Unions and Politicians always lament the loss of manufacturing jobs and blame those evil corporations and the Republicans and whatnot. The main reason is not Reagan, Bush, Unions or even Obama but they all had a part to play. The main reason for jobs going over seas is simple math.
Reason why the USA had such a thriving industrial sector for 30 years was this little event called World War II. You might have heard about it, I think some movies and a few video games were about about it. Well that war pretty much devastated America's biggest industrial competition. Germany was carpet bombed into rubble and Japan had two cities wiped off the map courtesy of the Atomic Age. With the eastern half of Europe under the iron curtain. Well that left the USA sole nation that could rebuild the western world. Well with this vibrant industrial sector it also help industrial labor unions thrive, they also became successful sometimes too much success can ruin you. It led to higher wages for low skilled work and a population that thought why care about school when I can slide through kicking a ball around and get a good UAW job.
This also led to entire communities thinking "Why care about school when I can slide through get a good UAW job at the auto plant. Well guess what just like Joesph and the parable of the 7 fed cows and the 7 lean ones, good times were not going to last. Their success became their undoing, as wages went up so did prosperity. Also cost of living and the cost of labor. Soon enough Germany, Japan and other nations we getting back to full speed. Offering an industrial sector with less regulation and less cost due to lower exchange rates and a better education system to match. Companies here in the USA thought why should I pay 20 and hour to some barely literate high school graduate or a drop out when I can ship this factory to China and get workers that only pay $1.00 an hour, work longer hours and are better educated.
Simple math same reason why I buy Generic medicine over name brands, same quality for less money. In labor case better quality for less money.
Now that mentality born of that age has screwed us, Japan became a tech powerhouse because the focused on education because well they do not a have the space or local resources to support a large industrial base.
Now we are in the information age, and the age of the internet, you want a job that made as much as hose UAW line workers, well you need to learn how to use a computer and read those books in school. The 21st Century the future came by well we do know know what to do with it. We have labor unions wanting Washington DC to turn things back to the 1950's, with trade legislation. Guess what NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. We have a public education system still teaching kids the skills to work in a industrial labor based economy. That age us over, kids need to be learning technology at day one to compete with kids in China and Japan. Go to these countries do they have soccer moms and hockey moms? No. They have STUDY MOMS because for them success is not measured on getting their kid on some exclusive Hockey league to get some college scholarship it is getting into the best exclusive HIGH SCHOOL to become an engineer to scientist.
KIDS NEED TO PUT THE BALL DOWN AND PICK UP A TEXT BOOK. Every time I say this to anyone they give me this look like I am talking in some alien language and have a third eye coming out of my head.
"I don't want them sitting in from of a computer all day"
My response to this is, "Now do you want your kid spending the rest of their life standing in from of a McDonald's cash register for the rest of his life?"
Do you know that the chance even of a kid is good, getting a full ride college athletic scholarship? About less that 5 percent.
Do you know what the chance of a kid has good academic standings of getting into a good school let alone any college. About 100%
What do you think is the better path?