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January 28, 2010
Competing with China’s rapidly growing economy

President Obama delivers his first State of the Union address: WhiteHouse on Flickr

The overwhelming focus of President Obama’s State of the Union address was on jobs and economic recovery, and the president also said the U.S. can no longer afford to stand by as other economic powers, including China, invest in their economies and infrastructure.

“Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile China’s not waiting to revamp its economy…I do not accept second place for America.”

To level the playing field more in favor of American goods, should the U.S. impose protectionist measures against China?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Comments

70 comments

#70

Revoking Chinas most favored nation tariff status should not be viewed as protectionism by the US against China because China has a very poor human right record. Each year thousands of free speech protestors are imprisoned or executed. Even Christian Nuns are held in prison for protesting in China. Until human rights improve in China America must not aide China in state sponsored murder. We must stand up to tyrants and protect the people of the world against them.

#69

Bob Powell:

Repeating some mumbo jumbo that you yourself cannot explain, and getting a shill to shout “rah rah”, does not make your arguments any more convincing. I asked very simple questions – HOW do you propose to take care of the lower income folks when you take away 50 or 70% of their purchasing power, through protectionism. I suppose there could indeed be attempted solutions, but you are clearly too lazy to think of any.

Your ‘leave it to the elite’ might have been more convincing if pitched in Communist China, as their leaders clearly demonstrate through results that they know what they are talking about or what they propose to do. In comparison, Washington looks like a bunch of hapless clowns, dead set on calling everybody out as “hating America”, just for pointing out that they are clowns who do not know what they are doing. That fear mongering and attempt to stop dissent no longer works, as the people can SEE with their own eyes. Everyone vote everyday with their wallets, and they buy well priced China made goods. That is reality. You can wet dream your “uber alles” and name call all you want, consumers (which is everybody – a much bigger subset than labor) want and need NO PROTECTIONISM.

#68

Thank you for the kind comment, Kerry.

Zhu, the issue is not at all about “hifulutin’ ideals”; it’s about hard reality. Individuals often make decisions that are destructive to the whole … and eventually to themselves. You clearly haven’t learned about the “fallacy of composition”. This fallacy is why government must be involved to create “balanced trade”. And creating balance is *not* protectionist; it’s ending the “reverse protectionism” that drives manufacturing & jobs offshore.

There is such hatred for the environment that those who want business to internalize the costs of production (e.g., not pollute), to allow market forces to *properly* balance supply & demand, are called enviro-fascists. For heaven sakes, this shows a vast ignorance of “free market” failures [google “Invisible Hand Drops Ball & Economics 101”].

People on the “bottom rungs” are “destitute and buffeted” by decades of policies that have depressed wages. Google “Data on Income & Tax Distributions” to see the trends & reasons. What’s called “free trade” is one of the major reasons and many want to continue this to depress wages even more.

And, by the way, the way things are going, the U.S. will be exporting more raw materials and less high tech. Google “Advanced Technology Products & Green “Trade” Deficits” to see the data. Those without a death wish do care where goods are made; google “cadmium in jewelry” or “cadmium in toys”.

To the many who oppose balance I ask, “Why do you hate America?”

#67

Bob. Your post is very on-topic and clearly most profound. Not one true nor one sound argument can oppose it, lest such opposition be based on America-bashing and fear mongering.

#66

Bob Powell:

It is hardly a fallacy. It is telling it like it is. From successful tele-evangelists preaching family value but addicted to hookers or gay sex, to politicians preaching American values and patriotism but selling out on the most piddly of bribes (oh they call them campaign contribution nowadays, and it is now completely koshe), you see time and time again how human nature always trump hifulutin’ ideals.

The observable, empirical evidence is that the American consumers, and collectively society as a whole, love good prices and could care less where the goods are made.

Also, protectionism begets HIGHER input factors. Arguably America can go totally autarkic, and produce most of what it needs within the borders – that is even true of energy assets (oil and gas, and coal), as long as the voters decide that is more important to have jobs than to continue to follow the lead of the enviro-fascists. BUT what does that do to prices? How do you keep social peace when the folks on the bottom rungs, already destitute and buffeted by the shaken economy, suddenly finds that what they could afford to buy shrinks by 50 to 70%? Moreover, the higher costs would also mean even higher export prices, reducing American competitiveness.

#65

Zhu presents an excellent example of what’s known as the “Fallacy of Composition”: When we act as if what is true for a part is true for the whole. In other words, there are times when individually logical actions are collectively irrational. Reading comments here and seeing that so many fall into this thinking trap, leaves me in despair.

This is the case with his “price is more often than not the driver for the purchase.” Well obviously, that’s logical for each individual. But for the nation jobs are lost, technology dominance is eroded, wages are depressed, national trade debt increases, and we sell of infrastructure, companies, & real estate … we become a foreign owned debtor nation. This is insane. This is economic suicide. And, look around, it’s exactly what’s happening.

Google “The Trade Deficit and the Fallacy of Composition” and see the section on “The Logical Logic that’s Irrational” to see the structure of the feedbacks that are creating economic disaster.

#64

Most consumers are price-driven at the core. Country of origin, foreign working conditions, quality of goods, the obsolescence of the American factory are all impressive talking points at political rallies and dinner parties, but given the choice of almost identical goods, price is more often than not the driver for the purchase.

American consumers “vote” daily with their hard earned dollars and buy Made in China, because the goods are well priced and of reasonable quality – at least better than Toyotas, y’think.

#63

China is already PROTECTIONIST because it does not allow its domestic currency the Renmimbi to float against other world currencies.

1. Increase tariffs until the Renminbi is allowed to float against the US Dollar and China agrees to become a more equal trading partner.

2.Revoke Chinas most favored nation tariff status because they have abused our economy (poor guests).

n a PROTECTIONIST manner China banned the Showing of Avatar in all of but a few 3D venues so that the Government funded film on the “Life of Confucious” would not have to compete with it. Avatar was banned the same day the other film was to be released.

I have reposted these items because a poster has tried to distract readers from the issue.

#62

Now your trying to intimidate the moderators of this blog into censoring my posts by making false accusations against me. Again, I ask the moderators to remove this exchange and to edit my posts as they see fit.

#61

Zhu,
You are only pretending to be offended in an attempt to have my posts removed; because, you disagree with my position (s). You wish have my position on revoking Chinas Most Favored nation status censored from this blog. You fear that my posts will have an untold impact- I doubt they will. And, so, out of desperation you call me a racists. Moderators, if you feel my posts need editing please do so. However, please leave the parts on tariffs intact. Please do not let America become like China, a place where free speech is censored through threats and intimidation.
To the bolg I am sorry for wasting your time with the exchange between Zhu and myself. Moderators, please delete that exchange.

#60

Masterson:

A racist is a racist, the fact that you are Jewish + native American (if you indeed are, which is highly dubious) does not give you a free pass. In fact, if you really are, you would and should have been a lot more sensitive than to insinuate that the Chinese are somehow different than any other ethnic groups. If the moderators decide to ban you for your racist assertions, it would be well deserved.

#59

Zhu,
I am both part Jewish and Native American. If you live in America, work in America, or consider yourself an American– then by all means you are an American.
Just because I am pro tariff and want to revoke Chinas most Favored Tariff Status does not make me a racists.
Perhaps your real goal was to try to get this website exercise censorship over of my point of view because it conflicts with yours pro-China point of view ?

#58

1. Increase tariffs until the Renminbi is allowed to float against the US Dollar and China agrees to become a more equal trading partner.

2.Revoke Chinas most favored nation tariff status because they have abused our economy (poor guests).

3. Don’t escalate into a real war thru trade embargo or other ideas like selling Nukes to Taiwan.

4. China has a long history of expertise in international trade– and America may have met its match.

5. What ever the out-come we, the U.S., needs to find a way to share and to be friends with China.

Zhu, this blog is about tariffs, yet your post on Banking and Thorium reactors are off topic. Moreover, trying to tell us that American don’t want the jobs which have been sent to China seems like a poor attempt to shelve the Tariff issue. Americans want those jobs back!

In a PROTECTIONIST manner China banned the Showing of Avatar in all of but a few 3D venues so that the Government funded film on the “Life of Confucious” would not have to compete with it. Avatar was banned the same day the other film was to be released. Yet, in your post you attempted through propaganda to mislead this blog about that issue.

I must ask, are you an agent working for the Chinese Government or are you just misinformed ?

#57

Countries with high populations have a huge economic advantage, more people=lower labor rates and lower overhead. Level the playing field. All countries should price their imports at the prevailing resource rates of the industries in their own country that produce comparable goods.

#56

Masterson:

You are clearly trying to incite racial hatred here. Are you feeling uncomfortable that the Chinese are acting too much like the Jewish diaspora, or any other ethnic group? What you are saying is rather tired, and had been said about Jewish folks for at least a few thousand years. Or do you want to go further, and have all Chinese
go though McCarthyite loyalty tests before we are allowed to live?

#55

Talk of possible currency manipulation as protectionism may actually be a valid point, BUT FOR the fact that America is doing more of that than the entire rest of the world combined – TRILIIONS, printed out of thin air through fiat, with the EXPRESS GOAL of artificially depressing the valuation.

On top of that, Washington has steadfastly refused to allow the Chinese to use the accumulated dollars to buy assets. Unocal was hardly “strategic” in any sense of the word.

Symptomatic of how the rest of the world looks at America. The accepted norm, the responsible thing to do, when you have overspent, is NOT to go borrow trillions more, but to sell off some of your assets to pay down the debt.

#54

China is already PROTECTIONIST because it does not allow its domestic currency the Renmimbi to float against other world currencies.

Protectionism has never solved economic issues it only serves to create political problems which lead to war. An EXTREME approach would be that if China does not agree to let the Renminbi float against the US Dollar within 90 days, then, the United States President by executive order should issue a trade embargo on all Chinese goods and freeze all Chinese assets in the United States. And to sell Nuclear weapons to Taiwan Much like the events that led to the War with Japan. That would not be a good thing to do anytime!

Perhaps a more balanced method would be to slowly increase tariffs until the Renminbi was allowed to float against the US Dollar and China agreed to become a more equal trading partner.

In any event, revoking Chinas most favored nation tariff status should not be viewed as protectionism by the US because China continues to take advantage of that status in a impolite manner. They have lost much face because of their impoliteness. We invited them into our economy but they did not respect us nor did the act as a guest should act. The Chinese Government is well aware of the growing unrest and anger that is directed at both the American and the Chinese governments. Common conversations taking place throughout America implicate our leaders in Washington as being disloyal to the Middel-Class and there is growing discontent and racism against China as well. Both countries need to find a way to balance trade in a peaceful manner.
The root problem is over consumption in America and under-consumption in China. The problem is not the gold standard nor the so called banking crisis. Most Americans are unaware that China has always been a nation of traders. Even the smallest villages throughout Asia are home to shop keepers of Chinese decent. Moreover, no matter what country a person from China is living in, most will claim to be Chinese first, and a citizen of that other country second. America may have met its economic match in China, If so we would be better off being friends
considering the rise of the Federal Government in Europe.

#53

Tom Friedman (NYT) commented that this week in Davos, the newest adjective used for the U.S. was “political instability”, as America has become unpredictable to the world. Europeans and Asians asked alike, “Tell me, what’s going on in your country.” America is making the world nervous.

More protectionism will just make things worse, as America forfeits its decades old leadership in the world.

As Friedman points out, the ONLY THING that America needs today is for the two partisan parties to actually work together, and things will actually happen. America does have all the resources necessary to make good things happen.

#52

Economics 101 a sound economy requires a gold standard and manufacturing base. The US has neither. Unless tariffs are imposed to bring manufacturing back to the US, and good house cleaning in done in the government, the country will continue to slid into the murky depths. We can not tolerate anymore nobody do nothing office holders in Washington. Perhaps the first revolution was just practice.

#51

The original question being “Protectionism”,…and for the sake of argument,I begin with agreeing on the premise that Protectionism doesn’t work in a global society (like it or not,that’s the reality),and that “Free Trade” is the (deterrent) checks,and balance. The United States would be smart to lower the Corporate Tax Scructure to 18% ,which could/should bring America’s off-shore entities back home. The revenues lost to the current 25% plus rate would be offset by personal individidual/family income ( the individual/family income tax should also be lowered,we all know the logic >$$$) tax revenues for (sliding scale?) all americans. I’d like to say a few words about the “Manipulation of the Gold Market” today,…what some call the “Gold Cartel” in which the United States is the Godfather (main culprit) with it’s high price lieutenants (hit men) being Goldman Sachs,JP Morgan Chase,and other central banks like the Bank of England which have facilitated this ruse for approximately a decade plus (Memo: pleading with the “FOIA” since 1955 to present,…no-one,and I mean no-one actually knows what amount of gold is left in the “US Gold Reserve” for there’s never been a audit,nice?) years! President Obama’s financial advisor (Clinton’s second TS after Trea.Sec.Robert Rubin’s departure)Larry Summers wrote a “White Paper” titled “Gibson’s Paradox,and the Gold Stanard” ,which basically summed-up something like this,…”keeping gold prices down,thus you keep interest rates down”? Actually this hypothesis should be the inverse. Why? This bawdy (covert) manipulation should never have been implemented in the first place. That’s what caused the problem. Had they not manipulated (rigged is so harsh)the gold prices for the past thirteen years…interest rates would have gone way up,and it would’ve had self-correcting mechanisms. The world is getting wise to this “Commodity Hedge-Short Fund Cartel”, you best believe me on this one. What led up to all this…past,and present? Let’s go back to President Nixon (Tricky Dick,and yes…you were a crook),and the infamous date Aug.15,1971 where he defaulted on “Bretton Wood’s” our (America’s) agreement to backstop our “Federal Reserve Currency” with the “Gold Standard”! The “New World Order” commercial commerce currency payment throughout the world was,and is now, too be known as,”The Fiat Currency System” (A basket of pre-selected world currencies weighted daily) which basically dictated via the world of the “United States Dollar’s Hegemony! This is a famous quote from Nixon’s Treasury Secretary,John Connally (yes,the same Governor of Texas in the same car when Kennedy was assasinated)said at the time to a visiting European delegation after the decision: “It may be our currency,but it is your problem”! My personal opinion goes like this: “From the window of the past to the haunting vision of the future”,reminds me of a person (United States) having dug a hole for himself that refuses to stop digging! Moving on into the future for the ultimate…”cause,and effect” of Nixon’s fiscally irrational move: The Oil Crises with Saudi Arabia of 4/1973,and lasting through 4/1975 (two-years total) which quadrupled oil prices,and created “OPEC” which brought about “Stagflation” (Inflation with no growth,kinda the norm today?) which didn’t subside until 1980. Here’s an analogy of what America’s hubris has fomented: “It’s a simple game of checker’s when you play one-on-one,but when you bring in a third party to play one side against the other,it becomes a game of low-level chess,…but when you add a fourth entity, I’d have to call by the name, deception… you now have multiple variables that factor out the one constant,thusly you now knowing or unknowingly have a “Classic Master’s Chess Match” of global ramifications. Finally, regarding needless wars,and United States/British (this quirky osmosis adopted symbiosis parasite?) “Might”! In Nov.2000,…Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil (US sanctions galore already piled on?). His arrogance was a threat to the dollar,his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new President George W. Bush (#43) Administration in 2001,as reported by Treasury Sec. Paul O’Neil (a really stand-up guy,the best kind of american),the major topic was how we would get rid of Saddam Hussein. Though there was no evidence whatsoever he posed a threat to us. This deep concern for Saddam Hussein suprised,and shocked O’neil! Sidenote: It was Paul O’Neil,and Lawrence Lindsey who went public about the cost of the “Iraqi Freedom War” in the area of $500bn plus! Needless to say the both were shown the door,…how pathetic. PS. These two individual’s have never even been approached or even mentioned by the Obama Administration for their fiscal expertice and outstanding fiduciary character (I guess Obama doesn’t want quality,and tested valour?) ,and being brought on-board to fix our countries dire situation. I firmly believe we should market “Made in America” products with labels,and promote this mantra,…that people should always consider first buying american!

#50

Hello, Shu, I agree with you up to a point and no doubt the Russians would like to see the USA fall flat on it’s face. But as far as China sticking with Fanny/Freddie – there is more to it than them standing by the US. The Chinese have so much invested in the US if we fall flat our our face – so do the Chinese – we’re locked together like it or not at least for the foreseeable future. The Russians only do what is “solely” in their own best interest – but at some point that will hurt them more than the other party – it just takes time for things to catch up to the Russians. Jim @ USA

#49

BTW, according to Bloomberg, Henry Paulson said it was the Russians’ fault. He claims that during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Russia tried to talk China into joint action to dump Freddie and Fannie bonds. “…deeply troubling – heavy selling could create a sudden loss of confidence in the GSEs and shake the capital markets,” wrote Paulson in his new book.

Russia sold its entire $65.6 Billion holding of Fannie and Freddie debt in 2008. China did not.

Know who your friends are in times of need. Gratitude would also be good form.

#48

Ah, the ugly head of yellow peril. To a small number of folks, there is no Chinese conduct that is not condemnable.

Avatar 2D was phased out of some Chinese movie houses as a commercial decision by the theaters. The 3D version is still playing, and charging US$29 per person – even higher than in the U.S.

Cheap, poisonous products from China?? 6 billion good souls around the globe beg to differ, as they enjoy the well priced, high quality products from China day in and day out, raising their relative standard of living to something like 200% of those few silly enough to boycott.

Life is about choices, and indeed it is your sole perogative to buy expensive and buy less with your hard earned dollars. Hundreds of millions of Americans choose daily not to do so.

There is no question America faces serious problems – but these are problems created of Americans’ own choosing, literally – they chose the politicians who gave away the $14 Trillion America does not have (to be paid by future generations), and gave that to the banksters. Who should Americans be angry at? 1. The banksters who perpetrated the fraud; 2. The politicians who “punished” the fraud by giving the banksters trillions more; or 3. China. According to Messrs. Masterson and Powell, it must be China, even though the magnitude of the fraud of the banksters (over $150 Trillion in “derivatives” so complicated not even the pitchers can understand or explain – instead they just say “trust me”, and now $14 Trillion in bailout money) is several degrees of magnitude greater than what the Chinese could possibly ever have done.

#47

The only thing that save the American economy from complete collapse is that we do business with paper currency. Thank God, President Richard Nixon took the U.S. off the Gold Standard back in the 1970’s. Even China comes around to collect, we just give them green-dyed papers with some numbers printed on them.

#46

Lets Skips tariffs and Boy Cot all goods from China.

Lets address a myth that is posted several times here. The large US Banks that are awarding “Bonuses” have not in real terms posted a profit since housing bubble burst. The US Federal government and the FSAB agreed to not require Banks to report hundreds of billions of losses in defaulted loans on their balance sheets. Thus, these Banks report profits while actually taking losses: mislead the public and sell common stock to unknowing , and pay themselves bonuses. All the while US Federal Government knows that the Banks are still taking huge losses on loan defaults. The Banks are the “Fall Guy” for the Federal Governments decision to let the housing bubble remain unchecked. That way we will be angry at the Banks and not at the government. So can we count on the Federal Government to protect American Jobs the way they protected us from the housing crisis ?

I think the question of trade should revolve around fairness. A few days ago China banned to showing of the block-buster movie Avatar. Avatar was doing quite well in China; but, its seems that a trend in China has been to evict people from their lands without compensation– a theme of the movie Avatar ? Moreover, a block-buster Chinese Government backed movie was due to be released the same day the ban on Avatar went into effect. This is but one of a multitude of ways China does not compete fairly. Until they compete fairly Chinese goods should be boycotted !

It seems that the American Middle Class is being killed-off by rich and powerful interests. And that the American Government does not have the will nor the power any longer to protect its citizens from unfair trade practices which are impoverishing our nation. The only way America will be able to retain its Middle Class and to prevent our economic demise is to Boycott all goods from China.

#45

Ah, yes. Lower prices is the “free traders'” main argument. The plan by “conservatives”, the very successful plan, for 3 decades has been to depress wages to increase corporate profits. Google “Data on Income & Tax Distributions” to see the trends & reasons why wages have been depressed.

Promoting what’s called “free trade” has been a major tactic in this plan. Then, because wages are low, promote more “free trade” to give people lower prices because their wages are depressed; this further increases corporate profits.
But for this, wages didn’t need to be so low. Those who work for a wage would have made 68% more in 2004 had wages kept up with productivity … and we wouldn’t need those cheap, poisoned products from China.

Selling off U.S. assets (infrastructure, companies, real estate) to finance increasing trade debt is a sure path to making the U.S. a subservient nation. For the reasons I cite, the U.S. is well on its way to committing “economic suicide.” Congratulations.

#44

Re: @ Zhu Bajie_____ Bravo! I second that motion for free,…and open dialogue. earle :)

#43

Masterson:

HOW Clearly? If I sue you for defamation, know that you have the burden of proof that what you say is true.

I had thought that this board has been quite exceptional, as the posters appear to actually debate the issues. You have been the first one to disappoint, by stooping to personal attack.

BTW, America NEVER bought a trillion dollars a year of products from anybody. Also, China’s $800B in treasuries is but 25% or so of total U.S. foreign owned treasuries (about $3.4 Trillion), and China hardly has any credible control in anything.

#42

The issue of placing import restrictions on imported products from China is moot. The US Government has to borrow billions of dollars each and every day from China to keep from defaulting on our National debt. That said, we can not and should not have to compete with the labor force of the rest of the world. A a world where they can live well for $200.00 a month and we need ten to twenty times that just to “get by” in America. We spent a trillion dollars to stimulate our economy just to have it leave America vis cheap products to shores of China to stimulate their economy. Our Government has no intentions of protecting the American Middle Class from the onslaught of cheap products, it they did they would have already done so. Posters to the Blog like Zhu are clearly empowered by the Chinese government to spread propaganda and mis-information. We don’t need protection. All we need to do, as Americans, is to stop buying “boycott” all goods produced in China. I refuse to buy anything made in China. No one can protect the middle-class from both the American and the Chinese governments middle class of America. Spread the word, boycott all products produce in China!

#41

There are simplicities even in the complexities of the details.

If you cannot say that human nature has changed, you cannot say that a nation will definitely benefit by being protectionist or otherwise.

One may speak of the complexities of the matters at hand, but you will not be negotiating the simplicities which could give clearer answers.

Why? Human Nature stands in the way. This fact is as if someone were to say that more buildings could be built in an earthquake-prone area and speak of all the details which need to be taken into consideration when building great structures, but none of those details will have mattered when an earthquake comes…and yes!
not if but when!

#40

Protectionism = higher prices for consumers, disproportionately borne by the lower income folks = social unrest = economic suicide.

The real solution to no growth is not to sabotage the rest of the world, but to push the development of new technologies and industries. If it means selling off some assets to pay for it, it is well worth it. Total assets (physical and intangibles) in the U.S. exceed US$100 Trillion. Converting a trillion or two, and use that to push for new jobs creation (but not giving it to the banksters) can only be beneficial overall. Doing a 99% tax on the $200 Billion bonuses that the banksters gave themselves would be a good start to fund the program.

#39

What is it about these facts that the “free traders” don’t understand?
– Until the beginning of the economic collapse, the U.S. was running, from 2004 thru 2008, an average trade deficit of $690B/yr, so there’s a long, long way to go before the U.S. can become “protectionist”, i.e., run a trade surplus.
– Such a large trade deficit shows the U.S. is already in a “trade war” and has unilaterally surrendered.
– GDP = C+I+E+G, where E is Net Exports. It’s been a major hit against GDP that the cumulative “trade deficit”, the “trade debt”, has totaled over $7 trillion from 1980 through 2008, with $5.1 trillion of that from 2000 through 2008. It’s no wonder the U.S. economy is collapsing.
– The U.S. can’t afford to run a trade deficit forever because that leads to a dollar collapse and the costs of commodities (Zhu’s “daily essentials” and salads) skyrocketing.
– That the Advanced Technology Products trade balance is -$50B/yr and falling shows the U.S. isn’t just losing Zhu’s “no skill trades”, it’s losing high tech and the jobs associated with it. Colorado Springs has lost 50% of its IT & Mfg jobs since 2001. Those are the “high paying jobs that [should] stay here”. Many who lost their Mfg jobs, retrained in IT; for what will you retrain them now?
– A major reason our economy is collapsing is because of lost jobs & depressed wages.
– Having “balanced trade” would *not* be a policy to “close the borders to everything”. It’s *not* “all or nothing.”
– Exporting mainly commodities *is* a characteristic of 3rd world countries and creates neither high-paying jobs nor “balanced trade”.
– Corporations love the lack of environmental controls in China as that allows them to externalize more of the costs of production onto the public to increase profits, but that’s not good for people & the world environment. Google “#23. ‘Free Trade’ and the Environment”.

If you’re not willing to protect the U.S. economy, what are you willing to protect? To do otherwise is insane, as well as economic treason. Google “Jobs & ‘Trade’ Data Update Oct09” to see graphs of the devastation that U.S. “reverse protectionism” has produced.

#38

Earle:

“When he took over as head of Oak Ridge in 1955, Alvin Weinberg realized that thorium by itself could start to solve these problems. It’s abundant—the US has at least 175,000 tons of the stuff—and doesn’t require costly processing. It is also extraordinarily efficient as a nuclear fuel. As it decays in a reactor core, its byproducts produce more neutrons per collision than conventional fuel. The more neutrons per collision, the more energy generated, the less total fuel consumed, and the less radioactive nastiness left behind.

Okay, so it’s cheap and plentiful, coughs up less waste (and what waste does remain is far less nasty), and it’s hard to make a weapon out of the byproducts. But if thorium reactors are so swell, uh, why don’t we have any? Martin argues that it’s partly an accident of history. In 1965, Weinberg built a working prototype molten-salt reactor, but the U.S. government preferred uranium reactors because it wanted the leftover plutonium to make bombs. And after Weinberg was ousted from Oak Ridge in 1973, thorium research withered away.”

175,000 tons (and that is only the known and readily available reserves) will last America “forever.” The fuel is also dirt cheap compared to Uranium. It takes only ONE TON of thorium to fuel a 1 GW powerplant, and the fuel is over 99% consumed, as shown in the demonstration liquid fluoride salt reactor that Weinberg built and failsafe tested in America. Orinn Hatch had previously introduced a bill to fund thorium fuel but nothing came of that. If America does not act, the other nations will. There are currently multiple thorium fuel R&D projects going on. Left to the private sector alone, it will never happen, as the commercial risks are too high. This would be an ideal project area that only the government can make happen – much like DARPA on the internet, etc.

#37

There is a great deal of unrest in several Chinese provinces today directly related to the Governments push towards industrial commerce with little regard to agricultural,…the peasants choice. China does not have a tiered society but rather,”Eegaltarian” whereas India,Pakistan,and Bangledesh have their’s structured with total systematic layered descrimination! Now we have 3G/4G wireless network technologies with Nokia,Qualcomm,Ericcson,and Interdigital Comm. holding the lion’s share of all IP’/Patents! Various technologies such as NB-CDMA,and FD-TDMA have evolved far beyond their original analog predecessor. Our current 3G is fast (Mhz/Ghz) running out of bandwidth, having realized that most is relegated to “Airspace Security via Military Communication”,and with 4G about to take central stage being of the TeraHertz (Thor)bamdwidth range,….which by the way is highly controversial to say the least, with it’s “Red-Zoned Bandwidth” straddling the Microwave ,and Infared Zone,which can cause DNA damage(cancer) when finally implemented in 2012? Please note: with all the bombardments of these unseen packets of data ,…especially in highly-dense populated areas is scary. Now,…let us move to “Thermal Breeder Reactor’s” using Uranium-238,or Thorium-232 as fuel. Thorium reserves are mostly mined,and found only in India therefore their reactors use this fuel as it’s fuel source which became operational in 2006. Ironically,…Thorium is three times more abundant than Uranium,…but Uranium is the premium choice of the “War Lord’s Nuclear Arm’s Weaponry”,so go figure. If, and when the world really pursues nuclear power,especially in the United States it will choose a Thermal Breeder Reactor fueled by Thorium-232,but unfortunately,there is,and has been a powerful uranium (yellowcake) cartel with total ownership of the world’s supply for the past half century! These technologies won’t produce jobs,but rather have the final products outsourced overseas. PS. There are a myriad of ways for congress to reign in the “Free New World Globalization Player’s” if they so choose by bringing back some old arcane(pragmatic?)Int’l Trade Laws.

#36

My generation inherited a Country that was NUMBER ONE in any area you care to mention:
RESPECT AROUND THE WORLD.
MANUFACTURING PRODUCTIVITY.
MILITARY AND DEFENCE CAPABILITY.
RESPECT FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY AND GOVERNMENT.
ETC.
We are now becoming a second or third rated Nation in the world.
YES, we need to compete, but we deserve a level playing field. We are doing this to ourselves, by trying to police and take care of the World.
Enviromental controls has forced many of our companies to leave our boarders.
We have become a service society, and are producing less and less in this country.
It is time we put safeguards in place to protect our industries and way of life.
Lastly we need to put RESPECT back into our way of life, Personally, Professionally, and most of all in our Government Officials. Also we at all levels, workers, investors, C.E.O.’s, need to reduce our GREED.
Thanks.

#35

Jim:

You hit the nail right on the head. There will ALWAYS be a wide gap between the wages of America and the developing world. That is why low paying jobs won’t come back to the U.S. even if there is protectionism, UNLESS Americans as a whole agree to the country being Autarkic (close the borders to everything). It has little to do with China. The jobs would simply go to other low wage countries (and China IS NOT the lowest wage country today). “Dabbling” in protectionism as you suggested does not work either, as action begets reaction. Why do you think the world would just sit still and not act on the $14 Trillion subsidy (probably in violation of all WTO rules as there are no exceptions for subsidizing services) for the banks and other financial institutions? Trillion has 12 zeros, and dwarfs all subsidies by all nations since the birth of Man on earth.

Gheorghe:

I beg to differ. America has always renewed itself. America wants high paying jobs that will stay here. It is not as if America has run out of bright ideas. You open Popular Science, and they have pages upon pages of new technology (and tens of millions of new high paying jobs for decades to come) for renovating (not just patching) America’s infrastructure. Ring trains, rebuilding roads with concrete that heals itself, road surface sealants that prevent potholes and lasts for 10 years, water pipe liners without the need to dig up pipes, low cost 3G and 4G infrastructure using stratospheric blimps, U.S. designed low cost LFTR thorium nuclear reactors that yield no radioactive waste (America has more than 250 years of supply of thorium)- and the list goes on, enough to put entire generations to work productively, in jobs that cannot be exported – jobs that will lead to the development of technologies that will earn export dollars.
You’d think if America can afford $14 Trillion to make the moneychangers ever richer, America could afford a trillion or three for doing all these things to put Americans to work.

#34

It depends upon what one calls Protectionism. If we go to the point that we are the clear winner – then no. But we should exact tariffs on imports where there is a clear advantage for China and a clear disavantage for the US. Whenever you are dealing with an emerging economic power – you’ll always have them with advantages because of labor cost etc. But we have to stop just giving the Chinese every thing exactly the way they want it. But it’s not just China, look at other Southeast Asian Nations and look at Mexico. How can we compete with whole families living in one room apartments working for .30 cents an hour – we can’t expect our way of life to drift that way or we’ll soon become the new 3rd or 4th world rated country. Jim @ USA

#33

I am submitting a letter that I sent to President Jimmy Carter on December 3rd of 2009.

December 3, 2009

Mr. President Jimmy Carter:

My name is Gheorghe Bundas and I work in construction. Yesterday I was in Home Depot’s electrical department to buy electric outlets and outlet covers. I had a choice to buy outlets made in the United
States, the cheapest priced at $1.99, or an outlet made in China priced at $0.39. I would like to tell you the quality is almost the same.

Next to me, I heard two contractors talk about the Chinese electric car they saw recently on the internet. One said, “My God, everything is made in China. You can’t imagine–we followed President Jimmy Carter’s ideas to invest in renewable energy and electric cars, where it is possible for this country to be today?”

I have a question when I talk with my friends and with my customers: What is possible to start to do, to manufacture in this country to beat China products? Because they are making everything: electronics, clothing, food . . . everything, and they are very cheap in price.

I was curious to see who China is today. Its population is 1.330 billion, which is equal to the U.S. population of 303 million, the EU population of 490 million, Russia’s population of 140 million, Japan’s population of 127 million, Canada’s population of 33 million, and Brazil’s population of 196 million.

In these developed countries, today’s unemployment is approximately 10% while China’s unemployment is 4.2%.

In the global economy, is it possible to create jobs enough when the earth’s population is almost seven billion people? And what will happen when the earth’s population in 2025 will be approximately 8 billion people?

When I was a student in college, I liked to read different books about the macroeconomy. I remember one idea was this earth cannot support more than 4 billion people for each one to have a decent life and for preservation of this earth. My question is: Who will survive and how will they survive, in these days, in this global economy?

In this spirit, I send to you a few letters I sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and to different people.

With respect,
Gheorghe Bundas

Enclosures

#32

Obama talks agood talk it just not going to work
in-the- real- world ! Who can compet with China’s
labor force ? unequal in pay …lower pay ??
green job’s ? & cap &trade { more taxes }
*WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SOOO S C R E W E D !

#31

I cannot label myself as educated at a prestigious university, a professional economist, a trade specialist, just an ordinary American. I do believe in protectionism, beginning with building supplies and food. Other than Chinese specialties such as double black soy sauce (!), we should not be importing food from a country which cannot feed its own people. And to be importing building supplies, including drywall, from a country with demonstrated poor oversight and regulation of its industries is foolishness in the extreme. I am not opposed to trade, but when it is based on an enslaved workforce and lack of regulation, exporting products which can be readily manufactured in the importing country, it is absurd. Where does one begin when counting the human and environmental degradation involved in importing basic needs from halfway around the world? [I emphasize basic needs, not the silk, porcelains, tea, etc, we have imported from China for centuries.] Take a look at the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean if you would like an example.

#30

Actually it is poignant to hear President Obama declare that America will not accept being No. 2. China, on the other hand, would be VERY HAPPY being No. 2. This week, despite all the illwill expressed by Secretary Clinton, Beijing graciously declared, in response to the Obama State of the Union speech, that China would work with America to do what is mutually beneficial. MUTUAL BENEFIT, that has indeed been the Chinese goal for the last few decades. Well priced goods from China had benefited people from all over the globe for the last 30 years, almost singlehandedly holding inflation in abeyance. Protectionism threatens to destroy the good thing.

Cooperation should be the catch word.

#29

I am an internationalist, educated and graduated with honor’s from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, focused on marketing and exporting American made products and establishing global distribution in 70 countries. I was among the first American business people invited by the Chinese Government in 1983 and did a lot of business with China. American business has alway’s been very poor at exporting and American view’s of China and it’s economic policie’s have been cloaked in blatant selfrightous propaganda that distorts reality. Capitalism is all about profit’s and greed and is the bedrock of American economic’s. It doesn’t work in China, which is largely agricultural, backward, poor, with over 1.6 billion people, compared to 300 million people in the U.S. industrial society. Many in China survive on a bowl of rice a day. This is one of the reason’s for a one child family policy, which American evanglical’s cannot accept. China focus’s on employment rather than profit’s.
The incredible economic success of China is due to the American consumer. The fact is that China is America’s banker and has the economic strength to control our foreign policy and our destiny. If tomorrow the U.S. embarrassed the Chinese government, loss of face is the worse thing one can do to China,as happened about 4 year’s ago when President Bush ignored plea’s from China not to invite the Dali Lama to the White House, the economic retaliation was understated, quick and devastating with the U.S.Stock market plummeting over 500 points in 2 days, when the Chinese V.P. announced that China was reevaluating it’s dollar investments. What if we “punished” our Chinese benefactor’s by applying a protectionist policy on them. Maybe they would withdraw all their investments in the U.S., cash in their $3 trillion dollar reserve’s and Treasury bonds and cause a Great Depression overnight in the U.S. My advice to American’s is don’t mess with the Chinese tiger, don’t taunt him with meaningless threats about the consequence’s of how they deal with the Taiwan issue. We American’s believe in free enterprise as if it were some sacred cow that is never critized and a patriotic duty to totally accept and defend. But, it is something so American that we defend it even when we abuse it ourselves. Protectionism is anti-free enterprise, so why even consider it. It has never succeeded. Trade sanction’s are an absolute failure, so why can’t American’s accept that these are bankrupt economic policie’s. They are also bankrupt political policie’s that only have negative result’s. We need to act in current economic realities of a complete failure of Capitalism in our own country and not defend it. We need to fix it. We need to adapt new economic policie’s with the China of today and accept less of a leading role in the world, both economically and politically, whether we like it or not. This is the new world order.

#28

Is Australia a 3rd world country? Is Russia a 3rd world country? They count themselves very lucky to have the dirt (and oil and gas) that the world wants. There is no shame in an honest day’s work, even (actually especially) if such work is in the extractive industries. America has lots to offer in that regard. Where America has a competitive advantage, whether by reason of availability of resource, or of technology, America should count her blessings and put the exports. But there is no point in hitting heads against walls (in no skill trades trying to compete with $0.25/hr. labor in developing nations). Know thy strength.

#27

Indeed, do think about the consequences. Of jobs lost due to offshoring (those who don’t have a job can’t buy houses), of wages depressed due to offshoring (so much that they can’t afford to buy a house), of investment in education being lost (Colorado Springs has lost over 50% of its IT and Mfg jobs since 2001), of GDP tanked by trade deficits, of an Advanced Technology Products trade deficit of $50B and getting worse causing the U.S. to lose its technology edge, of a fatally vulnerable dollar due to increasing & unsustainable trade debt, of “selling off” of America’s infrastructure (roads, ports)and companies to other countries, and of continuing the trend to making the U.S. an exporter of raw materials as is characteristic of 3rd world nations rather than finished goods? That enough to consider?

Indeed, please do consider the consequences of not having at least balanced trade.

#26

The glass house analogy is more than apt. The banksters have stripped most American families bare of surplus and/or protection. House prices, usually the main cushion against most hard times and buffeting in life, have gone half way to hell. That is WITH interest rate at close to zero, and mortgage rates at historic lows. WHAT is going to happen if America goes protectionist in a serious manner? If those prices start to climb seriously (as they would if America goes Autarkic, and shirts are $35 apiece instead of the $15 at Costco), there is no alternative but to raise interest rates. What do you think that would do to the price of your home if mortgage rates go back to Carter year levels? It is a perfect storm at this point, as the banks have whittled down their commercial loans, and now how mostly residential mortgages. It is not even just a question of home prices falling, but a matter of no buyers at whatever price you name.

Do think about the consequences.

#25

There are so very many low hanging fruits, why hoe the tough row?

Take rare earths. America actually has about 70% of the proven rare earth metals that China sells, and yet the last rare earths mine was shut down years ago. With prices where they are at, that along can be an industry worth tens of billions of dollars a year, and there’d be no more worries about not being able to get these strategic materials (there’s always the question of when and if China would begin taking the position that such metals are strategic, and thus would not sell them to any nation that still embargoes China). 2 birds with one stone, 200,000 new jobs a year.

Same is true for other extractive industries, such as coal, and ores. Just push aside the over restrictive regulation (in favor of more jobs – first things first), and America can beat the Aussies in the export of dirt. Another 750,000 new jobs a year.

Accelerate the approval of dual use technology, for products and systems already sold by other countries on the international market. Extra $100 Billion in sales each year (Dept. of Commerce estimate). Another 500,000 high paying jobs a year.

We are almost home free, all without international disputes.

#24

All I could say is, make sure your guns are amply stocked with ammunition. As that protectionism go into full swing, as the daily essentials go up 50, 75, 100% or more in prices, watch the fireworks. WHO pays for protectionism?? I remember years ago you can buy crawdad tail meat in frozen bags, for only something like $2.50 a lb. Then the protectionism kicked in and the prices went back up to $12 a lb. Sorry, can’t afford that on my salads no more.

It is definitely the consumers, especially the low income consumers, that get hurt by protectionism.

#23

There’s no need for “Sanctions on China or any other Nation” because what’s necessary is to create “balanced trade.” The need is not mainly about “learning China’s ways about saving face” because the need is to get around China’s (and other nations’) protectionism.

The best thing to do is to use Warren Buffett’s outcome-based Import Certificates mechanism: If a country purchases products or services from the U.S., then it can sell that amount back to the U.S. If it does not want to sell to the U.S., it can sell its Import Certificates to another country that does want to sell to the U.S. This effectively deals with what he describes as “a shifting maze of punitive tariffs, export subsidies, quotas, dollar-locked currencies, and the like.”

#22

If we’re going to start talking about “Protectionist Measures”, it’s already TOO LATE for that kind of talk!

Instead of Complaining about China & her Undervalued Currency / Contribution to LOWER PRICES, lets turn our attention to the Corporation!!

Before we even think (as if we CAN) of imposing any Sanctions on China or any other Nation, let’s talk about the WallMarts, Targets & HomeDepos, etc, etc. I’d rather not spend a PENNY in any of those Companies, than choose to Anger China (Our BANKER) !!!

Peace, Love & Respect.

#21

The WTO agreements China and the US have voluntarily agreed to say that both countries have the right to protect themselves from certain discriminatory trade practices by world trade partners. The case is pending in the WTO, and apparently the case by the US (and its current president) has merit. We have agreed to open up trade just like other WTO members. If China doesn’t want to play by the rules, we don’t have to sit back and suffer the economic consequences.

#20

Only with the Chinese approveing it. We must learn
their ways and about saveing face. The Chinese will do the right thing if asked in the propper
way, we owe them a great deal of debt, let them
make the changes that well be a win win for every
one.

#19

For the last 30 odd years, I have written to our politicos in Washington that this nation must stop all trade with Communist China immediately. Our group is also urging other nations to join us in a total and complete isolation of Communist China. The Communist Chinese have a billion and half people and they can maintain their own economy. Their war designs such as Tibet and now India will not come to fruition if their money supply is cut off. Soviet Union was nothing compared to the rising Communist Chinese. Wake up everyone – especially Republicans who have sold us down the river to the Communist Chinese.

#18

Before we worry about whether to become “protectionist”, we must first address what we actually have: “reverse protectionism”. What we need is neither, but “balanced trade”.

A devastating effect is that a trade deficit subtracts from GDP. From 1980 through 2008, the cumulative “trade deficit”, the “trade debt”, has totaled over $7 trillion, with $5.1 trillion of that from 2000 through 2008. This has helped destroy the U.S. economy.

U.S. “reverse protectionist” policies drive corporations to offshore jobs:
1. Companies can defer paying taxes on income from foreign subsidiaries … indefinitely.
2. Tax loopholes, such as moving headquarters to a tax haven.
3. Allowing R&D and other investment tax credits for companies that move manufacturing off shore … the U.S. doesn’t fully benefit.
4. Corporations engage in flawed transfer pricing schemes to avoid U.S. taxes, e.g., they sell components to foreign subsidiary with very low profit markup, and buy back product after manufacture with a very high foreign profit markup.
5. Corporations can write-off the cost of shutting down a factory in the U.S. when it transfers the work to a factory in a foreign country.
6. Corporations can write-off the cost of bringing new foreign employees to the U.S. and requiring its U.S. employees, as their last duties before being fired, to train the foreign employees to do their jobs.

And then there’s Chinese currency manipulation and that U.S. companies bear much of the costs of health insurance, but are in competition with nations that have national health insurance.

Some say that protectionism would provoke a trade war. I submit that, with trade deficits from 04 thru 08 of $608B, $712B, $753B, $700B, & $677B, we’ve already been in a trade war. And the U.S. has surrendered! That’s major reason why the U.S. economy is collapsing.

What’s called “free trade” has been an abomination for America. Google “Trade Truth #3: ‘Trade’ Talking Points” for an overview.

#17

In my view,the people that shop at Walmart, are not buying what they need, but instead are buying what they want. Go to Walmart and try to find a product made in the U.S. or another country other than China, i think you you will have a difficult time doing that. These are the people,in my view,who are over extending their credit and eventually creating a financial problem not only for themselves,but for the economy as a whole.
Yes, our government has been remiss in seeing the effects of trade. Also, there is the fill my pocket first conception. There has to be reform not only in Government,but in the mindset of the people.

#16

In the long run we are all dead. IF consumer prices, especially that for the Walmart type daily essentials, go up 100%, even if just in the short run, what do you think will be the effect on Main Street, especially that for the lower income echelons? Remember the recent stampede at the Walmart in Calif. for the extra 10% discount, that actually killed the security guard? With most Americans having guns, the picture is not going to be pretty, and there simply is not enough police force to handle any sort of major social unrest (Katrina should be instructional). So what would Washington do? Bring soldiers sitting on turrets who train their machine guns on the American civilians? That is unthinkable (or is it – go look at the Katrina pictures).

The hard work of the Chinese workers brought Americans 30 years of good life – almost no inflation, wonderful appreciation of the stock markets and the real estate markets. It was the Americans’ chance to take advantage of that and do wonderful things, such as upgrade the education system, have health reform, etc., all while the nation can comfortably afford it. Instead Americans allowed the greedy pols to run the nation into the ground. This latest round of China bashing is yet another feeble attempt to divert attention from how badly the hapless Washington screwed up – instead of PUNISHING the fraudsters (the banksters), between W and Wobama (Obama with “W” characteristics) they threw yet another $14 Trillion (printed out of thin air by fiat, backed by nothing other than a vague promise for future generations of Americans to pay) to throw at the banksters, which enabled record bonuses 2 years in a row (2008 and 2009, with ’09 bonuses totaling close to US$200 Billion), even as Rome burns.

Protectionism hurts mostly Americans. Don’t be the sheep that just bleat when the demagogues try to divert your attention.

#15

By returning the manufacturing and productivity of those American companies back to this country, we would,in the long term be able to bring costs down and therefore make manufacturing a less costly enterprise.Putting more Americans to work and increasing our exportation. At the same time, maybe, influencing China to adopt better regulations on their exports, and the overall safety and prosperity of their own workforce.

#14

All fine and good, until you find out WHO is actually paying for the protectionism. Under the current regime, the Chinese factories make a typical 10-15% of the difference between COGS and the retail price in the U.S. The rest mostly go to American companies working in the various phases of the distribution chain.

Protectionism = MUCH HIGHER consumer prices = MUCH LESS consumer spending. And we are talking about 100%, 200%, 300% in price difference between imported and domestic made products. Reduced volumes means reduced profits to those American companies heretofore profiting from the low China prices. That in turn means fewer jobs, and less money to buy. It is a death spiral.

The ONLY viable solution has to be an expansion of markets for everyone, through technology and new industries.

#13

the need for protectionism is upon us. We need to at least begin now,and China is as good a place to start as any. China has been manipulating their economy to build their infrastructure,while at the same time forgoing the plight of their vast population. America is way behind on the infrastructure program. We have forsaken this task way to long. let’s start rebuilding with American resources,technology,and citizens…

#12

Trade with all countries should be balanced. The US government needs to tell all countries that for every dollar in products shipped into the US, an equal value needs to go back to that country. If the balance gets more than 5% out of balance, imports to the USA, from that country, will be held up until the balance is corrected. This will create/protect a lot of US jobs.
Also, the USA needs to tax foreign owned companies, with operations in the US, based upon US sales, not profit, because they can hide profits and pay little or no taxes. This will have a huge positive affect on balanacing our government spending.

#11

Drew Horn:

You would note that NOBODY honors “our” IP, because IP is national in scope. To be protectable, the IP has to be duly registered in the nation in question. An American patent or trademark would get no more respect anywhere outside the U.S., than a Chinese patent or trademark outside of China. Those who want patent protection outside America should meet the procedural requirements and apply for patent protection in China, or India, or the EU, etc., as the case may be. And even if there is registration, an IP tort is almost always a case of “he says, she says” – patents could have been fraudulently procured, trademarks could have become generic, copyrights are never examined substantively and so are fraught with errors and overclaims. Otherwise there would be 99% less IP litigation in the U.S.

Protection of IP is not mandated in any religious scripture. It is a man made system for redistribution of wealth, and often act to the detriment of the public. That was why the Supreme Court of the U.S. has long pronounced that anything that is not protected (e.g., by duly registered patents, trademarks and copyrights, etc.) are in the public domain – and that it is in the public interest to encourage free competition and adoption of such public domain designs, in order to drive down consumer prices.

#10

The United States should impose uniform protectionist policies if it wishes to ‘level the playing field’, not single out China. There is a view that economics and trade is about competition. Economic policy should be about sustaining peoples lives and livelihoods, and trade should be about mutual benefit not about attempting to capitalize on others.

#9

Leaders tell us our prosperity will depend on our creative skills, ingenuity and to get there we need more and better education. China does not recognize our patents nor any other form of intellectual property. They regularly simply copy our best thinking and use it to export products to the entire world. The US can compete with China but not if they simply copy our best ideas. We should restrict imports from China until they recognize and protect our patents, copyrights, and other creative property.

#8

Not necessarily. What needs to be done is other countries need to buy more of our products.

#7

Confucious say, “It is unwise to bite the hand that feeds you.”

#6

1. Where is the money to come from for proper jobs and redevelopment? Bajie Zhu’s 99% on corporate financial bonuses is good, and 100% is even better. We should not consider that we don’t have enough money…… historically the top income tax rate in the 1950’s was well over 90% and it should be again.
2. Our environmental laws are critical! Our sperm rate is dropping so low that babies born today may not ever be able to reproduce naturally and the medical costs to society from other environment-related illnesses is enormous. Plus, who wants to live sick? Geneticists tell us at least a 30% of our population does not have the genes to handle environmental toxins. And look at the bee population crashes…. we need to protect our environment first, last and always. We humans are not the center of things.

#5

Re: @ Zhu,Bajie____ The Absolutely “Not” is a clear, and unequivocal “No” to Protectionism! Sorry for the misunderstanding,…oh,by the way your ideas are very well thought out,and rather (the eternal optimist inside me speaking)easy (should/could) to implement if we can get the laggarheads in “DC” to stop headbutting for their own personal agenda. Thanks Earle

#4

Look at how the rest of the world is successfully doing it. Even China is not competing to get the lowest paying jobs – in fact the low end manufacturing is being moved out of China to even lower wage countries, such as Vietnam, and African nations. Why in the world would America want to use protectionism to try and get back those low end jobs?

The only way forward is to create new jobs that others cannot do, making use of the technology and capital advantages that America still has.

Look at the Chinese announcement this week:

“Beijing, Jan 28 (IANS) In order to meet the increasing demand of bullet trains for enhancing China’s high-speed rail transport system, the country’s passenger train manufacturing firm Thursday said it will double its production capacity in 2010. The company would double its MONTHLY production capacity in the first half of 2010 to eight bullet trains each with eight compartments, said Wang Chenghui, deputy general manager of Tangshan Railway Vehicle.

The Chinese government has launched a major upgrading of the nation’s railways. The railway ministry announced in September last year it would build 42 high-speed passenger rail lines with a total length of 13,000 km in the next three years.

[ZBJ Comment: That is more than 4,000 km a year, in a country that has a per capita GDP 1/8th of that of the U.S.]

Wang said the company was developing new trains with average speed of 380 km per hour, so as to “reinforce its leading role in the world’s high-speed train market”, Xinhua reported.”
________________________________________

America’s infrastructure has been left to deteriorate for WAY too long, and that dilapidation is getting to crisis proportions around the nation. But out of crisis also necessarily arise opportunities. Instead of looking at infrastructure work as mere costs, treat them as technology development opportunities, and a great chance for tens of millions of high paying domestic American jobs.

#3

Earle: Absolutely not on which part? If America gets whole hog into full blown protectionism, the rest of the world would have no choice but to follow suit. Theoretically it IS possible for America to go 100% autarkic, even with respect to energy – IF we set aside the pesky environmental laws. Question is whether we want to. Closing the borders also mean losing a lot of influence.

It is much better to take up the mantle of expanding the pie for all mankind. Push technology envelopes, especially in infrastructure work (roads, bridges, dams, sewers, transport, communications,etc.) that HAVE to be carried out in America, and perforce by American labor.

For example, the Dept. of Energy gave $500 Million to Solyndra, for a solar panel plant in California. Why has it not given an equal amount to Thorium reactors – the low radioactivity reactors that are failsafe and produce little or no radioactive waste? Experimental reactors had been around since the 1950’s, and were disfavored over the Uranium cycle only (ironically) because it does not produce weapons grade fission byproducts (such as plutonium). Now it is time to start that up again. COMPARE – it cost $5 or $6 per Wp to built solar capacity. It costs less than $0.50 per Wp to build a Thorium plant.

America has tens of thousands of great technological ideas that can bring trillions of new business to the economy, creating tens of millions of new jobs. Why do want our children to make underwear or cheap tires?

Or if we want more immediate job creation, put the overly restrictive environmental laws in abeyance for a decade, and start doing what the Aussies did so well – dig dirt out of the ground and export them. I’ll bet America can do much better. That would create a quick million new jobs a year.

#2

Absolutely “Not”! But instead start giving tax breaks,and any unimaginable financial breaks (health care,structural incentives,etc.) to america’s small(for God’s sake we do it for every country in the world now?) business to firm,and shore-up their balance sheets,via coercing(such tactless language) the “To Big to Fail Large Bank’s”… it would,and should also benefit their participation? Afterall, that’s how commercial/investment banks make money…isn’t it? The one caveat that certainly must be in the mix should strictly enforce,and stipulate,…any or all ,”Federal Gov’t Funds” allocated to any enterprise is for products exclusively made,and manufactured in the good-ole-USA,by home grown American’s! If they (small business,etc.) take the money (handouts/lifeline/help?),incentives,grants, and fastfoward (run to countries with the cheapest labor) moving the entities operations off-shore their will be huge penalties,and claw-back fines imposed. PS. We must make sure that we give no “Drive-thru” loop-holes as is the norm in Washington.

#1

How would protectionist measures save America in the long run? It would simply raise the cost of living in America, and destroy the long term competitiveness of the nation. The jobs are not going to come back. If China is blocked, the work would simply go to India, or Brazil, or Vietnam, etc., in this globalized world.

Most of the jobs in China are not ones that Americans would want anyway. America wants high paying jobs that will stay here. It is not as if America has run out of bright ideas. You open
Popular Science, and they have pages upon pages of new technology (and tens of millions of new high paying jobs for decades to come) for rennovating (not just fixing) America’s nfrastructure. Ring trains, rebuilding roads with concrete that heals itself, sewage liners without the need to trench, low cost 3G and 4G infrastructure using stratospheric blimps, U.S. designed low cost LFTR nuclear reactors that yield no radioactive waste (using Thorium as fuel, for which America has 250 years of supply)- and the list goes on, enough to put entire
generations to work productively, in jobs that cannot be exported – jobs that will lead to the development of technologies that will earn export dollars.
You’d think if America can afford $14 Trillion to make the moneychangers ever richer, America could afford a trillion or three for doing all these things to put Americans to work.

Where is the money going to come from? Well, the moneychangers gave themselves close to $200 Billion in bonuses in 2009. Putting a 99% surtax on that would be a good start. ALL of those bonuses came from the stimulus money ($14 Trillion including guarantees), and rightfully belong to the people. The Brits have taken the lead on this, with a 50% surtax on their bankers. America’s moneychangers INITIATED the fraud (CDOs and other fraudulent derivatives), and deserve much more – they should count their blessings that the surtax is not 300%.

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