Thursday, August 11, 2005

I’m Betting Against America (The U.S.A.)

Railing against an unregulated globalization hasn’t done me any good, so I decided to look out for my own best interests and begin investing in foreign stocks. Two fundamental ideas spurred me to this:
"The creation of wealth is still associated with robust manufacturing.
"Nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

While I am employed in manufacturing, more and more of my countrymen seem to behave as if jobs in a service economy, selling hamburgers to each other, is the way to create a prosperous and healthy nation. Am I missing something? I think not. I see how manufacturing adds value, and that value not only goes to shareholders but contributes to the good wages and benefits enjoyed by skilled workers. Contrast this to the grim zero-sum game of service jobs where very few are enriched by the work of many low-paid drones. Wealth is created by shifting the business risks of maintaining benefits and a livable wage to the society in general which then must support public programs to rectify the deficiencies created by service employers. A service economy cannibalizes already created wealth and I don’t know of any society of cannibals that remained healthy.

With government policy that discourages support for manufacturing in the U.S.A., it makes more sense to invest in low-wage, high-value foreign manufacturing. Especially now, before foreign workers are educated to the point where they question why they are receiving so little of the value they create. But then, I guess that stupidity is not exclusively an American trait. So, with American companies shifting the value added manufacturing jobs overseas, I am betting on an ever increasing loss of real wealth-creating work in the U.S.A..

Perhaps if American’s were well educated they will see the risk in becoming consumers, rather than producers of wealth. Gone are the days of the shrewd American who was canny while giving the impression of bemused ignorance. Today, the stupidity goes to the core of a preponderance of my countrymen. How else may one explain the lack of critical thinking when 44% of Americans hold that creationism is a legitimate explanation for the fact of evolution and natural selection does not explain the variety of life. And these are the people with the technical power to drive advances in American manufacturing? Don’t bet on it: I’m not!


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