The American people seem to be very confused about what is happening to us because most of them thought that the party was going to last forever. In fact, most of them still seem convinced that our brightest economic days are still ahead.
After all, every time we have had a "recession" in the past things have always turned around and we have gone on to even greater things, right?
Well, what most Americans simply fail to understand is that we are like a car that is having its insides ripped right out. Our industrial base is being gutted right in front of our eyes.
Most Americans don't think much about our "trade deficit", but it is absolutely central to what is happening to our economy. Every year, we buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.
In 2010, the U.S. trade deficit was just a whisker under $500 billion. This is money that we could have all spent inside the United States that would have supported thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.
Instead, we sent all of those hundreds of billions of dollars overseas in exchange for a big pile of stuff that we greedily consumed. Most of that stuff we probably didn't need anyway.
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