Why is so little made in the USA anymore?
Karl Marx (Mr Obama's patron saint) would say profit is the alienation of the value of labor from the laborer. He reasoned that eventually the cost of a product is parceled out to someone, not something; no thing would have any use for money. Money eventually has to go to some person, be that the laborer, or the owner (presumably a capitalist), or government as taxes.
For years, the American Left has sold the idea that the only way to establish social equity is the tax away the portion the business owner gets. All this time, the Left has added to the worker's tax burden. In my home state of Washington, there are three different taxes imposed on the employer for each worker. Each tax must be calculated and paid separately. You already know about income tax.
This has to add to the cost of production, and thereby add to the price of the product. More expenses makes things more expensive. The cost of taxes are hidden in the price of the product. When the government becomes too greedy in pursuit of their own lavish (unearned) lifestyles, the high taxes they charge will cut the consumption of domestic product.
America is in such a nose-down spiral. Greedy Leftists demand high taxes so America don't produce very much for domestic use. The perpetual imbalance of payments in international trade spring from the fact that American product has to be priced to pay for a bloated government.
Americans aren't lazy; Americans see little incentive for hard work and would rather get out of the taxable economy. Even the best workers in the world will balk at producing a product if much of their earnings go to taxes. The employer and investors likewise see return evaporate to taxes.
The American public is alienated from its own production by the money grubbing Leftist politicians. Overbearing government made "Made in USA" a rarity.
But wait! That's not all!
Just like the money of the price goes to someone, so every tax takes from someone. If that someone has the money to pay taxes (that is, not a net beneficiary of government taxes) if figures that person is producing something. We can follow the taxes just like we can follow the money.
Nearly everyone pays property tax. If you rent an apartment from your landlord, you must realize the property tax the landlord pays comes out of your rent. If proper tax goes up, so will your rent. You pay the tax. And roughly one third to one half of your rent goes away as taxes.
Don't figure your landlord is greedy, just because the politicians tell you so. Landlords are in a very tax sensitive business. If you want to find out what home ownership is all about, buy a place. If you can master the difficult business of staying out of default, more power to you.
Sales taxes hurt a different way. Often called a consumption tax, sales (and excise) taxes cut incentive to earn because they make spending less pleasant. Workers are left scrambling to make the basics, like food and clothing, not to mention property tax bloated shelter.
Finally, government regulates. Basic levels of regulation are necessary for an ordered society, like laws against violent crime. But modern American Leftist politicians have raised government regulations to a bizarre liturgy imposed upon businesses and people. Witness the stupid regulation the EPA imposed prohibiting a landlord from painting more than 25 square feet of his property without lead abatement licensees. Get the March 2009, EPA publication EPA-740-K-09-003, or visit the EPA lead site at http://www.epa.gov/lead/index.html
Implicitly, according to the EPA, landlords are cavalier about the safety of their tenants. Lanlords willy nilly stir up lead druing painting so their tenants can suffer all kinds of health problems and not be able to pay the rent. Then landlords get the joy of evicting the tenant. The EPA publication does not go that far, but its fair to speculate why they add regulation we have lived without for centuries.
This bit of arrogance is not even a tax, but it makes the job of providing housing more expensive. Given the added expense, privately supplied housing will start to go away. Give that prediction a few years to play out. Government controlled housing will become the only useable choice.
There is a point when government passes beyond what is socially useful and becomes burden on its own. Regulation and taxation become the ends. Arrogant taxation and regulation are the incentive of despotic power. We are there, campers.