Monday, November 1, 2010


Trade policies are tricky.  They are geo-political chess games.  But they used to be determined by simple supply and demand basics.  If you needed spices from India, you bought spices from India.  If you liked Irish crystal and linens, you bought Irish crystal and linens.  Conversely, if India needed steel, Pittsburgh supplied it.  The U.S. shipped grains all over the world from our mid-west.  Trade was like a hand-shake with countries not at war with each other.  When conflicts arose, trade policies were used as incentives to solve conflicts.  Trade with belligerent parties was frowned upon, though allowed, sometimes to our in the case of pre-WWII trade with Germany.  And in that case, trade made no difference in the placation of enemies.  

I believe we are trading with enemies of the U.S. now, but worse....we are trading to the extent of destroying all of our own ability to be a self-determining nation.  Trade policy manipulations have taken the place of colonialism.  Instead of colonizing a nation to supply resources needed,  world leaders are using trade policies to reconfigure our geo-political status.  It was up to our government leaders to create trade agreements which benefited the U.S. and assured our survival.  Instead, our political leadership has played chess with our livelihoods and failed us miserably.  By intention.

And if you ask me about "protectionism," I will tell you that is a canard.  Every viable nation protects its own economic survival.  Trade is essential and when it works to everyone's benefit, it is a great thing.  But when trade treaties become weapons or tools to take down a nation, it's time to rethink the trade policies and replace the leadership who sold out.  Trade may not be at the top of the list in this current election directly, but indirectly it is at the heart of our economic and employment malaise.  So it is a big part of the picture and part of what has gone very wrong.

I remember Nixon opening the trade door with China.  It was 1972,  before China owned huge amounts of our debt.  The political spin of the day was this:  "If we trade with China, the Chinese will see the error of their Communist ways and come to join the rest of the civilized Western civilization, their human rights violations will stop, and the Chinese people will forever love America."  Isn't that so nice and warm and fuzzy?  The idea sold to the American public was that China was a large consumer base who would buy all kinds of wonderful American products.  And when they did, they would see how deliciously wonderful it would be to more like Americans.  I wonder even now.... what was Nixon smoking at the time?

Well, Nixon was a little crazy on several levels, but that one really did it for me.  I didn't buy it then, and it's obvious now why this has not worked out as billed.  Now, looking back, I think this initiative with China was part of the "Mutually Assured Economic Destruction" theory.  Good intentions pave the road to hell...remember.  And it was 1989 when the world watched the Tianamen Square protests that ended badly in China.  So seventeen years after Nixon opened the door, we saw that Communist China had not come around to the freedoms of the West.

So now we have annihilated manufacturing in the U.S. and handed over manufacturing to China at unbelievable levels.  America ended up being the consumer....and the consumed.  While China has ended up laughing all the way to the bank.  "Free" trade policies have cost the U.S. losses in self-determination, national security, and economic independence.   The geniuses who cooked this up certainly didn't have the best interest of the United States at the forefront of their minds. 

The American public truly has had no part to play in this geo-political chess game.  The American people were not consulted and did not give permission for the trade policies that have undermined American sovereignty.  The American shopper cannot find products made in America anymore because American products have been priced out of the global marketplace.  Partly due to unions in collusion with politicians, partly due to politicians who sold us out, and partly due to outside forces who bought off our politicians, the American public has been run around the chess board as pawns to the Kings and Queens.  

And the biggest slap in the face of all is this spin:  "Americans are so rich but want to buy cheap, so they are the consumers of the world, but Americans are bad because they ruin everything for everyone else through their greedy consumption."  The prevailing philosophy is that America will become / is becoming a "service" based society and can live just dandy without manufacturing.  In other words, the geo-political genuises have determined that Americans can play the role of consumer of the world, while the rest of the world does the manufacturing with cheap labor and lower environmental standards. 

Did anyone ask the American guy who was making his living in manufacturing if we should import steel?  Did anyone ask the American shopper if they wanted to support mercury pollution in China, re: compact fluorescent  lightbulbs?  Did anyone ask Americans if they wanted to sit around at computers, wait tables, or lose their jobs because Americans are propping up manufacturing  in some third world country?  Did anyone ask Americans if they wanted to import staple food supplies from foreign countries?  

American Food Production Shutting Down  "Last year, 45 percent of the nation's corn crop went straight to your gas tank in the form of ethanol. This year it will be more. It's happening because the government requires it and may soon even require more." "William Bailey, director of the school of agriculture at Western Illinois University, said recently that the livestock industry may soon follow textiles, electronics, furniture, and home appliances and soon begin locating offshore."

So, what exactly does "Free Trade" mean to Americans?  Our own government taking away our ability to survive is what it means.  Dependency is what it means.  Nothing in it is reflecting supply and demand, or self-determination, or American independence.   "Free Trade" put a lot of politicians and corporations in the driver's seat, while Americans in many walks of life were tossed down the pipes.   What is ironic about this is the collusion between the unions and the Democrat Party.  The other irony is the collusion between both Republicans and Democrats with global corporations.  Both Democrats and Republicans have played this game and Americans have lost their literal shirts. 

When your children can't find work or put food on their tables or clothes on their backs, we know who to thank.  Our own corrupt politicians who sold us out to the mantra of "Free Trade."  Both Democrats and Republicans have done this.  And to the American public there is nothing "Free" about it.

Also published at Pundit House

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cheryl,
    Well Obama made quite an impression on the Chinese durning his world tour in 2009. I found a picture in one of their news papers with Obama dressed in chinese clothes with other chinese men looking on and smiling while he gives a Chinese salute. The caption read as follows:

    Title: Obamao
    Chinese people think that black man Obama belongs to the “oppressed but now stand up slave” category, and thus can understand China more. They believe that he will lead capitalistic America into Socialistic world.
    A very reasonable assement from their prospective!
    A shame on us!