Paradise Lost  

September 28, 2011

The economy of the United States reached new heights of prosperity during the decades following World War II. The 1950s and 1960s were extremely productive, and the American worker became the envy of the world.  It was not unusual for a working man to support a stay-at-home wife and three, four, or five children during the 1950s and 1960s. So many children were born that this was known in demographic circles as the Baby Boom.

There was serious talk during the 1960s about all the leisure time that the American worker was going to have in the very rosy and bright future. Some economic researchers and forecasters in the 1960s were predicting a work-week of only 20 to 30 hours per worker in the future, with no decline in American workers’ standard of living.

Leisure activities would be needed to occupy all the “free time” that the American workers were going to have in the future. This is why corporations were busy getting a foot-hold in the leisure industry that was predicted to become enormous as the American workers, with a surplus of money to spend, would also have the time to spend it. Large US corporations began buying companies that produced leisure products.

But, alas, this did not come to pass. We began sending more of our money to foreign countries to pay for imports. It began as a trickle in the 1950s, increased in the 1960s with the importing of Japanese cars and electronics into the US. Around 1975, our imports began exceeding our exports. And we kept increasing the goods purchased from foreign countries in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

And we kept increasing the number of jobs sent overseas.

To keep up our standard of living, many married women began entering the work force. In many instances, it was necessary to have two incomes, if the family was to become or remain a part of the middle class.

You may have heard of the “economic miracles” in the Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, which were often referred to as the “tiger economies” because of their rapid economic growth in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Most of this growth was a result of US import policies which allowed these countries access to the US market.

The US workers could not compete with the cheap labor in these countries, and many industries such as steel, ship-building, and electronics left the US for these Asian countries. Now, we are sending much of our industry and jobs to China and India.

And once China was allowed to export goods to the US, our jobs have been destroyed at an unprecedented rate by a flood of cheap imports.

Trillions of dollars and millions of jobs have been transferred to China, Japan and other Asian countries.

America’s fantastic economic prosperity and opportunity for the future was transferred to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and now China by our big corporations and their political lackeys. Free Trade was the vehicle used to facilitate this transfer of factories and jobs.

Paradise has been lost, and the destruction of America’s middle-class has begun.

2 Responses to Paradise Lost

  1. TaxiDriver on November 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

    The antebellum South was also considered an “economic miracle.” Of course, whether that claim was supportable depended heavily on whether you looked at the median or the mean. Same goes for the Asian “miracle” countries. Real median wages in China have been falling steadily, despite the economic “boom.”

  2. Arnulfo on March 28, 2014 at 4:33 am

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