The Lights Have Officially Gone Out In the US

Phoenix Capital Research's picture

Here’s a
news story that summates the US economy’s problems rather well:

 

The last major GE factory making ordinary
incandescent light bulbs in the United States is closing this month,
marking a small, sad exit for a product and
company that can trace their roots to
Thomas Alva Edison's innovations in the 1870s
.

 

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/07/AR2010090706933.html?wpisrc=nl_headline

 

Here we have
a product, invented by one of America’s Greatest inventors (if not THE
greatest), of which the US was the premiere manufacturer, now being
manufactured ENTIRELY overseas:

 

How could
this have happened?

 

What made the plant here vulnerable is, in
part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards
essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014.
The law will force millions of American households to switch to more
efficient bulbs.

 

The
resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be
immense. But the move also had
unintended consequences
.

 

Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S.
manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact
fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in
China
.

 

This story,
more than anything else I’ve seen in recent weeks, summates beautifully the current
political/ economic situation for the US today.

 

Congress
which is comprised of individuals who know nothing about engineering,
chemistry, manufacturing, or any other technical know-how, pass a law based on
political agenda without even bother to consider the impact on the US economy.

 

As if that
weren’t ignorant enough, Congress then proclaims that the new clean energy
policies will CREATE jobs, once again
proving they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about when it comes to real
economic conditions in the US.

 

The end result?

 

An industry
that has flourished in the US for over a century, founded by an American
genius, has now been entirely outsourced overseas. That’s just one more nail in
the coffin for the American manufacturing base. And one more wave of American
workers finding themselves at the unemployment line (the last existing plant in
Winchester, VA is laying off 200 people this month).

 

Please
understand, I am not against Clean Energy at all. What I AM against is stupid
policies losing Americans jobs just to fatten profit margins at the large
multi-nationals.

 

The real
winner of this whole set-up is of course the multi-national company, in this
case GE, which, by the way, owes its very existence to tax payer bailout money
from 2008. GE will very likely see a slight bump in profits by cutting down on
the operational costs of its light-bulb manufacturing wing (labor is cheaper in
China).

 

This hammers
home one of the founding theses of my socio-political newsletter The
Phoenix World Views Digest
, that the US is comprised of two groups of
people:  individual citizens and
the large multi-nationals. These two operate under a completely different set
of rules. And the system is entirely rigged to benefit the latter (the
multi-nationals) at the expense of the former (individuals).

 

Until this
changes, the US will remain as it has been for the last 30 years: an oligarchy
masquerading as a democracy.

 

Good Investing!

 

Graham
Summers

 

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