Tag Archives: Canada

Free trade is for idiots

For decades, globalists and libertarian free trade ideologues have been telling us that free trade has been “good” for America, that it’s a traditional conservative/Republican policy, and that any suggestion that America should protect its industry – i.e. protectionism – is a Big Government policy and a betray of “free market principles”. Free trade is the religion of the CATO Institute, the Mercatus Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the so-called Club for (Corporate Profits) Growth, which should call itself the Club for Corporate CEOs’ Greed).

But they are wrong. Protectionism, not free trade, has traditionally been the policy of conservatives and Republicans, and it is the policy on which nations ascend economically; they descend on free trade.

Every nation which ever became a great power – from England under the Acts of Navigation, to Colbert’s France, to the US from 1861 to 1945, to postwar Japan, to China today – became such because it protected its economy (especially its industry).

Unlike Hamilton, Clay, and Lincoln, the free trade ideologues at the forementioned organizations never built a great nation.

Republicans won their first presidential election in 1860 (while also capturing the Senate) running on a pledge to institute tariffs to protect the industry. And they did. This nearly insulated America’s (or rather, the North’s) growing industry, allowing it to become the envy of the world. Successive Republican Presidents and Congresses continued these policies, shielding American industries with protective tariffs, thus allowing these industries to grow and leading America to overtake Britain (and the rest of the world) by all measures of industrial production (including coal mining and steel production) by the 1890s.

Protectionist tariffs on foreign products also allowed Congress to keep the books balanced and pay Civil War debts quickly while keeping taxes on Americans and American companies low. Before 1913, there wasn’t even any federal income tax.

America thus became the greatest industrial power on Earth, the envy of the world.

I said “successive Republican Presidents and Congresses”, because a protectionist economic policy proved itself to be not only economically successful, but also politically popular. From 1860 to 1924, the GOP – then known as the Party of Protection – put 12 presidents in the White House, versus only 2 Democrats.

By 1945, America, partially thanks to its protectionist policies and partially due to the destruction that WW2 inflicted on Europe and Asia, accounted for 42% of the world’s industrial production.

But then, something happened.

American political elites (including, increasingly, Republicans) caught the free trade virus and indulged in suicidal “free trade” economic policies.

The US joined the WTO organization, where it doesn’t have a vote, signed the GATT, and signed free trade agreements with many countries, opening its markets to their products while they kept their markets firmly closed to American goods and services.

Thus, the US stopped posting trade surpluses and, starting in 1971, began to run trade deficits which, since 1971, have been growing almost nonstop.

Big corporations, always greedily lusting for more profits and bigger salaries for their CEOs, began shipping jobs overseas.

By the 1980s, the situation was so dire that Ronald Reagan recognized the problem and asked the Congress to institute protective tariffs.

Yet, America’s slide towards the abyss on the skis greased by free traders was only slowed down, not stopped. In 1992, the US, at President Bush’s behest, suicidally signed NAFTA, opening its market to cheap Mexican products. In 1993, Republicans saved NAFTA from defeat by voting for it together with the pro-free-trade wing of the Democratic Party. Republicans literally rescued NAFTA from the dustbin of history (where it belongs) by voting for it – and thus own it.

The result? Millions of good-paying industrial jobs were lost, as factories were shipped to Mexico. Before 1993, the US had a trade surplus with Mexico. Since 1993, it has had a trade deficit with that country every single year.

In 1994, China began, on a large scale, its campaign to maximize its exports while closing its market to imports, and thus to steal Western industries, by devaluing its currency by 45%. Simoultaneously, tariffs on foreign products were hiked, and export rebates to Chinese exporters began to be provided, similarly to how they are provided in Japan.

(Japan has a 15% VAT rate on products sold on its soil, but it provides a rebate to its exporters for every product they sell abroad. So cars exported to the US face no American tariffs and are even rebated by the Japanese government, while American cars exported to Japan are taxed 15% as soon as they arrive at the Yokohama docks).

Yet, despite Chinese cheating on trade, the Congress – dominated by Republicans – gave China Most Favored Nation trade status, thus absolving Chinese products of most tariffs (while China did not reciprocate). In 2001, the Congress gave China that status permanently. In 2002, a Republican President allowed China to join the WTO. Thus, Chinese products enter America almost free of any tariffs or duties, but American products shipped to China are subject to steep tariffs.

Yet, Republicans, instead of learning from their mistakes, doubled down on their “free trade” policies. They gave Vietnam Most Favored Nation status in 2007. They gave President Bush an unconstitutional unilateral “expedited” negotiation authority to negotiate even more one-sided, unfair free trade agreements for dupes. They supported the FTAs Bush signed with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea late in his term.

In the 2008 election, all leading Republican candidates – McCain, Romney, and Giuliani – ran on free trade platforms.

The eventual Republican nominee, John McCain, even scaremongered people about “the siren song of protectionism” and went to a closed Ohio factory (which was closed because its owner shifted production overseas).

It didn’t endear him any voters, however. In the 2008 election, proud free trader John McCain was crushed 373-165, by the biggest margin of any Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater, losing even longtime Republican states like North Carolina, Indiana, and Virginia.

The election of Barack Obama probably gave some Americans hope that he would uphold his campaign promise to withdraw the US from NAFTA and to protect the US industry. He didn’t. He has barely been willing to impose tariffs on imported tires to save the tire industry.

With their own free trade mistakes costing them politically and the country economically, Republicans should have had, by 2012, learned that they were wrong and should have proposed a better policy, right? Wrong. Most Republicans continued to cling to their free trade ideology, as did the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who lambasted Obama for not signing any new FTAs for dupes (as if that were a bad thing), pledged to negotiate new FTAs, and firmly embraced free trade ideology. And although he pledged to designate China a currency manipulator if elected, and to enforce intellectual property laws, he wasn’t willing to do anything more than that, and even these half-measures earned him the ire of free trade ideologues such as the think-tanks and organizations listed above.

So, as the year 2012 begins to draw to an end, let us take inventory of 67 years of “free trade policies”.

They have destroyed the greatest industrial base the world has ever seen.

They have caused 55,000 factories to be closed and production to be shifted to countries where people work for slave wages and where there are no real environmental protection laws.

They have caused tens of millions of Americans to lose their well-paying manufacturing jobs and middle class worker wages to stagnate, in real terms, for over 2 decades.

They have brought about disastrous consequences for national security, as America is now dependent on foreign countries for essential things, even things essential for defense, such as Rare Earth Elements and the products made from them.

They have cost the Republican Party successive Congressional and Presidential elections, as former industrial powerhouses such as Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia – formerly red states – have turned against the GOP and become blue or purple states. Republicans have not win Michigan since 1984 and have lost both Ohio and Virginia in both of the last 2 presidential elections.

The GOP’s reputation as the Party of Protection has been tarnished and replaced by the reputation of a party that kowtows to big businesses and outsources jobs overseas.

America, formerly self-sufficient and producing everything in the world, now imports virtually everything it needs, from textiles and simple products to cars and Advanced Technology Products like computers and cell phones.

America lost her crown as the biggest exporter in the world to Germany in 2003, which itself was overtaken by China around 2010.

America’s trade deficits with Mexico, Japan, the EU, and the world at large are the highest they have ever been.

America’s trade deficit with China is the highest ever between any two countries.

And what were these trade deficits paid for with? Borrowed money. America is now the largest debtor in world history.

And to pay for lost revenue from abolished tariffs on foreign products, taxes are being hiked on Americans and American companies.

Can America be rescued? Yes, it still can, but there isn’t much time, and it will require a complete break with the free trade ideology and policies of the free trade ideologues running the CATO Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center, and the Club for Corporate CEOs’ Greed. The US should:

  • Immediately implement the Export-Import Certificates proposed by Raymond, Howard, and Jesse Richman. This means that no country would be allowed to export more to the US than it imports from America.
  • Immediately impose a 25% tariff on all Chinese products imported into the US. China will then have a choice between letting American products into its market or financing the US Pacific Fleet.
  • Strictly enforce intellectual property laws.
  • Write, and strictly enforce, product quality standards on all imported products.
  • Terminate the useless Export-Import Bank.
  • Withdraw from NAFTA, the WTO, and the GATT.
  • Abolish all loopholes in the taxcode and use the resulting revenue (as well as the revenue coming from tariffs on Chinese products) to cut taxes across the board for all Americans and all American companies. The corporate income tax rate should be no higher than 12.5% (it’s 35% today).
  • Designate China as a currency manipulator.

Tens of millions of jobs will then be created and production will be shipped back to the US – because then, in order to sell products in the huge American market, you will have to produce things in the US. And foreign countries wishing to export to the US will have to open their own markets to American products on the basis of reciprocity.

Local Traffic Reporter Gives Directions to Canada After Romney Loss

It’s official…. Obama’s second term is starting. If you’re interested in leaving the United States, here are the directions from Oklahoma, via a local traffic reporter.

I’m thinking… this is MY country! MY Founding Father’s fought and died for this nation! Both of my grandfather’s sacrificed in World War II. My Father-In-Law sacrificed in the Vietnam War, and to this day has lasting effects from Agent Orange. I will not willingly walk away from my beloved America! I live in Texas… bring it!

Big Government Incompetence: Pew Study Shows U.S. Voter Registries Totally Corrupt

A recent Pew Study  shows the U.S. voting registry to be a massive failure, including the following facts:

There are currently nearly 2 million dead people on active voter registries across America.

1 in 8 voter registrations is invalid or contains major inaccuracies, according to the study.

Almost 3 million Americans are currently registered to vote in multiple states.

The U.S spends over 12 times as much to maintain voter lists as does Canada.

Pew’s research suggests that elections authorities need to take a proactive approach to rooting out errors and keeping lists current, rather than relying on voters to correct errors and make changes to their registration. So what are Americans paying the government all that money for?

There is a very simple solution to this problem, and it is called Voter ID. Contrary to what some Democrats say about how there is no vote fraud in America, The Faces of Vote Fraud slide-show tells us a different story. Requiring Voter ID when voting makes it very difficult for dead people to vote, among other things. Protecting our electoral system from vote fraud is needed to retain our true form of Democracy in America. All states should pass Voter ID laws and enforce them vigorously in the 2012 elections. Every fraudulent vote cast makes one honest person’s vote not count for anything. Demand Voter ID America.

 

Canada Quits Kyoto as Globalists Step Up Climate Change Money-Grab

Two major news headlines came out yesterday, Dec. 11, 2011, that when read separately do not lead the readers to see the complete picture of how one is directly connected to the other. Headline 1, from Business Standard was titled, Canada quits Kyoto Protocol, becomes first nation to do so. The second headline is from Fox News.com titled, >U.N. Climate Conference Reaches Hard-Fought Agreement.

In the first headline from Business Standard we see the following explanation about Canada dropping out of the original Kyoto Protocol, which is explained here from the United Nations Kyoto Protocol/Climate Change homepage as:

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012
The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialized countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.
(emphasis mine)

As the above headline states, Canada has now refused to abide by any further mandates by the globalists in the U.N. that were inserted into the original Kyoto protocol. Canada’s conservative P.M., Stephan Harper and their Environmental Minister, Peter Kent released the following statements as to why they will no longer allow the U.N. Climate Change manipulators to basically charge Canada for carbon emissions, siphon off that wealth to other countries, while the two largest emitters, China and the United States are not covered under the newest U.N Climate Change mandates that were established just two days ago at the U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Durban, S. Africa.( now known as the Durban Platform)

“We are invoking Canada’s legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto,” Environment Minister Peter Kent said, two days after a marathon UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, at which 194 nations agreed to work on a new roadmap to curb global carbon emissions. Before this week, the Kyoto Protocol covered less than 30% of global emissions. Now it covers less than 13% — and that number is only shrinking. The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world’s two largest emitters – the United States and China – and therefore will not work” he said.

As the original Kyoto Protocol was shown to be pretty much a lopsided failure, as is usually the case when people try to get many different nations to agree on one set of rules, it has now been proven to be just the initial step in allowing the U.N. Climate Change plutocracy to take massive amounts of wealth from one country and give it to another country based on very shady and cloudy Global Warming theory-based mandates. We see this proven by several of the U.N. Durban conference attendee statements after the headlines hit the news announcing, U.N. Climate Change Conference Reaches Hard-Fought Agreement. From the above-linked Fox News article we see the following tidbits: (emphasis mine)

The proposed Durban Platform (COP17) offered answers to problems that have bedeviled global warming negotiations for years about sharing the responsibility for controlling carbon emissions and helping the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable nations cope with changing forces of nature.
Sunday’s deal also sets up the bodies that will collect, govern and distribute tens of billions of dollars a year for poor countries. Other documents in the package lay out rules for monitoring and verifying emissions reductions, protecting forests, transferring clean technologies to developing countries and scores of technical issues.

While the debate raged on, India objected to being included in the Durban Platform mandates under the guise that “developing nations” of the past 20 years should not pay for 200 years of Global warming caused by industrialized nations. If that is to be considered fair, how about “developing nations” compensating industrial nations for developing the very technology that reduces carbon reductions in the first place? India’s Environmental Minister, Jayanthi Natarajan did have the most compelling comment of the conference: “How do I give a blank check and give a legally binding agreement to sign away the rights of 1.2 billion people?”

This is the main problem with the U.N. being given the power to take wealth and technology from one nation to give it to the nation of their choice, under the guise of being World Climate Change Czars. This is also being driven by a conglomerate of Socialists that seem to want Americans to ignore just what that Socialism has done recently to the European Union countries. Canada has taken the lead in pulling out of this One World Government scheme that is hiding behind the initials U.N.

It would be wise for the U.S to pull out of this recently announced Durban Platform/Kyoto Protocol redo, and take a firm stand against this unfair attempt at redistributing America’s wealth and technology under the guise of saving the planet from the evil carbon emissions that have in fact, allowed America to help feed and develop other nations for over 200 years. Unless of course, the Globalists at the U.N. would like to discuss the other nations being mandated to pay America back for her centuries of contributions to carbon emission reductions, clean-air technology, food production, electricity generation etc. America’s system of capitalism has allowed the rest of the world to benefit from it for a long time now. Is that something we should bend over and let the U.N. Climate Change plutocrats and fear-mongers penalize us for?

Footnote: Actual commitments from the last minute “negotiations” at the Durban Platform conference have been slow to hit the news. Relative updates will be posted as they develop, including a final summary of just what, if anything this conference accomplished.

Update: Ed Morrissey over at hotair.com summed it up nicely:

So the “agreement” is a non-binding pledge to meet again and make another agreement in, oh, three or four years, and that agreement won’t have to take effect for another five years after that. The only commitments in the near future for the Durban agreement is some voluntary reduction goals that emerging nations won’t bother to meet and industrial nations will ignore. Just like … Kyoto.

Canadian’s Keep Ban on “False News” – MSNBC Loses Last Hope

Last week, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CTRC) killed a decade old inquiry into whether the long-time ban against false or misleading news should stand.

Despite a misleading (a.k.a. false?) publication on HuffPo, The original request to review the policy came from a parliamentary committee more than ten years ago, not the current Conservative Prime Minister.

Indeed, the broadcast regulator now says it never wanted the regulatory change in the first place and was only responding to orders from a parliamentary committee.[1]

I’m not Canadian so if they want to have government-approved drivel blown up their butts on a regular basis, more power to them! That’s what the Chinese and Iranians get to watch.

I prefer having the choice to ignore Chris Mathews, Rachel Maddow et al. And judging by MSNBC’s ratings, so do almost all Americans that don’t live in the mother’s house or live off the government.

MSNBC might have done very well in Canada, but we will never know – thanks to the CTRC.

Sources:
[1]False News Proposal Killed by CRTC –  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/02/25/crtc-false-news.html