free trade

free trade: Page 1

Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Matt Yglesias thinks "Offshoring Is Fine" - 07/17/12

Matt Yglesias of Slate continues his slow, shallow descent into becoming Tom Friedman Jr. with "Offshoring Is Fine" [1].

Tea Party Congress isn't extreme enough for Club for Growth (Allen West, David McKinley, Lou Barletta) - 05/17/12

The Club for Growth has released their "Freshman Vote Study" of how the new GOP congressmembers have been living up to Tea Parties ideals (clubforgrowth . org/freshmanvotestudy).

As it turns out, dragging the U.S. where most people really don't want to go is very difficult: 36 out of 87 Republicans who were elected in 2010's landslide sided with the Club 2/3 of the time or less.

How "centrist" will No Labels be on immigration? - 11/26/10

There's a new "centrist" group called No Labels in town [1], but they actually appear to be just a vehicle for a presidential run by Michael Bloomberg. And, it looks like on immigration and trade they'll support policies that are establishment-friendly but which cause harm to everyone else.

One of the leaders of the group is former George W Bush advisor Mark McKinnon, and one of those who'll be appearing at their kickoff announcement is Antonio Villaraigosa. Another person involved is John Avlon. And, another person involved in some way is former Los Angeles Times editor Andres Martinez (currently with the New America Foundation).

If you've been following this site for a while (or clicked the links above), by now alarm bells are ringing in your ears: all those listed are bad on immigration. On that issue they're only centrists in the misleading establishment sense, supporting comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty), a truly radical plan. The amnesty they support would - among many other things - be a huge gift to the Democratic Party and would increase spending, lower the power of current U.S. citizens, and give the Mexican government a great deal of power inside the U.S.

And, all enable in their own ways illegal immigration, whether it's highlighting the importance of a ready supply of greenskeepers (Bloomberg), or sending all Mexico the message that he won't try to curb illegal immigration (Villaraigosa).

While there isn't much on their site about immigration, their true position is telegraphed by Avlon [2] and then driven home by Martinez [3].

I'll tweet @NoLabelsOrg and ask for an official statement with the details on their immigration position, but the chances of them supporting something like attrition are slim indeed.

12/13/10 UPDATE: I've never gotten a reply from @NoLabelsOrg, but here's another data point (link):

I tuned in to the webcast of the group’s kickoff to hear a woman saying, “You just have to look to Arizona to see extremists who are trying to divide us.” I guess I know how the group feels about the Arizona immigration enforcement law. Of course, I thought the point of the group was to stop labeling people; but I guess it’s okay to label the overwhelming majority of Arizonans “extremists.”

It would be obviously helpful to know who said that and how high in the organization they are, but it's certainly in line with the quotes below.

As a slight counterweight to everything else in this post, No Labels is certainly scaring or at least bothering a large number of GOP/Dem partisan hacks, so they've got that going for them. But, what we really need is a mainstream group that opposes things like Democratic race-baiting as strongly as they oppose giveaways to connected corporations and that, of course, also strongly opposes illegal and massive immigration. The chances of such a group forming are slim because the money is on the other side and most people who concern themselves with politics tend to be partisan.

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[1] From this:

No Labels (www.nolabels.org) is led by Democratic fund-raiser Nancy Jacobson and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who were introduced to each other by Kevin Sheekey, Mr. Bloomberg's political adviser.

The group has raised more than $1 million to seed its effort against what it calls "hyper-partisanship." Backers include co-chairman of Loews Corp. Andrew Tisch, Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich and ex-Facebook executive Dave Morin. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as well as U.S. senators (Joe Lieberman) of Connecticut and Michigan's Debbie Stabenow, will attend the New York launch [on December 13].

[2] nolabels.org/blog/americans-vote-divided-government-again

"From deficit reduction to energy independence and immigration reform, there are policy paths where the center can lead in proposing new solutions."

[3] nolabels.org/blog/hey-voter-rest-world-out-get-you

But let’s not kid ourselves: this manufactured xenophobia leaves a lasting legacy. It isn't good – for ourselves or the rest of the world – when the United States turns inward. Americans oscillate between seeing the rest of the world as a boundless opportunity or as an overwhelming threat, and the latter mindset erodes our national confidence and clouds our better policymaking judgment. Regardless of what one thinks a rational immigration policy looks like, it is hard to even have that discussion with the hyper-partisan and overwrought demagoguery around the issue. The constant China-bashing makes it hard for the administration to engage Beijing on any subject. America now runs the risk of running scared from any number of opportunities to grow our economy: a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll early this month found that 53% of those surveyed said free trade hurts the United States. Alarming, but hardly surprising given the narrative of our politics.

China to overtake U.S. in manufacturing output in 2011 - 06/23/10

From this:

The US remained the world’s biggest manufacturing nation by output last year, but is poised to relinquish this slot in 2011 to China - thus ending a 110-year run as the number one country in factory production.

...Last year, the US created 19.9 per cent of world manufacturing output, compared with 18.6 per cent for China, with the US staying ahead despite a steep fall in factory production due to the global recession.

If you don't like that situation, take action. The steps outlined on the page about reducing illegal immigration can be applied to free trade as well, and some of those steps are very easy such as leaving comments. Those who push "free trade" and gutting the U.S. manufacturing base need "little helpers" to push their agenda. If you work to help discredit those "little helpers", that will help deprive those pulling the strings of front-people and what they're doing will become clearer to all.

Glenn Reynolds' idea of a jobs program: free trade (Bankrupting America website) - 03/16/10

Glenn Reynolds says [1] "FREE TRADE: A jobs program that works", which links to "Trade is a jobs program that works" [2] from the site "Bankrupting America". That's run by an organization called "Public Notice", and the person behind both is Gretchen Hamel who was formerly part of the U.S. Trade Representative's office in the George W Bush administration [3]. Yes, all of the above are big clues to what's coming:

Opponents of trade liberalization claim that jobs are lost as a result of increased competition with foreign producers. Additional competition can result in some job loss, which can be acute in certain sectors and painful for those involved. Yet those costs are dwarfed by the benefits free trade creates.

Free trade improves our standard of living by giving millions of Americans access to higher quality, lower priced, and more diverse goods. U.S. businesses also benefit from access to lower cost imports, which reduces their input costs, enabling them to produce more, hire more, and compete in the world market.

1. Can someone provide a trustworthy study showing the supposed benefits from free trade? Does that study take into account all of the massive impacts, such as hollowing out the manufacturing infrastructure in the U.S.? From this (which was linked from here):

Since 2000, the U.S. has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs, with 2.1 million of those jobs being lost in the last two years alone. Since 2001, over 42,400 factories have closed in the U.S., and another 90,000 are considered at severe risk of closing. The last time so few were employed in manufacturing was in 1941, before World War II spending pulled that sector out of its Great Depression slump.

2. The claim about "higher quality, lower priced, and more diverse goods" is more or less specious. If one U.S. company produces a low-quality product, other factors excluded, another U.S. company will compete with them by producing a higher-quality product. Of course, due to things such as slave and child labor, people living on a dollar a day, and so on other countries are able to produce comparable items at a lower price than U.S. producers, but the "higher quality" claim is bogus. The only products that the U.S. can't produce at any price are certain luxury goods and foreign innovations, but those will command a premium price. There's no "diversity" in free trade, since that almost completely deals in commodity items. None of that means we should wall off the U.S. (a strawman argument that "free" trade supporters like to make), however there's really no national interest in opening our markets even more to countries like China.

3. And, of course, Reynolds is just one cog in the long line of those - including the tea parties which he constantly promotes - who've refused to support immigration enforcement as a way to free up jobs for their fellow Americans.

[1] pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/95747
[2] bankruptingamerica.org/2010/03/15/trade-is-a-jobs-program-that-works
[3] From this:

Former Capitol Hill staffers Nathan Imperiale, Gretchen Hamel, and Sean Spicer are joining forces to launch a public relations and strategy firm, Endeavour Global Strategies. "We all enjoyed working together before and wanted to create a firm of our own that utilizes our unique nexus of experience -- international, policy, political and new media," Hamel said. Spicer and Hamel served as assistant and deputy assistant in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative media affairs office in the Bush administration. Hamel has worked for former House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, and Rep. John Carter (R-TX). Spicer has worked for the House Republican Conference, House Budget Committee, House Government Reform Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Imperiale is a former aide for the House Republican Conference.

Obama admin to close office that tracks jobs lost to outsourcing - 03/04/10

Via "Obama Solution to Stop Outsourcing: Stop Counting Jobs Outsourced (No, Seriously!)" (link) comes this:

Like a scorekeeper for the world, a tiny unit within the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks globalization's winners and losers, and the results are not always pretty for the United States. Manufacturing jobs here, for example, have fallen faster since 1979 than in Canada, Germany or Japan. Compensation for those jobs dropped here in 2008 but jumped in South Korea and Australia.

Soon, however, Americans may be spared the demoralization in these numbers: The White House wants to shutter the unit that produces them.

President Obama's budget would eliminate the International Labor Comparisons office and transfer its 16 economists to expand the bureau's work tracking inflation and occupational trends. The White House says the cut, estimated to save $2 million, is one of many difficult decisions the president was forced to make to control spending.

Somehow their explanation doesn't wash, especially since at least their economists are just being transferred instead of their jobs being eliminated completely. The first-linked article's take is probably correct: this is designed to hide just how dramatically our manufacturing base has been devastated by globalism.

Buchanan notes dire consequences of "free" trade, establishment policies; now, here's what you can do - 01/03/10

Pat Buchanan discusses the ravages of "free" trade and other policies espoused by the establishment over the past decade here. Please go read it and then come back here and I'll tell you what you can do about it.

March 25 Coalition flyer - 03/18/07

From march25coalition . org/organize

May 1st, 2007 we will be out in the streets, not shopping or selling, if possible not working; but Marching.

On February 3rd & 4th, 2007, a Conference hosted by the March 25th Coalition culminated in a call for a national day of actions for workers and Immigrant's Rights. The day, May 1st, 2007.