Life has its ups and downs. Some of it we control; some of it controls us. Some control is a matter of choice; some is a matter of chance. Sometimes we choose to have control; sometimes we choose to not have control.
As a nation, we have "chosen", increasingly, to not have control in two strategic areas:
In the area of manufacturing, we have chosen to seek lowest cost labor as a panacea for remaining "competitive". Consequently, we have "outsourced" a significant portion of our manufacturing capacity to countries such as China.
There is a downside, an X Factor, to these decisions.
The next time you go to the gas station and wonder why the price of gas has risen in the "off-season", consider our dependency on foreign oil. On December 19, the price of oil was less than $58 per barrel. Today, that price has risen to over $65 per barrel:
Iran's recent actions to tell the world to shove it regarding their development of nuclear power/fissionable materials has a lot to do with it. After all, Iran is a supplier of oil and if that spigot is turned off, the cost of our energy goes up to make up the shortfall. ↑ Outsourced ↓ Control.
When it comes to our manufacturing decisions, we should note that China now controls several hundred billion dollars in loans to our government. Our economy is increasingly dependent on China to provide us the goods we need to keep the economy and government functioning. ↑ Outsourced ↓ Control.