http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30229507/?GT1=43001 Another reason is the fact that there is a kernel of truth in some of the naysayers' claims. Some of our factories are outdated; but many are among the most modern in the world. Wage and legacy costs — retiree health benefits, for example — have made some companies less competitive. By the same token, U.S. multinationals are generally among the most productive and innovative in the world. And, yes, U.S. companies have ceded production of men's dress shirts that retail for $12, microwave ovens that retail for $69, and boom boxes that retail for less than half that price to low-cost developing countries. But the U.S. leads the world in many high-value fields, producing more than half of the $175 billion in health care technology products purchased worldwide each year, for example. The U.S. also ranks as the world's largest producer of chemicals, selling 11 percent of the global total. And, as the AP reported, we "sold more than $200 billion worth of aircraft, missiles, and space-related equipment in 2007." In fact, even in the midst of a global recession, the U.S. exported an estimated $1.377 trillion worth of goods last year, according to the authoritative CIA World Factbook. Nearly half of the exports were capital goods: aircraft, computers, electric power machinery, office machines, telecommunications equipment, and the like. Industrial supplies, such as organic chemicals, accounted for another nearly 27 percent. And consumer goods, including pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products accounted for 15 percent and 9 percent, respectively. A third reason for our collective funk (and there are certainly other reasons) may be the nostalgia factor, particularly prevalent among the baby boomers: the fact that much of what was "Made in America" in the past — think clothing, radios, televisions, telephones, sewing machines, toys, tools, housewares, small appliances, baby furniture, bicycles, even the legendary Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" that was so much a part of the America in which many baby boomers came of age — isn't made here anymore. (The Rocket 88, in fact, isn't made at all.) Seeing so many iconic Made in America brands disappear seemingly overnight has caused pain and anxiety for many Americans.