Wed, 25 February 2009
How Can U.S. Recover Without Manufacturing Capacity?
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by
"You can't put people to work in American factories that don't exist."
The strength of the federal economic stimulus package is seriously diluted by the fact that many of the manufactured goods that will be purchased for the attempted recovery must be imported from outside the United States. America simply doesn't make lots of things, anymore. That means many billions of dollars that folks assumed would go towards fueling an American economic comeback, will instead provide work and paychecks to employees in other countries, that still have manufacturing bases. That's fine with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is dominated by large multinational corporations - the same guys that began stripping the United States of manufacturing jobs decades ago.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was one of the main lobbyists opposed to provisions that would have mandated that stimulus money go to U.S. companies. The Chamber is a U.S. organization in name only, like its finance capital comrades, the guys that gave the world such a bad case of the dreaded "American Disease," much of the planet is praying that cash-rich China will eventually bail everybody out.
The United States' lack of a manufacturing capacity makes it even less likely that anything resembling a lasting recovery can emerge from President Obama's approach to the economic crisis. The infrastructure projects that are supposed to be central to the recovery scheme are only valued at $150 billion - which is not much of a jolt, especially when much of what will have to be bought is only available in other countries, made by foreign workers. Barack Obama has put a huge emphasis on building a green economy. However, according to the New York Times, most of the sources of solar panels and wind turbines are located in Europe and Asia. There can be no green economy without a mass transit makeover of the United States, but the U.S. hasn't made subway and light rail cars in many years. They'd have to be imported.
"Most of the sources of solar panels and wind turbines are located in Europe and Asia."
Every product that must be imported for the infrastructure project means a watering down of the stimulus impact of the dollars spent. You can't put people to work in American factories that don't exist.
A true national recovery effort would mean
re-industrialization, on a grand scale and a green model, through massive
direct federal creation of state-owned industries independent of the finance
capitalists who murdered American manufacturing and then blew up their own
businesses on Wall Street. But this is already nearly impossible, since
President Obama is committed to saving the banking class through unlimited
infusions of public money, and then allowing these reborn zombies to resume
their roles as lords of development. The bankster parasites have neither the
capacity nor the intention to build anything other than mountains of debt for
the rest of us. Therefore, Obama's partnership with them spells doom for
Like Billy Preston said, "Nothin' from noth in' leaves nothin'."The U.S. cannot create the conditions for economic health without rebuilding a manufacturing capacity. And the remnants of Wall Street have nothing to contribute to an economic recovery, but an infinite capacity to steal.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.