Timebuilder, You keep bringing up that unions are the problem. I'm not going to agree or disagree with that thought. IMO there's alot more to it. The poor people in China, Japan, Korea, fill in the blank, are exactly that. Poor. I believe this is why the asian countries put so much focus on education. The women are oppressed, and without an education, asian people work low paying jobs on farms or in manufacturing. Why? Because if they didn't, they would starve to death. Not true here in the US. Our poor eat, have educational opportunities, have free rent, drive cars, have cell phones etc. Our teenagers from middle class or affluent backgrounds are just too good to work for peanuts. Both of these are social failures our society has accepted. There is no doubt in my mind we are able to compete with the Chinese. It will never happen though, because the welfare state has destroyed that. We have become complacent. We have a huge unskilled labor pool that is untapped and never will be. If a person can make more in gubmint benefits than working 40 hrs a week well... When the gubmint gets out of the charity business and leave that to the church, the US will be a better place. My ex wife of 17 years has collected a check and then some since our divorce because she's "bi polar". In laymans terms, she's a lazy alcoholic. We have to stop making it so easy on everyone. It's the same arguement they have always used in defense of the illegals. They take the jobs no one else wants. Why would anyone work if they can live for free?