Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Trade Deals


A lot of trade deals in the past oversold the good that the deal was going to do for our economy.  One of the benefits of those trade deals is the reason why we’ve been able buy a large, flat-screen TV for a couple hundred dollars, and why the cost of a lot of basic necessities have gone down.  Some parts of our economy, such as the agricultural sector or the tech sector have done very well as a result of those trade deals, while other sectors and communities have been hurt by foreign competition.
The anguish of a plant closing here in America is amplified when other countries are cheating.  Some foreign countries are keeping American goods out of their markets, by unfairly subsidizing their businesses to undercut our businesses.  The worst violators don’t even have trade deals with us at all.
Obama is committed to going anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products, and he didn’t stand by when our competitors began cheating.  His administration has brought nearly twice as many trade cases against China, than the Bush administration.  It’s made a difference for thousand Americans, who are working today because we’ve stopped a surge in Chinese tires.  Every case that’s been decided, America has won.  Thus making sure that we’ve got a level playing field.

Foreign trade has helped our country a lot more than it has hurt us.  In fact, most of the manufacturing jobs that we’ve lost over the past decade weren’t the result of trade deals.  They were the result of technology and automation that enables businesses make more stuff with fewer workers.  In the past, an auto plant needed several thousand workers, but today they only need a thousand workers to produce the same number of cars because there are robots and machines that have replaced a lot of the work, that workers had previously done in factories.  The same is true office workers.  When was the last time you dealt with a bank teller.  Instead, we’re using ATM machines.

We’ll never put technology back in a box, and we must not cut ourselves off from the global supply chain.

Tariffs and trade wars won’t help the middle class.  Independent economists insist a trade war would trigger another recession and cost millions of jobs.  Cutting off trade and claiming that that’s standing up for American workers is wrong.

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