Economic decline

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To the Editor:
Our economy began to decline in parallel with our replacing goods made in the USA with foreign made goods about 30 years ago.
That is when jobs began to fly out of our country and manufacturing declined. In the short term people liked that those goods became cheaper and the average American could afford to buy more.
We became a consumer society where we bought far more than we needed and most of it was from overseas. As the years went by our debts grew as the developing countries making those goods were willing to finance their sale in order to keep their economies humming and their workers working.
Our last hurrah was the housing bubble where we stimulated our economy with an unsustainable level of new construction and remodeling and paid for it by inflating the real estate values and then borrowing against them.
That too couldn’t last because prices couldn’t go up forever and the convoluted financial structure that had been created began to fail.
So here we are, in debt as a nation with most of our manufacturing jobs having gone overseas.
It seems to me that we need an austerity program where Americans figure out that they can get along with less and having jobs is more important than having stuff.
We need to start buying goods made in this country even if they cost more.
We could buy fewer pairs of shoes but get ones made here in the USA where the jobs making them are here. Of course the number one consumer manufacturing item that we still do make in this country is autos. If all Americans started buying cars built by American companies in the USA we would create millions of jobs here at home and our economy would recover.
There now I’ve said it. Let the negative comments begin about unions, poor products; Korean cars assembled here are American, etc. But the truth is only going back to buying American will turn this mess around.
– Jerry Hardvall, Tryon

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