The United States is in open competition with the same countries from which we buy our goods and finance our government. These countries supply our consumption while simultaneously competing fiercely against our companies in international markets. Nations like India, Japan, and China, along with trade blocs like the European Union, rail against the U.S. when we use "protectionism" because they do not want to have their unfettered access to our market tampered with.
Other countries, like China and Japan, protect their companies by putting limits and restrictions on the amount of American-made goods flowing into the markets. The United States puts up no such regulations, and is thus flooded with foreign-made goods.
NAFTA, and other "free trade" agreements, favor the foreign producers. We are told by the WTO and the EU that we cannot and should not protect our own economy. Through "free trade" the U.S. must open itself to all foreign interests.
Our government has eroded its own regulations regarding capital infusions, mergers and acquisitions, and foreign-takeovers. To make matters worse, most successful American companies are for sale on an open stock market. As a result the United States has lost thousands of companies to foreign takeovers in the past 30 years, and stands to lose even more as the economic crisis deepens.
The same cannot be said of other countries, where takeovers are closely regulated and major industrial champions rarely � if ever � get purchased by an interest overseas.
Most Americans do not realize the gravity of the situation because so much of the media attention is directed in favor of the "free trade" system that has bankrupted us. Scholars, politicians, professionals, and others from all walks of life have been indoctrinated into the idea that "free trade" is the best and only way to do business.
Our political leaders believe in this whimsical idea, and those that do not preach the fallacies of "free trade" are bought and paid for by major corporate interests and foreign lobbies.
Our factories are shuttered and our industries are unproductive. This country imports consumer goods that could and should otherwise be made at home. It exports its wealth, strength, and prestige in exchange.
With no internal capabilities remaining we are now insourcing foreign corporations to manufacture in the U.S. for their own profit and benefit. States fight over who will land the next contract.
There are thousands of foreign-owned, American-registered companies in the United States. Many of the automobile factories which presently supply our car market are foreign-owned.
Our state, local, and federal governments continue to offer tax breaks and subsidies to these foreign companies in exchange for a few American jobs even after this practice drove our own automakers to the point of dissolution.
In the near future we may find our living standards diminished and our prospects for growth and economic independence dampened. Without any homegrown industries to drive a comeback we will be forced to be content with our diminishing status.
While formerly living in the lap of luxury we allowed the greatest economy on earth to fall apart by living on imports and foreign financed debt. The "me first" mentality which drove this country has pushed us into a crisis from which we will not return unless we immediately fix our problems.