Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bring Back Protectionism?

After a little thought, I can't say I disagree. So-called free trade is not fair to anyone, except the gazillionare corporate officers and the wealthy Wall Street elite, to whom it is more than fair.

Also, it would help the U.S. turn inward, which is what must happen before transformation can occur, whether we are talking about individuals or nations.

When free trade meant establishing workplaces in poorer countries and paying them a living wage, it made sense, as long as the people were not exploited, us or them. Now everyone is exploited, prices keep rising, in large part due to the high oil prices and that damnable war. If American aren't through with credit cards they sure as hell ought to be.

Now we have American companies doing business in China, where people are still so poor it is hard for us to comprehend , who seem to be trying to poison our pets and kids, if not us. They export most of the vitamin and mineral supplements around the world.They export exploding tires. That's a lot of fun, when you're on the interstate doing 75mph.

Unless you do your research, you haven't a clue whether what you are buying is from China or

....and the whole country of Mexico seems to be trying to come here.

Maybe we should go there and let them have it, with all it's god-awful problems. Mexico is a beautiful country. The mountains, the fields, and coastlines are breathtaking, in their beauty. Or maybe half of us could go there and half of them here. The Canadians can do as they please.

Oh well, from what I hear it's all gonna be over on 20/21/0012, one way or the other. Either the earth is gonna flip, to the point that Hawii will be near where the the north pole is now, or some other astounding thing will get everyone's attention.

This could be amusing.

By David Johnson

America used to have a policy of protecting our wages against unfair competition from low-wage countries. We placed a tariff on imported goods made by workers who were paid substandard wages. We protected our national interest.

The idea was to encourage the companies that made those goods to pay better wages. This way their countries' economies would improve and their workers would be able to buy the things that we make. Thus, the policy of protectionism was a way to improve living standards for workers everywhere, growing our own economy and improving our standard of living in the process.

The money collected from the tariffs was used for our common good: for example, it was spent on improving our country's infrastructure and education system (including science, research and development) so we could retain and improve our competitive position, as well as retraining workers whose industries were affected by changes in trade patterns.

Protectionism was generally our country's policy until a few decades ago. That was back when our country was OUR country -- for We, the People -- and our economy was OUR economy. And it worked. Our living standard continually improved. Then we changed to a "free trade" policy, meaning our workers work pretty much for "free" and big corporations are "free" to do anything they want. Additionally, without the revenue from tariffs, we have to tax our manufacturers more heavily, which makes them even less competitive internationally.

Since then average wages have stagnated and our pensions and health insurance have been disappearing, as have our savings. The country's trade debt has been increasing alarmingly. And corporate control over all of us has become near-total. Corporations are able to get their way by intimidating employees with the fear of losing our jobs to outsourcing, and intimidate governments by threatening to move to lower wage countries.

So it is time to bring back protectionism. It worked.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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