May 18, 2018 Update: For a potentially more erudite take on the way we trade digital vapor for real goods, see the appropriate section of my academic piece on The Dollar and American Foreign Policy .
Yahoo! News – Bush Spars with Democrats Over Jobs
“It’s a shame when the White House’s top economic adviser says outsourcing of American jobs is inevitable, or even that it benefits our economy,” Rep. Nick Lampson of Texas said in the Democratic radio response. “Americans know our country gains when we export American goods — not American jobs.”
But we do in fact export American goods. Little green pieces of paper. These little green pieces of paper, that we can print more of any time we like, are traded all over the world for things like cars, ships, planes, oil, beer and even gold. The really great thing in the modern age is that in many cases we don’t even have to export the little green pieces of paper to get the oil, beer and cars. We have a great competitive advantage in producing these little green pieces of paper that everyone wants but that cost us only a tiny fraction of their market value to produce. In fact, we don’t even have to go to the trouble of printing them. As long as the Federal Reserve’s accounts say they are there, we get all these goodies from overseas and don’t have to give a damn thing in return except the promise that the little pieces of paper will be printed if they’re ever needed. That my friends, is all a trade deficit is.