Thursday, September 06, 2007

Losing Our Competitive Edge?

Mike Harvey writes a wonderful weekly newsletter called “Flourishing.” I got to know Mike when he coordinated a couple of my talks in his hometown of Winfield, KS (population 12,206).

Last week’s edition had this thought from Mike:

This unique map ought to give pause to those who imagine that the U. S. is losing its competitive position in the world economy. The structure of our economy is changing, but America is not losing its strength. Thanks to huge increases in productivity, which in turn are the result of lower tax rates on capital (thank you Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush), American manufacturing output is at a record high—both absolutely, and as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.

It amazed me that the economy of TN is equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia; GA to Switzerland; TX to Canada; CA to Italy and ND to Ecuador.

Sometimes, I think that we beat up on ourselves too much and don’t sit back and look at what a wonderful country we live in. Nor, reflect upon the many benefits we have as Americans. Mike does a great job each week of pointing those benefits out.


Stevencap said...

The bottom line is JOBS. The U.S. lost 46,000 manufacturing jobs in August 2007. More significantly, the ongoing losses are taking a cumulative toll on communities throughout the country. We need to adequately enforce our trade laws, and hold countries like China accountable for illegal trading practices such as currency manipulation. Otherwise, we’ll continue to shed manufacturing jobs.

BoomtownUSA said...

I agree with you completely that we need to continue to focus upon job creation. And, that losses in this sector take a great toll on the communities affected.

I continue to see new manufacturing companies grow dramatically even as the old line ones are slipping into the sunset. My blog on July 28, 2006 looked at the data from the automotive industry. Despite what you hear in the media, there are more employees in the automotive industry today than there was in 1990.

American capitalism continues to climb a “wall of worry.” In the 60s it was concern about the threat of automation; in the 70s OPEC; the 80s were the Japanese; the 90s “the giant sucking sound to Mexico”; today it is off-shoring.

I’m convinced that our best days lie in the future and that we will continue to create many more jobs each year than what we shed.