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June 21st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What if China overtakes U.S. as world's leading manufacturer?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's an ominous sign of the end of an era:

For 110 years, the United States has been the world's leading manufacturer... a title we will likely lose to China next year.

A report by an economic research firm shows that China's manufacturing sector nearly caught up to the U.S. output last year... and will probably surpass us in 2011.

According to IHS Global Insight, China may be able to quickly close the gap - particularly due to the recent announcement that it will let its currency, the yuan, rise in value versus the U.S. dollar.

But even without a stronger currency, China's manufacturing sector has been growing at a much faster rate than the U.S.

No surprise since we've been shutting down factories left and right for years... and shipping jobs overseas, where the labor is cheaper.

One expert suggests the U.S. shouldn't worry too much about losing this title to China.

He says it's obvious that China would pull ahead at some point since they have four times the population and a tenth of the wages of the United States.

Really?

Then why didn't they challenge us for 110 years?

Nonetheless - with almost 10 percent unemployment in the U.S. there's no question we could use those lost jobs back here.

The U.S. has been the world's top manufacturer for more than a century - in the late 1890s, the United States surpassed Britain, which had held the top slot for a few decades.

And before that?

It was all China, which held the title of world leader for goods production for more than 1,500 years.

Looks like they will soon reclaim the title.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if China overtakes the U.S. as the world’s leading manufacturer?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China
June 21st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How much power should govt. have over the internet?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are growing signs that the government wants more control over the internet.

For starters - a bipartisan Senate bill would give the president a so-called internet "kill switch." The measure would allow the president to control or even shut down the internet in emergency situations.

Sen. Joe Lieberman - a co-sponsor of the bill - says that America's economic security, national security and public safety are all at risk from new kinds of enemies... like cyber-terrorists. He says that's why the government needs more control over the internet in "times of war."

Critics worry about the level of control the bill would give to the president... and they claim it could have "unintended consequences."

Speaking of terrorism - the Homeland Security department says the U.S. must do more to monitor terrorist groups that use the internet to recruit and train.

DHS secretary Janet Napolitano says the government needs to find the right balance between protecting individuals' right to privacy and keeping the country safe.

This comes on the heels of several domestic terror attacks in which the internet played a key role. it's believed that the alleged terrorists in both the Fort Hood shooting and attempted bombing of Times Square were inspired by online postings of Islamic extremists.

Finally, the Federal Communications Commission is getting in the game too - taking steps toward more internet regulation.

Just last week - the FCC voted to formally consider tighter control over high-speed internet companies. Until now - these companies have operated with virtually no government oversight.

Here’s my question to you: How much power should the government have when it comes to the internet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • Internet