Government living on credit : Part 1

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 6, 2017

Governments and citizens have been living on credit for a hundred years now, and it has finally caught up with us.

Now what do we do?  From a merchandising stand point it has been a bonanza. After WW2 the USA was the world’s only manufacturing nation of any consequence. As a result of the war, our manufacturing capacity reached new heights.

This capacity changed when we switched from war production to the peacetime production of domestic goods, automobiles, washing machines and refrigerators. On the commodity side, there was a great need for farming and produce to feed a recovering world.

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At the time, every manufacturing company could sell all of their stock stateside or abroad and for the most part name their price. Farming didn’t fare so well. That is, for the most part, due to ill advised farm programs designed to control the volume and the price at local stores.

That period in our history was a good time for unionizing workers, that is until over 25 percent of the work force was unionized.

After the war, anything a person wanted could be had instantly, just pay later. Meanwhile, on the international front, the USA was busy rebuilding the nations we helped destroy during the war.

The Marshall Plan in Europe rebuilt the infrastructure and manufacturing base. Taxes were steadily increased on domestic industry to help build up our former enemies.

We did such a good job that starting in the 60s we began feeling the squeeze of competition from the newly rebuilt industries abroad.

This competition was compounded by our antiquating production equipment and tax policies that prevented sufficient accumulation of capital to replace and refurbish worn out equipment. With rebuilt steel mills, both Germany and Japan were able to manufacture products at a much lower cost.

This carried through to farm machinery, automobiles, trucks, washing machines, TV sets; the list goes on.

These changes left our manufacturing industry with old out dated equipment and with over priced union contracts left over from the good times.

Meanwhile, our government was losing revenue and found itself unable to continue its expansive ways, resulting in borrowing the difference between tax revenue and the country’s ever-expanding needs.

These supposed needs increased when the Washington crowd learned how to purchase votes by granting ever broadening entitlements. Add to this the socialistic idea of the need to control through regulations has perhaps placed the last nail in the coffin.

By Paul Ingram