The long awaited fourth part of “How Did We Get to Here” (about the downfall of the U.S. economy) is now completed. The last edition was published in 2013 (for the years 1980- 2013), but there has been a lot of time that has passed since then. First, we will take a brief look from the strong economic times of 1950 to the the downfall of the U.S. economy after 1980, with 2010 (as the midpoint) up to the present year, 2034. And then we will look at a couple of the factors that have caused this downfall.
The United States was once the most powerful country in the world in many ways, but that was 50-80 years ago. Multiple changes have occurred since then. We will cover some of the more important causes of what happened in a little bit.
U.S. Manufacturing Overview
First, we will do a quick look at U.S. manufacturing in categories such as their position in their world, the number of manufacturing jobs, the percentage of jobs to the rest of the workplace and how it met our domestic needs in respect to the years: 1952, 1980, 2010 and 2034. Obviously, overall manufacturing has greatly diminished. Manufacturing of clothing was 2% in 2012, now it is only a novelty or a hobby (percentage-wise, probably, 0.0001%).
Year 1952 1980 2010 2034
# in economy/world 1 1 1 3
# in manufact/world 1 1 1(tie) 13
# manufact jobs in U.S. 16.5M 19.5M 11.5M 3.2M
% US manufacturing of
total needs 95% 60% 5% <0.1%
% US manufacturing as part
of total U.S.economy 53% 20% 11.5% 2.5%
The Decline of U.S. Manufacturing (Causes)
Manufacturing and exporting has been the backbone of strong economies for many centuries. However, starting in 1980, a new economic movement started in the United States, Europe and Japan, but not in China. The theory that was followed has been called “Supply-Side Theory”, a form of extreme Free-Trade policy, which insinuated that any regulation was bad. And any tax was also bad. Therefore, the United States ultimately abolished all import taxes. This caused a major problem that wasn’t discovered until much later – that American workers had to directly compete with 4 billion other global workers – it is a “flat world” after all. This caused a major disappearance (outsourcing) of American manufacturing jobs to the point that almost nothing is made in America today except some military weapons. But, the loss of manufacturing also created not only chronically high unemployment and an unstable economy but it created a high dependency on imports. This caused massively high Trade Deficits (no exports, high amount of imports, lots of borrowed money) . After ignoring the ever increasing massive Trade Deficits for many years, the U.S., in 2025, under President Tad Romney, declared that debts caused by Trade Deficits were not legally recoverable (part of the Balanced Budget Act), which eventually escalated into major financial depressions all over the world. Then, the austerity cuts made things much worse and government was constantly kept out of any recovery plan. This was exactly the Herbert Hoover plan, only this occurred in the 21st Century. But, did attention to Trade Deficits bring back manufacturing by increasing exports? No. The Depression further decreased manufacturing jobs and even as the U.S. economy has slightly improved over the past two years, there was never any push to increase American manufacturing. Present situation as of June 15, 2034: terrible economy, manufacturing sector dead.
Below is a list of the top countries as far as their economies (GDP). We will look at the countries with the top three economies: China, India and the USA.
Top Economies of 2034
- United Kingdom
China has been the leading manufacturer in the world since 2012, and has been the number one economy since 2019. The Chinese economy continues to grow with rare setbacks due to shrewd governmental interventions with industry. Growth rate from 2030-2034 is stable at 6-7%, down from the double digit growth of the 2010’s and down from 8-9% of the 2020’s. But still impressive in this age of oversupply (less world-wide demand of products, [however, supply-side advocates still do not acknowledge this fact of worldwide overproduction]). Shanghai is the leading financial center for the past ten years. Other countries follow the news from China closely as they are, pardon the old fashioned term, “the movers and the shakers”. China carries the most political clout in the United Nations with an ever increasing number of allies (aligning with the #1 economy of the world is pretty easy actually). Allies include India, Russia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, most African Nations, about a half of the South American nations and about a third of the European nations since the dissolution of the European Union in 2021.
After many miscues in the 2010’s, India came into its own in the 2020’s with government becoming more involved and totalitarian in regards to industrial policy. Growth had been in the double digits for several years, but has slowed to 6-7% for the past eight years. India has surpassed China as being the most populated country just two years ago, 2032. Pollution and income inequality continue to be major problems.
The United States has slipped to number 3 in regards to national economies. Automation continues unabated. Drones check forest fires, there are very few human forest rangers. Automation is now the standard at fast-food and regular sit-down restaurants. The “Mega- Merger” movement continues to expand. There are four major banks. There are five major insurance carriers. There are three major airline carriers.There are three companies that control multi-media communications. Free Internet is as dead as the horse drawn carriage. Income inequality continues to grow unabated. Geographic differences continue to expand, for example, minimum wage in Washington, D.C. is $20.35, Austin, Texas is $7.25, and in some states, minimum wage has been repealed. Chinese-made automobiles flood the market, since 2026. 3-D printing is extremely big, but most of the raw materials come from China. Miami has had to make major renovations for its ever rising water level. Gay marriage is legal in 40 states. Here is one interesting story: the New Balance factory in Massachusetts was put out of business by its own subsidiary. In a major power play, Yue Yuen, in the fall of 2022, had been over-producing New Balance shoes secretly for six months, when it suddenly announced that they were going to be the sole maker of New Balance shoes, enforcing contracts with all the major shoe chains to buy only from them and then selling the shoes at a reduced rate, so that the U.S. shoe manufacturer could not survive. There were threats to sue, but these were quietly dissuaded by prominent members of Congress. Mandarin is taught in most schools, and many Americans travel to China to get jobs. The economy forecast of 2035 and beyond, (like my prediction back in 2013) is bleak, only worse.
The United States once the most powerful nation has continued to slip, still clinging to Free Market Thinking, even after 50 years of results that show it doesn’t work, but reason and facts never get processed when it’s political. The U.S. has no economic plan, it has entirely abandoned manufacturing, and is awash in a mountain of debt. It is impossible to find anything made in the USA anymore. This blog which once was a portal to find “Made in USA” clothing in stores and on the internet and an avid backer of American manufacturing has become a blog on how to find American made clothing at Vintage shows and how much these clothing gems are worth. (They are worth a lot). So, hold on to those old “Made in America” garments, see my blog entry on “How to Preserve Your Made in America clothing.”
Long live the American Dream.