Jobless Americans and Gallows Humor …

Jobless AmericansThere’s a funny-yet-sobering ditty bounding about cyberspace that chronicles a day in the life of an unemployed American looking for work.

Whether it’s the alarm clock, the coffee pot, clothing, appliances, the car and the gasoline it takes to run it, everything with which this person interfaces during the course of the day comes from overseas – especially China or some other East Asian country.

For those of you who haven’t encountered this satirical little piece yet, you can read it here.

Dana Bales, an industry colleague of mine who is a managing partner at Dayton, OH-based NEO Marketing Communications, reacted to this joke by noting a few key points about China. He writes:

I’m a free trade advocate. I absolutely support NAFTA. But for the life of me, I don’t get our trade relationship with China. Let me get this straight:

 China imposes trade barriers to many of our goods and services.

 China allows its industries to pollute with impunity, keeping its costs for manufactured goods lower while adding to atmospheric and oceanic pollution.

 China allows its citizens and companies to rip off non-Chinese patents.

 Although experts may disagree on the degree of impact, China manipulates its currency to benefit its own export goods.

 China actively supports efforts to hack into U.S. corporate and defense systems, stealing untold billions of dollars’ worth of technology.

 China uses American dollars to subsidize its own industries.

Food for thought, indeed – even if you don’t agree with every single one of Bales’ statements.

It would be nice, too, if our government and trade officials could focus on coming up with some workable solutions to these issues. I think we’d all be happier if we could relegate this sort of gallows humor to the literary trash can!