I could say I told you so.
Mentioning the Georgetown Port Task Force chair as a "local Republican" should have given it away.
Georgetown is screwed - and always will be because people here don't give a damn about manufacturing anymore. If they do, they sure don't speak publicly about it. They treat it like a disease. Bars and shops that attract the few seems to be the main focus these days.
And with Newt Gingrinch speaking at local restaurant Land's End today, it proves that.
He spoke of the ports other times during his speech but when the word “deepening” was used he referred to Charleston, not Georgetown. He said an energy policy he would try to implement as president would generate enough money to “modernize” the two ports and to help pay for the creation of I-73. Gingrich said he hopes he is elected so one day he can “stand by the newly deepened Port of Charleston” and watch as goods are shipped to China.
He could have done so when he was a lawmaker, designing the Contract with America. These people who flock to such pathetic politicians are to blame, too. You'd think they'd do enough research and fact checking in their lives to not give people like Gingrinch the time of day.
Speaking of China, during a question and answer session, Gingrich was asked what he would do to persuade companies such as Apple to stop manufacturing in China and return those jobs to America. Gingrich, calling it a 'good question' said liberals pass legislation that force companies to relocate overseas. He said the tough regulations manufacturers” must adhere to “drive companies crazy.”
What a bunch of BS. And people fall for this hook, line and sinker. No wonder met close to the water. Gingrinch thinks of people as fishes.
Here are some facts for you to feast on.
America's technological standing peaked at 95.4 in 1999; by 2007, it had declined to 76.1. China's standing rose from 22.5 in 1996 to 82.8 in 2007. In that year, the U.S. had also fallen behind the European Union. South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Brazil, India, and China are all increasing their technological capacities, while the U.S. position degrades.
That American technological supremacy has declined alongside its manufacturing supremacy should come as no surprise. 'The proximity of research, development, and manufacturing is very important to leading-edge manufacturers,' a report from President George W. Bush's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology warned in 2004. The continuing shift of manufacturing to lower-cost regions and especially to China is beginning to pull high-end design and R&D capabilities out of the United States. (Not surprisingly, the Bush White House did not publicize this report.) The report recommended that the U.S. make its research and development tax credit permanent. It has not. Once the world's most generous, the U.S. research and development tax credit is now lower than those of 17 other nations.
Decoupled from domestic manufacturing, the tax credit no longer pays for itself as it once did. If our innovation system discourages an invention from being manufactured in the U.S., says Susan Butts, senior director of external science and technology programs at Dow Chemical, then American industry will not generate the taxes 'that fund the federal investment in research.'
Executives of U.S. manufacturing companies understand that they are up against not just foreign companies but mercantilist nations. As Wayne Johnson, director of worldwide strategic university customer relations at Hewlett-Packard told a 2008 conference sponsored by Bush's Office of Science and Technology Policy, 'We in the U.S. find ourselves in competition not only with individuals, companies, and private institutions, but also with governments and mixed government-private collaborations.'
Consider, for example, the crucial role that a company called Foxconn plays in the American economy. Scarcely any Americans had heard of Foxconn until a wave of worker suicides shook its immense factory complex in China's city of Shenzhen last spring. Within the space of a few months, 10 workers inside the company's walled-off Longhua industrial village, a 1.2-square-mile development where 400,000 employees live and work, killed themselves.
What made the stories particularly troubling, though, were the revelations about Foxconn's place in the American industrial system. It's at Longhua that Apple's iPhones and iPods are manufactured (which is why Longhua is also referred to as "iPod City"). At Longhua and Foxconn's other Chinese factory complexes, 937,000 employees also make computers for Dell, games for Nintendo, and several products for Hewlett-Packard. Indeed, the number of Foxconn employees who assemble these companies' products often exceeds by a wide margin the number of workers these companies employ directly in the United States. At Apple, the ratio of Foxconn employees at work on Apple products to U.S.-based Apple employees is 10-to-1: 250,000 Foxconn workers to 25,000 Apple workers. The same ratio exists at Dell.
But in 1981-1982, workers in the private sector, roughly 25 percent of whom belonged to unions compared to just 7 percent today, had more power to defend their pay levels than they do now. The same goes for health-care costs. According to a September survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, employee insurance premiums rose by 13.7 percent in the preceding year, while employer contributions dropped by 0.9 percent. Employers have been free to impose the costs of the recession and the costs of doing business on their workers -- and keep all the proceeds for themselves.
The hiring that is going on, moreover, isn't located in the higher-wage manufacturing sector, which has been declining steadily as a percentage of the workforce as a result of both offshoring and productivity increases.
We are, in effect, trading good jobs for lower-paying jobs. According to a survey this summer from the National Employment Law Project, only a third of the jobs lost in 2008-2009 were in industries paying less than $15 an hour, but fully three-quarters of the job growth in 2010 came in these same low-wage industries. Among the industries that grew in 2010, the top three occupations were retail sales clerks, cashiers, and food preparers with a median hourly wage of less than $10.
And to blame "liberals" for this is absurd. I suppose we all tend to forget who supports the full frontal push of the free - and not regulated - markets. Here's a little more truth.
The United States government did not have to stand idly by while the nation's industrial base was disassembled. It could have preserved and promoted key industries and supply networks by creating favorable credit policies, tax incentives, local content rules, and tariffs to punish currency manipulation from countries like China. For that matter, the U.S. could have created more flexible trade rules when it helped to craft the World Trade Organization.
The top five U.S. exports to China between 2005 and 2010 were oilseeds and grains (mainly soybeans), waste and scrap, semiconductors and other electronic components, aerospace and aircraft parts, and resin, synthetic rubber, and synthetic fibers. Two of these export sectors depend heavily on U.S. government support—Defense Department procurement, in the case of aircraft parts, and federal farm subsidies, in the case of agricultural exports.
And, yes, even Presidents Clinton and Obama have failed slightly on trade deals. But, this guy you listened to today has already been proven to be hypocritical.
Appearing on a conservative talk radio program, Gingrich praised the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), taking the decidedly internationalist view that it was positive because it created jobs in Mexico.
Whether the economy or even the job market overall benefited from the agreement has been the subject of intense debate ever since, but most economists agree that the trade agreement has resulted in the loss of many low-skill jobs to Mexico.