Skip to comments.Conservative sees free trade as threat to manufacturing
Posted on 08/01/2003 3:10:33 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
John E. Jones is my kind of conservative. The white-haired, vigorous banker is a fierce defender of capitalism and believes that only through hard work and a vigorous spiritual life (he's a devout evangelical) can one truly be fulfilled. At the same time, he is a devastating critic of some multinational corporations which, he says, have given us ''free trade,'' and a crusader for legislation to protect American manufacturing. In fact, free trade to him means America with its guard down; it's a threat to our economy and to the security of the nation.
And Jones has the facts to prove it. More than 56,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost in June, the 35th straight month of losses due largely to foreign competition--particularly from China, where goods can be made at a fraction of the cost and sold cheaply on our market. Forty-nine states have shared in the loss of more than 2 million manufacturing jobs since July 2000. Illinois' record is devastating. In 1974, it had 1,345,000 manufacturing jobs, or 30 percent of all state jobs. By 2001, it was down to 907,000, only 15 percent of state jobs. By 2002, we were down to 870,000, and we're still dropping. This state has lost one of every 12 manufacturing jobs since July 2000, he says.
''Don't forget that the rule of thumb for each new manufacturing job is that it creates 1.6 jobs in other manufacturing and service industries. Also the loss of one manufacturing job will cause the loss of 0.8 jobs in service industries.''
Jones knows whereof he speaks; he is a manufacturer as well as a banker. His Cummins Allison Corp. is, because of its patented technology, the only U.S.-owned company that manufactures coin and currency processing equipment. His competitors have withered away to foreign ownership. Cummins Allison is now engaged in litigation to save its many patents. This could be a national security issue, Jones says. Cummins' equipment ''helps protect against the possible flooding of the world with fraudulent currency and the tracking of drug and terrorist money.''
As Jones sees it, when the U.S. economy was protected by high tariffs, effective anti-trust, anti-dumping, minimum wage and patent laws, it flourished on a relatively level playing field with world competitors.
But after World War II, ''the 'free trade, free market' doctrine was embraced . . . and by 1971, the United States became an open, unprotected economy.''
If free trade worked as touted, Jones says, ''incomes for the poor, the middle class and rich should be significantly greater . . . the growth rates of gross domestic product, per capita income and real wages per worker would all have substantially increased. This has not happened.
"Instead, growth rates for GDP and per capita income have declined and real wages per worker have turned negative. Our nation is now a net debtor rather than a net creditor as it was when protected. Over 45 percent of U.S. government treasury notes, 35 percent of U.S. corporate bonds and 13 percent of the U.S. equity market are foreign-owned, and 9 percent of U.S. corporations are subsidiaries of foreign companies. Our balance of payments deficits for 2002 was over $500 billion. We now have 6.5 million citizens looking for jobs, 2.7 million who have lost hope and stopped looking, and 4.8 million only working part-time. The real unemployment rate is probably over 10 percent--not the 6 percent reported by the government.''
Jones levels blame on segments of big business for making ''free trade sacred doctrine.'' Some ''large U.S. multinational corporations see it as a way to break the power of the unions and reduce the wages of their workers. They believe that manufacturing in poverty wage level countries will enable them to compete with high-tech and large-scale manufactured products dumped here from high-wage countries like Germany and Japan that protect their domestic markets. But this is not working. U.S. multinationals are still losing the trade war, even with access to labor that is paid at poverty-level wages.''
The answer is a return to a protected economy, Jones says. He was just getting warmed up. More of his blunt analyses next week.
To borrow a statement.
There are millions of skilled workers in the developing world now. To think that the US can jerk off in it's own little corner while 75 of the world is letting the free market efficiently allocate resources, more or less, is idiotic.
Protectionism would kill US competitiveness and exports and we'd have a bigger trade deficit than we have now.
I think there should be a law that states that the tariff rate cannot be lower than ANY internal tax rate levied on the American people.
There are very few people who propose no trade whatsoever.
All we're saying is there is something incredibly wrong with a system where a communist dictator, backed by corrupt American politicians, can utilize slave labor to make products and sell them in the US with NO tariff; while products produced by Americans are doubled or even tripled in price due to taxation by corrupt American politicians.
It's the moral equivalent of robbing Americans, then using that money to buy rope to tie one arm behind their backs.
Why should dictators pay a 0% tax for selling their products here while Joe Six-pack has to pay a 30% tax on his labor to generate products to compete with the importated goods.
If you really want "free trade", then great. Let's get to it. Abolish all taxes on the trade of labor in this country. All abolish all taxes on the sale of stocks, real estate, goods, and services.
But you'll never hear that from the Klinton/Bush/Gore/Dole politicians, since their "free trade" has little to do with freedom and everything to do with destroying economic barriers so that political barriers are more easily destroyed.
So you've realized that Dubya is part of the conspiracy to make Bill Clinton head of the world government!
Keep digging, Mulder . . . the truth is out there.
Read it yourself, I've read it many times.