Skip to comments.Free Trade Cheats American
Posted on 01/23/2013 7:24:00 AM PST by Kaslin
The re-election of Barack Obama hasn't done anything to make more jobs available to Americans, and there is no indication that it will. America now has 23 million people who want a full-time job but can't find one.
Obama doesn't think American citizens or businessmen create jobs. His Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt, recently said on a television interview referring to China, where he has outsourced General Electric's light bulb plants, "state-run Communism may not be your cup of tea, but their government works."
In his first presidential debate last year, Obama claimed that passage of free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia would create U.S. jobs because they would double our exports and promote his goal of "a seamless regional economy." One year after Congress passed these trade deals, exports to Korea have declined by more than $1.2 billion in comparison to the same months the year before, while imports have risen.
The official U.S. International Trade Commission admits that the Korea agreement will cause significant job losses, not just in low-end industries but also make a victim of the electronic equipment manufacturing industry. The Economic Policy Institute, a leftist think tank, estimates the Korea agreement will cost us 159,000 more jobs over the next five years.
The trade pact's 1,000 pages of rules and regulations will be enforced by foreign tribunals. Ron Paul calls this "a sneaky form of international preemptions, undermining the critical checks and balances and freedoms established by the U.S. Constitution."
Our annual trade deficit with China has increased to $290 billion. Our exports to China were up 6.4 percent over the previous year, but imports increased by 6.5 percent.
In 2002, we granted Communist China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), which is a fancy name for free trade, and the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month ever since. U.S. employment dropped 2.6 percent because of a combination of outsourcing and absence of job growth that would have taken place without the trade agreement, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve's Justin Pierce and Yale's Peter Schott.
Mainstream economists have been stuck for years in the notion that any attack on "free trade" is heretical, but finally their dogma is cracking. Even the Washington Post now acknowledges that "trade liberalization" with China is a big reason for the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Forbes Magazine published an article titled "America's Manufacturing Crisis: Finally Harvard Gets It." What academics finally "get" is that it is, indeed, a disaster for America to lose our manufacturing base specifically because that causes us to lose our "ability to innovate."
The theorists held onto their out-of-date free-trade theory despite the loss of millions of outsourced jobs, despite 42,000 U.S. factories permanently closed, and despite the loss of high blue-collar wages that could support a family. But our loss of innovation is finally waking them up.
Most people recognize that America's prosperity and high standard of living depend on our remarkable power and skill of innovation produced by manufacturing. They should read Alexander Hamilton's great 1791 treatise on the importance of manufacturing.
Harvard management professors Gary P. Pisano and Willy C. Shih emphasize the effect on innovation in their new book "Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance." Another useful book is "Freedom's Forge" by Arthur Herman, which proves that a manufacturing base is essential for national security, and we couldn't have won World War II without it.
Our manufacturing base was what enabled the "arsenal of democracy" in 1944 to produce a war plane every five minutes, 150 tons of steel every hour and eight aircraft carriers a month. After World War II, our manufacturing base caused an incredible rise in our standard of living, bringing electricity and indoor plumbing to most homes and good wages that built a middle class to enable blue-collar workers to support a fulltime homemaker to raise their children.
We've been told that the new normal is for America to be an economy based on providing services instead of products. The trouble is it's pretty hard to export services such as waiters and dry cleaners; we can only export things we make.
The main defect with free trade is that, in the words of the old cliche, it takes two to tango. America steps naively onto the dance floor, but Communist China won't dance.
China protects and subsidizes its home industries and products, forces foreign-owned plants to give China their patents and trade secrets, cheats us with shoddy and dangerous exports, manipulates its currency to keep it artificially low, operates a large network of technology spies in the United States and pays slave-labor wages to its workers.
Protectionism cheats Americans. Free trade merely puts us in our place.
You are right.
And it will be interesting to see which Freepers agree with Schafly, and disagree with Reagan (and Palin, and Levin, and Sowell, and Williams, etc) on this economic issue.
Many will. Sad.
Oh, while I’m at it, Milton Friedman also gives a brilliantly simple disseration on how free trade allows for incredible efficiency in the markets, benefitting all consumers, and promoting peace among countries - while protectionism raises the cost of everything, reduces the efficiency of everything, and promotes bad feelings among countries.
Milton Friedman 4 Phyllis 0
There aren’t any easy or pat answers about foreign economic policy. Each has risks and costs, as well as benefits.
But the union phenomenon, for whatever good it may once have done, has now run amok and shoots America in the foot. Things are driven overseas that never needed to be.
“manipulates its currency”
Don’t you love it when they throw that in? “What’s a ‘federal reserve system’? Never heard of it.”
Trade can be believed to promote world peace as long as one assumes everyone has their price in terms of messes of pottage.
Reality is that this is not always true! And money itself is an amoral thing, a tool that can be used to do good or evil. And once actually idolized (a step in the spiritual dimension, into which economics can have no insight) it definitely becomes a root of all kinds of evils.
Wait, since when were we talking about love of money? Since when is free trade in closer contact with the evil which lurks in men’s hearts than protectionism? Certainly the political means of earning a living, i.e. stealing, is more prone to greedy exploitation than earning a living through trade.
Isn’t the point of this article that protectionism would materially benefit us? So it’s a technical question, not God against Mammon.
Throw in the coming amnesty, continued global wage arbitrage and other obvious patterns of change.
The American worker will continue to have debasement of salary and will enjoying the fruits of cheap bling. The discussion in the future will be the enjoyment of cheap trinkets or the necessities of having a job.
That group of voters who pulled the lever for Ross Perot has never really gone away (and in some areas of the country I think it’s grown).
We can debate the merits, but this sort of economic populism would be a way out of the woods for the GOP.
Since the bible was written, that’s when? This is a modern essay into a very, very old question. The bible should not be treated as the newcomer here.
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. The price we pay in increased social spending, crime, and taxes as a result of “free” trade must be one we are willing to pay.
Exporting our jobs means that the engine that drove American prosperity is shut down. Those that used to be able to support a family, buy a house, send their kids to college, now can’t. Many of the ills we here on Free Republic complain about (welfare, the housing crisis, the trillion dollar college loan racket, etc.) can be traced to “free” trade.
Don’t get me wrong, I think free trade is the right way to go, but we have to be willing to pay the price.
Those are hardly the result if free trade. Those are political decisions made outside the market and according to different principles.
I have no idea what you mean.
You Free Traders must love Socialism because that’s where it leads.
The country is short 20 Million jobs. People who can’t find a job have to eat and their kids have to have medicine. Your kidding yourself if you think otherwise. Its much better to find jobs for these people.
See how aggressive China is getting. There military is being built on the back of Free Trade.
How expensive do you think WWW3 will be?
The so-called “free trade” currently destroying America is a deliberately constructed one-way mess primarily with COMMUNIST China.
China in no way is liberalizing itself. It is just taking over.
America continues to support this, as the part of the total we receive gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller.
We need a new way.
Not sure exactly how to improve things, but what we have not isn’t it.
Know hoe I know free trade didn’t cause those problems? The solutions popped up before the engine of prosperity was shut down in the manner of which you speak. Back then they blamed free trade, too, among other things. It was the poor farmers, left behind in a cruel new world of largescale manufacturing. There was a Welfare State, then, before free trade was allowed to grind us down as you imagine happening now.
Know how I know free trade didn’t cause those problems? The solutions popped up before the engine of prosperity was shut down in the manner of which you speak. Back then they blamed free trade, too, among other things. It was the poor farmers, left behind in a cruel new world of largescale manufacturing. There was a Welfare State, then, before free trade was allowed to grind us down as you imagine happening now.
Ah, there’s the war drums, right on schedule. Whivh system was it, again, that was more conducive to peace? I’m guessing not the side that begrudges another country getting richer lest it diminish our chances in the war which they assume is inevitable.
Increased welfare spending because we can’t let those that had their jobs exported starve. Increased social stress causing safety concerns because there are no jobs and some feel that crime is their only option. There is no principle that stands alone. Every action causes other things to take place. Pay $1 less for a t-shirt and then pay $1 more in taxes. Enrich the Chinese. I guess those are the sort of decisions that should have been discussed.
There is a presumption that America is rich because of massive superiority
That is not completely true . T he wealth is largely the result of having won and being unscathed. By WW II
The effects have worn off and others are or have, caught up
We must compete to continue. All this thought About what was continuing is just so mu h falderal. The easy times Are over
Free trade doesn’t lead to socialism. Socialism leads to more socialism. I’ll tell you the easiest way to produce more socialism: tank the economy by going protectionist. Things’ll get worse and they, like you, will blame the free market. Their constant solution in search of a problem will have found the same problem not to fix. I’ve seen this movie before.
*&%@ Free trade. What about Fair Trade?
E except the business owners, no one owns a job
No one had their job exported
So true, which dictates that the only answer is LIBERTY - because no guiding elitist government policy wonk can ever get it perfect. With liberty, everything is a dynamic that is constantly changing.
I stand with Friedman, Limbaugh, Reagan, Palin, Sowell, Williams, and my own extensive business background, and say with due respect sir, you could not be more wrong.
There is an un-nerving undercurrent of faith in the ability of bureaucrats to make things “fair” and “right” in your posts. We call that trait “liberalism.”
No principle stands alone, okay. But the principles that go with free trade, and which used to form part of the common American culture, are no more. The answer to losing jobs was not welfarism, and by right shouldn’t be. But we’ve had criminals, maniacs, and just plain wrongheaded people in charge for nearly a century. They replaced old ethics, politics, and economics with new, much worse, ones. And theirs don’t work. Only ours ever cranked the engine of growth. Theirs feeds upon it.
Now, that’s too simplistic, for we always had our Hamiltons and Lincolns, and it was always impossible to tweeze apart the market from mere politics. But up to the 1890s we had very basic agreement about man’s place in the order of the universe and politics’ place in the order of mankind. Then a new way took over. And you plop free trade into the midst of it, which is only right. It is amidst socialism. But get this: when the two oppose eachother you choose socialism. Why?!? Why not let this one area, at least, be governed properly? We have so little.
What about fair trade? I, for one, have no clue what it is, besides protectionism by a different name.
Well, I agree. We are dealing with the way things are now, not how they were, and not how they should be, and not how we’d like them to be.
In the midst of our socialist reality, does free trade really perform as it would in a vacuum? If it doesn’t, then it needs to be adjusted to deal with reality.
What would I do? First, I’d end all tax incentives to export jobs. I’d end the H1-b program. I’d actually have a manufacturing policy. More, but that’s all that come to mind on the spur of the moment.
In my opinion, ending those government meddles would help to return free trade to where it should be. Until then, most of us in the US pay the price.
Huh? In one moment, you say you would have “a manufacturing policy” - and then in the next sentence you say end government meddling.
Well, which is it?
A manufacturing policy that ends H1-b’s and tax incentives to export jobs.
F-free trade. The term itself is amorphous and intentionally vague. When America was “protectionist” we were a powerhouse of industry and exported plenty. The idea of being protectionist simply conflicts with those whose agenda is to destroy the sovereignty of nations particularly the US. Thus putting America’s interests first is anathema if that equates to a strong independent country with borders, laws and a culture that don’t reflect or yield to some communal brotherhood of trade and prosperity for all...
The bric nations; China, Brazil, Russia, India and also Japan are by American standards and the screaming talking heads of conservatism absolutely protectionist of their own economies and for the most part their sovereignty.
Being protectionist doesn’t equate to somehow the cessation of international trade or giving the finger to the rest of the world. I think the knee-jerk reaction is that America would turn into a modern day Japan of centuries ago and crawl into a fetal ball.
It’s sad when the arguments are framed by a couple of words meant to persuade and then infantile ranting and ad hoc attacks and strawmen and then special pleading as to the complexity and wisdom of it all. Our elites and especially our “conservative” elites of politics, academia and especially talk radio I put the blame on whom through complicity or ignorance or profit have been participating on this ruse and giant lie that is free trade.
One can’t be for internationalism “in favor of an agenda that reduces America until it can and must fit into a world government as an equal” and still be for America “in favor of an strong and sovereign, independent nation separate and unyielding of it’s best interests”.
What used to be considered treasonous is now just one patriots differing version of what is a dream for America.
Freedom or tyranny - independence or submission.
free trade - euphemism for the raping of America.
If it wasn’t for America there would be no free trade as the whole thing is about our dissolution.
Like the Roman empire - when they allowed everyone to become citizens as their economy and money became devalued the value of citizenship became worthless and huge benefits became enslaving.
(aside)Similar to the Christian theological argument over free grace versus lordship salvation. After 30 years no one can quite describe what either position really is and the arguments are influenced by the terminology used. Who could be against “free” grace. I mean grace is free or it isn’t.
Maybe it’s a false dichotomy. Two choices presented as the only options that don;t tell the whole story or include all the options.
There ARE NO tax incentives to export jobs. You have fallen prey to a libeal talking point.
I only had to read one sentence to figure out your historical ignorance. When we were a powerhouse of industry, it’s because the rest of the world was devastated by WW 2 or was totally undeveloped. That situation is totally different now, so you’ve made a straw argument with no reflection of reality nor any understanding of it.
Actually we were a first world industrialized power at the beginning of the 20th century; maybe not by modern standards but by historical standards judging each generation or era and not conflating them.
It would appear that this thread has gone to the ‘dogs’.
...and dogs don’t know anything about history....
While I can disagree with mere protectionist arguments against mere free trade, the truth of the issue is not absolute, not black and white and does not in practice fall into what is preached in theory.
What is “free trade” between two trading partners when the economies of the two do not operate on the same principles and the very principles by which one of the economies operates - China’s - amount to a mercantilist, protectionist management of the business and industry in the economy.
Are the domestic PRIVATE enterprises operating and being controlled by the same “free enterprise” principles? No. Then it is not really “free trade”, but the pretense of it with one side handicapped and the other protected.
Conservatives need to wake up. The term and the conditions under which “free enterprise” came up philisophically were meant to UNDUE mercantilism and its variants. Being a mercantilist crony-capitalist where the agendas of the state and the crony-capitalist are joined at the hip have nothing to do with “free enterprise” and turns the sales con job of “free trade” with a mercantilist economy into a joke.
Many conservatives speak the theory of free trade well but deny that what is actually taking place is various protectionist economies being enhanced to continue their mercantilist ways under the pretense of American “free trade”.
The giant corporate crony capitalists are selling out the futures of their own enterprise for 30 pieces of silver today. They might survive, by becoming as integrated with the state as the companies in Asia they are trying to compete with. If that’s how they survive, true free enterprise in the U.S. domestic economy cannot survive as true free enterprises. The state and the crony-capitalists will entirely merge in the U.S. in order to stay alive in the mercantilist world their present misguided efforts are helping to shape.
The 21st century is so complex and advanced any ideas pre WWII are hopelessly outdated and defunct.
The world is so integrated globalism and free trade are a forgone conclusion.
Any beliefs since the founding of the US must bend and adjust to the new order of things. ie. sustainable development - free trade - agenda 21.
Funny thing is all these 21 century plans and integration were well developed and laid out pre and just post WWII.
Many authors and academics and politicians have openly spoken of them.
Gatt, Nafta and Cafta were laid out in the open as policy in the 50’s.
Anyone who does their homework can find this stuff out.
Even at the bottom of the current recession - 2009 and 2010 - the USA out-produced China by $100 billion.
To put this in perspective, China and the USA are now roughly equal in manufacturing output.
However, China uses EIGHT times more manufacturing workers than the USA to produce the same output!
Re: “The country is short 20 Million jobs.”
Speaking of “Free Trade”.....
Since 1995 America has “IMPORTED” at least 20 million new completely LEGAL foreign workers.
Most of those foreign workers have limited skills and limited education, which has destroyed the wage base in manufacturing.
Well, hell, that settles it -- that's who I want to partner up with!!
We owe these policies to the faceless, nameless "Them" who, gaining intellectual ascendancy over the intellectually weak Bush clan, and "Poppy" Bush over most of the Reagan Administration through his patronage deal with Ronny and the Reaganauts, outsourced and trashed every industrial capacity in sight, laid waste our manufacturing workforce and crushed wages generally by playing outsourcing, "comparative advantage", and green-card games. They've had a free hand since about 1981, when Reagan came into office, to push "internationalization" and offshoring. Now serious people are beginning to count the cost, which has been fantastic. Wonder how many "T's" of GNP we've given up since George H.W. Bush became Vice-President, and James Baker became Reagan's chief of staff?
It wasn't true during the 1890's, the 1900's, the 1920's, or the 1930's. We dusted them back then, too.
I don’t waste my time with folks who pull quotes out of context. Think “developed world” - as well as WW2. And think WW1 while you’re at it. In other words, none of that has any relevance to today because MORE IS DIFFERENT than is the same.
It is good the free traitors were not around in the 1930’s and 40’s. Europe would be a NAzi Empire and Asia would be under the Rising Sun. My guess China and Japan(and or South Korea) will be at it soon. On that day this great experiment with the selling out of America ends.. Can’t happen soon enough.
Unions are dead. 95% of the manufacturing jobs exported were non union to begin with.
Free Trade is to the Republicans as Global Warming is to the Democrats. Both hoaxes and ruses.
That’s an absurd extrapolation, but go ahead, think yourself smarter on macro economics than Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, Larry Kudlow, Ronald Reagan - go ahead you genius you.....