we are prepared and patiently waiting. Hopefully the government will not rush you off to an internment camp before we arrive.

      • 2Gary2

        Ok Hoss-your the typical low to no information conservative. Your country has changed-its no longer the 1850’s Dawg. Get with the program, take down your confederate flag, finish High School and get a clue.

        • Mincing Rascal

          Do you use nasty racially based stereotypes when dealing with say, a black person with whom you disagree? Would you tell them to put down the crack pipe, pull up their pants and get a job? Somehow I doubt it, because only racist stereotypes aimed at alleged “lower class whites” are acceptable to so called anti-racists. Do you think anti-white hatred makes you look like a morally superior person? Would you be so dismissive and hateful towards a person of ANY other race that was similar to the whites of the lower socioeconomic class?

    • nosferatukakamono

      democrats OWN A 250 YEAR HISTORY OF RACISM:

      -SLAVERY

      -KKK

      -NAACP – OH, THAT WAS FOUNDED BY REPUBLICANS

      -NRA – YES, ONE OF ITS ORIGINAL CHARTERS WAS TO TEACH BLACK MEN TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST THE

      RACIST DEMOCRATS WHO WANTED TO LYNCH THEM.

      -JIM CROW LAWS

      -FDR OPPOSED ANTI LYNCHING LAWS

      FDR IMPRISONED OVER 100000 JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING WWII

      TRUMAN AND JFK MADE PUBLIC RACIST COMMENTS

      THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION OF ’64 WAS PASSED BY A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF REPUBLICANS THAN DEMOCRATS;

      AL GORE’S DADDY VOTED AGAINST IT. APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE

      AFTER THE PASSAGE, LBJ SAID, “THE N’S WILL VOTE DEMOCRAT FOR A HUNDRED YEARS”

      Obama’s racist friends are Rev. Wright, Al “Tawana Brawley” Sharpton, Eric Holder and Michelle Obama

      • 2Gary2

        Hoss-IF some of what you say is true it was decades ago. Conservatives are all horrible racists RIGHT NOW TODAY!

        • Hammerstrike

          Nope.

        • nosferatukakamono

          lmao, racists today:
          obama
          holder
          sharpton
          rev wright
          gary
          95 of the black population who voted for someone based on skin color

          bwhahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

        • Mincing Rascal

          So, it’s racist even if it’s true?

        • nosferatukakamono

          today’s racists:
          sharpton
          obama
          holder
          rev.wright

          hey, thanks for playing……………….

      • Gay Veteran

        and let’s ignore the fact that after 1964 southern white racist Democrats became southern white racist Republicans

        • nosferatukakamono

          bwahahaahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, total effeminate lie from a piece of garbage, bwhahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. you and gary should start 69’ing

          • Gay Veteran

            lying troll like you can go
            f—- yourself with a rusty chainsaw

          • nosferatukakamono

            effeminate garbage = gayboy veteran, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

          • Gay Veteran

            yawn, boring troll

    • nosferatukakamono

      LMAO, obama promised lots of welfare, and now we have a 50% increase in food stamp recipients, yeah!

  • nosferatukakamono

    democrat is to raise taxes, bwhahahaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Gary the clown agrees

  • nosferatukakamono

    why does liberal dogma dovetail so nicely with that of the Nazi’s?

    1. gun control (aka confiscation) both wanted to disarm the middle class so they could control them

    2. health care – both wanted universal healthcare as a means of controlling the populace.

    3. disposal of the unwanted – nazi’s own the holocaust, libs love abortion

    4. and remember its for the children – both love to be photographed with children and use them as

    props

  • frank1569

    ‘Making stuff’ isn’t the answer – have ya been in a modern factory lately? The level of robotics is absolutely mind-boggling. Very few humans needed to make stuff in mass quantities – in other words, very few new jobs/careers.

    Not to mention the fact that the last thing we need is more stuff. Look around – we got plenty. Obscene amounts.

    And more and more of us Americans are sick of the life where ya work making stuff so you have money to buy stuff. That was grandpa and pa’s 40 year grind – that ain’t us.

    Plus, Earth is running out of resources, which eliminates making more stuff from the equation anyway.

    No, the answer is… er… ‘only a fool thinks he can solve the world’s problems.’

    • Eric Quintero

      Yeah, I dont have much, but I feel like I have enough STUFF already. I dont want more crap. Why should I spend my life endlessly consuming more junk?

  • FormerJarhead

    Ross Perot warned us of a big sucking sound(meaning all of are jobs lost to other countries) prior to Clinton signing nafta, what is really sickening is all the brain dead liberal soccer mom’s out there that have such short / to no memories of this fact, and go to see him speak at events and go “goo goo gah gah” over him, thinking he’s still the best thing since sliced bread, that perfect example why women should have never been allowed to vote!!!

    • Eric Quintero

      A message on deaf ears. Libtards will defend their fantasy economic policies till the grave.

      • FormerJarhead

        I hear ya Bro, like I was saying, their brain dead

    • Mincing Rascal

      I was TEN in 92 and told everyone to vote Perot. Of course, I was just a dumb kid, didn’t know anything, blah blah blah. I wish I had been wrong, but I wasn’t. Yes, I was a very odd kid and loved politics and was WAY too precocious for my age, but how much more obvious could it be that NAFTA was a bad idea? A TEN year old could see it!

      I agree with you about the women voting thing, even though I am a woman. Most women are utterly moronic and easily swayed by feelings and emotions, not logic and facts. Those stupid women WILL vote Hillary because she’s a woman, never mind the fact that she laughed about getting a child rapist off. Yeah, a real warrior for women…but they don’t care. It’s all about FEELING a certain way and LOOKING a certain way to your equally vapid, idiotic, brain dead “friends”. Makes me sick and ashamed to be a woman.

  • Ed

    “Does it not seem a vast waste of valuable human material that the pioneers of thought, those who by their genius dare to clear unknown paths in the arts and sciences and in government, should have to conform to the dictates of that non-creative, slow-moving mass, the majority? An appeal to the majority is a resort to force and not an appeal to intelligence; the majority is always ignorant, and by increasing the majority we multiply ignorance. The majority is incapable of initiative, its attitude being one of opposition toward everything that is new. If it had been left to the majority, the world would never have had the steamboat, the railroad, the telegraph, or any of the conveniences of modern life.” ~ Charles Sprading
    Are you people enjoying your majority rule?

  • Semper Fortis

    what makes me absolutely SICK is 2 issues.
    #1 the arrogant pompous windbag BABy B00MER$– “just go get a job, work hard” ___disgusts me to listen to their crap. they were LOTTERY WINNERS compared to the under 40 crowd today. MONEY was shoved in their faces for 50 YEARS!.. now, they have all that is left of the wealth and they are HOARDING it.. the opportunity today PALES in comparison,

    #2 IMMIGRANTS–IMMIGRANTS!! America has NOT NEEDED a single one for over 20 years..^^^SIMPle MaTH^^^

    LESS jobs—-> MORE people… A no brainer method to LOWER WAGES.

    with job loss, there is NO NEED for MORE PEOPLE!!!! FFS..

    that makes me “rAcist” to the libtard PC idiots

  • Semper Fortis

    When a country is losing jobs, there is NO NEED for them.

    it is burning a candle at BOTH ends..

    Less jobs + More people = LOWER PAY!!!

    • Mincing Rascal

      Another staggeringly obvious fact, yet people cannot see it. I swear, sometimes I feel like I must be crazy. How can people NOT see it? They bitch and complain about everything but wholeheartedly support the policies and people who are championing their destruction! WHAT THE EFF?? It’s truly insane.

  • bobcat

    “Instead, we have got to make the decision to produce our way to prosperity.”

    Let’s be clear about something. “We” did not get up one morning and decide to de-industrialize. “We” did not make the decision to stop producing. That decision was made by large companies, their CEOs and boards. They realized that they could move production to low wage countries like China where workers are paid a small fraction of the wages that were paid to US workers. The jobs were moved abroad to increase the profits of these big companies.

    Entire industries were exported. For example, the vast majority of electronics manufacturing activity was relocated abroad, mostly to China. I once worked in that industry, starting as an assembler, then a technician and once I finished college, as a design engineer. About 30 years ago, there were approximately 50,000 people employed in electronics manufacturing in the RTP NC area. Today, it’s less than 500. These were high paying jobs and this ain’t the rust belt.

  • usmcmailman

    This is the least of our worries at this point !

  • Orange Jean

    Please add my hometown (Attleboro, MA), to the list. When I was growing up, it was a mill town with two thriving jewelry manufacturing companies. Not the worst place to grow up, at least most people had jobs.

    In the past 15 years, both have closed shop. I haven’t lived there in years, but now the place is a slum. It now feels like my hometown doesn’t exist on the face of the earth.

    • Mincing Rascal

      Bet it’s full of Mexicans and other Turd World garbage. Even the prosperous areas are that way. It’s shameful.

  • Jam Bo

    All is going according to the New World Order plan.
    Destroy the dollar. Destroy America, so they can usher in a New World Currency, and a One World Government.
    We the people are screwed!

  • AlexxelA

    The five thing a manufacture looks for is Land Cost, Energy, Labor, Raw materials and Shipping. Big business moved out of America because of these reasons. Our Government pushed for free trade agreements and all the jobs are gone. Why? Because Washington DC still gets revenue from foreign trade and they don’t care who makes the products.

    So to get back jobs, you need to offer free land without taxes, Energy at cost, low cost labor, raw materials that are cost effective and access to shipping.

    Do you see anyone promoting this in Washington DC?

    • Arthur Wholeflaffers

      No, I don’t.

  • Dan

    Nafta,Cafta,Gat. Obomacare, repeal of Glass Seagull,Kainseian economics,QE1,2,3. ………
    Get it!!!!

  • Carcinogen

    If you think Cleveland shares company with those cities, you’re far out of the zeitgeist. Do us a favor and do some light reading before rolling out your 70s-era opinions.

  • Raymond Jensen

    The couple from Reading PA is a shining example of the American middle class shooting itself in the foot. Instead of saving (investing) the cash in good times so they have something to fall back on in worse times, they squander it on stuff they do not need. Then comes the government to “rescue” them from their childish behavior. Freedom requires responsibility. If you cannot police yourself, then the government will do it for you.

  • amuncat

    Great place to release the “new” illegal aliens who are tramping over our border with impunity!

  • Arizona

    WANT TO SURVIVE THE WAR? you don’t need rocket science to see it coming,BUT if your not getting ready,you won’t survive its thats simple,right after the giant asteroid hits,the entire country will go insane,the government is gearing up for its arrival,they know from GODS prophets it will hit in the gulf and cause a MAG.12 earthquake,GOT A TENT? you might want to get one…THE FEMA people are calling it a level 10 event,or in plain english,ELE…………..

  • Deanna Clark

    And if a person scorns these slave products, they feel like outcasts in America. Isn’t the consumer culpable?

  • Tempus Fugit

    …”OUT SOURCING” is NOTHING new in America! The United States outsourced its New England textile mills and products during the 1950’s! I owned a Zenith Trans-Oceanic Royal 300 multiwave radio in high school (1970’s) and I tell you while it was mechanically sturdy, it’s reception was no where as good as the cheaper Chinese models of today! RCA and Zenith televisions can’t hold a candle to modern Samsung and Sony televisions. Electrolux vacuum cleaner are better than any Hoover or Filter Queen and so LG and Bosch refridgerators!
    Honda, Toyota, Kia, Nissan etc. put Government Motors to shame! The old manufacturing will NEVER come back from China, Malaysia, Brazil etc.,as these products would be prohibitively more expensive to manufacture in the good ol’ USA!
    When I was in grade school (1960’s) in Winnipeg, my mother would take me shopping at the Woolworth store on Portage Avenue! I remember reading the labels on the shirts for sale and it read…..MADE IN FORMOSA! (now Taiwan)
    Americans companies have always been off-shoring, but it was NEVER an issue until NOW! And don’t forget how Admiral Oliver Perry forced gun boat diplomacy to force Japan to open its borders to Yankee-made goods! And in these countries, the Americans have military bases, so these countries have the right to build their products for sale here!

  • Joe Dixon

    If the white people that once lived in these cities are replaced by room temperature IQ non-whites they will never recover. Low IQ people are incapable of creating wealth in the modern world. By bringing in these people who will never be able to do anything other than stoop labour, the US is condemning itself to a future of perpetual decline.l

    • Mincing Rascal

      100% truth, but you’re an evil racist for saying it! Keep saying it, and be a proud “racist”.

  • jamesrav

    “we have got to start making stuff in this country again”. what stuff? We’ve decided that the stuff other countries make is fine, especially given the cheap price. It can’t be made here at the same cost, not when people are expecting $15/hr for a minimum wage. As someone mentioned, HealthCare in PA is a big industry … great, taking care of sick people. Is that really an ‘industry’? It will all implode in time, but not in the near future. A generation or two still has a very tolerable life ahead of it, after that I’m not sure I’d want to be here.

  • Jay_Sherman

    There will be no recovery, because you’d have to be a fool to start a business in this country today with all the absurd taxes and regulations, which make it impoosible to compete.

    Our government has grown so large that it is an insatiable beast which consumes all of our wealth.

    And the problem is not just economic. What do all of those rust-belt slums have in common, which thriving areas do not? They are populated by a certain group of people who indulge in crime, drugs, and arson; and who procreate wildly, despite not having the means to support the little hoodlums they create; and our liberal traitor politicians keep subsidizing those people to procreate, while creating the policies which have driven industry away.

    What we are seeing is the planned destruction of our country and our middle-class, perpetrated by traitors who advocate Agenda 21 and other UN policies which are creating a world of slaves.

  • Eric Quintero

    My friends here in Chicago have a very difficult time accepting the economic collapse. The rest of the country has already imploded and things arent even at their peak yet. Only when the system finally collapses will my friends wake up to the reality. By then it will be too late. The folks in the country seem to be getting prepared though.

  • We need a return of real men in our society. Not government assistance punks who wait for those two monthly checks from the state, and then spend the rest of their time preying on the weak in their communities, or the soft, doughy other type that lives in his parent’s basement and smokes weed all day. Show me a nation with physically and morally strong men, and I will show you a thriving country. Show me a lazy, narcissistic, technology crazed land of men, and I will show you a rusted-out America in 2014.

  • Wave_R1der

    People always blamed China for causing the job loss. The real problem lies on those who striked the deal first with China without considering their own people.

  • mike

    No worries. Jesus is coming.

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