Pat Buchanan had a column March 12 on manufacturing, The Disemboweling of America, that hits the nail on the head. In fact, if I fairly excerpt enough of the column and send you over to read it, my work here is done. For today.
Buchanan begins by outlining just how much our country has lost by allowing others, particularly China, to take over manufacturing.
Though Bush 41 and Bush 43 often disagreed, one issue did unite them both with Bill Clinton: protectionism.
Globalists all, they rejected any federal measure to protect America’s industrial base, economic independence or the wages of U.S. workers.
. . . From 2000 to 2009, industrial production declined here for the first time since the 1930s. Gross domestic product also fell, and we actually lost jobs.
In traded goods alone, we ran up $6.2 trillion in deficits — $3.8 trillion of that in manufactured goods.
And what are the implication of this loss of manufacturing?
. . . for every dollar we send abroad for oil or gas, we send $4.20 abroad for manufactured goods. Why is a dependency on the Persian Gulf for a fraction of the oil we consume more of a danger than a huge growing dependency on China for the necessities of our national life?
… How many know that every modern nation that rose to world power did so by sheltering and nurturing its manufacturing and industrial base…
. . . No nation rose to world power on free trade. …
Nations rise on economic nationalism; they descend on free trade.
Buchanan wrote an excellent, important column and I encourage readers to click through and read the whole thing.
So, this “free trade” stuff has worked out for us about as well as the “free market” stuff worked out for the economy. Free market and deregulation ideology destroyed the economy. Free trade has destroyed our ability to earn money and recover from the destruction of the economy.
It is time to formulate a national industrial policy/economic strategy, impose tariffs as necessary to balance trade – especially in the case of Chinese currency manipulation – and set up taxes and penalties to stop companies from moving any more manufacturing out of the country.
Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future