The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning Of The End By Michael T. Snyder - Kindle Version

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The Mystery Of The Shemitah

Unfair Trade: 10 Questions About Our Globalized Economy That Neither Conservative Or Liberal Supporters Of Current U.S. Trade Policies Can Answer

Most Americans still seem to be convinced that "free trade" is "fair trade" and that to be against current U.S. trade policies and globalization means that you are anti-business, anti-free enterprise and anti-American.  In the mainstream media, any unfair trade practices that are brought up are treated as minor nuisances that will be ironed out as we march towards the glorious globalized economy of the future.  But the truth is that the kind of world trade that is going on today is neither "free" nor is it "fair".  Major exporting countries around the globe are openly manipulating their currencies, they are heavily subsidizing their major industries and they are erecting huge tariffs against many U.S. goods in order to protect their own domestic companies.  Meanwhile, U.S. consumers enjoy mountains of cheap goods, but thousands of factories, hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars of national wealth leave our country for good every year.  So how in the world is that good for us?  It is kind of like ripping apart your house to get more firewood just to keep the fire going.  Eventually you aren't going to have a house anymore.

The other day, my article entitled "The Number One U.S. Export To China: Waste Paper And Scrap Metal" really struck a chord with many advocates of current U.S. trade practices.  For example, one reader identified only as "Someone" left a comment that was typical of many that were posted on the article....

"The author of this article has shown no knowledge of economics."

Well, it doesn't take a genius to look at the numbers and figure out that something is wrong.  In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year.  In the month of August alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was over 28 billion dollars.

Can anyone else spot a disturbing trend there?

Years ago, I was also one of those who believed that because I was "pro-business" that also meant that I had to defend "free trade" and trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO.

After all, I didn't want to be labeled "anti-business" or "anti-American" did I?

But the truth is that merging our economy with socialist and communist economies that allow their workers to be paid slave labor wages is not "pro-business" and it certainly is not "pro-American".  Allowing entire U.S. industries to be destroyed because of the unfair predatory trade practices of socialist and communist economies is not "pro-business" and it certainly is not "pro-American". 

If you want to have "free trade", then by definition you must have a level playing field.  For example, trade with Canada (although not perfect) is mostly a very, very good thing.  Trade with China is not.

Many readers have suggested that all we have to do is get rid of the horrific regulations and taxes that are holding U.S. businesses back and our trade situation will be fixed.

And yes, the U.S. government has piled so many rules, so many taxes and so much paperwork on U.S. businesses that it is becoming very, very difficult to operate a profitable business inside the United States.  There has never been a more oppressive environment for business in the United States than we have today.

But would fixing that solve all our trade problems?  Would fixing that bring back all of our factories and jobs?

No, but of course it would help to an extent.

However, the reality is that unless we address the fundamental problems with global trade we are in a heap of trouble.

Unfortunately, not all of my readers agree.  One reader named Puzzled was quite blunt is his analysis of my recent article on trade: "I’d recommend a class on basic economics."  Well, it turns out that I did take a number of courses in economics at one of the finest universities in the United States, but our education system has become so dumbed-down that I didn't learn much.

So let's hear from someone who is considered to be an expert in economics.

Just how dangerous is the trade deficit?  Well, world famous investor Warren Buffett once put it this way....

"The U.S trade deficit is a bigger threat to the domestic economy than either the federal budget deficit or consumer debt and could lead to political turmoil... Right now, the rest of the world owns $3 trillion more of us than we own of them."

Advocates of current U.S. trade policies usually respond by saying something like this....

"The global economy is here to stay so you better get used to it.  There is no going back.  It is a good thing for factories and jobs to be going to China because they can produce things cheaper than we can.  We benefit because we get to enjoy large amounts of cheap products.  Yes, American workers are going to have a significantly reduced standard of living, but this is necessary as we merge all the countries of the world into a globalized economy which will be better for everyone in the end.  After all, it is better for goods and services to cross borders than it is for armies to cross borders.  U.S. citizens are just going to have to learn to live within their means.  If the United States cannot provide jobs for all of their people in this new global economy, then maybe they need to start implementing some population control measures.  Quit blaming China because they aren't doing anything wrong.  Everyone knows that free trade is always the best alternative.  Are you an idiot?  Go take a class in basic economics you moron."

The following is a sampling of actual comments that have been recently posted in response to my articles on globalism by advocates of current U.S. trade policies.

A reader named Frodo apparently thinks that I am "anti-freedom"....

You are totally wrong about free trade. “free trade” is part of “freedom” like the freedom of consumers to buy stuff they want made somewhere else.

A reader named John seems convinced that that United States has never lost even a single job to China....

No American has ever lost a job to China: what happens is due to USA govt industrial policy (get big or get out), new jobs are placed in new factories where there will be better stability in the future – China. Those “lost jobs” are not coming back because like buggy whips, we don’t use them anymore.

A reader named Dave believes that "free trade" is precisely what we need to revitalize manufacturing in America again....

Free trade is EXACTLY what’s needed if we ever hope to get manufacturing back in North America.

In the face of such overwhelming logic how can I continue to maintain that the current state of global trade is deeply flawed and deeply broken?

Well, I have a challenge for advocates of current U.S. trade policies.

I challenge you to answer the following 10 questions about our globalized economy.  Please answer these questions and tell me why I am wrong....  

#1 How can trade be considered "fair" when other major exporting nations openly manipulate their currencies, provide massive subsidies for their national industries and erect massive tariffs against many U.S. goods while we allow them to wipe out many of our domestic industries by flooding our shores with endless amounts of cheap products?

#2 How is it possible that it is good for American workers to be merged into a global labor pool where they must compete for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe that make less than ten percent of what an average American worker makes?

#3 As millions of manufacturing jobs continue to flow to where "labor is cheaper", can you please explain how in the world we are going to provide nearly enough jobs for blue collar American workers?

#4 If there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone, then millions upon millions of Americans will not be able to take care of themselves.  We simply are not going to let them starve to death in the streets.  Already, over 41 million Americans are on food stamps.  One way or another we are going to pay to take care of American workers.  Either we are going to give them jobs or we are going to give them welfare.  Are you willing to have your taxes raised substantially to pay for all of the welfare cases that "free trade" is creating?

#5 As U.S. workers are merged into the new global labor pool, can you please explain how wages will not be forced down and the standard of living for average, hard-working Americans will not diminish substantially?

#6 How can any conservative ever justify trading with a nation (China) that has a "one-child policy" and that has mobile abortion vans driving around the country to enforce this mandate?

#7 How can any liberal ever justify trading with a nation (China) that is rapidly becoming an environmental wasteland and where millions of people work in horrific conditions for what is essentially slave labor pay?

#8 The House National Security Oversight Subcommittee recently heard stunning testimony from a number of experts that told them that the rapid decline of manufacturing in the United States has resulted in America losing its edge in numerous industries that are absolutely vital to national security.  How is it possible that putting our national security in such peril is a "good thing"?

#9 The United States spends 40 to 50 billion more on goods and services from the rest of the world each month than they spend on goods and services from us.  That means that the United States is becoming 40 to 50 billion dollars poorer each and every month.  How is that good for the U.S. economy?

#10 Over the past few decades, the communist Chinese have been able to accumulate approximately $2.5 trillion in foreign currency reserves, and the U.S. government now owes them close to 900 billion dollars.  We constantly have to send top government officials over there to beg them to continue to lend us money.  This would have never happened without the insane trade policies of the last several decades.  So how in the world can advocates of current U.S. trade policies ever justify this?

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  • Ernest Spano

    Unfair trade only benefit industries that moved plants overseas,and eliminated jobs from the middle/lower class.

  • DaShui

    Imported pickup trucks have a 30% tariff on them.Therefore all pickups in America are American (or Mexican)made. I can’t see how it would be good if say we were importing the Toyota HiLux from Thailand, instead of building Tacomas here, giving Americans jobs.

  • tyler

    Those comments you read are from fake patriot neo con hacks who support the big banks getting bigger, the endless wars and bp. I am very keen to these shills because I was one for about ten years, a lot like you since you mentioned you used to believe in free trade. I listened to nine hours a day of “conservative” talk radio for three years but I finally broke their grasp and started thinking for myself. The neocons motto is if you don’t agree with them your anti american or communist, they stick to their fake patriot websites and watch nothing but fox news yet seem to be able to speak endlessly about msnbc yet have never watched it. If they were so certain in their beliefs they would have no problem watching msnbc or reading a website like the huffington post. Sorry for ranting but I am very passionate about people who wave american flags, make millions doing it and ship our jobs over seas, support bankers getting 144 billion in bonuses calling it capitalism, these people are actually the ones who are anti american. I also got pissed off reading those comments you got because your like one of my top four websites and I read a ton. Keep spreading the word because people are waking up.

  • whoisbiggles

    For over 50 years America has rammed the mantra of free trade and deregulation down the throat of the rest of the world. America and her proxies at the World Bank and IMF forced third world countries to liberalise there domestic economies. Give US corporation’s favourable access and at the same time refused access to American domestic markets in areas where these countries may have a comparative advantage.

    So how is it that the US set up the global trading system with itself at the centre, created the rules, manipulated the rules when decisions at the GATT and then the WTO didn’t go your way; and yet you still can’t win.

    Could it be that you have missed the point – America manufactures nothing the world wants to buy.

    Load the dice anyway you wish it doesn’t matter you’re manufactured goods will still be rubbish that few foreigners will be prepared to buy. The quality of your agricultural output will still be so badly contaminated I wouldn’t feed it to a dog. But most importantly you’re population will remain blissfully ignorant of there own stupidity.

    So enjoy your little tea-party because congratulations America you are like the Great Britain of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Anyone who tells you different is pi*sing in your pocket.

  • http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/ Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Free trade was a giant corporate coup.

    They got cheap labor. They found new venues to sell Big Macs and Marlboros.

    All of that was done to enlarge corporate profit margins. American business doesn’t give a damn about American workers. American workers are the enemy of profit margins.

    Everything would have been just fine if we would have worked for 2 bucks an hr with no benefits. When their supply of cheap labor ran out, they conned and bribed a bunch of political hacks to let them go elsewhere.

    The same political hacks looked the other way when corporate America imported illegal aliens to do their work. Farms, construction, oilfields, stockyards.

    Free trade and immigration non enforcement were simply disguises for cheap labor, engorged profit margins, campaign checks, and taxes. Its ALWAYS about greed and money. The constant that never changes.

  • http://www.logosfera.ro/ Logosfera

    Unfortunately US is ripping what it saw in the last decades. When US was exporting inflation through the US dollar it was kosher, now when everybody plays the same game the playing field is not leveled.

    “It’s our dollar but your problem” is turning into “It’s our yuan but your problem”.

    And US is still exporting inflation. Hoping that others will do nothing just for the sake of playing fair is a little hypocritical.

  • William

    The US market should be open to foreigners to the very same extent that their markets are open to the US. Unfortunatley, the cowards in the US Congress do not believe this. “Free” trade is more free for some than others…….

  • Mung

    Abortion? Really? Just another non-issue that’s used as a wedge issue in this country to distract the populace from real problems and get them fighting over religious dogma. I’m surprised to see it on a blog that is supposed to deal with the very serious issue of the economic crisis.

  • http://www.tomhallett.com Thomas Hallett

    How very timely this article!
    China has just suspended rare earth exports this week…..no more lanthanides for us as government killed our domestic rare earth industry years ago. If our nation was a sentient human being, it would be diagnosed as suicidal and institutionalized.
    The destruction of our rare earth mining industry is but one example of the deliberate sell-off of American assets by government and its corporate masters. We have been reduced to an agricultural colony of asia and east asia while the viceroy rules from the marble palace on the Potomac and his cronies grow rich along the East river.
    Free and fair trade? Gainful employment? Prosperity for Americans? Liberty for all?

  • Matt

    I’m siding with you (author -sorry, don’t know your name)! If you love your country then you will want to compete and win over all the other countries, friend or foe. Especially the foes, like red/communist China who treat their citizens like dirt-bag cattle. To all you globalist free-traders, if you think its ‘unfair’ for the U.S. to kick butt and be the marketplace everyone in the world wants to shop at like it used to be, then go live someplace else please where you think its more ‘fair’, like China or Mexico for instance. Then after 5 years there please write again and tell us about your quality of life there. I’ll even arrange for your one-way plane ride out of my country.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    NAFTA Nation
    H Ross Perot

  • Mark Payne

    Americas Elites are pushing free trade to lessen the power of the the middle class. Once the middle class is impoverished the Elites will own everything.

    Whats the point of that you ask?

    #5 As U.S. workers are merged into the new global labor pool, can you please explain how wages will not be forced down and the standard of living for average, hard-working Americans will not diminish substantially?

    Complete power to the Elites. They are already replacing you with third world labor and will continue to do so.

  • http://www.danielrevelationbiblestudies.com Robert Stout

    Another excellent article!!! You will still find many Americans who still live with denial!!! One day they will wake up to the reality of what your saying is completely true!!! The point of no return has hit us in America, but many cannot see the forest for the tree!!!

  • GoneWithTheWind

    Much of what you say is true. What is lacking is the solution to the problem. Can you simply put restrictions on American companies so they do not move their manufacturing overseas? This was possible and legal long before our current trading laws were written. Arguably to even try to put those restrictions in place would trigger a challenge based on our constitutional rights. If you did succeed in doing this then every foriegn company would suddenly be given an advantage. And what would stop an American company from closing shop and incorporating overseas? The only other approach anyone has suggested is to place tarrifs on imports. Yeah! That oughta work. Interestingly as our attention was diverted by everything congress was doing to us we failed to notice that a union special interest group did indeed get a hefty tariff placed on tires. Guess what? Tire prices have risen 40%. Lucky Americans get to pay 40% more so that a handful of union thugs can continue to get paid 200% more then average citizens do. HMMMMM!!!

  • freddybobs68k

    This is just the end game in a philosophy taken to ridiculous lengths. There’s so many layers of it it’s hard to see how it’s going to get fixed.

    America values corporations over people.

    America would prefer you to pay many times more for your health care than other countries with no better results.

    America will pay lip service to education, saying it’s important – but if you want one you’ll have to pay for it, and have debt for years.

    America is happy to spend more than the rest of the world combined on it’s military. And still be scared.

    America doesn’t value it’s military personal – because it’s happy to send them to resource wars, ideological wars with no end or goal.

    America believes foreigners lives are worth less than Americans.

    America believes it is exceptional – when increasingly it is not, if it ever was.

    America is in an internal struggle between religion and politics. Which wastes time and effort and produces no useful results.

    America is lost – because the only course of action being pursued is to ramp up on strategies that are already failing.

    America cannot claim moral high-ground, because it engages in acts that are at least as bad as much of what it claims to fight. Torture. Rendition. Spying on citizens. Covert wars. Overthrowing democratic governments (Guatamala for example).

    America can’t see the wood for the trees – because the MSM news main purpose is at best entertainment.

    America doesn’t believe there is a real problem – because things were better in the past. So in many peoples eyes it’s just a blip. But it’s not a blip – it’s a correction that we have been undergoing since the end of WW2.

    America doesn’t have a problem that it has the highest per capita use of resources in the world by far. It doesn’t try to be efficient – even though doing so would make it more competitive.

    America doesn’t wonder why obesity and people taking drugs for depression are at an all time high.

    America doesn’t care that town centers are wastelands, and that people don’t know their neighbors.

    America doesn’t think it strange, that they work longer hours, take less holidays, and yet Germans who have 5 weeks holiday minimum, work less hours a day produce more.

    America is perpetually scared. It believes in always responding disproportionately. Often encouraging new threats. Americans are even scared of one another – better not get too close to that bad neighborhood.

    America is ruthless. Wealth inequality gets worse. People at the bottom get crushed, but that’s okay, as long as the money rolls in for the wealthy.

    America is confused with economic notions, such as ‘trickle down’ or ‘all the boats rise’ which sound plausible but putting thought, or just looking at the evidence show they are deeply flawed. Quantitative easing? What percentage of the population knows what it is?

    America is currently incapable of protest. Because the political spectrum is polarized into two parties which are shades of the same thing. Protesting in the streets, or for something outside the framework’ is the stuff of ‘loons’.

    America is transfixed by labeling. Good, bad. Left, right. Enemy, friend. Big-government, small-government.

    America is isolated. It’s fighting itself as well as the rest of the world. It’s obvious to the rest of the world it’s only fighting for itself. America thinks the rest of the world is the problem.

    Americans believe they are ‘free’. Yet even in most basic ways they are not – for example in many countries I can assume correctly that I can walk pretty much anywhere. In America you have to assume you can’t go anywhere.

    America believes good ideas can only come from America.

    America values cheap.

    America thinks ‘the market’ has all the answers, even if it doesn’t know why or how, or even if the evidence proves contradictory.

    America is stuck. As everything I’ve said – which frankly is just the tip of the iceberg, will be seen as outrageous to the majority of Americans.

  • happy face

    While it is true that the Chinese are cheating on fair trade and Americans are losing jobs and wealth as a result, consider this:

    China is on the road to financial collapse. Their factories are wildly overproducing. Wealth disparity in China is much greater than in the US.

    Isn’t it ironic that they produced more cars than the US in the past year, yet all their oil is imported, mostly from the Persian Gulf and protected by the US Navy?

    China is bedeviled by desertification, rampant pollution, chronic water shortage, corruption on a grand scale, a totalitarian police state, hundreds of millions in deep poverty, severe regional rivalries and are one bad harvest away from famine.

    America on the other hand has the bread basket of the world, the Great Lakes, an economy twice the size of China, the world’s reserve currency, the world’s largest manufacturing base, an educated and entrepreneurial population, alliances that secure our position around the world and a military equal to the rest of the world combined.

    The Chinese plan to go to the moon. Let’em. They need the distraction. Their efforts merely deflect their nationalism into productive channels.

    The Chinese plan to build aircraft carriers and a blue water fleet. Let’em. How will their two carriers and untested fleet match up against our eleven carrier battle fleets and servicepeople inculcated with the lessons of World War II, to name only one exploit.

    The fact is that China is pursuing their legitimate goals of national assertion and could give us a bloody nose or worse but we have nothing to fear from them, either in trade or in any other forum. All of their neighbors fear them and look to the US for protection. They can cause us mischief in Korea and Iran but we can handle it. They have our treasury bonds. That’s their problem.

    The US will come through this economic crisis stronger than ever with flags flying. Doubters be warned.

  • happy face

    All America has to do to come through this time of trouble:

    1) Prevent the implosion of the dollar. Stop printing.

    2) Wait for world oil demand to collapse in a year or two then have Saudi Arabia boost production. That will collapse the economies of Iran and Venezuala and lead to regime change.

    3) Wait for the inherent contradictions of China’s position to cause it to collapse.

    Game over.

  • Rob

    They tell us in college outsourcing is great for your business. Why can’t any of my professors answer what happens when you wreck your middle class customers? You know when you move that A/C factory, that employed 1000 US workers, to China to increase your bottom line. Now you just put those workers out of business, in turn put the people around that factory in an economic pinch. Next the HVAC service company is put into a punch because no one can afford a new A/C or to repair their existing A/C. That business goes out, and in turn you lose the pathway to sell your product. But who cares by this time you, the CEO, have put someone else into the hot seat. You’ve made your money now its no longer your problem. I only described one industry! Add them up and you see why our unemployment will never get below 8%! This makes me sick. I better start to learn Chinese or Hindi; what’s the need for a Mechanical engineer in a country that lacks any manufacturing? But again that is no use because those countries, the ones which will become Super powers soon, have already sent their kids to our country to learn engineering and science and bring that knowledge back with them. I see it every day in class. Good job America you’ve killed yourself.

  • lostinmissouri

    Every congressman and senator should have to answer these questions.

    One other question every congressman and senator should have to answer is:

    “Where did you get those millions, while serving the people of the USA?”

    FOLLOW THE MONEY! We have been sold out…period.

  • http://www.blueanchorproject.com/ D Brooks

    Congratulations on your confrontation of the “pro-establishment” advocates of current U.S. trade practices. I’ve noticed that so far virtually none of the comments on this article actually attempt to counter your 10 questions. Most are confirming your points, even those who meant to belittle the article or pointed out positive aspects of our trade policies.

    To address a couple of those posts:

    DaShui,

    You have hit one of the proverbial nails on the head and driven it home with one strike. The tariffs on the trucks has made that particular product one that can be manufactured on a level playing field, therefore the companies that produce them have moved here… instead of undercutting prices by utilizing labor camps abroad.

    When most people think of manufacturing automobiles are the first thing that comes to mind. How about placing tariffs on stereos, computers, clothing and apparel, toys, and…. the list goes on.

    This trade war is already taking place with China and most “pro-establishment” advocates believe that it is hurting the US rather than helping. But your example of the trucks is a good example of how tariffs can level the field again.

    By the way it is interesting to note that plants manufacturing trucks are one of the easiest to retool for manufacture of military vehicles in the event of a large war.

    whoisbiggles,

    An obvious attempt to misinform and distract from the 10 questions that you are afraid to answer.

    First of all you fail to distinguish between America and the Elitists that have been pushing “the mantra of free trade and deregulation down the throat of the rest of the world.”

    Second, the World Bank and IMF are not proxies of the US… its the other way around. With huge donations to potential elected officials and manipulations of the market through the Federal Reserve…. America is stuck in the same trap as those third world countries you mention. NOT orchestrated by “America”, but by those few world elite that pull the chains of most American politicians.

    And last, your statement; “Could it be that you have missed the point – America manufactures nothing the world wants to buy.”; Is EXACTLY the point of this article and the growing discontent among many American voters. You have accidentally made the point of how global trade has been co-opted by those who has no interest in sovereign countries or the populous that make up their working class. America USED to manufacture all of the things I mentioned to DaShui, and many more. But the true manipulators of the world trade and economy have had plans to de-industrialize America for decades. All in the name of profit, which translates to wealth, which translates to power…. which has corrupted our entire globe for eons.

    So when you point your finger at America and childishly blame it for the worlds woes (many of which the USG can actually be credited for)…. take a good look at Detroit. Google the term “Detroit’s Beautiful, Horrible Decline” and take a look at how America is also being destroyed by the international banking cartel.

    America is not the enemy… it never was… you have to look beyond the facade of international politics to see the true manipulators.

  • Matt

    “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide…” John Adams 1814

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1287586800.php

  • Michael

    Otsourcing is not trade, it is labor arbitrage. Trade means reciprocation. But in this case, corporations are simply replacing their American workers with cheaper foreigners.

    The theory of Comparative Advantage was written by David Ricardo in 1817. He argued that the only way that trade can be mutually beneficial is that if each country had a comparative advantage. His example was England specializing in wool and Spain specializing in wine, and they would trade. In those days, a country’s economy was based on climate and natural resources. Today, economies are based on acquired knowledge. The U.S. has no comparative advantage anywhere, therefore Ricardo’s theory of trade is invalid in today’s world.

    Here is a good artilcle that explains it in more detail.

    http://www.vdare.com/roberts/harsh_truth.htm

  • de Malfosse

    Courtesy of NY comes another example of treating the citizen as a boob: the political animals continue to push for this “Roof-Top Highway”. The tax-payer is being told construction of this highway will encourage businesses to establish themselves in NY.

    The ignorance is stunning. What business(es) would willingly leave (pick a country/state) to be fed upon by the New York Vulture Political Class just because a new highway is built?

  • Jackson

    May I suggest that this article is both correct and incorrect. It is true that we have mortgaged our future on “free trade” and that this globalization of the labor market, as well as the ability to manufacture in countries with no restrictions on child labor, or environmental regulations, or workplace rules, has contributed to the closing of plants in our country and the offshoring of manufacturing.

    However, there are other issues the author fails to mention. One that clearly sticks out is the lack of national health care. Healthcare price increases are a huge burden on business today, yet when a sensible solution like single payer is proposed (a solution that would cut overhead, i.e., profit and expense, from 31% on each dollar spent on healthcare to 3%), representing a savings of nearly 50% on per person healthcare costs, those solutions are not considered by the government. Germany and Japan spend less than half per person to cover their populations with single payer type systems.

    And to suggest our trading competitors are the only ones practicing “unfair predatory trade practices” and furthermore suggesting that they are all “socialist and communist economies” is completely undermined by our own predatory trade practicies – corn for example is heavily subsidized and American famers profit not only from this directly (courtesy of the taxpayer) but also indirectly in the ability to sell at below market prices. While this helps ADM and Monsanto, it does little for the average Mexican farmer. According to the New York Times, “Mexico, the birthplace of corn, opened its borders to American corn exports after signing the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. Within a year, corn imports from the United States doubled and today nearly one-third of the corn used in Mexico is imported from the United States. The United States is the biggest exporter of corn in the world and the biggest exporter of corn to Mexico. The report said the price of Mexican corn has fallen more than 70% since Nafta took effect, severely reducing the incomes of the 15 million Mexicans who depend on corn for their livelihood.”

    Now you see why Mexicans are forced into coming to the States or entering the drug trade for their livelihood.

    We also subsidize corn production for ethanol. Yet the energy required to produce enthanol exceeds what ethanol can produce. It makes no sense.

    When one really thinks about it, our government, bought and sold to corporations that have American names but have long since globalized their production and marketing strategies, has brought us to this point. Nafta, Cafta, and other free trade instruments like the IMF and World Bank, have impoverished America and other countries alike. It is this point that should be made. Who has profited? Banks and large multi-national corporations and their shareholders.

    Until people wake up and realize that it’s not about whose cheating who but rather about a system corrupt to its core and an illegitimate government that no longer governs by consent but by illegal surveillance and intimidation, we will not move forward but backward. Since Reagan’s tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, coupled with the huge and bloated spending in defense to chase after 100 “terrorists” hanging around in the caves of Afghanistan (do we really need to spend $700 billion a year for this?), we have seen our country drift slowly down to third world levels. This will continue folks until people rise up on the streets and demand change. Whether its education, healthcare, infrastructure… well you name it, we are seeing falling living standards in this country courtesy of our government and the corporations that pull its strings.

    Thanks for playing!

  • jack

    The subsidies other nations provide to their firms actually helps us more than them. We get less costly goods.

    Is it “fair” that workers in America earn more money than workers elsewhere ?

    If they produce more , it is “fair”. We are more efficient than the Chinese today.

    I disagree that we are becoming less wealthy when we buy goods made in China. We are gaining wealth, since we pay them in worthless paper IOUs.

    We are getting the better deal than China.

    It is more than fair. I would rather have goods i can enjoy than worthless paper dollars which are losing their value daily.

  • M.C,

    Another spot-on article. The bottom line to all of this is the One World Government being established. One World Currency. They must bring the horse down to do it: The USA.

    Read the Bible.

  • whoisbiggles

    D Brooks,

    I deliberately do not distinguish between America and the Elitists for the same reason I ignore people who say don’t blame me I didn’t vote for (insert clowns name here). They are your elites.

    The World Bank and the IMF are proxies of the US Government, read a history of the Bretton Woods Accords, and tell me is the system that existed post WWII until 1971 what was originally intended? If you agree it isn’t, who made the changes? I don’t have a problem with the victor manipulating the rules as a victory bonus, but to try and revise history because it is no longer convenient – that is child-like.

    America is being destroyed by unimaginative CEO’s. When a company like GM makes more money from financial activities then from making cars….do ya think that this might be a problem? I believe this problem started with the likes of Robert McNamara and his ilk, who were / are more obsessed with financial manipulation and econometrics than the practicalities of manufacturing.

    I must of missed the slave labour plants of BMW, Seiko, Mambo, etc. Or is that you believe all non-US corporations pay slave labour wages?

    “America is being destroyed by the international banking cartel” – are you kidding Americans are destroying themselves in a mess of contradictions and self-denial. It is easy to blame America’s problems on a great global conspiracy. Much harder to acknowledge that a once proud nation has become a pathetic consumerist society. Did the evil bankers hold guns to the heads of the of millions of home owners to make them treat there homes like ATM’s? Did the evil bankers make parents dump their children in front of the TV for hours on end, rather than playing and interacting with them?

  • Maria

    Regardless of who is right (about why the economy is dying), we still don’t have any solutions to fix anything. I believe we have gone too far over the edge to pull it back…too much debt, massive trade imbalance and very little industry…to name a few reasons.

    About the only thing we have left…natural resources and agriculture. We can start over, but I don’t think we can revive the old system.

    We have got to devise an economy that is not rigged to fail. A system that penalizes people (income taxes) for working is doomed. A system that penalizes people for saving (taxed as income) is doomed.

    Do you think the economy can be brought back to a healthy state?

    If not, why?

    If so, how?

  • Gary

    tax the corporations who are sending our jobs overseas. revoke their citizenship. (corp are people)

    We are a fascist country-sound too harsh-look it up in the dictionary and you will see I am correct.

    These stupid tea bagger dolts are part of the problem. what lo information simpletons.

  • Jackson ( # 2 )

    Its the internet + improvement of telecommunication + transportation that really allow manufacturing to shift to cheaper / lower production cost areas. Wait till technology improves some more and make production more efficient. Manufacturing / blue labor jobs may decrease when technology improves. People need to learn new skills in the tech sector and incorporate tech into their businesses + operations.. blue collar work continue to decrease as the shift is toward white collar work.

    By the way, the one child policy is not a bad idea, it actually helped china decreased its population. When there is more people competing for the same job it drives wages down. Besides that .. there might not be enough resources for the human population in the future for example fresh water.

  • Lennie Pike

    Gary :

    Congratulations to you for being able to finally see the truth and accept that the U.S. has a fascist government and not a capitalist government as you had been claiming.

  • Lennie Pike

    Gary:

    That is – not a Democratic Republic that has a Free Market Capitalist economic system as all do.

  • http://www.blueanchorproject.com/ D Brooks

    whoisbiggles,

    Perhaps your worldview is too simplistic to envision a larger picture than the one you have been shown by your mentors. The facade of “this nation did that or that nation did this” is easier to believe in because the “enemies” are easier to define.

    You will have to go a lot farther back in history than WW II to recognize “who made the changes”. They are not “our” elites, nor are they “yours”. They are an international group of elites that have used America and every other nation as a tool in a larger plan to develop one world governance.

    The UN, IMF, WTO, World Bank, etc. were all intended to be implemented long before they were…. There is a process known as “problem, reaction, solution” that has been at play since before the Americas were even discovered…. I suggest you research it.

    You can blame the American populous for their long slumber and blissful content to a certain degree, but must also realize that they have been propagandized by the media and politicians (whom are both owned and controlled by the corporations and international banks) for so long that for many, a true picture of global reality is like trying to straighten out the image they see in a kaleidoscope.

    And I DO “acknowledge that a once proud nation has become a pathetic consumerist society”. You could also state that Americans are under educated, over fed, and ripe for a fleecing… you wouldn’t get much argument from me.

    But I also “follow the money” to identify the ones who profit most, and to identify who the manipulators of global conflicts are. Who makes money on the way up AND on the way down in the alleged free market? Who finances or supplies BOTH sides of a war to make a profit?

    America is being destroyed just like every other sovereign nation. Just because some of the elites are American…. doesn’t mean the blame belongs to America alone.

  • lostinmissouri

    Poster above says:
    “These stupid tea bagger dolts are part of the problem. what lo information simpletons.”

    HOW CAN THE TEA PARTY FOLKS, who were the first to rise up against the Feds, bailing out the banks with tax payer money, BE PART OF THE PROBLEM?

    They were the first ones to voice opposition to the government’s TBTF policy, and the lawbreaking acts, of saving failing companies, with taxpayer money.

    Dude, you are listening to way too much NPR.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    Freddiebob; America has the best health care in the world. When dictators, Shahs and Kings get sick they come to America for their health care. When Canadians have serious health problems that require immediate treatment they come to America. Our health care is indeed expensive, probably because we have the professionals and equipment the rest of the world only dreams about. The city of Philadelphia has more CAT machines then the entire country of Canada. The U.S. has more CAT machines then the rest of the world put together. If you need a cat scan in England the waiting time is a couple of months. If you need a CAT scan in the U.S. the waiting time is minutes.

  • http://www.bham.ac.uk Lokman

    Loved your article. Apparently america will not step back from free trade, the answer to your 10 questions will come from war on terror, Iraq’s petrol, untainted mines in Afghanistan, opium trade, arms sales etc. How else can Big Brother finance its huge deficit? In the meantime, I can’t help thinking like that: you exploited rest of the world for centuries, now its pay time, let the second class countries exploit them.

    Ps. Not to mention economising, however americans don’t know the word “economise”.

  • ray

    Actually this is a (long term) death knell for the very businesses who exported these jobs. When you lay off American workers in exchange for cheap foriegn workers, you are laying off customers.
    How many Mexicans auto workers cans afford to buy the cars they are building?

  • Greg Buls

    freddybobs68k:
    A lot of what you wrote sounds like typical liberal moaning. What does ring somewhat true mostly does so on a very superficial level. This was clear after about five stanzas, around the point where everyone quits reading. I’ll bet you’re fun at a party.

  • Nick

    The one’s that came out ahead are the corporate hunchos…..

  • Canadian

    DEAR MR SYNDER,

    IN A WORLD WHERE DECEPTION AND MISINFORMATION PERMETATES OUR LIVES, YOU SIR ARE A BEACON OF HOPE.
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. BLN AND THE OTHER WEBSITES ASSOCIATED WITH BLN ARE THE ONLY SOURCES OF INFORMATION THAT ARE TRUSTWORTHY IN MY OPINION. I DO NOT TRUST MAINSTREAMNEWS WHATSOEVER. LIVING IN CANADA SOMETIMES YOU GET A “FRESH” OR “NOT SO PROPAGANADY” REPORTS, HOWEVER OVER THE PAST DECADE I HAVE GROWN MORE AND MORE SUSPICIOUS AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE INFORMATION BEING RELAYED BY CANADIAN BROADCASTERS.

    ON ANOTHER NOTE..
    LOOK AT THE COMMENTS ON YOUTUBE FOR ANY VIDEO.. THAT IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. OUT OF THOUSANDS OF COMMENTS PERHAPS 2-5% ARE ACTUALLY CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS. THEY ARE POPULATED BY 99% MORONS. SO PLEASE DO NOT STOP AND THINK THAT THE COMMENTS LEFT THAT ARE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR ARTICLES, REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF THE GENERAL POPULATION.. ITS JUST A HANDFUL OF IDIOTS.

    FOR EVERY PERSON THAT IS ENRAGED ENOUGH TO LEAVE STUPID COMMENTS, THERE ARE 10 PEOPLE THAT WERE INTRIGUED BY YOUR ARTICLE. WHY DIDN’T THEY LEAVE COMMENTS IF THEY WERE INTRIGUED? THATS JUST IT. I NEVER LEAVE COMMENTS AND YET I AM INTRIGUED BY A LOT OF BLN ARTICLES. I HAVE READ ALMOST EVERY SINGLE BLN ARTICLE OVER THE PAST DECADE. BUT DURING OUR BUSY LIVES ITS NOT POSSIBLE TO LEAVE CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS FOR EVERY ARTICLE WE AGREE WITH. THIS COMMENT HAS TAKEN ME 20MINS SO FAR TO WRITE. AND IT IS MY FIRST TO BLN. AFTER READING BLN FOR 10YEARS.

    DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED!!!

    THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE LIGHTHOUSES LIKE YOURS TO HELP KEEP THE PEOPLE INFORMED, SO THAT THE ENLIGHTENED ONES MAY ALL SAFELY NAVIGATE THESE DARK AND TREACHEROUS WATERS WE ARE ALL ENTERING. I CANNOT APPLAUD YOU AND THE TEAM OF BLN CONTRIBUTORS ENOUGH. IF YOU DO HAPPEN TO READ THIS, I HOPE I HAVE BEEN A BEACON OF HOPE FOR YOU AS WELL AND WOULD LIKE TO WISH YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND ALL YOUR LOVED ONES THE BEST OF LUCK IN THESE UPCOMING TRYING TIMES.

    SINCERELY YOURS,
    Not a conspiracy nut, just very skeptical of everything that is going on in today’s world.
    Canadian Li

  • SueDinNY

    We need to look at solutions and as a nation we’re not. Our politicians are too busy making sure they’re getting rich on contributions to their war chest to care about the state of our great nation. We need to look at where we were when we became a great industrialized economy. What did we produce? What products did we export? Where did our basic materials come from? Look at Canada. Just a few years ago our money was worth 33% more than Canada’s. Now, they are financially stable and we’re in trouble. We need to use our natural resources as Canada does. We get most of our oil from them. We have lumber. We have natural gas. We have oil. We need to remove restrictions on all of it. Those of you who protest – do you drive a car? Do you use gas? Do you heat your homes? Then shut up. You’re a hypocrite. The problem is much larger than re-industrializing, however, because we have politicians (and many rich people and the media) who want to see the demise of the Republic and a new socialist/communist nation. We MUST remove these evil corrupt deceptive people from gov’t and media. This will be a long process, but if we want a free nation, it has to be done.

  • scott bowlan

    look in the history books.
    jobs started going away just after clinton signed in the china free trade bill October 10, 2000 shortly after bush went in office so all those problems seemed to be caused by bush when in fact clintion signed the bill in on the last weeks he was in office.this is whay the obama adminustration has blamed bush for the mess we are in.
    that bill signed in by clinton allowed overseas manufactures to flood the u.s.market with every thing from food to cheap merchendise,walmart sudenly became chinas largest trading partner. u.s.manufactures can’t compete with overseas cost and prices do to labor wages and manufacturing cost. now oct 2010 millions of manufacturing jobs gone and millions of homes forclosed on.and overseas investors are swarming the u.s.buying up forclosed homes and real estate.
    the last months of 2010 threw the first 6 months of 2011 we can expect skyrocketing food,gas,oil prices.
    by mid 2011 millions of peoples extended benifets will have run out sending them on the streets and on welfare.
    the dollar is crashing and will completely fail do to government spending.states will go broke just like ca and this time the gov will not be able to bail them out like they did in 09 so expect thousands of state and local state government jobs to be gone in 2011
    eventualy china and other countries wont take the american dollar do to the value loss.
    non of these problems will be fixed unless that same free trade bill that put us here is reversed back to were it was before clinton signed it in and we know the money junkies in congress will never change it so we can expect things to progresavly get worse to the point of complete economic colapce by 2012

  • http://www.hedgethebets.com/ Philip M.

    Unfair trade in our globalized is indeed a real problem. Part of this is because we have three wars overseas. So we can’t tell China to shut up, because China buys our government bonds.

    http://www.hedgethebets.com/latest/2010/11/markets-expect-political-gridlock-and-why-it-could-actually-be-a-good-thing/

    We squandered borrowed money on supposedly patriotic but rather pointless wars overseas. Some liberal Democrats argue (privately) that the most patriotic course of action would have been saving thousands of American lives and investing in the education of the next generation of Americans.

    Many of us Americans were sold on the rather crude and simple ideas of G.W.Bush to save the (f)ailing economy through tax cuts. But the biggest expense of all are the costly wars we are fighting overseas. Obama has thankfully very much scaled down our engagement in Iraq, but it is still ongoing and draining our budget. On top of that, we kicked into higher gear in the war in Afghanistan and can’t really avoid going after terrorists in the nearby Pakistan. So we have three wars now.

    Most Americans who voted for then-Senator and now President Barack Obama had three wishes in mind:

    1) fixing the economy by creating an economic green energy boom (just like Bill Clinton did it with the dot.com boom in the 90′s)

    2) ending all wars overseas, not just merely shifting the war from Iraq to Afghanistan/Pakistan; for parents and families of our men and women in uniform it does not make much of a difference whether their loved ones die in Iraq or in Afghanistan, they just want them safely here back home

    3) ensuring that the U.S.A. remains the economic super power number one

    In the light of a continuing economic slump–well technically were are not in a recession because two percent growth already qualifies as recovery– Americans of all political stripes and almost all walks of life are rightly disappointed with the state of the Union.

    Former President Bill Clinton fixed the economy first. He created a sustainable recovery and a swinging boom but had to sacrifice his health care reform.

    President Obama succeeded in what no US President has ever done: he did pass a “comprehensive health care reform”. But without money to pay for it, it is just paper and if it is enforced it will become yet another burden on the ailing economy. So, President Obama entered history books at the speed of light not only as the first President to win the Nobel Peace Price in 2009, he was also the first to sign a sweeping health care reform and a Financial Regulation bill (a.k.a FinReg or Frank-Dodd-Bill). But is he doing the job we hired him to do? You have to wonder whether ending the wars and restoring American economic greatness is anywhere on his agenda right now.

    http://www.hedgethebets.com/latest/2010/11/markets-expect-political-gridlock-and-why-it-could-actually-be-a-good-thing/#theStimulus

    Because President Obama continued all these wars he inherited from George W. Bush, the US is out of financial options to counter unfair globalized trade.

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