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Today's Free Trade is not about the Free Market
JEFFHEAD.COM ^ | 08/01/2003 | Jeff Head

Posted on 08/01/2003 2:05:33 PM PDT by Jeff Head

TODAY'S FREE TRADE IS NOT ABOUT THE FREE MARKET

We are in a very real battle in this nation and it is a battle for our heart and soul. It is spread out on many, many fronts...education, foreign policy, work ethic (individually and societally), immigration, the economy, moral values...and the list goes on.

Let's focus on the economy and one significant part of it...a major, growing part of it. Free Trade and foreign outsourcing.

I was going to entitle this article..."I used to make something"...or..."We used to make something in this country". But, I thought better of it and realized that such a statment was really focusing on the tail end of the issue as opposed to the root.

So, instead, I am simply calling it, "Today's Free Trade is not about the Free Market."

And it is so, today's Free Trade is NOT about the free market. Instead, in a very similar manner to other key issues in this battle for the heart and soul of America, what is happening is that a very craftily wordsmithed message of "Free Trade" has been put forth that people have bought into, thinking "How could anyone be against free trade? Why, isn't that all-American?".

Like with abortion, "How could anyone be against a woman's right to choose? Isn't that all American?".

In both cases, the craftily worded title has nothing remotely to do with what is actually going on.

The free market is the system our founders based our commerce on, where the intrinsic, underlying moral values of the people involved in the free market governed the equitable, free exchange of goods and services for other goods and services or currency. Sort of like John Adams said regarding the Constitution...

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."- John Adams, Oct. 11, 1798
It is that underlying moral foundation coupled woth our liberty that made the Free Market in America the envy of the world, just like those same issues made our governmental form the envy of the world.

Well, as far as I am conerned, Adam's words could be tailored to this topic like so, ie... The Free Market was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the economy of any other.

This is a basic truth. Like our government, our free market was not supposed to be very regulated or burdened with miriad rules. The people and the companies were to use their own moral foundation to govern themselves. But, when the moral foundation is removed, you do not have what was intended for the Constitution, and you do not have a true free market.

When we use our foreign policy and economic policy to set up shop and trade with countries, societies, organizations or to implement policies that exploit their people's mercilessly, who keep them down without a hope for true liberty or freedom, who trample the moral values our own system was based upon...and when we do it knowingly, without compuction for those very underlying values, then we do not create a free market...no, that free trade has nothing whatsoever to do with, and is in no way similar to the FREE MARKET, rather, it serves to corrupt it.

Such notions, such actions are in fact wordsmithing for popularizing and putting forth a policy to drain the United States manufacturing, technological, agricultural, energy and other critical industries in order to weaken us...plain and simple...and it is working.

Based on my own travels on behalf of US firms and then later consulting for them...that is what is really happening here in my own opinion, and until we refocus as a people on that underlying moral foundation and the absolute need for it...we will continue to lose ground.

By the way, those same principles that are working at the societal level, have equal application at the personal level too...in fact, in the end it is the sum of their working at the personal level that creates the issue at the societal level.

Jeff Head
Engineering Consultant and,
Author of The Dragon's Fury Series
How current conditions could lead to World War

August 1, 2003
Emmett, Idaho


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: foreignmfg; freetrade; geopoliticalrisk; landgrab; outsourcing; peterprinciple; soveriegnty
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Lot's of talk about this here on FR lately. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
1 posted on 08/01/2003 2:05:33 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: joanie-f; Dukie; JohnHuang2; k.trujillo; Travis McGee; Critter; Lurker; harpseal; sneakypete; ...
FYI.
2 posted on 08/01/2003 2:06:56 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
"Such notions, such actions are in fact wordsmithing for popularizing and putting forth a policy to drain the United States manufacturing, technological, agricultural, energy and other critical industries in order to weaken us...plain and simple...and it is working."

While I agree with much of your post, I do question whether you are claiming that overall American GDP has declined.

3 posted on 08/01/2003 2:11:55 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Jeff Head
Nicely said. Expect the "Free Trade Uber Alles" crowd to come mindlessly goosestepping in to take their pre-programmed shots at you.

I'm with you, though.

4 posted on 08/01/2003 2:12:45 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: Jeff Head
Well said!
5 posted on 08/01/2003 2:12:46 PM PDT by monkeywrench
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To: Jeff Head
Thanks for the Ping J
6 posted on 08/01/2003 2:16:41 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Tag Lines Repaired While You Wait! Reasonable Prices! Fast Service!)
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To: Jeff Head; AAABEST; Abundy; Uncle Bill; billbears; Victoria Delsoul; Fiddlstix; fporretto; ...
Meanwhile, the march toward socialism continues:

Bush: "Congress needs to approve reemployment accounts to help citizens who have the toughest time finding work." ... "I think my idea of reemployment accounts makes a lot of sense. In essence, it says that you get $3,000 from the federal government to help you with training, day care, transportation, perhaps moving to another city. And if, within a period of time, you're able to find a job, you keep the balance as a reemployment bonus."

7 posted on 08/01/2003 2:17:12 PM PDT by Sir Gawain (Every Jedi has a semi-retarded twin -- http://www.jedimaster.net)
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To: Jeff Head
Do you support nuking China?
8 posted on 08/01/2003 2:20:22 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Jeff Head
Good read, thanks for the post.
9 posted on 08/01/2003 2:23:55 PM PDT by exnavy
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To: Jeff Head
I couldn't agree with you more.
10 posted on 08/01/2003 2:25:41 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Texas_Dawg
Aren't you a little off-topic?
11 posted on 08/01/2003 2:27:29 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: hedgetrimmer
Aren't you a little off-topic?

Maybe... maybe not. I was just curious though.

12 posted on 08/01/2003 2:28:48 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Texas_Dawg
That's a question sort of like, "Have you stopped beating your wife, yet?"

Well...have you?

If my wife were trying to kill me or my kids, then I suppose I would probably be forced to defend myself and them and react physically and only stop when that threat was alleviated. I pray I am never put in such a situation.

In a like manner, if Red China were to threaten us to the point of that type of response, then like Truman, such a decision would have to be considered. I also pray we are never put in that situation.

That does not mean that current Free Trade policies are either good, or that they lead to that particular end-game. In my opinion, the current free trade policy is watering down and making a mockery of the free market...but that's just my opinion.

13 posted on 08/01/2003 2:28:59 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
Well said, Jeff.

Better put your American made asbestos suit on, though. I think that you're going to need it.
14 posted on 08/01/2003 2:32:34 PM PDT by Badray (Molon Labe!)
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To: Texas_Dawg
Interesting question you have there, how does it apply to the posted read?
15 posted on 08/01/2003 2:32:40 PM PDT by exnavy
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To: Texas_Dawg

Here is a little request, learn to debate in a intelligent, mature manner, and it is just a glance, many in the dogmatic free trade crowd simpily throw insults around. Again I restate, many people seem to support free trade because that is what the WSJ editorial page or Rush tells them those are views conservatives should support.
16 posted on 08/01/2003 2:33:56 PM PDT by JNB
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To: Cacophonous
Cacophonous wrote:

Nicely said. Expect the "Free Trade Uber Alles" crowd to come mindlessly goosestepping in to take their pre-programmed shots at you. I'm with you, though.

**************************************

Yep, I'm with him too.

I like making money, I like having money, I like spending and investing money.

I try to be VERY careful how I do ALL of those things.

Making money and producing goods can be a very beneficial thing to everybody if it is done honourably and decently.

HOWEVER:
Untrammeled capitalism is evil, period.

You MUST ask yourself if you are climbing over anyone's back to make good.

Unless there is someone here who thinks it is good that little kids work 16 hour days for a pittance in sweat-shops in SE Asia so that Walmart can sell cheap T-shirts?

There are people who would have that happen here, if they could get by with it.

Ebaneezer Scrooge is alive and well today.

Tia

17 posted on 08/01/2003 2:34:05 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: Jeff Head
BTTT!!!
18 posted on 08/01/2003 2:36:59 PM PDT by evolved_rage (Davis is a POS!)
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To: Jeff Head

My opinion is that the logical end result of todays "free trade" will result in less economic and social freedoms than ever before in the US, when a majority of Americans standard of living declines, and they can no longer fill that gap by taking cheap and easy money via home re-fis anymore. They will vote for people who vow to stop their standard of living from falling, and they will insert a whole bunch of other goddies too like state run health care, possibly even some state owned industries.
19 posted on 08/01/2003 2:37:51 PM PDT by JNB
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To: Jeff Head
Well said. It appears that this train has already left the tracks and won't stop until it hits the bottom of the gorge.

From the Chinese and Indian viewpoints, it is an economic war against the United States. Their own news outlets are pretty blantant about their intentions.

Both of those countries could be developing capitalistic economies internally, but that is just not happening. They are perfectly content to keep their peoples in poverty, and continue bleeding the wealth from the U.S. taxpayers and consumers.

It is far too obvious now for U.S. officials and businesses to claim ignorance about the Indian and Chinese motives.

Those who support this continued economic war against the working Americans need to be hanged, shot, stabbed, poisoned, drowned, and burned -- before the people really get upset at them.

20 posted on 08/01/2003 2:38:08 PM PDT by meadsjn
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To: Jeff Head
It's economic suicide to have free trade with a slave nation.

Unless your goal is to reduce your own nation to slave status.


21 posted on 08/01/2003 2:38:28 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: tiamat
Thanks. The sad part is, "free trade" is not capitalism. It's certainly not free markets (as Jeff Head said); it's a weird sort of globalist feeding frenzy.
22 posted on 08/01/2003 2:38:57 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: Jeff Head
That's a question sort of like, "Have you stopped beating your wife, yet?"

Sorry... I didn't mean for it to appear to be a trick question. I'm just asking... "If you were President right now, would you nuke China today?" That's all I'm asking. Would you drop a nuclear bomb on China right now if it was up to you? No trick here. Just a Yes or No.

23 posted on 08/01/2003 2:39:33 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Jeff Head
There are many issues here. Some of them don't make any sense. For example, one of the basic tenets taught in biz school is that you don't outsource your key competencies, but, in fact, many companies are outsourcing their key competencies of manufacuturing, software development, etc.

Second, one of the gospels of "free trade" is comparative advantage. If everything is being sent overseas, what is the comparative advantage of the United States? It used to be productivity and ingenuity, but with factories and intellecual property being sent to foreign countries, it would seem that we don't have much to offer the rest of the world except a rapidly declining customer base.

24 posted on 08/01/2003 2:40:30 PM PDT by TopDog2 (Deer are the spawn of satan! Wipe them out!!)
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To: JNB
Here is a little request, learn to debate in a intelligent, mature manner, and it is just a glance, many in the dogmatic free trade crowd simpily throw insults around.

I asked a very simple question and you folks took it to 1 million different conclusions.

25 posted on 08/01/2003 2:40:41 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: meadsjn
From the Chinese and Indian viewpoints, it is an economic war against the United States.

So how do you suggest we win this war?

26 posted on 08/01/2003 2:41:48 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: exnavy
Interesting question you have there, how does it apply to the posted read?

It doesn't directly. I'm just curious. Just a simple Yes or No question.

27 posted on 08/01/2003 2:43:06 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: meadsjn
From the Chinese and Indian viewpoints, it is an economic war against the United States.

Those who try to engage in economic warfare are those who are inept at both.

28 posted on 08/01/2003 2:43:09 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.)
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To: meadsjn
and continue bleeding the wealth from the U.S. taxpayers and consumers.

That's odd... I seem to be doing just fine. Same goes for 99.999% of Americans I know.

29 posted on 08/01/2003 2:46:10 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Jeff Head
You have stated some things that I felt but could not articulate.

For free-market capitalism to exist, there must necessarily be individual liberty to make choices about purchasing products and services with one's own money, selecting between competitors, acceptance of employment for an agreed-upon wage, etc. It makes no sense for us to deal with another country as if they are a free market when they're not, any more than it would make sense to treat North Korea as a democratic republic.
30 posted on 08/01/2003 2:46:49 PM PDT by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: Texas_Dawg
I seem to be doing just fine. Same goes for 99.999% of Americans I know.

I doubt you know 100,000 people and if you did, I suspect more than one of them would have financial problems linked to exported jobs, etc.

31 posted on 08/01/2003 2:49:06 PM PDT by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: Cacophonous
I know, but I think they are related. Like with the cheap Chinese T-shirts: China has Most Favored Nation status. ( If I were running things they would NOT, and largely because of how they go about their manufacturing. I don't like slave labor) They sell us lots of stuff, holding companies buy up lots for Old Navy and we gobble it up.

And the Chinese, and some of these American corporations make scads of dough on the backs of kids, all because "Free Trade" has gone nuts.

The Chinese are getting way more out of the deal than we are too.

Me?

I just don't need that many cheap t-shirts. ( Although it is getting harder and harder to find anything that DOESN'T have a "bad" label in it! ) It's all inter-related.

Tia

32 posted on 08/01/2003 2:50:12 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno World!")
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To: TopDog2
...one of the gospels of "free trade" is comparative advantage..

Actually, comparative advantage - the notion that countries should specialize in producing what they can do cheapest - came from David Ricardo, an advocate of "free trade", but NOT, as the astute Mr. Head points out, of free markets. It's basic flaw is that ignores the profit motive.

Ricardo, incidentally, greatly influenced Marx and his ideas formed much of the bases of Marxism / Socialism.

33 posted on 08/01/2003 2:50:13 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: Jeff Head
This should be in the vanity section not news.
34 posted on 08/01/2003 2:50:16 PM PDT by q_an_a
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To: Sloth
For free-market capitalism to exist, there must necessarily be individual liberty to make choices about purchasing products and services with one's own money, selecting between competitors, acceptance of employment for an agreed-upon wage, etc.

That is classic. You make this great statement about what it takes "for free-market capitalism to exist" (and I assume you want it to exist in America) and then in the very next sentence argue why Americans should not be allowed "individual liberty to make choices about purchasing products and services with [their] own money".

35 posted on 08/01/2003 2:50:28 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Texas_Dawg
Would you drop a nuclear bomb on China right now if it was up to you?

Doesn't Hillary have some other tasks for you to do today?

There's a lot of room for action between letting our country get economically raped, and waging war in return.

If you were so opposed to government intervention in economic matters, you would be giving equal time to the elimination of taxes and regulation on American workers.

36 posted on 08/01/2003 2:50:43 PM PDT by meadsjn
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To: Poohbah
Those who try to engage in economic warfare are those who are inept at both.

That's inane even for you, Poohbah.

37 posted on 08/01/2003 2:51:53 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: Texas_Dawg
and then in the very next sentence argue why Americans should not be allowed "individual liberty to make choices about purchasing products and services with [their] own money".

I said no such thing. I don't think there should be any gov't involvement in sales transactions between private parties (except for sales tax on new goods).

38 posted on 08/01/2003 2:52:59 PM PDT by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: Sloth
I doubt you know 100,000 people and if you did, I suspect more than one of them would have financial problems linked to exported jobs, etc.

Not sure exactly how many people I know or know of but I know a bunch and have not heard one single person complaining about "illegals" or "exported jobs". I tend to surround myself with people that work hard and don't look for government handouts (welfare, tariffs, etc.) to solve their problems.

39 posted on 08/01/2003 2:53:25 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Texas_Dawg
That is not a simple question, to demand a one word answer to such a complex question is like wearing a " kick me " sign on your back.
40 posted on 08/01/2003 2:54:06 PM PDT by exnavy
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To: Texas_Dawg
A nation's policy should not be based exclusively on the ability of the consumer to buy cheaper goods. It has to also consider the economic well-being and capabilities of the country.
41 posted on 08/01/2003 2:54:09 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: meadsjn
Would you drop a nuclear bomb on China right now if it was up to you?

I notice you can't really say "No" to this question. Or at least, you haven't yet.

42 posted on 08/01/2003 2:54:47 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: meadsjn
Blatent is right: Protectionist Backlash Against Outsourcing

This is basically India's current play book for "dealing" with an offshoring backlash.

43 posted on 08/01/2003 2:55:43 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: Texas_Dawg
That's odd... I seem to be doing just fine. Same goes for 99.999% of Americans I know.

You don't know many people. It doesn't matter what is going on with a handful of well-off elites, what matters is what is happening to a large percentage of the people, the number of people who have worked all their lives successfully who are now losing jobs or working for $6 an hour instead of $15 an hour.

44 posted on 08/01/2003 2:56:16 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: exnavy
That is not a simple question, to demand a one word answer to such a complex question is like wearing a " kick me " sign on your back.

"Would you drop a nuclear bomb on China today (meaning, right now, August 1st, 2003) if you had the chance?" is a complex question?

45 posted on 08/01/2003 2:56:28 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Jeff Head
Nice summation Jeff.
46 posted on 08/01/2003 2:57:21 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: Jeff Head
Bump for later read and post
47 posted on 08/01/2003 2:57:56 PM PDT by Sparta (A liberal is a conservative minus logic and morals.)
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To: FITZ
the number of people who have worked all their lives successfully who are now losing jobs or working for $6 an hour instead of $15 an hour.

Percentage-wise, this number is very, very small, historically. If you are looking for a government that guarantees you a job, maybe you should move to Cuba.

48 posted on 08/01/2003 2:58:02 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: Texas_Dawg
Would you drop a nuclear bomb on China right now if it was up to you?

I'll answer your question: No...I would drop lots of them.

49 posted on 08/01/2003 2:58:14 PM PDT by TopDog2 (Deer are the spawn of satan! Wipe them out!!)
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To: Cacophonous
A nation's policy should not be based exclusively on the ability of the consumer to buy cheaper goods. It has to also consider the economic well-being and capabilities of the country.

I agree.

50 posted on 08/01/2003 2:58:53 PM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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