Archive, Issues, Jobs and the economy, Opinion

Currency Wars and Decline of the U.S. Economy


Rather than building a strong industrial base that would provide economic security for a vibrant middle class, the United States instead continues to engage in currency wars that reduce the value of the dollar. While EU countries, such as Germany, promote the growth of high tech, high value manufacturing exports and the Euro gains in strength, the U.S. continues to outsource jobs, shrink the manufacturing sector and print money to devalue the dollar against other world currencies. The U.S. dollar continues to decline against the value of the Euro and is at a 15 year low against the yen and is even sliding against the Australian dollar.

In past decades American companies sought to import raw materials from third world countries with depressed currencies to fuel the U.S. industrial economy. With the outsourcing of labor and the dismantling of America’s industrial base the United States has been transformed from the world’s greatest exporter to the largest importer of foreign goods. However, with a burgeoning trade deficit the response has not been to manufacture quality products that can be exported to international customers. Instead, it has been to further reduce the value of the dollar to encourage exports. Without a diverse manufacturing base, the question is what will we export? Will it be our agricultural products and raw materials? That is a scenario more consistent with third world economies, rather than that of developed industrial nations. Without a robust industrial base, it is difficult for a country to maintain strong political and military leadership in the world.

If we faced a real military threat to our homeland how would we assure access to the industrial and military goods needed to support our defense when most of these items have been outsourced? The economic course we are on causes concern for the future of our citizens and our international leadership. The question to our citizenry and our leaders is do we continue on the course to a third world economy or do we rebuild our manufacturing base and once again become premier industrial leader?

It is important for all of us to let our elected representatives and candidates know what Democrats stand for – supporting the middle class and working people, reversing the growing disparity in wealth between the top 1% in our country and everyone else, rebuilding our educational system, providing a viable health care system for everyone and restoring a society of upward mobility and opportunity for our citizens. These goals can be achieved with a vibrant, growing industrial economy that values work over the Wall Street casino.

Vera Moldt

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Point Loma Democratic Club of which she is a member.