Back in the day when President Clinton was able to garner a surplus to our USA Treasury, we had a service economy.
But, I'd like to go back a litte further to make the point as to how the USA was literally robbed of its jobs and industrial sector by Wall Street.
Everyone has heard of 'the balance of power.' What about the 'balance of trade?'
I am not discussing the bank bailout, that is simply pure unadulterated expolitation of the American Dream. Actually, outsourcing lead to the exploitation of the USA's home ownership dilemma. See, with a service economy, the Wall Street crowd was looking at the 'last run' at the 'profiteering' by Wall Street. The 'capacity' of Americans to actually save, live and plan for the future was becoming deperately absent in this country's culture. The history of outsouring goes back decades and I'll use the example of GM and Mexico to illustrate that point, but, it never really became a political issue until 2004 when it was an issue for more and more people under the Bush/Cheney White House.
Let's start with Nixon and China. It was a good thing to have diplomatic relations with China and to find ways to encourage a market based economic system with China, but, the way it was done was "W"rong. I'll get back to that. First Mexico and GM.
GM's CEO wanted to make more money. Just that simply. They had already cheapened the steel metal they were using to make cars and trucks that increased the 'rusting' to the consumer's dismay, so GM had to find another way to make more money and they targeted labor. At the time GM employees were well paid with significant benefits. The American Dream. Work hard, save, buy a home, make the world better for your kids and retire with security for 'The Golden Years.'
That doesn't exist for many, many Americans and the generation that enjoyed that life style never wanted the USA in such economic disrepair for their children. But, it happened didn't it. At first it seemed as though it was mostly benign and something that happened to someone else. But, as time went by and the corporations found out they could 'export' their labor to far, far cheaper labor markets WITHOUT REPERCUSSIONS, the movement of outsourcing grew. Stockholders were happy.
The one 'player' in all this that was completely absent was the USA government.
When an American looks at Mexico today, realizing how much of the economy was 'shipped' there, did it matter? Did it matter that GM outsourced jobs to Mexico? Did it matter to the Mexicans that now had American jobs?
No, it didn't matter. GM moved operations to Mexico, not ot improve the poverty of Mexicans, they moved their operations there to improve their bottom line. That is not only true with GM, but, every other corporation that initally built their empires in the USA, perfected their products and then 'moved on' to 'greener pastures.'
One might ask, did the lifestyles of anyone along the way improve? Did the lifestyles of Mexicans improve? Did the lifestyles of Americans improve?
Nope. As a matter of fact, corporations like GM were just about as stupid as they come in 'planning' their market strategies, because, the countries they moved their operations to not only undermined the economies of the country that accepted the manufacturing into their borders, they were also demoralizing the 'buying ability' of the Americans they still 'counted on' to purchase their goods.
Got this, now?
When Nixon went to China to 'encourage' openness and peace, it was a good thing. When China decided to open its borders to American companies to bring jobs to the people there, it was considered a good thing. But, what in reality occurred was 'the draining' of 'the market place,' except for the 'cost' of the products that were being sold. So, now that the manufacturing jobs of the USA were ouitsourced Americans faced the reality of having to maintain two and three jobs to replace the jobs they had before outsourcing.
The economy under H. W. Bush was tanking too. His son, Neil, needed a 'bailout' in order to keep 'Silverado' afloat. The USA Economy was already showing signs of collapse during Bush, Sr.'s Presidency. The jobs that allowed the USA economy to flourish were disappearing and the economic engine the USA was used to started to slow and become sluggish.
President Clinton was elected and he went about stimulating the economy by 'pushing' the USA into the only economic venue it had left since the Capitalists robbed the manufacturing sector out of the country. Under Clinton, the USA began to have a better 'trade balance' with other countries and the revenues into the Treasury were improving. Families were still working more jobs, but, there were more jobs to be found.
Oh, yeah, Reaganomics. There really was 'no such thing.' What Reagan did was to DEREGULATE all the sectors of the economy, INCLUDING, natural resources. No one has to be Einstein to do that. Republicans were favored at the time because they were LOOKING as though the 'economic engine' was escalating in its ability to PROSPER.
But, to get back to Clinton, what he did was to promote peace, stay out of wars and increase the service industries such as tourism. Country's with citizens with 'disposable income' were now shopping for a good time in the USA. Was the Clinton Service Economy 'enough' for the USA? No. It was enough while it was at peace, but, to increase major spending of any kind would cause deficit spending and increase the USA Debt. What occurred as well, was a 'rolling back' of some social programs such as welfare. It was replaced with 'Welfare to Work.' Basically, under Clinton the USA was becoming lean and mean. Its revenues were going up becuase of the increased 'good relations' with other nations, its pursuit of peace and its expenses were going down due to 'trimming' of the social programs.
What Clinton did do was to return manufacturing to the USA. It took eight years of 'positive' diplomacy to achieve a growing economy, but, the manufacturing sector was left fallow. What Clinton was looking at was the 'surplus' and what to do with it to increase the USA economy without impacting burgeoning economies such as China and India.
Then came the year 2000. The surplus was squandered and the USA was forced into war in a far away country called Afghanistan. The economy of the USA was no different than under Clinton, except, in 2001 a bill was passed that would begin the exploitation of the 'working poor' that was always hoping to have a home. The bill was accompanied by a few billion as an incentive for Wall Street to cooperate. The tale goes on from there and the seven years of 'so called' economic growth in the USA was nothing more than deficit spending. Why was that so invisible? Why was the USA economy not really 'changing character' by returning manufacturing, but, appearing to be growing and expanding? Because the government spending was blamed on two wars, one of which was unnecessary and one that could have been prevented. "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in USA." The housing industry was booming on 'faux credit' and a 'burgeoning collapse.'
Nothing had changed in the USA under Bush/Cheney, except, the Republican Raping of the RESIDUAL economic strength of the USA. All the 'residual' monies of any kind were drained through legislation and/or economic desperation by every company and every Wall Street firm.
Basically, by January 2009 the USA economy was DOA with two wars to fight and a national debt going through the roof.
The sad truth has resulted in a destroyed economy that provided Wall Street with billions of government money leaving Americans to 'figure it out' and 'remake their economy FROM SCRATCH.'
When President Obama took office he had a huge task in front of him, far worse than anything Former President Clinton had to face. The USA was 'at peace' under Clinton, it had a good reputation and it was making in roads to a service economy. The USA that President Obama inherited was simply 'empty' of any potential.
The wars were really a 'no brainer.' They were "W," except, for the potential of actually ending the terrorist network that attacked the USA on September 11, 2001. THAT was something all Americans still wanted to do. They wanted Bin Laden's head on a stick. What no one KNEW, except perhaps, some intelligence agencies SOMEWHERE, that the Afghan Government was now in a power sharing agreement with the Taliban and the corruption that accompanied THAT TRUTH was profound. What had transpired under Bush was complete collapse of the Karzai government except for its figure head Presient.
What the USA needed was a 'new economy' which would deliver jobs back to the people. So, the NEW President Obama and majority Democratic House and Senate passed a 'Stimulus Bill.' The Simulus Bill, however, was not to be exclusively a 'job stimulus' bill, it was a 'bailout bill' for most States of the Union. The States were failing nearly as badly as the country. So, the Stimulus Bill not only had to build a new economy, it had to bailout States by providing 'projects' to put people back to work. WHAT WAS COMPLETELY UNEXEPCTED, was the number of jobs SAVED by the Stimulus Bill. The States were failing so badly, they were about to cut jobs and put people on unemployment. No one, and I mean no one, knew the very impoverished state of the USA economy when President Obama took office.
Once the Stimulus Bill 'hit' there was still sluggish recovery. Somehow it didn't make sense still. What wasn't 'factored' into the equation was the fact that the USA Industrial Sector was still missing in action. So, when States and Cities began to make changes to a 'Green Economy' the HARDWARE of the Green Economy was being IMPORTED. So, while the Stimulus was 'delivering' on a Green Economy, the spending was not COMPLETELY giving returns to the USA treasury.
The equation the Obama White House was a good equation, except, it was not completely a USA equation. To that end, it added to stability in other countries, but, at the same time any 'service economy' for the USA was mostly minimal. The GLOBAL BANKING COLLAPSE had devasted every economy on Earth. Not only that, but, countries that received the outsourced jobs from the USA, like China and India, were still paying 'dirt cheap' wages and the 'goods' were necessary to Americans that now were facing a life receiving unemployment while seeking jobs somewhere, anywhere doing something.
The manufacturing sector of the USA would not yet return. There are glimmers of hope, such as the new Wind Turbine manufacturing in Michigan. I believe they have four factories at this point. BUT, Michigan had learned a hard lesson a long time ago and when the Green Economy began to become a reality about a decade ago, Michigan saw the opportunity and didn't turn from it.
The 'much needed' local economies the USA absolutely needed to return economic strength to its communities and States were slow to return. Wall Street was not lending monies to small businesses. The Obama White House had to work with the Small Business Administraiton to beging to provide the necessary loans to help small businesses to bring about stability to cities and States. All this 'alarming' truth took monies and the USA Treasury would not yet see the likes of a building surplus.
Why the unemployment?
Because if we are to return economic strength to the USA, a surplus to our treasury, we have to LITERALLY build it from the ground up.
Will it happen?
Are we Americans? There is no such thing as a lazy American, just a determined one. The Unemployment was the right thing to do and the health care legislation closes the donut hole in two years and begins to build a surplus by eliminating 'privatized' Wall Street Medicare Advantage.