“Globalization has gotten out of control. It takes 200 suppliers in 43 countries on 6 continents to make one iPhone.” —U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
Light is a great disinfectant and the Wuhan virus presents an opportunity for those who believe in America First to reset the rules of the global game, an aberration in modern human history. It’s time for some sunshine and fresh air.
Like the Democrats, Republicans need to not let this economic and health crisis go to waste. What unites the right is a belief that our nation is in cultural and moral decline. What also unites the right is the belief that we must be an America First nation before we can be salt and light to the world.
Many leaders in Congress and throughout the administration are already using the COVID-19 outbreak to point out the vulnerability of the U.S. supply chain and the deplorable state of our surpluses. It is the silver lining in a pregnant thunder cloud.
In remarks by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in Oxford, England in a February 2020 speech, Ross said, “The EU — the world’s largest goods exporter — made about 34 percent of global goods exports in 2018. By comparison, the United States was just 8.8 percent.
“But the United States was the world’s biggest importer, at $2.5 trillion worth of goods in 2018 — 50 percent more than its exports, and 15 percent of world imports. ”
This is a lopsided, dangerous and irresponsible way to run a country.
Big government and big business have allowed global corporations to seek out large populations of low-cost, unskilled workers, avoid an over-regulated U.S. manufacturing industry and environmental laws, and allowed our own nation to sink into decades-old atrophy.
Like locusts that decimate entire regions, global corporations swarm third-world countries mired in poverty before taking flight over national borders for their next meal of cheap labor and little to no government regulations.
Not only did has this system hollowed out the middle class in America, it isn’t sustainable in the long run as robotics and AI are already changing the need for human labor at a dizzying pace. According to Ross, the substitution of capital equipment and software for labor will intensify and is just beginning.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which includes the Internet of Things, such as 3D printing and AI-empowerd production, which captures and analyzes vast amounts of real-time data, will greatly reduce the need for inventory, labor and its related costs.
It will also require Just-In-Time (JIT) suppliers to be located much closer to manufacturing bases.
According to Klaus Schwab, the founder of World Economic Forum, “The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital—the innovators, shareholders, and investors—which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labor.
“Technology is therefore one of the main reasons why incomes have stagnated, or even decreased, for a majority of the population in high-income countries: the demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the demand for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased. The result is a job market with a strong demand at the high and low ends, but a hollowing out of the middle.”
The 4IR is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological sectors. So although the U.S. has imposed stiff tariffs on China and other nations, enforcement is costly and expensive.
Even the Trump administration’s efforts to cut through red tape, removing regulations that make it easier to do business with the United States, are not enough.
Today’s manufacturing needs investment dollars that are spent on U.S.-based industries and a re-educated work force. Unfortunately, the current model of funneling high school graduates into universities for degrees isn’t working.
There are simply not enough jobs for graduates to fill at a greater rate than the enormous debt they incur for a worthless piece of paper.
Cheap, up-front education dollars by predatory lenders is making our young into indentured servants. Worse, it prepares them for no real-world occupation.
More specialized and high-skill vocational training in computing, engineering and AI must go hand in hand with legislation that brings essential manufacturing back home and that replaces a just-in-time system (JIT) where multiple suppliers are on foreign soil.
If there is one thing Republicans have done poorly, it is coalescing around important issues and playing offense. Even more difficult, is getting investors out of the political pockets they have grown fat on. It is imperative that we bring essential manufacturing back to U.S. soil.
It’s time for the neocons and political elite in the GOP to get out of the way. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of losing. #Reignwell