Just  watched that liar Mitch McConnell tell John Dickerson on Face the Nation that America is not competitive in the global economy because of corporate tax rates. What a load of scat that was!

As a nation, we have lost millions of manufacturing jobs since Nixon visited China. The blue collar Trump loyalists look at factory jobs when measuring the success of an economy, it seems. We are not competitive because of the cost of labor. Labor as a percentage of the cost of goods sold in the US is an economic statistic that excludes executive compensation, salaries, commissions and bonuses. In 2016, manufacturing accounted for about 12% of our gross domestic product. Union membership has declined each year since the election of Ronald Reagan and wages have been flat for more than thirty years.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 8.8% of the workforce belongs to a union and less than 10% of all workers are represented by a union. Americans work an average of between 40 and 41 hours a week. Average hourly wages were around $21.00 per hour in October of 2017. Union workers are paid an average of $30 a week more than non-union workers. In the manufacturing sector, production line employees are paid an average of about $34,000 a year in the US. Wages are a substantial portion of the cost of goods sold by US firms.

The manufacturing sector has laid off or permanently furloughed nearly 8 million workers since 1980, mostly during the Bush and Reagan years. It is forecast that another 750,000 jobs will be lost by 2026. Meanwhile the American worker has become more productive. So, fewer workers are employed in manufacturing, they are more productive but have not been rewarded with an increase in real wages. They constantly fear losing the jobs that they have. 


[Gina Stanley is an attorney who lives in Huntington, West Virginia. We are publishing her thoughts on the current economic situation with her permission. Ms Stanley’s expertise and opinion will be a more regular feature of Columnist with a View.]