Free trade is sometimes called the Informal Economy or the Black Market. Propagandists prefer sneaky terms like that. Free trade has a major virtue; it is not government regulated. In fact it is illegal, subjected to sabotage. This helps it prosper by driving prices up. Sadly it tends to drive quality down. There are significant advantages in the tax position. It was advocated by Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776. He was right then. It makes rather less sense now.
It was good for England when we started the Industrial Revolution. Our brains and brawn put us ahead. We sold to the world. But foreigners learned. They had cheap labour so they could make things for less. Quality was another issue. For decades China was cheap and nasty. Now they have higher standards. They look at environmental issues to. A combination of quantity, quality and greenery make for an effective trading bloc.
This is now, in 2016 impoverishing America, or at all events Americans. NAFTA has given Mexico free access to American markets. Factories are going south while Mexicans are going north to take American jobs. Who is winning? The answer is Capitalist Swine. The economic forces working against Americans are a big reason why Donald Trump is doing so well in the polls. America First sounds good to a lot of people who vote.
Pat Buchanan tells us that is Why Trump Is Routing the Free Traders. Pat makes lotsa sense; he always does.
The Rashaida are an Islamic tribe in Eritrea who breed racing camels. They are also keen on smuggling blacks into Israel, kidnapping et cetera. The Mail has some nice pictures of them.
Various drugs were something of a non-issue, apart from the health aspect until various busybodies decided to meddle by outlawing them. They created what is literally a growth industry. Cannabis growing is an exciting area of modern arable farming; one with splendid profits, an eager market and significant tax advantages. Which drugs are verboten, proscribed, illegal? It depends on where and when. Prohibition was against alcohol in America. It failed. Now the same kind of fool has done it to various narcotics. One of the biggest wholesalers is the CIA. They use the profits to fund their criminal operations. It was run by George HW Bush, who was later the President of America.
Is another name for Free Trade, a policy advanced by Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations.
The spice trade was interesting, stimulating, challenging, exciting, dangerous, an excuse for murder, invasions, fraud and very profitable for the lucky, vigorous, unscrupulous or lucky. It was also Free Trade.
Why Trump Is Routing the Free Traders
In Tuesday’s indictment of free trade as virtual economic treason, The Donald has really set the cat down among the pigeons.
For, in denouncing NAFTA, the WTO, MFN for China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all backed by Bush I and II, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Trump is all but calling his own party leaders dunderheads and losers.
And he seems to be winning the argument.
As he calls for the repudiation of “globalism” and a return to “Americanism,” a Republican Congress renders itself mute on whether it will even vote on the TPP this year.
On trade, Bernie Sanders is closer to Trump. Even Hillary Clinton has begun to renounce a TPP she once called the “gold standard” of trade deals.
Where have all the troubadours of free trade gone? Why do economic patriots seem ascendant? Is this like the Cold War, where the other side gets up and goes home?
Answer. As Trump pointed out in Monessen in the Mon Valley of Pennsylvania, the returns from free trade are in, and the results are rotten.
Since Bush I, we have run $12 trillion in trade deficits, $4 trillion with China. Once a Maoist dump, China has become the greatest manufacturing power on earth. Meanwhile, the U.S. has lost 50,000 factories and a third of its manufacturing jobs.
Trump is going to start a “trade war,” wail the critics.
But the damage wreaked upon U.S. industry by free traders already rivals what Arthur “Bomber” Harris did for German industry in the Ruhr.
In recent decades, every major U.S. trade partner — China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, EU — has run annual trade surpluses at our expense. How do 40 years of trade deficits in goods, run by a nation that rarely ran one for a century before, make us stronger or wealthier?
Or is what is best for the world now more important than what is best for America?
And here we come to the heart of the argument.
Washington, Hamilton, and Henry Clay, father of the “American System,” and Lincoln and every Republican president up to Eisenhower, crafted trade policies to promote manufacturing to grow the wealth of the USA.
They were patriots not globalists.
They knew that America’s political independence required economic independence of all other nations. They wanted to build an economy where Americans would cut their bonds to foreign lands and come to rely upon one another for the needs and necessities of their national life. They sought to make us independent, so that we could not be dragged by economic ties into the inevitable wars of the Old World.
And they succeeded magnificently.
Britain, which embraced free trade in the 1840s, became so reliant on imports that a few dozen German submarines almost knocked her out of World War I. Protectionist America had to come pull her chestnuts out of the fire.
Free trade ideology is not America-made. It is an alien faith, a cargo cult, smuggled in from the old continent, the work of men Edmund Burke called “sophisters, economists, and calculators.”
David Ricardo, James and John Stuart Mill, Richard Cobden, all chatterers and scribblers, none of whom ever built a great nation, declared free trade to be the new New Testament, the salvation of mankind.
These men in whose souls the old faith was dying seized on a utopian belief that world government and free trade would be the salvation of mankind. The Economist magazine was founded to preach the heresy.
Before the modern era, Americans never bought into it. But now, our elites have. And, undeniably, there are beneficiaries to free trade.
There are first the owners, operators and shareholders of companies who, to be rid of high-wage American labor, moved production to China or Mexico or where the costs are lower and regulations near nonexistent.
Transnational companies, their K Street lobbyists, and media that survive on their advertising dollars, are the biggest boosters of free trade, as they are the biggest beneficiaries.
Consumers, too, at least initially, see more products down at the mall, selling at lower prices. Cheap consumer goods are the bribes free traders proffer to patriots to sell out their country and countrymen to capitalists who have no country.
But we are not simply consumers. We are Americans. We are fellow citizens. We are neighbors. We have duties to one another.
When a factory shuts down and a town begins to die, workers are laid off. The local tax base shrinks, education and social services are cut. Folks go on unemployment and food stamps. We all pay for that.
Wives go to work and kids come home from school to empty houses, and families break up, and move away. Social disintegration follows.
“Creative destruction” is the antiseptic term free traders use to describe what they have done and are doing to the America we grew up in.
Southeast of the old Steel City, in the Mon Valley of Pennsylvania, where my mother and her six brothers and her sister grew up, folks describe what happened more poignantly and graphically.
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Updated on Friday, 29 July 2016 11:22:46 +0100