Rebecca Rast
Guest columnist
Jobs in America are changing.
A perfect example of this is Apple.  Since releasing its first quarter profits from 2012 and after an article that ran in The New York Times, the company has been making headlines. There is no question that Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world as it now boasts a higher value than the country of Greece.
Yes, Apple is an American company, but as The New York Times pointed out, much of its business is done outside of America.  And while it employs a good amount of Americans, the number is nothing close to the number of employees it has in China.
Apple is a successful company in every way.  Its technology and consumer base is second to none.  It is a business model touted as being the best.  But even the president has wondered why doesn’t this American company have more of a presence in the U.S?
In fact, current trends would show that many companies are taking business overseas — even the president’s highly subsidized “green” energy industry.  Once a country bustling with assembly lines and jobs aplenty, the climate here has changed and companies are finding better relationships across borders and taking their business elsewhere.  A glance at the business climate in America sheds light on many of the reasons why businesses don’t fit their products with the label “made in the U.S.A.” any longer.
There are many factors that contribute to why more business is being done overseas.  Most of it comes down to their bottom line—making a profit.  In the case of Apple, the demand to create the latest and greatest of products has led it to China.
The New York Times quotes Betsey Stevenson, a previous chief economist at the Labor Department, who stated, “Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice.  That’s disappeared.  Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”
America sits with nearly 17 million people unemployed creating a more accurate unemployment rate of 11 percent.  It is obvious that many of the jobs once held by Americans don’t exist any longer as the economy continues to struggle.  In fact, between 2000 and 2010, the economy has lost about 4 million blue-collar jobs.
This country has always taken pride in its technological advancements and ways in which it creates more efficient and productive ways of doing business.  Through many of these advancements companies have discovered ways of doing more with less and therefore create more profit.  For example, a job that once took two or three people, now might only take one due to today’s technology.  Especially during a struggling economy, businesses will trim all excess in order to survive, and many jobs are lost — most of them forever.
Wage laws and labor unions are also somewhat responsible for the loss of production jobs in the U.S. As labor unions demand more benefits and pay for its workers, businesses, towns, cities and even states are going bankrupt trying to accommodate.  Doing business in America simply isn’t profitable anymore.  And considering the constantly changing minimum wage law requirements, companies find cheaper labor costs overseas much more appealing.  But higher wages and labor union requirements only contribute to the situation of America’s shrinking number of blue collar jobs.
A look into environmental regulations and laws also contribute to companies waving goodbye to America.  From the Clean Water Act, Clear Air Act and many other mandates, many businesses would have to completely restructure their methods and processes to even attempt to comply with these overbearing regulations.  In many cases that isn’t possible — so they either shut down operations all together or move overseas to more business-friendly environments.
Another factor in keeping businesses away from America is its onerous tax code.
“America is at a disadvantage with every country it imports and exports with,” says Bill Thomas, former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the tax writing committee of the House of Representatives. “We attach social welfare costs on every product we make.”
Meaning items sold by America and items that come into America are pinned with a higher tax.
It is also worth noting that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world at 35 percent.
Beyond America’s double taxation of its goods and services, its corporate tax rate also leaves it uncompetitive with other countries.
Businesses see these taxes as a huge burden to their bottom line and will do what they can to avoid them.
There is an urgent need for growth in America. If done effectively, a restructuring of the tax code and environmental and labor laws in the U.S. would bring growth, sustainability, investment and jobs.
America’s job climate has changed, and the truth is many of the blue collar jobs that once existed here might not ever return. As businesses become more globally inclined, it is important for America to stay competitive.  Innovation does not come cheap, but if America makes the necessary changes and becomes a more business-friendly nation, it will be well worth the costs.
Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and