Was watching on Current over the weekend... Thumbnail sketch... With foreign import quotas on clothing, garment businesses set up shop on Saipan and paid about 1/2 the minimum wage in the USA... garment makers on US mainland complained loudly about the "unfair competition", to no avail. (As Saipan is a commonwealth of the US, "foreign import quotas" do not apply.) The garment business flourished for a few years with Chinese workers happy to make higher wages than they could make at home. After a few years, however, all of the jobs were lost to even lower labor costs elsewhere in Asia. There had been 34 garment makers on Saipan at its height... now only 1... and the owner says he expects to close it before the end of 2009. Saipan now looks almost like a ghost town... no thriving business, only a small percentage employed in any capacity.... everybody else basically willing to do anything to earn a day's wage. Doesn't take much imagination to see the possibility of every manufacturer who is not the low cost producer facing similar pressure... AND to understand all Western government efforts to artificially halt the slide and prop things up at a higher level will be futile. (US auto industry ring a bell?) The decline is likely to be long and hard... regardless of "stimulus".