The chart at the right is taken - month by month - from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis monthly press releases. These are just the numbers reported by the government. A copy and link to the most recent BEA press release is always at the bottom of the page.
This remains a track record of failed economic policies, which apparently are continuing unabated.
Since many of our new age rocket scientists called - economists - blame our Trade Deficit on petroleum products, I have started the chart on the left. This shows the month by month trade position excluding all petroleum products.
Even if we did not import a single barrel of oil, our trade deficit would be roughly $500,000,0000,000.00 dollars a year!
The song remains the same, month after month. Your elected officials try to spin the problem to make you believe that the problem is primarily due to oil. Or the trade deficit drops from $800,000,000,000.00 per year to ONLY $700,000,000,000.00 per year and they jump with joy.
The reason for the spin should be obvious - it is easier to blame the lunatic in Venezuela and Arabs than to admit that the problem is our failed economic policies. Or to pretend that the problem is going away.
This month the focus will be on specific category of "goods" - Advanced Technology. Most Americans believe that our country is head and shoulders above the rest of the world in technology. This is still true, but there are storm clouds on the horizon rapidly approaching!
Lets start by asking a simple question.
Most Americans would answer - "YES - of course we sell more than we buy. Our country is the technology leader of the world!"
If that was your answer then I hope you are sitting down while you read the rest of this month's commentary.
The FACTS (those things that your elected officials seem to ignore) are dismal. Once again using the governments own figures, publicly published every month (link below) the story is one of failed economic policies. (Source: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/2008/xls/trad1107.xls Exhibit 16)
The table above was copied directly from the BEA public press release, the only change I made was to add the Year column to make it more readable. It is in millions of dollars.
More than any other statistic, in my opinion, this demonstrates the extent to which our economic policies have strayed from sanity. In our technology based society where people stand in line to get the latest widget we are becoming dependant on foreign sources.
No that is an understatement, we are dependent on foreign sources and becoming more so every year.
Just as it is virtually impossible to find a Television made in our country today, if this trend continues the same will be true for product after product.
The now empty and vacant facilities that used to produce these products in our country do not employ very many people.
However in some foreign country, the story is different:
The various multi-national corporations will be happy, it is an ideal world for them. "Cheap labor" all the way around. Tax payer supplied transportation infrastructure. Slowly but surely, the wealth built up by our previous generations will be sucked into these corporations coffers. Then when the day comes in our country to pay the piper for years of fiscal and economic failure - they will just move their HQ to a foreign country and use your grandchildren for their cheap labor.
In the meantime, all they have to do is funnel a couple percentage points of their profits into campaign accounts to keep their gravy train running.
They know that our political system is broken. They know that the virtual monopoly of a very limited two party system minimizes competition. They know that with minimal competition special interest money can prevail.
An so, month after month, year after year, election after election, nothing changes. Just take a minute and look at the chart at the top.
If that concerns you, consider helping us get these subjects into today's political debate. Nothing will change until you - the citizens - decide that the time has come to make a change. Meanwhile the greedy and powerful will just continue profiteering off of your grandchildren's future.
If you are ready to begin demanding "sane" economic polices consider forwarding this page or previous months articles to other folks who you believe are also concerned. If this distribution list doubled every month, we could make a real difference in the 2010 elections and could cause a buzz in this years elections.
This is not the Republicans' country. This is not the Democrats' country. This is not the Southern Partys' country. It is your country, it will be your childrens' and grandchildrens' country.
Your country is run by the 492,000 elected officials that YOU elect. If you want better economic policies you are going to have to elect people who will represent you and not represent special interests.
made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
About the author:
Mike Crane the 2nd vice chairman of the Southern Party of Georgia was a candidate for the 51st Senate District in Georgia. Despite gathering over 7,000 petition signatures in 2004 and 2006 combined - he was denied ballot access both elections. While 70% of the Georgia State House districts and 56% of Georgia Senate districts had one candidate in November, Georgia tax dollars were used to prevent political competition.
Has the time has come to end Banana Republic style elections in Georgia? Has the time come to have some real political competition? If you think so, consider helping us.