Skip to comments.The Race To The Middle For 2008
Posted on 12/03/2006 7:47:19 AM PST by A. Pole
The best postmortem on the 2006 election came from that perennial politician, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). He said, "People want to know who's on their side. Whether it's health care or wages or retirement issues, they want to have someone on their side."
The biggest electoral bloc of the "they" who are seeking friends is the middle class, which includes people variously labeled blue-collar workers, skilled workers, or Reagan Democrats. They are the swing voters, often called the moveables. President Ronald Reagan's victories absolutely depended on their support. But Presidents Bush I and II kicked them away from the Republican Party, particularly on the issue of jobs.
Did the 2006 election teach Republicans that it is smart to be friends of the middle class? Have Republicans realized that jobs were second only to the unpopular war as the issue of 2006, and will surely be the number-one issue in 2008? George W. Bush carried Ohio in 2004 because the marriage amendment brought out the values voters. But Democrats can play that game, too: in 2006 the Ohio referendum on increasing the minimum wage raised the jobs issue, passed by 57 percent, and helped to bury Republican candidates.
Ohio has lost its manufacturing base. Some of the good jobs went to plants that were outsourced overseas and some disappeared in the tsunami of cheap Chinese goods as Wal-Mart replaced small businesses and left behind towns with empty streets and boarded-up windows.
Incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine was badly defeated by Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) who had led the congressional fight against CAFTA and wrote a book called "Myths of Free Trade." Brown's TV ads showing him standing in front of a "plant closed" sign were powerful.
Almost every one of the Republican Members of Congress who bit the dust in the 2006 election had been an enthusiastic booster of the globalists' agenda: NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO (World Trade Organization), Fast Track, PNTR (Permanent Normal Trading Relations), and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with countries most Americans never heard of. Republicans were badly on the defensive in the face of Democrat ads touting the issue of jobs.
The United States has lost over three million manufacturing jobs since Bush became President. The U.S. trade deficit hit a record high of $717 billion last year, and is expected to be even higher this year.
The middle class is not placated by feel-good talk that the stock market has climbed to a record high, or that unemployment is at a record low, or that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is growing. Unemployment statistics don't count the guys who lost $50,000 jobs in manufacturing and are now working $25,000 jobs in retail, and job-growth figures happily do count the wives who have been involuntarily forced into the labor force just to keep groceries on the table.
The middle class is not placated by glib slogans that free trade is good for the economy and that protectionism is a nasty word. Common sense tells them that there is no such thing as a free lunch and yes, indeed, they do expect friends in government and industry to protect American jobs against unfair competition from foreigners who work for 30 cents an hour. Americans relish competition, as our national fixation on sports contests proves every day. But the globalists have destroyed a level playing field and, in addition, have subordinated us to an umpire (a.k.a. the WTO) that is biased against us.
Globalist policies have encouraged U.S. employers to use near-slave labor in Asia, whose products are then guaranteed duty-free or low-tariff re-entry to the United States. Those products are then sold here for prices that are cheap by U.S. standards but have a high markup of up to 80 percent.
Globalist policies also allow discrimination against U.S. manufacturers by the Value Added Tax racket, whereby foreign governments subsidize their products both coming and going. For example, German automobiles cost 16 percent less in the United States than the same car sold in Germany, and U.S. automobiles cost 16 percent more in Germany than the same car bought in the United States.
Nancy Pelosi plans to shift the dialogue on Capitol Hill to worker's pay, college tuition, health-care costs, and other issues that touch ordinary families. Her solutions are all bad economics and very expensive, but they will enable her to pose as a friend of the middle class.
All six U.S. Senators thought to be planning a run for the Democratic nomination for president voted against CAFTA. The issue would be dramatically joined if the Democratic nominee were opposed, for example, by Senator John McCain, who supported NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, and PNTR for China.
Will Republicans continue to follow George W. Bush in his post-election travels to solicit even more Asian products made by cheap labor and subsidized by their governments? Or will Republicans get smart on the jobs issue and reestablish their friendship with the Reagan Democrats?
The Constitution has free trade rules, laws, specifics?
(sorry, I'm just obviously ignorant on this subject of free trade and the Constitution)
I won't vote for a protectionist Republican. Granted, a real regime of hard line protectionism would be so economically damaging (and other nations would retaliate, precipitating trade wars), that it would never be implemented. But that doesn't mean we won't have to endure being subjected to demagogic lip servicing of it.
Actually Ted is right :"People want to know who's on their side. Whether it's health care or wages or retirement issues, they want to have someone on their side."
The problem is that they believe the lies the Democrats tell them and actually think the Democrats care about them.
They dont. The Democrats talk a good game then they tax us to death. They talk about health care and then they give us crap.They talk about jobs and then they pass enviro-whack legislation that takes jobs to foreign countries.
Constitutional government prohibits international organizations like the WTO from having any effect on Congress, our trade policy or US citizens. "free trade" agreements grant organizations like the WTO, and foreign agents and foreign countries unlawful authority to make rules and influence US trade.
What is protectionism?
Imposing tariffs, quotas, work content rules or anything else that restricts the free flow of goods across borders at prices set by a willing seller or buyer. I hope that helps. Obviously there are degrees of protectionism. We have too much of it as it is. By the way, trade treaties are not unconstitutional. They are ratified by Congress. I am tired of seeing the ludicrous assertion made.
See "Canadian softwood lumber dispute" as a perfect example of the latter -- in which various trade bodies (NAFTA panel, WTO, etc.) ruled against the U.S. with boring regularity over a period of five years, yet the U.S. still kept the tariff on Canadian lumber in place until it eventually (earlier this year) prevailed upon the Canadian government to sign a softwood lumber trade agreement that was heavily in our favor.
Replace it with fair trade and trade reciprocity.
Thanks! Can no one go to court over this violation then?
Sounds good, but who will do this?
I know of one conservative who would. Rep. Duncan Hunter, there is soem talk of him running in 2008.
Communists and socialists hate each other (because each think they should be in charge, but, if you recall from Hitler's time, they cooperate to get into power, then one kills (in that case, literally) the other.
Anyhoo, almost without exception, all the college-educated kids I run into (i.e., anyone under 35), will outright say they are socialists, and that wealth distribution (the forced, governmental type) is right and good. Am I still in America, here?
If I had a dollar for every college grad who had zilch real life experience, can't write well or think creatively, is a socialist or communist, who has not one entrepreneurial bone in their body, who thinks working for the government or an NGO is the ultimate, and who thinks they should be in charge...I'd be quite well-off financially.
Between the over 60 crowd who watches CBS/NBC/ABC and lives in that lie/bubble and votes how they dictate, to these sadly brainwashing, non-thinking recent college grads, not to mention the old-fashioned left vote fraud, how are family folks like myself to defend the American dream at the voting booth? Is our day over?
I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but election has not been an ear mark of progress, unless you are looking at it as a triumph for "Progress" (code word: communism).
Unfortunately you are right. Democrats might use the pretense of their supposed concern for working people to advance their decadent agenda same way as Republicans pretend to care for moral issues to advance corporate interests.
The third party is not viable in the majority system (as opposed to proportional) of voting. Only thing left is to use lobbying and pressure on whomever is in the office. This is not much.
Only during the election time. In the meantime (much longer than elections) they act according the wishes of those who pressure them. The regular voters after using their ballot go to sleep.
Interesting - you won't vote for a protectionist Republican. I guess that means you wouldn't have voted for Abe Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt, among many others.
Abraham Lincoln was asked about using British rails and trains to create the Transcontinental Railroad, since British imports were cheaper than American made equipment. He rejected cheap imports, saying that if America bought the rails from the British, America would have the rails and the British would have the money. But if Americans bought the rails from other Americans, America would have both the rails and the money.
Luckily you are much smarter than Abe Lincoln and reject his advice on protectionism. BTW, his policies turned the U.S. into the arsenal of democracy and an industrial powerhouse.
Change "might" to "WILL" and you've got a bullseye.
Ironically, that decadent agenda runs exactly counter to the working class that voted the perpe-traitors into power.
I think its over.
Source? I'm finding dozens that say just the opposite.
Bruce Bartlett on Wages on NRO Financial According to the BLS, wages and salaries have fallen from 72.6 percent of total compensation in 2000 to 70 percent in June of this year. At the same time, ... article.nationalreview.com/?q=OGEzYTg0MzNmMGU5OWYzNjQ0OTUwOGJkMjI2MTBjYzU=
Bush and his supporters need to realize that corporatism is not conservativism (my tagline). While wages overall may be up, most of it is increases in bonuses and payoffs for people at the very top. Many people have had to move back in with their parents and take low-paying jobs so they can pay off student loans for jobs that have been outsourced of just eliminated, while being unable to provide for their immediate families.