Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Archives, March 2004: Forever Free Trade


NEW DELHI, March 16 — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, encountering the other side of a tempestuous debate in the United States, sought to assure Indians on Tuesday that the Bush administration would not try to halt the outsourcing of high-technology jobs to their country.

In discussions with Indian leaders and college students, Mr. Powell found that the issue of the transfer of American jobs to India by leading technology companies was as emotional in India as in the United States.

"Outsourcing is a natural effect of the global economic system and the rise of the Internet and broadband communications. You're not going to eliminate outsourcing; but, at the same time, when you outsource jobs it becomes a political issue in anybody's country."

Mr. Powell told the students what he had said to reporters earlier in the day after a meeting with Foreign Minister Yaswant Sinha: an appropriate American response to outsourcing was to press India to open up to imports of American investments, goods and services.

Just like with the tax cutting mania, every situation has the same solution. All problems with trade are to be solved by more trade. Even though the information pouring in shows that more trade is not working, the rulers of America keep peddling this nostrum. Since every country is set to create as much a one way trade as possible vis a vis the USA, this means we can't merely have "open markets", we have to protect our own markets.

Right now, we have rising trade tensions with our nearest neighbors, Mexico and Canada. Instead of NAFTA creating an united front of the three North American nations, we have NAFTA as a mutual suicide pact as all three nations are being forced into this death spiral with Asia.

The solution to this problem is multifaceted. And in the short run, painful. Number one is to raise interest rates to a realistic level. Second, stop our major "export": the stationing of American troops all over the planet. This is bleeding our economy since it is 100% financed by the American tax payer and nearly all the money is spent overseas, not at home, so it is a significant drain on the economy. Third, tax heavily all labor that is overseas and works for American corporations. Tax heavily all "products" that are labor, ie, subcontracts. The best way to tax them, is to usa a Social Security style system. This money will be dedicated to funding Workman's Comp and Unemployment Insurance and the various welfare programs. Fourth, step up work on freeing America from foreign oil. This means alternative energy should be energetically pursued. It also means much stricter CAFE standards for all vehicles.

There are many things we need to do. Creating more "free trade" is very low on the list.

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