Monday, September 21, 2009

Why “Free Trade” is Destroying America

Free trade seems to have almost universal favor among both liberals and conservatives. Why, I wonder. Most likely because we all relish cheap goodies, cheap electronics, appliances, cars, tires, pet food, just about everything in Wal-Mart. China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Haiti, India – they all make things cheaper “over there” than we do over here.

Do you ever stop to consider why they make things cheaper? Salaries are a lot lower there, true. Does it matter to anyone WHY they are lower? Equal protection laws, minimum wage laws don’t exist in these other places. They do here. Nor do the plethora of environmental regulations exist “over there.” They don’t give a hang about the snail darter or cross-eyed Smelt. They don’t care a lot about child labor laws. “Over there” they don’t have a President who vows to kill their coal industries, the cheapest source of energy.

We have an abundance of laws protecting our air and water quality which dramatically increases our manufacturing costs. And we are obsessing over "global warming" by proposing to reduce our "carbon footprint" at a cost of hundreds of billions - an action that will have the same impact on reducing the earth's temperature as throwing an ice cube at the sun.

Sure, let's pour on more costly environmental and energy conservation regulations on what little industry we have left.

Is there a smell of hypocrisy in this? Let’s send most of our manufacturing jobs overseas so we can get things cheaper here while we continue to increase our manufacturing costs to improve our environment while other countries increase their unfair advantage over our workers by making things cheaper because they don’t have the regulations we have. Whew!

What is the end game of free trade? We promote consumption instead of production. We import everything. We create a pristine, energy efficient environment, and make nothing? We create pure air and foster abundant diverse rare species for all of us to enjoy while we all hike, golf and wait in unemployment lines? What do you think this will do to our balance of trade over the next several years? The picture isn’t pretty. It is as if we are all drunk on consumption and can’t see reality.

I’m not understanding this. For insights from one who knows a lot more about this topic than I, take a look at this essay from Pat Buchanan titled Globalism vs. Americanism.

Here is a great quote from his article, and the definition of the hypocrisy in all this:

Where they have tilted the playing field against us, let us tilt it back again. Transnational companies are as amoral as sharks.

No comments: