When Americans built things. We manufactured products that were the envy of the World. They were for the most part produced within our borders. Than in the 1980s Reagan took office and deregulated business which started an avalanche of sorts. American companies started to close down factories and move there manufacturing centers to 3rd world countries. And since then the income of the wealthiest 1% in this country has gone up 271% compared to the middle class worker income which has only rose 25%.(Income chart here) Adjust that for inflation and that is almost stagnant. We can't get back to where we were in this country if only 1% of the population is making money and the other 99% is just trying to stay afloat. What we need are stricter regulations on American Business, I would even go as far as to outlaw American companies from out sourcing there jobs. We need this because this country has developed a consumerist mentality. We do not produce near as much as we consume. This is no doubt having a huge effect on the deficit and until we correct this problem we cannot hope to pay off our debt. The only thing stopping this from happening is the corporations themselves. It works for them to pay 11 year old Vietnamese girls 25 cents an hour in a sweatshop and work them 16 hour days. How else could there incomes have risen 271% since 1980. But what it's going to take to get us going again is shared sacrifice. That's what we had before 1980, we were all in this together. That's changed now.
If the plight of women working for nominal pay in sweatshops doesn't concern you, and there are those out there that don't care about it as long as they get there shoes. Here's another way of looking at it. During WWII we had a manufacturing base in this country. We had plenty of factories we could convert for the benefit of the war effort. Who is our biggest military threat today? China. Who do we owe the most money to? China. Who has the manufacturing base now? China. We've outsourced our liberty people. If China were to cash in the debt we owe they would bankrupt us and it still wouldn't pay everything we owe. If they declared war(and relations between us 2 have never been that warm since the Cold War) they would cut off trade. With them being the country we get the majority of our goods from, this could be disastrous. And we don't have the manufacturing base that we had in the 40s so where are we going to produce arms for the war effort? This concerns me and it should you also. This is another reason we have got to get our act together. If we don't the America we know today might not be here in 50 years.