October 17, 2011
Free Trade Or Fair Trade?
Michael @ The Economic Collapse
Emphasis added below
Background information: Bowing to the Dragon? America's Perilous Partnership with China
The Socialist Phenomenon: Foreword by Solzhenitsyn Warning for our times
Encouragement: Seeing the world from God's perspective
It is absolutely amazing how many Americans are still convinced that more "free trade" is the answer to our economic problems. The truth is that there is a vast difference between "free trade" and "fair trade", and in this article I will prove that all true conservatives and all true liberals should be completely against the insane trade policies of the federal government.
Yes, we will always need to trade with other nations. Other nations make or have things that we need to trade for. Balanced trade relationships with other nations that have similar economies and that share similar values can be very beneficial. For example, our trading relationship with Canada, though not perfect, is generally beneficial to both sides.
However, the United States also has dozens of trading relationships that are highly destructive to the U.S. economy. There are some predatory nations that are blatantly and openly cheating and everyone can see it. They are getting away with bloody murder and they are robbing us blind. The United States of America is being taken advantage of, and as a result thousands of good businesses are being destroyed and millions of good jobs are being lost.
Congress has just passed new free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The Obama administration has also made "the NAFTA of the Pacific" a very high priority.
Obama says that all of these new trade pacts will create more U.S. jobs.
Well, either Barack Obama is completely ignorant when it comes to economics or else he is lying.
When we merge our economy with the economies of nations where wages are much lower, it is inevitable that large numbers of jobs are going to leave the high wage areas (where we live) and go to areas where wages are much lower.
It also certainly does not help that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, that we burden our businesses with mountains of ridiculous regulations, and that we allow our "trade partners" to give their businesses a huge advantage by openly subsidizing them.
The way that the system is set up now, nearly all U.S. businesses are at a massive, massive disadvantage. In general, the only businesses that can compete effectively in this environment are the giant corporations that can offshore huge portions of their operations.
If you are a conservative, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies. If you are a liberal, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies.
However, if you are a "George W. Bush Republican" or a "Clinton/Obama Democrat" that believes in globalism and the establishment of a one world economy as part of a "New World Order", then it would make sense why you would want to see America de-industrialized and brought down to the level of the rest of the world.
But if you are a true conservative or a true liberal, then the following are reasons why you should be horrified by our current trade policies....
#1 Other Nations Openly Manipulate Their Currencies In Order To Gain A Significant Competitive Advantage
For example, China keeps its currency set at a super low level relative to the U.S. dollar. By doing this, their products are far cheaper than U.S. products, and U.S. businesses cannot compete with them. This has resulted in the death of large numbers of U.S. businesses and the loss of millions of U.S. jobs.
So just how bad is this problem? Well, a recent CNN article stated the following....
"Critics of China's policy estimate that the yuan is still undervalued by 25% to 40%, even with the recent rises in value."
The other day the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would impose tariffs on currency manipulators, and China has already retaliated, even though the bill has not become law yet and even though it almost certainly won't.
China plays hardball. They love the advantage that they are getting right now and they do not plan on losing it.
#2 Millions Of Good Paying Jobs Have Been Shipped Overseas And They Are Never Coming Back
Our politicians all try to tell us how good they are at creating jobs.
But what is the truth?
The truth is that a total of zero jobs were created last decade. The following is a quote from a recent article in Washington Monthly....
"If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs."
Last decade we opened up our trade with the rest of the world more than ever before. But instead of creating jobs it destroyed them. Our trade deficits exploded and unemployment skyrocketed.
The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately 2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.
So if you are unemployed, that is probably what happened to the job you are supposed to have.
It went overseas and it is not coming back.
#3 America Is Being Deindustrialized At A Blistering Pace Thanks To Globalism
The advocates of "free trade" cannot dispute the cold, hard facts:
*The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
*The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
*If you can believe it, more than 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed down since 2001.
*Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
*Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#4 (For Conservatives) True Conservatives Should Be Horrified That We Are Being Taken Advantage Of By A Hardcore Communist Nation That Hates Us
Ronald Reagan would have never engaged in "free trade" with the Soviet Union. The Communist Party is in complete control of China and while we may regard China as a "frenemy", they really do believe that they will totally defeat us someday. If you doubt this, just read what the top generals and politicians in China are writing.
It is so incredibly stupid what we are doing. Our trade relationship with China has enabled the largest communist economy in the world to go from third world status to superpower status. China is now the second largest economy in the world, and that would have never happened without our help.
A lot of people like to talk about how "capitalist" China is becoming, but the truth is that they have never wavered from their pure belief in communism. 7 of the 10 largest corporations in China are owned by the government.
A host of other corporations in China are very deeply subsidized by the government.
U.S. businesses have a very hard time competing with foreign businesses that are deeply subsidized by their own national governments.
It is called cheating, and we let other countries get away with it.
So our businesses die and their products fill up our store shelves.
#5 We Are Endangering Our National Security By Greatly Enriching Our Biggest Potential Enemies
The biggest threats to the United States are not some goat herders hiding out in the caves of Afghanistan.
The biggest threats to the United States are actually China and Russia.
Conservatives are supposed to be the ones that are so concerned about national security. But instead of expressing concerns about China, they just keep pushing for more free trade. As a result, China has been able to become a true global military superpower. Someday we will deeply, deeply regret that.
#6 China Brazenly Steals Technology From Anyone And Everyone That They Can
China gets away with bloody murder when it comes to stealing technology. They will do it "legally" if they can, and they will do it in "other ways" if they have to.
At this point, China has invented a whole host of ways to extract technology from any firms that wants to do business in China. The following is a short excerpt from a recent article on CNN....
"Foreign companies are often required to set-up joint ventures with Chinese firms before the can start doing business there. And China is instituting new 'indigenous innovation' rules that U.S. companies say force them to transfer their own technology to their Chinese partners."
#7 We Should Never Trade With Any Nation That Has A "One Child" Policy
China has a very strict "one child policy" which should be absolutely abhorrent to all Americans. Most Americans have no idea what is really going on over in China. The following is from a recent article in the Epoch Times....
"Pregnant women lacking birth permits are hunted down like criminals by population planning police in China and forcibly aborted."
All over China, mobile abortion vans are used to help enforce the one child policy. What women in China must endure is absolutely sickening, and this kind of behavior should never be accepted in the global community. But instead of penalizing China, we reward them for this behavior. They even get awards at the United Nations for it.
Look, conservatives are supposed to be pro-life. If you are a social conservative, then it goes against everything that you believe to support trade with China. You can support trade with China if you want, but then don't even try to call yourself "pro-life" again.
We should never trade with any nation that has a "one child policy". Such a policy is against everything that America is supposed to stand for.
#8 Our Horrendous Trade Imbalance Has Allowed Other Nations To Accumulate Gigantic Amounts Of Our Debt
Every month, we send much more money to the rest of the world than they send to us. One thing that those other nations are doing with all of that money is that they are buying up our debt.
Our trade deficit with China has enabled them to accumulate nearly a trillion dollars of our debt. This gives them tremendous leverage over us and is a very serious threat to our economy and to our national security.
So now China can threaten the stability of our financial system with just a phone call.
#9 Globalist Trade Institutions Are A Serious Threat To Our National Sovereignty
Today, the "global economy" is governed by globalist institutions such as the G20, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. The United States has given up huge amounts of national sovereignty to these organizations. If you are a true conservative, this should greatly disturb you.
We don't want faceless international bureaucrats telling us what our trade policies will be. But to a large degree that is the situation that we have gotten ourselves into.
#10 Liberals (And All Americans) Are Supposed To Care About What Is Best For American Workers
Millions of working class jobs have been shipped overseas, and yet Barack Obama just keeps pushing for more "free trade" agreements which will make the problem even worse.
But instead of screaming bloody murder, liberals keep on supporting Obama. It's disgusting.
The truth is that the Obama administration actually says that there are certain kinds of jobs that we "don't want" in the United States.
For example, the following is what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk recently told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post about the Obama administration's attitude toward keeping manufacturing jobs in America....
"Let's increase our competitiveness... the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don't want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don't want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure."
So where is the outrage? Is anyone even awake out there?
Even the construction of many of our roads and bridges is being outsourced to China. Just check out the following quote from a recent ABC News article....
"In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
"In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
"In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
"These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
"'When we subsidize jobs in China, we're not creating any wealth in the United States,' said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing."
Liberals are supposed to be working to defend the working class. So why won't they openly go after Obama on these issues?
Our unfair trade agreements have put American workers in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the globe.
Until this is fixed, you will continue to hear a "great sucking sound" as millions of jobs continue to leave the United States and go to places where labor is ten to twenty times cheaper.
It is insanity what we are doing. We allow big corporations to send their manufacturing offshore and also to ship their products back into the United States for free. Where in that equation is good news for the American worker?
#11 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Exploitation Of Slave Labor Around The Globe
All over the globe, workers toil in nightmarish conditions for slave labor pay just so that Americans can feed their addiction for cheap foreign products. Big corporations and collectivist governments such as China are getting unbelievably rich by exploiting this slave labor pool.
Get educated about this and find out the truth. It just might totally change the way that you view "free trade".
#12 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Damage To The Environment Our Trade Relationships Cause
Liberals are supposed to deeply care about the environment. But our trade relationship with nations on the other side of the globe result in thousands of factories and businesses leaving our shores and ending up in countries where the environmental regulations are not nearly as strict. In fact, nations such as China are a complete and total environmental nightmare at this point. If liberals truly cared about the environment they would want to keep factories and businesses here.
#13 Very Dangerous Products Continue To Flood Into This Country From Overseas
Isn't product safety supposed to be a big thing for liberals? Today, a huge percentage of the products we buy are made outside the United States far from the watchful eyes of our regulatory agencies. Over the past couple of years, there has been headline after headline about dangerous products made in China. The following is just one example of this: 10 Babies Die Mysteriously At Fort Bragg: Toxic Drywall From China Used In Base Homes The Culprit?
#14 The Globalization Of The Economy Causes Income Inequality To Grow
By paying slave labor wages to workers overseas, the big corporations are becoming very wealthy. At the same time, that means that there are much fewer jobs for average working class Americans, and wages for the jobs that remain are pushed down because of increased competition for jobs.
So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
If you don't believe that income inequality in the United States has become a huge problem, just check out this chart.
#15 Because Of All Of The Cheating And All Of The Predatory Behavior That Is Going On, Our Trade Relationships Have Become Incredibly Imbalanced
Today, the United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States. So how is that even close to "fair"?
Our store shelves are absolutely packed with stuff from China.
In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was "scrap and trash". Even in high technology products we are being destroyed. In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in "advanced technology products" of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
#16 Our Gigantic Trade Deficit Is Destroying Our National Wealth
The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.
Our gigantic trade deficits are making us poorer as a nation each and every month. Each year, somewhere around half a trillion dollars of our national wealth gets transferred out of the United States. That half a trillion dollars could be going to support U.S. businesses and U.S. jobs. Taxes could be paid on that half a trillion dollars. But instead it leaves the country and makes other nations wealthier.
#17 The Globalization Of The Economy Has Caused Unemployment In The United States To Explode
If you gathered together all of the workers that are "officially" unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.
#18 As Our Cities Are Deindustrialized, Many Of Them Are Being Transformed Into Absolute Hellholes
The other day, I wrote the following about what is happening in cities and towns across the United States....
"All across America there are cities and towns that were once prosperous and beautiful that are being transformed into absolute hellholes. The scars left by the long-term economic decline of the United States are getting deeper and more gruesome."
#19 Without Good Jobs, An Increasing Number Of Americans Are Having To Turn To Government Assistance
We are going to support U.S. workers one way or another. Either we are going to provide them with good jobs, or we are going to let their jobs be shipped out of the country and we are going to pay for the government to feed and house them.
Today, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps. That number has gone up by more than 70 percent since 2007. Almost every single month we set a new all-time record for the number of people being fed by the federal government.
#20 If Nothing Is Done, All Of This Is Going To Get A Lot Worse
According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.
Can you imagine what America is going to look like if that happens?
"...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
Posted with permission from The Economic Collapse
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