Offense or defense?Published 9:13am Thursday, October 18, 2012
We’ve been trained to believe it is all about labor costs. It is not. Labor costs in the US usually come in at 12 – 16 percent of costs and the American worker is ten times more productive than the Chinese. If a poor, country boy from one of the poorest counties in West Virginia can understand it, then there is no excuse for “Wall Street and Washington” to keep ignoring the fact that the playing field is not level.
Other countries have adopted structural changes that we haven’t because we’ve been focused on “free trade” not fair trade. There is a point where it doesn’t matter that you’re the most creative and productive society on the face of the earth. You still have to market and sell your “products/services” globally if you’re going to be successful. We have been losing this game now for decades and based on what I hear from any of the political and economic leadership debating in this election season, we are going to continue to lose this game and the big losers will continue to be the middle class.
For some unexplainable reason, we think that getting China to float their currency is what is needed. It won’t and can’t make up for the tax and regulatory structures that have been “legally” built by our trading partners over the years to punish US manufacturers. We’ve actually been reducing taxes to those that import into our economy and tearing down the regulatory structures that might help level the playing field for our working people. I guess it’s a whole lot easier to just whine about unions and entitlements instead of playing good offense and defense.