Coronavirus is a disease that has now infected every facet of American life. Not only are there now hundreds of thousands of documented cases in the United States, but the plague has made our very economy sick. An overreliance on foreign manufacturing was the first domino to fall in what has turned into a total devastation. Specifically, a dependence on manufacturing from China.
China is the global leader when it comes to manufacturing. It has become known as the world’s factory. Because of that the coronavirus has led to a drastic negative impact on the global supply chain. Currently more than half (53%) of companies are having difficulty getting supply chain information from China. When you allow one country to have that much control you are creating a recipe for disaster to which we are now reaping the whirlwind.
So How Did We Get Here?
China has cheap labor. They also have a history of not complying with regulations to protect workers. Caring about human rights should not have a demarcation point at our shores, and those of good conscience can’t turn a blind eye to the impact of people being harmed.
As a consequence of that cheap labor corporations have offshored manufacturing to cut costs. That has come at the expense of the elimination of MILLIONS of American jobs.
China also has a terrible record when it comes to the environment. Over 30% of the world’s pollution comes from that one country. Does it come then as a surprise to anyone that the coronavirus, bird flu, SARS and other illnesses all originated from China?
Stricter rules on environmental impacts in the United States have been a catalyst for companies to move production overseas to avoid regulations and save money. But we aren’t living in a bubble, and those decisions have repercussions. The chickens are now coming home to roost.
We Let This Happen
There was a time when you didn’t need a ‘Made in America’ tag on a product, because we made everything. And the country THRIVED.
Decisions to enact legislation that permitted, and even incentivized, corporations to offshore manufacturing is now threatening the financial sovereignty of our nation. The coronavirus pandemic is serving as a reality check to those choices.
This is a wake-up call to America. A dependence on foreign manufacturing has left us vulnerable, and it is not just from a pandemic. Trade disputes and future conflicts can also have these same ramifications. You can’t overly rely on a foreign rival to provide for your people’s needs. Medicine, personal protective equipment and even military manufacturing cannot and must not be outsourced. We need to bring back American production so we have a greater control over our own fates.
So How Do We Fix It?
We stop giving federal contracts to companies in the United States who are offshoring our jobs. Every year the government uses OUR tax dollars to give BILLIONS of dollars in federal contracts to American corporations who are sending work overseas. Those federal contracts should be a reward for putting American workers first.
If you would like to sign a petition calling on the President of the United States to enact an executive order eliminating federal contracts to companies that offshore visit the www.ShameCampaign.org website. #OffshoreNoMore
We fix a broken tax system. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created loopholes that allow profits made offshore to be taxed at a lower rate. The idea that we would reward corporations to do so should be appalling to everyone. We also have to address the filtering, some would call it laundering, of money through other countries to avoid paying taxes. It’s an affront to all hard-working, tax-paying Americans, and it should end today.
We address the obscene levels of income inequality that corporate executives have shoehorned in place. CEOs being compensated hundreds to even thousands of times what their median workers are paid is decimating the middle class. Income inequality levels haven’t been this great since the Great Depression and we are flirting with disaster to let that gap grow any wider.
Finally, we start putting programs in place to encourage the rebuilding of American manufacturing industries. We create good paying, blue-collar jobs that people can raise a family on and have economic stability.
The coronavirus pandemic has given us a glimpse of how fragile our economy is. It doesn’t matter how robust you believe your system is, when you build your castle on the sand it only takes ONE big wave to bring it all crashing down. Let’s use this situation as a dire warning to reverse course and take immediate action to start bringing back those manufacturing jobs. Demand that American workers, and the people of the United States, get put first.