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I will never be able to call myself an "economist," but I always heard: "As General Motors goes, so goes the nation." And as long as our automobile factories were prospering, there were plenty of jobs and lots of employed people paying taxes, to keep things going. Maybe there is a connection between all the competition with foreign cars, & so less customers for the Detroit cars, which leads to less profit coming in for auto workers. This leads to less taxes being paid, to support the infrastructure (& the govt), & pretty soon there is a domino effect. It did not help anything much when our Republican Masters of Commerce decided to "outsource" so many of our jobs overseas, thus building up the economies of other countries which are often our enemies, & leading to the destruction of our own American economy. Then, at the same time, our dear GOP decided that NO RICH people should ever pay any Taxes. Which is leading to the DEATH of America, as we know it.