Today Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert take note of America's current inability to do anything. It seems preposterous now to think we are simply inferior to some other nations, but it should have seemed preposterous years ago. The problem we have is not bad workers but bad leaders.
The main reason goods are cheaper when made overseas would be the virtual slave labor employed in making them. This is the fruit of 60 years of the CIA and other agencies working abroad to kill labor leaders and beat working class parties at the polls. American goods are still competitive in America when they compete with products of organized labor overseas, and would be more so if we provided workers with some of the subsidies that help keep wage demands down in Europe.
American industry, in short, has been trashed by businesses that want to use us as a large market, but have no other interest in America. It is, in short, a sort of inside-out imperialism, in which the powerful central country exports money, and weaponry to suppress unions abroad, but nothing else, importing the manufactured goods formerly imagined to be the exports of the central economy. As far as these people are concerned, things will be fine as long as we keep forking out the cash- regardless of whether we fall to number 27 or 41 on the list of world living standards.
And, thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision, these businesses are now free to buy as much, or as little, of our government as they require. Things could get quite a bit worse before they get better.