Where Have America’s Good-Paying Jobs Gone?


In September, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with Senate Republicans killed the vote on Senate Bill 3816, a bill which would have ended tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs to foreign countries only to import foreign-made products back to the United States.

Since the early 80’s our nation’s good-paying jobs have been outsourced to foreign nations in a steady stream. Around 1983, manufacturing was the first industry to go. Nationally, the Council on Foreign Relation estimates that since 1983, two million manufacturing jobs have been moved offshore.

The loss of our nation’s manufacturing workforce in relationship to our economy was substantial  because for every manufacturing job impacted, three-to-four other ancillary jobs are also lost.

American workers have been betrayed. When outsourcing first started, Americans were told that our economy was changing from a manufacturing economy to a service-based economy and Americans were promised high-paying technology jobs.  Embracing the “new” economy, droves of Americans returned to school and attended training programs to become a part of the new job market.

At first, American workers prospered from higher-paying jobs. However, from 2001 to 2008, 26 percent of our nation’s technology jobs were outsourced to foreign countries. Ironically, American workers not only lost their jobs but were slapped in the face when foreign workers with H1-B visas were hired to fill some of the remaining jobs.

America has been losing good-paying jobs at an alarming rate. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates 30 to 40 percent of all white-collar jobs such as architects, research scientists, engineers, chemists, and product development, will be outsourced over the next five years.

Outsourcing is so prevalent that Mechanical Engineering magazine reports “companies like Caterpillar, Daimler, General Electric, General Motors, Honeywell, Siemens, Matsushita Electric, and IBM have all built massive engineering facilities offshore. Many companies also out source engineering to offshore vendors.”

Over 40% of our nation’s drugs are now imported, and up to 80% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in drugs, particularly over-the-counter drugs, are manufactured in foreign countries.

America’s service economy is also being quickly dismantled in favor of inexpensive foreign labor. By 2015, over 3.3 million higher-paying “service” jobs like accounting and payroll processing will have left the country.

Americans should be angered because they lost good-paying American jobs, and American taxpayers unwittingly through federal foreign aid helped pay for the development of roads, utilities, and manufacturing plants in foreign countries competing for U.S. workers’ jobs.
tracy emblemAmericans must wake up to reality. As our American job market is stripped of its good-paying jobs and the nation’s wages deflated, Americans no longer have “buying power” which hurts our families and communities and produces a lower living standard.

Unfortunately, until Americans understand how our nation’s jobs have been hijacked to foreign countries, and Congress imposes fair trade policies which level the playing field for our nation’s workers, our jobs will not be coming home anytime soon.
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  1. MdeG says

    There is nothing wrong with other countries being helped to have roads, utilities, safe water, and other necessities of life. Our foreign aid budget may have been hijacked by people wanting to build infrastructure to outsource jobs from the US, in some cases. However foreign aid is not the source of our current economic situation.

    I would argue that foreign aid is an obligation, and that the US is awfully mingy with it. Lack of jobs in other countries (and I don’t mean jobs provided by offshoring) is a major source of corruption and undocumented migration, among other evils. US workers *are* on hard times — but our version of hard times is luxury by, say, Haitian standards.

    If you want to know why the offshoring and why the lack of good jobs, look to the same place. They are joint results of a common cause. Go look at union-busting, obscene executive pay, the ballooning gulf between working folks and the super-rich, and a Congress that keeps getting seduced into giving more money to the same super-rich. Address *that* cause.

    Do not blame working people for each others’ problems, and do not set them against each other. This is how to feed and support the fat cats.

  2. marshall says

    I just read a review of ObamaCare by Lisa Cummings. She is a benefits consultant and has taken a long look at the good, bad, and really ugly parts of the bill. You should give it a look as you seem to think it is a good bill.

    I think this post is rather true in most cases. The general outline of your article is well done. I know foreign aid is not a large percent of our budget but I do not like dollars being sent to people who may steal it. I suggest the below to solve that.

    dollars for aid

    I would propose that foreign aid, by law, should take the form of a product made in the US instead of money printed in the US. If a certain aid project could not be served by a product and did require dollars, then such aid would require government statements that explained why that aid must be the in form of cash dollars. Cash is easily stolen, dollars are easily put in the pockets of foreign leaders. The foreign country can give the aid to persons who sell it for cash and pocket the money, giving a kickback to the leaders. Giving money leads to corruption in both the giver and the recipient and creates no jobs in America. Giving an American made product instead of American cash would create jobs for Americans.

    Instead of cash, we should give a product that is made in America. Such a plan has several advantages. If a country needs trucks, we give them free trucks bought from a US company. A US worker makes a salary making the trucks and pays taxes on that salary. A US company makes a profit from building the trucks and pays taxes on that profit and puts money in employee retirement plans. Giving food, medicine, trucks, or weapons to a foreign country creates jobs in America. This is the only way government can create jobs. Government employees pay taxes on their salary but no product is created, so no profit is created, and thus no tax on a profit is paid and no increase in GNP.

    If any cash is given as aid to other countries, then our government needs to file copious statements on why cash and not a product was required. Such statements should be made public. This idea stops foreign corruption in our aid and provides jobs for American citizens and adds to our GNP. This idea must have a large flaw or it would be law now. Work out the flaws and make this law.

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