Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What "Free Trade" Is Really About.

I was reading an article in the American Conservative (not available online) about 'free' trade, where many of it advocates now admit its bad for Americans:

Money Magazine:
Americans aren't better off now than they were 35 years ago.
There have been advances, sure, but the losses are far worse than the gains. They seemed to try really hard to make it seem more even than it actually is. (p. 110)

Paul Krugman: It was never honest to say that free trade makes everyone better off. However, the winners aren't foreigners at the expense of Americans; it's some Americans at the expense of other Americans. If you're college-educated, or have a lot of investment income, you're probably a winner from trade. (Yes, some highly educated workers have seen their jobs outsourced, but on average the educated have gained.) Overall, the U.S. economy is richer. Unfortunately, the losers tend to be poorer Americans, which is why I don't just stress the increase in G.D.P.
"In the last American Conservative there was a great article by J.G. Collins on free trade, regarding Paul Krugman's confession that free trade is harming the first world but his insistence that it must be continued for humanitarian reasons. Like with immigration, free trade has fostered a marriage between big business and multicultural internationalists. First-world countries have everything to lose from free trade, and third-world countries everything to gain. Collins says that free trade has become the "white man's burden." If we do not end these insane policies, the U.S. is going to be transformed into a third-world wasteland."

An interesting point about this 'egalitarianism' championed by the super elite -it makes them wealthy and more powerful, while claiming it makes the world 'equal' at our expense. It basically is a re manifestation of communism, where, slogans like 'equality ' are used to justify the opposite. Since the power shift in the 1960s towards this sort thinking we hear slogans and goals that achieve the exact opposite of what they claim. "Tolerance" programs outlaw dissenting views, 'diversity' programs make require singular thought, and marginalizing of core culture.

As well documented elsewhere,we have one-way free trade. China restricts and has tarrifs but we open our markets to them. The countries that benefit from free trade are the ones that practice restriction which is ignored. As Krugman and others admit - they are doing this intentionally to 'equalize' wealth world wide- at OUR expense. Secondly, as Krugman says, few economists now don't acknowlege that so called free trade hurts the poorest americans and middle class and working class americans.

Third, it has seriously diminished our clout worldwide and increased China's. Is this the point? To then force America to become part of a superblock like the EU?

Since 2002, America has run five consecutive world record trade deficits. Three million manufacturing jobs have disappeared. The euro has almost doubled in value against the dollar. The Canadian dollar has reached parity. Plants have been shutting down across this country for years. The wages of Middle Americans have stagnated. The trade deficit with China last year reached $233 billion, a world record between any two nations.

Where Alexander Hamilton's economic patriotism, pursued by Washington, Madison, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley, T.R. and Coolidge, created the greatest manufacturing power the world had ever seen, producing 42 percent of all of the world's goods when Silent Cal went home, America's industrial plant has been ravaged by free trade.

And we are only beginning to see the damage done by the "trade-deficits-don't-matter!" Republicans.

The trade deficits America has run up in recent decades have helped give rival nations $5 trillion in cash reserves. They have now begun to transfer this enormous cash hoard into sovereign wealth funds – to buy up America.

China, with currency reserves estimated at $1.3 trillion, used petty cash – one-fourth of 1 percent of its cash pile in May – to buy a 10 percent interest in Blackstone, America's second largest private equity firm.

Huawei Technologies, a firm linked to the Chinese military, now seeks a merger with 3Com, a company that provides the Pentagon and U.S. Army with intrusion detection equipment to keep hackers out. In July, Chinese military hackers were discovered trying to break into a computer system close to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Treasury should veto Huawei's bid, even if Goldman Sachs, which claims one alumnus as treasury secretary and another as White House chief of staff, has been greasing the deal. Yet this is not the end – this is only the first of the foreign raids on vital U.S. assets.


Neocons seem to have the same feel good nativity as liberals - 'hey if we bring democracy everyone will cheer for us and love us in iraq' 'hey if we open our borders and markets Asian countries will see they are wrong and open theirs, and they will be our friends.

They don't seem to grasp (or perhaps they do!) that the rest of the world - , would love to see Europe and America fall or become subservient to them. Many Indians feel this way - particularly towards Anglo-Saxons, the Chinese and more well known, the Muslims. Continuing to naively embrace policies that deliberately weaken us economically, culturally (just look at what Muslim immigration is doing in Europe) is suicide, whether its called free trade or not.

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