Global Economy? 23 Facts Which Prove That Globalism Is Pushing The Standard Of Living Of The Middle Class Down To Third World Levels

ilene's picture

Think a global economic system is a good thing? Think again. According to Michael Snyder, we're going to equalize our way down to the standards of living in third world nations, and we're well on the way. (That is for 99% - 99.9% of us, the rest will be fine). - Ilene 

Global Economy? 23 Facts Which Prove That Globalism Is Pushing The Standard Of Living Of The Middle Class Down To Third World Levels

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse 

From now on, whenever you hear the term "the global economy" you should immediately equate it with the destruction of the U.S. middle class.  Over the past several decades, the American economy has been slowly but surely merged into the emerging one world economic system. 

Unfortunately for the middle class, much of the rest of the world does not have the same minimum wage laws and worker protections that we do.  Therefore, the massive global corporations that now dominate our economy are able to pay workers in other countries slave labor wages and import the products that they make into the United States to compete with products made by "expensive" American workers.  This has resulted in a mass exodus of manufacturing facilities and jobs from the United States.

But without good, high paying jobs the U.S. middle class cannot continue to be the U.S middle class.  The only thing that the vast majority of Americans have to offer in the economic marketplace is their labor.  Sadly, that labor has now been dramatically devalued.  American workers now must directly compete for jobs with millions upon millions of workers on the other side of the world that toil away for 15 hours a day at slave labor wages.  This is causing jobs to leave the United States at an almost unbelievable rate, and it is putting tremendous downward pressure on the wages of millions of jobs that are still in the United States.

So when you hear terms such as "globalization" and "the global economy", it is important to keep in mind that those are code words for the emerging one world economic system that is systematically wiping out the U.S. middle class.

A one world labor pool means that the standard of living for the U.S. middle class will continue falling toward the standard of living in the third world.

We keep hearing about how the U.S. economy is being transformed from a "manufacturing economy" into a "service economy".  But "service jobs" are generally much lower paying than "manufacturing jobs".  The number of good paying "middle class jobs" in the United States is rapidly decreasing.  So how can the U.S. middle class survive in such an environment?

What makes things even worse for manufacturers in the United States is that other nations often impose a "value-added tax" of 20 percent or more on U.S. goods entering their shores and yet most of the time we do not reciprocate with similar taxes.

But whenever someone mentions how incredibly unfair and unbalanced our trade agreements with other nations are, they are immediately labeled as a "protectionist".

Well, someone should be looking out for U.S. interests when it comes to trade, because the current state of the global economy is ripping the U.S. middle class to shreds.

Right now, the United States consumes far more wealth than it produces.  This nation buys much, much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  This is called a "trade deficit", and it is one of the most important economic statistics.  The U.S. runs a massive trade deficit every single year, and it is wiping out our national wealth, it is destroying our surviving industries and it is absolutely shredding middle class America.

We cannot allow tens of thousands of factories to continue to leave the United States.  We cannot allow millions of jobs to continue to be "outsourced" and "offshored".  We cannot allow tens of billions of dollars of our national wealth to continue to be transferred into foreign hands every single month.

The truth is that the global economy is bad for America.  The following are 23 facts which prove that globalism is pushing the standard of living of the middle class down to third world levels....

#1 From December 2000 to December 2010, the U.S. ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars.

#2 The U.S. trade deficit was about 33 percent larger in 2010 than it was in 2009.

#3 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#4 The U.S. economy is rapidly trading high wage jobs for low wage jobs.  According to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth.  Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.

#5 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

#6 In Germany, exports account for approximately 40 percent of GDP.  In China, exports account for approximately 30 percent of GDP.  In the United States, exports account for approximately 13 percent of GDP.

#7 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe?  Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.

#8 In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.

#9 The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer "middle class jobs" than it did just ten years ago.

#10 The United States currently has 7.7 million fewer payroll jobs than it did back in December 2007.

#11 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#12 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in "advanced technology products" of $16 billion with the rest of the world.  In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#13 The United States now spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

#14 In China, working conditions are so bad that large numbers of "employees" regularly try to commit suicide.  One major employer, Foxconn, has even gone so far as to install "anti-suicide nets" in an attempt to keep their employees from jumping off of their buildings.

#15 Wages for workers in China are incredibly low.  For example, one facility in the city of Longhua that makes iPods employs approximately 200,000 workers.  These workers put in endless 15-hour days but they only make about $50 per month.

#16 In Bangladesh, manufacturing workers toil in absolutely horrific conditions and make an average of about $38 per month.

#17 In Vietnam, teenage workers often work seven days a week for as little as 6 cents an hour making promotional Disney toys for McDonald's.

#18 Since 2001, over 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed.

#19 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#20 In the United States today, 6.2 million Americans have been out of work for 6 months of longer.

#21 8.4 million Americans are currently working part-time jobs for "economic reasons".  These jobs are mostly very low paying service jobs.

#22 When you adjust wages for inflation, middle class workers in the United States make less money today than they did back in 1971.

#23 According to Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citigroup, China will be the largest economy in the world by the year 2020, and India will surpass China by the year 2050.

Those that promote "free trade" can never explain how the U.S. middle class is going to continue to have plenty of jobs in the new global economy.

By merging our labor pool with the rest of the world, we have also merged our standard of living with the rest of the world.  High unemployment is rapidly becoming "the new normal" in America, and wages are going to continue to decline in many, many industries.

Already, there are quite a few formerly great U.S. cities (such as Detroit) that are beginning to resemble third world hellholes.  If something is not done about our massive trade imbalance, even more cities are going to follow Detroit into oblivion.

Unfortunately, most of our politicians continue to insist that globalism is good for our society.  They continue to insist that we should not be worried that jobs formerly done by middle class American workers are now being done by slave laborers on the other side of the globe.  They continue to insist that having 43 million Americans on food stamps is a temporary thing and that soon our economy will be better than ever.

Well, it is time to stop listening to the politicians that are promoting "the global economy".  They are lying to us.

Globalism is great for nations such as China and it is helping multinational corporations make huge profits, but for the U.S. middle class it is an economic death sentence.

If you want an America where there are less jobs, where more Americans are on food stamps and other anti-poverty programs and where our cities continue to be transformed into deindustrialized hellholes, then you should strongly support the emerging global economy.

But if you care about the standard of living of the U.S. middle class and you want for there to be some kind of viable economic future for your children and your grandchildren then you had better start caring about these issues and doing something about them.

Please wake up America. 

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Turtlelord's picture

The author is really biased and this bias permeates through his entire passage.

Face it, the Western (not just American) middle classes were and are the exception. A freak occurunce totally out of step with the world distribution.

And as for how this exceptionalism is bad, it's only bad for those middle classes. Even in a zero-sum game there would be winners. And winners there are:

  • Chinese GDP (PPP) grew 100% in the last decade
  • Ditto for India
  • Vietnam (the country of the sorry children making McD's toys) did even better at 200%

And look at poverty:

  • Indians below the poverty line reduced in the last decade from 35% to 25% (That's 130MM people)
  • Vietnamese poor went from 35% to 9% (not bad making them toys after all)
  • China has lifted over 300million people from poverty in a generation (yep, 300!)

So spare me the tears will you?

Instead of crying like a spoilt brat, fight for your rights to be extended to all those exploited teenage workers, instead of barricading yourself and starve them in the process.


AnAnonymous's picture

US citizens have troubles conceiving a system good if the system is not good to them.

Lord Koos's picture

Of course the standard of living for the USA going into the toilet.  How much longer did anyone think this country could get away with 10% of the world's population using 30+% of the world's resources?  

The Fed's job, besides saving bankers, is to make this lowering standard of living as gradual and painless as possible, to avoid outright rebellion.  So far, so good, but how much longer?

ebworthen's picture


I really, really, really can't wait for the riots and civil unrest and mayhem.


Lord Koos's picture

Why, so you can go out and shoot somebody?  If the shit collapses it's not going to be fun for anybody, even those who think they are prepared.

searcher68's picture

Because that's what it's gonna take for people to wake the fuck up! Once that happens we can finally start taking advantage of the only advantage we've got which is that we outnumber the pricks. I'm ready too... let the motherfucker burn! I wanna see heads on pikes bitchez, and I can truly see it happening. Vids will be broadcast on Youtube and the ass-fucking we've all been taking will finally go viral in full visual detail.

ebworthen's picture


Not why, but why not.


Audacity17's picture

It doesn't matter what you make, it matters what you can buy with it.  Trade isn't bad for the middle class.  Our prodigal, foolish, tyrannical government that devalues our currency and runs jobs out of the country is to blame.

lynnybee's picture

all i know is that i never voted for any of this crap, & i never charged on credit cards or borrowed money from banks or signed for any home equity loans ............ yet, they want me & my kids to pay .......... just doesn't seem right; where's the revolution ?   

antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

It's called reversion to the mean.  Natural and unstoppable.

Sherman McCoy's picture

Cow, you make many excellent points. The government has made us fat, lazy, and dependent. It's a competitive world out there, and we no longer lead the pack. Too many Americans thought they could just graduate high school, get a $45,000/year job swinging a hammer or working in a factory, join the union, work 9-5, and have a good life. Those jobs are gone.

Look at the winners in America - many are recent immigrants. We no longer have that fire in the belly. We're like every civilization that's gone into decline. Stop waiting for your check from the government and start working. I travelled 10,000 mile from home to get a good job rather than bitch and moan at home in USA. Get off your butt and go get it!

Acting Man's picture

Globalism isn't the problem, an attempt at global governance and the beaurecratic leviathan that accompanies it is at the heart of the problem.  Huge regulatory obstacles, a debt-based monetary system and the growth of governments is causing the American decline.

vxpatel's picture


As they sent the measure to the Senate for a vote scheduled for Wednesday morning, House Republicans welcomed testimony Tuesday by the chairman of the Federal Reserve,Ben S. Bernanke, who said spending cuts of $61 billion proposed by House Republicans would not lead to the severe job losses that other analysts have predicted.

You Lie's picture

President Obama just named a prominent fortune 50 (yes fifty) CEO to his Council on jobs and competiveness.    This is the same CEO who in the past ten years has laidoff and offshored  10s of thousands,    continually and repeatedly,  who has offshored call centers and back office work to every offshore country there is and whose own CIO has said his goal is to offshore 75% of IT work.   Who has just within the last 30 days announced further cutbacks and layoffs.   THIS is who was just placed on the Presidents council on jobs.  

One idea on how to stop it,  is to tax any work that is US bound in nature using the same argument/principle as forced health care due to the societal cost involved.    As offshoring bypasses 100 years of labor and environmental laws,  it bears a huge societal cost,  and that cost is shouldered by the Federal and State governments/taxpayer.   Taxing all offshore work that is US based in nature, and I mean tax the hell out of it,  to offset that societal costs.     John Kerry was correct when he called them Benedict Arnold CEO's.

MSimon's picture

I say raise taxes so high that no one will be able to do business in America. That will put an end to all those companies and businesses stealing us blind.


Stop handing your money to thieves. Quit buying. That will teach them. And while you are at it quit exhaling CO2. You are ruining my atmosphere.

Pinefox's picture

If it is a fact that half of all Americans are earning $505 or less per week, that is the biggest tell of all.

With high school graduation rates at about 70%, we will not be able to compete, period.

Oppressed In California's picture

"Unfortunately for the middle class, much of the rest of the world does not have the same minimum wage laws and worker protections that we do."

You can not be serious that the minimum wage "protects jobs."  Take Econ 101.

ArkOmen1's picture

"We have before us an opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations, a new world order. A world in which is governed by the laws of justice, not the law of the jungle. When we are successful (and we will be), we have a real chance at this new world order. A world which governed by a credible United Nations, and the visions of the UN's founders".

Step one... Sign NAFTA and GATT for future hollowing out of US economy. Step two... When hollowing out complete, US will be drowning in debt because of massive imbalances (now). Step three... Install global currency at height of inevitable crisis. Viola! CFR/CIA Kissinger Bryzinski Rockefeller Rothschild (and many others) plans complete.

Happening now, not a movie, not a "conspiracy theory" anymore as plans out in open.

MSimon's picture

I'm totally with you buddy. As long as I get to define justice. Smooth sailing (for me) after that. It is only a matter of time comrade.

automato's picture

I've got an idea for the ULTIMATE reset. No more secrets and no more lies. Every 50 years the government levies a Net Worth (Assets-Liabilities) Tax to all Individuals/Businesses/Non-Profits/Shelters; I mean EVERYONE pays.

The tax would start at 1% of Net Worth for 100K and less, double to 2% for 1 million to 100K, double to 4% for 10 million to 1 million, etc... to a cap of 32% for anything over a billion. Everything must be counted both foreign and domestic including buried reserves! For those thinking they can hide or lie, there will be a whistle-blower reward of 50%! That's right the snitch/institution will get either half the proceeds OR be allowed to purchase the assets for half the Market Price with the purchase monies going to the government. Everyone will have to come clean and IF the hider/liar can be found guilty in a Court of Law of deliberately and with intent to hide any assets they will be fined a punitive reset to Net Worth of ZERO! NO more secrets and NO more lies!!!!

geno-econ's picture



                              Market Economy


                                                                      Global Economy





Cow's picture

Bullshit article.  Typical random comments made to look like they tie together somehow.  I find Ilene to be the absolute worst poster on this website.  Leftist glass half-empty drivel.  Taking a few facts and drawing a conclusion of what?  No more globalization?  Protectionism?  That's worked out well in the past.  I'm supposed to give a shit about Detroit?  Do you have a f'in clue how they got that way?  Are you going to blame it on China or Japan?  The f'in corrupt 'tards that run the city deserve the credit as well as the f'in unions.  How come the economy is doing well in Texas and sucks in Detroit?  China's fault?  Maybe, we need some more protectionism for the US Auto industry?  Just so they can get back on their feet, right?  Bullshit.


Who is going to be the "decider" as to the rules for my company doing business in China?  Some socialist punk that works for the US Govt.?  Chinese workers only make $50/month.  So take their job away? is that your answer?  Pay more in the US?  Some workers only make $505/week in the US?  Why not let's pay them $2,000/week?  That's the solution. "Living Wage"? or some other socialist tripe?


The Chinese are a bunch of disgusting people with no values.  Stop buying stuff made there.  Everyone gets to vote with their pocketbook.  Stop buying their cadmium laced rice.  The country is a polluted hell hole.  Just stop buying their products.  It's an individual decision.  Just like the decision everyone makes as to shop at Walmart.  If you don't like their values, don't shop there. 


No.  How about this?  a) the fucking government pinheads get out of the way and stop making it difficult to do business in the US and abroad  b)  The fucking government stops subsidizing corporations and let them survive on their own. No more government bennies for ADM, the Sugar Lobby, GM, and especially the banks c) we get a flat personal income tax so as to level the playing field and get the US Govt out of our lives.  d)  Do away with corporate taxes, e)  get rid of the FED.  There's a start.

The government has caused 90% of our problems.



Pemaquid's picture

 "Chinese workers only make $50/month ..."


So what does $50 dollars buy in China?  Huh?

Moe Howard's picture

I think you are 5% off. 95%. Otherwise, you are correct in everything you said.



<HELP> for explanation

Trimmed Hedge's picture

"The government has caused 90% of our problems."


I dunno about you, but this is the exact reason why I'm certainly looking forward to a federal government shut-down this Friday!  : )

S.P.Q.R.'s picture

Other way to look at globalization is the middle class in emerging economies are getting a big leg up after toiling in substandard living for better part of 20 years mostly for our benefit. Contrary to what alot of flat earth economists think the planet has a finite amount of resources so if someone gets a leg up it means others have to get a leg down. The western middle class has been protected by artificial bubble economies for far too long, whats occurring now is just a rebalancing of shared world resources. Unfortunately we can't all be winners, now that its time to pay the piper that fact is going to be a bitter pill to swallow. 

Lord Koos's picture

Absolutely.  It's this rebalancing that Americans are finding so difficult to accept, after having been ecouraged to be "consumers" from birth.

MSimon's picture

Yes the planet has finite resources. About 853,142,857,142 tons per person.


In round numbers 853 billion tons per person. And we haven't even started mining the asteroid belt. But I think I can get by on my 853 billion tons until that happens.


BTW brains can substitute for resources. It is called doing more with less.

Common_Cents22's picture

One area is innovation.  We need to out innovate other countries to create higher level jobs.   The problem is nobody is protecting IP to monetize it when it comes to outsourcing production.  the Chinese CCC is just a way for china to steal the IP.    Companies give away their secrets in order to get cheaper production.   Govt and WTO is spineless in enforcing IP.


Secondly, we aren't playing tough to our strengths.   What about charging countries for our military protection?    What about becoming an OPEC for our food exports.   We have lots of strategic leverage but we don't use it.

DosZap's picture

That was the plan all along Capeche'?..............

gwar5's picture

It's global socialism.

geno-econ's picture

Dont ever recall ever seeing "globalization at any cost" on any ballot or party platform. Yet it is assumed  globalization is primary US trade policy with complete disregard of maintaining a "balanced economy". National security does play a role but has been diminished considerably {no longer can we produce enough boots to wage a world war} . Reason is obviously strength of big business lobby promoting outsourcing as  means of maximizing profits and blind faith that globalization concept will ultimatly favor US.

 We are now at a crossroads of either changing  trade policy or driving our fiscal fiasco into default or hyperinflation. Politicians are in denial blaming currency imbalances while mid- america is burning. One can easily argue  huge deficits are a failed attempt of relying  on finacial system to create jobs / maintain consumption. Instead it has fostered corruption, huge income disparity and world  disorder.

No matter, time is running out. In future prepare for mad scramble by all players to grab as much as possible in a world of limited resources----a recipe for WW III on an idiological, regional or religious divide.   

dizzyfingers's picture

" big business lobby promoting outsourcing as  means of maximizing profits and blind faith that globalization concept will ultimatly favor US"

After 1968, useful idiots began demanding clean air, clean water, and drove numerous industries, let along companies, out of the US.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, special interest groups and the government (sometimes the one using the other and all using tax money to battle corporations in court) hounded US companies (substitute the word JOBS for companies) out of business or offshore.

Now we have what we have.

In the same time period, the "US Education Department" (Carter admin.) dumbed down every US student and curriculum. If kids are stupid it's because the government made them so. "Globalization" came along pretty late in the end-game, I think. Yes, it's going on, but the truth is that the US was dynamic and growing into its big post-war role in the 50s and 60s while at the same time the USCP was mining the foundations. Now here we are.


ehildret's picture

Is Ross Perot still alive? There's an "I told ya so" ...giant sucking sound...

Johnny G.'s picture

Perot ain't sayin' shit - he needs to protect his son. 

H. Ross Junior joined the CFR, headed out to Davos with the other oligarchs and pretends to be a patriot.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The article gets the concept of jobs being moved over seas and the destitution of the American middle class correct. What the author fails to mention is why. In manufacturing, wages compose only 10 % of cost input to a product. This is insignificant. The US could easily compete on this basis. What is significant though are extremely low taxes and almost no regulation. Then it becomes a BIG deal. Washington is screwing us!!! The wage arbitration is just bullshit!!!

Diogenes's picture

It is only fair to add that wages are a small part of cost of production in a fully automated factory and growing smaller all the time, as automation progresses.

If you want to see just how few workers it takes to operate a modern factory look at this showplace where VW builds their luxury Phaeton model and note how few workers you see.

Bob's picture

Ever fewer humans need apply.  We need to get a grip on this issue . . . we're a generation ahead of the developing world, but God willing we'll all be there at some point. 

I know this: People who own the machines don't much believe in sharing. 

MSimon's picture

No buyers no profits. It is self limiting. Of course you can stick to buying strictly hand made goods and stick it to the factory guy. Your standard of living will go down, but that is a very small price to pay to screw the factory owner.

dizzyfingers's picture

In the past in the US, the biggest cost of doing business was labor -- wages and benefits, whether union or not because in lots of companies if there was a union, office workers got the same raises that union workers did. Benefits added to annual income might equal up to as much as 50% of wages. No wonder people wanted to come to the US. They still do but the joke will on them.


John Law Lives's picture

I saw white-collar jobs pouring out of the US and moving to China and Inda as far back as the mid-1990s.  It didn't get much attention back then, but it was obvious that the train was leaving the station... and it isn't coming back.

I have been to China a number of times, and I have seen the conditions of plenty of factory workers in various facilities.  It is fairly common for factory workers to live in dormitories that are part the manufacturing facility itself.  The living conditions are generally lousy by American standards.

Globalization has been terrible for the middle class in America.  Cheap iPods are no substitute for good jobs with decent wages and benefits.  The elites have hollowed out the American middle class, and those SOBs have a stranglehold on Washington DC, where they know they will get bailed out ahead of the rest of the masses.  Sooner or later, survival instincts will motivate more people in the US to take action.  My guess is a few elites will feel the sting of a proverbial pitchfork.

AnAnonymous's picture

Globalization has been terrible for the middle class in America.  


The US is a product of globalization.

dizzyfingers's picture

You are so right that our quarrel is with Washington, and the answer is NOT another election. Elections solve nothing, otherwise so many solveable problems would have been solved between the end of WWII and now. Instead Washington has thrown away taxpayer dollars and they still want more. When will the outrage end?

lincolnsteffens's picture

Don't just point your finger at Washington. Who took equity out of their homes and went on vacation or put in a pool? Who paid 20% more for much of what they bough because they maxed out several credit cards and made minimum payments? Who bought homes they knew were way too expensive?

Sure, I know government should be more protective of the people. Government had a big hand in our down fall by letting financial cos. tempt us. We are our own worst shysters. I just about shit a brick when my wife bought our little prince a pair of $75 sneakers twenty years ago. Awww, but all the other kids had them!

Give me a break. Since what century did people get  something without saving for it?

Common_Cents22's picture

There are new crops of patriots running for office who are not cut from the same cloth of the old politicians.    It will certainly help.   But American's have taken their eye off the ball increasingly with each generation.


Freedom isn't passed on as a birthright, it must be earned and maintained.

GreenSideUp's picture

If the recent vote on the Patriot Act is any indication, the cloth is pretty much the same, maybe just a different color.  

If you're waiting for politicians to "save us", you're going to be waiting for a long time.  The only way things are going to change is if/when enough of us quit participating in The System, quit cooperating with their stupid laws and regulations, quit buying their packs of lies, and start laughing at and mocking them.  

Victor Berry's picture

It was obvious from the beginning that a global economy would lead to one thing only ... the standard of living for ordinary Americans would decrease.  Whether it be NAFTA, GATT, or any other trade treaty, the labor value of American workers would get hosed.  And it was not limited to only high school graduates, but college educated engineers, computer scientists, doctors, et al would suffer as well.

MSimon's picture

Labor is down and gold is up. Government needs to step in to increase the value of labor and reduce the value of gold. I'm sure that with enough guns it can be done.


Good luck with that.