It doesn’t take a brilliant economist to see that what Americans need jobs. There’s a level of unemployment across America right now that’s sucking the life out of our economy.
The way jobs are created is that companies form around the ability to make things that people need. The manufacture of American-made goods creates jobs, not just in the factories themselves, but in connected businesses that supply goods and services related to the manufacturing process. When we import goods instead of buying American-made equivalents, our supports many fewer American jobs As a result, our neighbors get laid off, and have a heck of a difficult time finding work again.
In these hard economic times, the politicians we elect to represent our interests in Washington D.C. ought to be doing all they can to promote the manufacture of goods right here in the USA. Unfortunately, many members of the House and Senate are doing precisely the opposite.
Senator Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, is among those politicians in Washington D.C. who is doing more to serve the interests of well-connected financial elites than he is doing to promote the interests of working Americans. This week, Burr introduced a slew of bills to the Senate that help importers evade the legally-required expenses of using foreign-made materials and products.
Some of the bills deal with obscure chemicals that non-engineers such as myself have an extremely difficult time understanding. For example, Burr’s bill S. 2663 would create a loophole for people who make money by importing a specific form of benzene: DCDNBTF Benzene, 2,4-dichloro-1,3-dinitro-5-(trifluoroethyl). I don’t stand much chance in understanding what this chemical is, and what it’s used for, and how it’s produced.
There are other imports that Burr is attempting to create special loopholes for, however, that are as plain as day. For example, S. 2669 would specially exempt electrical pencil sharpeners made in overseas factories from import duties.
What on earth would motivate such a bill, other than inside industry connections? We don’t have a pencil sharpener shortage here in the United States. Americans aren’t going hungry because they’re having to spend too much money on electric pencil sharpeners. We also clearly have the technical know how and natural resources necessary to manufacture electric pencil sharpeners right here in the United States.
A factory producing electric pencil sharpeners in the United States would provide jobs, and would keep the money we spend on these classroom items circulating through American communities. Yet, Richard Burr has introduced legislation to place anyone who attempts to manufacture these items at a competitive disadvantage. Senator Burr’s legislation encourages companies to import electric pencil sharpeners made in countries where undemocratic governments, abusive labor conditions and a lack of environmental standards allow production to be conducted in a cheap, yet highly unethical, manner.
Senator Burr is selling out working Americans for the sake of profits for pencil sharpener importers. We need more responsible leadership than that if our nation’s economic prosperity is to survive.