The United States is seriously in debt to other nations. With exponentially-increasing dollars owed, the dollar will soon collapse. See the graphs.
Here's the Liberal Moment (SM) Handout on The Coming Economic Collapse from 'Trade' and Offshoring.
"Free trade" proponents say we'll do the high-tech work and others will do the low-tech manufacturing. It's not true. It's not "trade." It's "transfer of the factors of production" ... building products over there, so we don't have to build them over here using a cost of labor that can support an American's mortgage payment.
The U.S. Advanced Technology Products "trade" balance has gone from a positive $40B to a negative $43B over a span of 15 years. Both low-value and high-value-added production in the U.S. are doomed.
UPDATE: as of Sep 2007, it's -$49B using the Oct-06 to Sep-07 value.
Given current trends, the the accumulated deficit will equal 100% of GDP by 2014. Other nations are unlikely to keep lending money to the U.S. and allow this to happen.
This simply gives a visual picture of the magnitude of the economic forces that are developing. As with earthquakes, no one knows exactly when the dollar will collapse, one only knows an unsustainable trend will inevitably end. The U.S. will be in a hyperinflationary, Great Depression. One societal result: The percentage of men not working has grown exponentially along with the trade deficit. Men, losing jobs to offshoring, have dropped out of the workforce. See the graph in the handout.
Please call Congress to demand "balanced trade," described at The Trade Deficit and the Fallacy of Composition.