Everyone talks about energy independence as if our future depends on it. Simultaneously, we are told that globalization is good for us in every other respect. But why is energy independence any better than manufacturing independence, or engineering independence, or innovation independence? U.S. imports of industrial supplies, capital goods, automotive vehicles and consumer goods all exceed U.S. oil imports.
In recent years, offshore outsourcing has caused the U.S. trade deficit to explode. Offshore outsourcing means that the production of goods and services for the U.S. market is shifted from America to foreign countries. This turns goods formerly produced in the United States into imports. Between 1997 and 2004, the U.S. trade deficit increased six-fold. Since 1997, the cumulative U.S. trade deficit (including the $700 billion estimate for 2005) is $3.5 trillion. The outsourcing of America’s economy is a far greater threat to Americans than terrorists.
During the 1980s, economists spoke in doom and gloom terms about the “Reagan deficits.” The cumulative U.S. trade deficit for the entire decade of the 1980s totaled $846 billion. The U.S. trade deficit for 2005 alone is 83 percent of the cumulative deficit of the Reagan 1980s. Yet, we hear very little doom and gloom. Economists now declare the trade deficit to be good for us. They mistakenly describe the trade deficit as a mere reflection of the beneficial workings of free trade. Economists have become mouthpieces for the corporate interests who benefit by deserting their American workforce and replacing them with foreigners. ~Paul Craig Roberts