I wanted to address the comments on low income families separately as I believe though affected by the increase in imports over the last 40 or so years it has not been from the reason or reasons addressed in the original post.
First and foremost we need to discuss the very real fact that losses in manufacturing jobs and especially the better paying ones and including the union effect and members etc have greatly and negatively impacted income levels of the American worker in general.
Not only have more Americans joined the ranks of poverty and the working poor etc. but there are also the all the other workers who used to work for companies that produced the products that the other workers used to purchase before being unemployed or even under employed.
One thing that complicates it all is that there seems to be a large difference of opinion on just what "low income" is, and so many have come to value their success or quality of life based on the accumulation of so many of the worthless third world nation imports (flat screens etc), far too few base this on opportunity or quality time with their families, or even being able to afford to have the mother of their children actually be able to avoid having to work and actually raise their children instead of some government concern.
Think that is interesting then just consider that though there was all kinds of talks of hope during the recent presidential election there has been an obvious reduction in the real hope of those trapped in poverty and on government services as there are seriously lower employment opportunities available that actually offer an improvement in income or quality of life over that already supplied by the government.
When there are not enough good paying low level jobs due to losses in manufacturing there are just not many options available to those people who are able to enjoy a higher quality of life by not working rather than giving up their current situation for minimum wage employment that may not even be available long term due to the very real potential of the company closing due to foreign imports and competition.
We can ignore the obvious all we like, but the way we chose to accept the facts does not change those facts, and those who are and have been selling us all down the river while profiting at an ever increasing level need to be corrected, and the destruction of our middle and working class stopped immediately before it brings down our entire system.