What If Things Were Made in America Again: How Consumers Can Rebuild the Middle Class by Buying Things Made in American Communities

What If Things Were Made in America Again: How Consumers Can Rebuild the Middle Class by Buying Things Made in American Communities

by James A. Stuber


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"Your smart phone was made in a labor camp, your clothes were made in a sweatshop, and your fish were caught on a slave ship." So James Stuber tells us in the introduction to this timely book. Stuber invites us to follow him on the journey to learn "what is really going on" with trade, globalization, and the U.S. and world economies. We go to some surprising places. To Reynosa, Mexico, and Flint, Michigan, after Delco sent its production to the former from the latter: "And so, there we have it, Stuber says, "Under NAFTA, we send Flint's jobs to Reynosa, creating demand for drugs in Flint, demand that is filled by gangs in Reynosa. We have "employed" workers living in shanty towns in Reynosa, and jobless workers living in slums in Flint, and drug wars going on among suppliers in Reynosa and distributors in Flint." To the Chinese "factory labor camp" making smart phones, with nets to prevent more workers from committing suicide by jumping off the roof. To the Illinois steel mill, dealing with the suicide of one of its workers, because the mill was shut down when China started dumping its overproduction of steel on the U.S. market. We are caught up in the "Big Squeeze" of the global low-price, low wage economy, with every nation, including the U.S., competing to win over transnational companies shopping the world for low wages and subsidies. And the future looks even worse, as white-collar and professional jobs are being swept offshore along with manufacturing. Fortunately. Stuber offers a better vision for the future, and a practical way American consumers can achieve it - and not a moment too soon, as the window of opportunity will soon close. - Current Affairs Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998781808
Publisher: Current Affairs Press
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Pages: 628
Sales rank: 774,239
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.75(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction - Why This Book Now? xi

Part I Why does it seem like everything is made somewhere else?

Chapter 1 Getting to 1945 3

1945 3

Getting to 1945 7

Chapter 2 1946-1995: Japan and the Era of Free Trade 3

1946 - 1955 23

1956 - 1965 35

1966 - 1975 42

1976 - 1985 49

1986 - 1995 61

Chapter 3 1996-2015: China and the Era of Globalization 1996- 2005 89

2006 - 2015 105

Chapter 4 Why did this happen? 131

The Move to Unregulated Markets and Free Trade 131

Specific Theories of Free Trade 137

First Rationale: Low price is worth the sacrifice 147

Second Rationale: Low Price to Cure Poverty Abroad 152

Chapter 5 So, how has that worked out? 159

Measuring the Trade in Goods Deficit 159

Considering Trade in Services 162

The Trade in Goods Deficit and the Economy 163

Snapshot of Trade in Goods 165

Sources of the Trade in Goods Deficit 165

Trade in Goods Deficit Over Time 167

Sources Country by Country 169

Countries with Free Trade Agreements 192

Conclusions 200

Part II Isn't that causing a problem?

Chapter 6 Job Losses and their Effects 209

Job Losses in Manufacturing 209

Where did the jobs go? 241

What happened when the jobs left? 276

Chapter 7 The Vicious Circle and the Hollow Economy Slack Labor Market 287

Underemployment and Low Pay 303

Dependency and Social Ills 315

Slack Consumer Demand 333

Stagnant/Declining Economy 337

Other trends have worsened these effects 340

Chapter 8 The Special Case of China 365

China's Project: The Great Restoration 365

The Chinese Economy Takes Off 370

The New Chinese Imperialism 371

Problems in the Chinese Economy 416

China's Economic Future 424

China's Political Future 429

Chapter 9 What does the future hold? 453

More Trouble with Trade 453

More Job Losses 473

More Hollowing Out 477

Strategic Concerns 480

Globalization Failing in U.S. and Abroad 488

Chapter 10 - A Call to Arms 523

What is the "should?" 523

What We've Been Doing 531

Our elites have failed us 536

Who will speak up? 540

Breaking the Thrall of Free Trade 543

Part III What can be done about it?

Chapter 11 Is there a better vision? 553

A Better Vision for Whom? 553

A Better Vision for the American Dream 554

Ethical Underpinnings of the American Dream 557

How to Achieve these Goals 561

The Virtuous Circle and the High-Road Economy 564

Getting the Virtuous Circle Going 569

Chapter 12 How can we make it happen? 575

The Individual Consumer Solution 575

Only consumers can do this 580

What can one person do? 582

Other "Consumers" 592

Clear Country-of-Origin Labeling 592

Other Steps in Building the Virtuous Circle 593

Stay Informed 593

Spread the Word 594

What else can we do? - "Made in America Again" 595

A Different Final Chapter - An Actionable Plan 596

Postscript - Looking to the Future 599

Appendices 602

Bibliography 605

Index 617

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What If Things Were Made in America Again: How Consumers Can Rebuild the Middle Class by Buying Things Made in American Communities 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Katherine Gnall More than 1 year ago
Good thing I'm retired, as I found this book so un-put-down-able that I neglected my vacation preparations. The book, which was very readable, was informative, upsetting, and infuriating, (and Chapter 8 was terrifying), but ultimately, it was mobilizing and inspiring. I have always been a label reader, albeit a serendipitous one, mostly out of idle curiosity to see where a sweater or pair of shoes was made. "Made in America" made me happy, but "Made in Indonesia" didn't upset me. Gone are those days! This book has made me positively militant. Since I can certainly afford to spend more to purchase an American-made product, I have become a dedicated label-reader and a faithful buyer of American-made products. To the author I say, thank you so much for opening my eyes, and kudos to you for the dedication and research that went into this book. I even read the footnotes!