It was back in the winter of 1953 or so when I caught my first glimpse of the upcoming event called globalization. It was back in the day when we had spent billions of U.S. dollars “rebuilding” Japan and Germany and were smack-dab in the middle of yet another war. This one with Korea supposedly (but actually with communist China).
My first sighting of globalization was a Volkswagen Beetle upside down in a ditch on Highway 2 just south of Glacier Park in the winter of 1952 or so.
Before that time, all I had seen were the autos from our own “Big Three” automakers, each with three and maybe four models. We boys would await with giddy anticipation for the revealing of the new year models and rush down to Mavencamps Auto to see what the new Chevys looked like.
My second sighting was in about 1957, when I became the proud owner of a Japanese transistor radio that could fit right into my shirt pocket.
Before globalization, our televisions were proudly made in America employing hundreds, if not thousands, of technicians and assemblers.
Before globalization, there were more than 40 large steel mills in the East employing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of workers.
Before globalization, Warren Buffett said he was, “proud to say that 90% of all furniture sold in our furniture stores is American made.” That number has since shrunk to 10%. There were many little furniture manufacturers and a dozen or so large plants in South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee making “Made in America” furniture and employing thousands of workers. Now there are but a couple.
Before globalization, I bought some Wrangler quilted shirts which were made in America. They lasted me 20 years or so until I had patches on patches. Last year, I bought a Wrangler quilted shirt made in Pakistan … and last week it went to the dump. Through the several washings the quilting had ballooned out so badly I resembled the Michelin man. (Stop it, you guys. I haven't put on that much weight.)
Levi Strauss followed suit, taking its manufacturing to Mexico and costing America many jobs.
A spokesman for Justin Boots told me, “By outsourcing our manufacturing to China and Mexico, we are saving American jobs.” Now there's a great definition of globalization if you could just figure out what he said.
You see where this is going? Globalization, through trickle-down economics, is one of the bigger culprits in why we have a $17 trillion debt.
Each job that paid good wages and had some benefits now, through globalization, has turned into two minimum wage jobs with little or no benefits just to put food on the table and pay rent, which when analyzed closely, puts more people on the welfare train and costs more tax money.
As much as I would like to, I can't put all the blame on the politicians in Washington, D.C. The unions must share some of the blame, demanding higher wages and benefit packages for a worker's entire family.
On a scale of 1 to 10, we were at the top once, with India, China, all the “stans” countries, most of Africa and all of Mexico and Central America at the bottom.
The powers that control the world couldn't simply bring those countries up to our standards overnight, so they devised a plan to take us down incrementally (there's that word again) and bring them up incrementally until we all arrive at the magic number 5 on the scale.
Think about it the next time you visit Wally World. Check labels on everything, including food items.
That's Globalization 101 in a nut shell, friends.
That's it for now, folks. Thanks for listening.