On July 22nd 2020 the State Department of the United States of America ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, TX. This inflammatory action is just one among many small aggressions between the two countries over the past year as global tensions continue to mount. The justification for the closure was, as stated by State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, that “the U.S. will not tolerate the People’s Republic of China’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated their unfair trade practices and theft of American jobs.”
That first part of the statement had me curious as to the actual state of affairs of the world, while the latter half of that statement made me wonder if there was any validity to the complaint at all. The fact of the matter is that “theft of American jobs” is a misleading narrative utilized by the owners of businesses and corporations to shift the blame for moving jobs overseas, in order to increase their profit margins, away from themselves and on to the working class people of other countries.
While many Americans have turned to unsecure free-lance and gig jobs which offer no access to health insurance or other benefits, nearly 300,000 jobs were moved overseas in the past year alone. The most common types of jobs that have been moved overseas or “off-shored” are those in the factory and production sector with 3.7 million jobs sent to China alone since 2001. White collar workers are finding themselves as impacted by this shift as their blue collar counterparts with 1.3 million jobs in I.T. (including electronic device design and production and tech support roles) being off-shored since 2001.
This shift to overseas labor has had a devastating impact on the American working class while the owners and chare-holders of these businesses and corporations are flourishing. Off-shoring of American jobs has yielded revenue increases of between $104.6 billion and $76.9 billion annually over the last ten years with no sign of dropping anytime soon.
With statistics like these, it is no wonder that the average American attributes the blame for the struggling American workforce on to the loss of jobs to overseas markets. However it cannot be emphasized enough that the people responsible for the “theft of American jobs” are the ones pulling in billions of dollars of revenue and not the overseas workers eking out a living through a below market hourly wage. Any attempts or statements made to frustrate this truth are nothing more than a deliberate effort to sow discord and negative sentiments between the working people of the world and in the end, the only people benefitting from a rivalry between workers are the same ones causing it.