Posts Tagged ‘free trade’
Back in the nineties when Pat Buchanan was wise enough to label the Culture War for what it was some of us asked, “How can a moral wrong be a civil right?” This was back when those coming out of the closet were asking for freedom, and not trying to deny freedom to others. Today the radical homosexuals froth at the mouth and impose boycotts against anyone with the impudence to say they support traditional values and with the bad taste to say they are married to their first wife.
The Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media joins the radical homosexuals distorting what was initially said and fanning the flames of hate. Pandering politicians join in the pile-on and use their offices and the power voters entrusted them with to punish a lawful business because their CEO exercised his first amendment rights and stated something that not too long ago was so widely accepted it never would have had to be said.
Culturally the majority of Americans now live in a nation controlled and subjugated by a vocal minority intent on forcing their values on the rest of us.
Back in the nineties after Americahad defeated the Evil Empire we stood unchallenged as the world’s sole superpower. Our industrial base was an 800 pound gorilla in everybody’s room. We were the largest creditor nation in the History of the world. Our science and our technology were the definition of cutting edge. Today Chinarises like the red dragon in the East. We are the largest debtor in the History of the world. The fastest computer, the largest accelerator, and the number one computer and smart phone manufacturers are all inAsia. Our manned space vehicle program is a memory, our astronauts have to hitchhike to a space station we paid for and built, and the Chinese have just announced they are going to the moon to replace the stars and stripes with communist red.
Technologically we are standing still at best while former third world nations lead the way to a brave new world.
Politically we are watching the Mideastgo south. We are bogged down in a quagmire in Afghanistanwhere the ultimate winner won’t be the corruption we have installed as government. The Chinese control the Panama Canal and the Port of Los Angeles. NATO had a hard time defeating the definition of a tin-pot dictator and his band of sub-Saharan mercenaries.
How did all this happen? How did it happen so fast? Is there anything we could do to reverse our slide into insignificance? Is there anything that will be done to lead the way back from the brink?
How did all this happen? How did it happen so fast?
The Culture War has been waged aggressively by its proponents: those who wanted an end toAmerica’s traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and those who wished to profit politically by the end of theAmericawe had known and loved. The coalition of social deviants, media boosters, and political panderers rolled over a live-and-let-live public as they achieved their dreams and changed moral wrongs into civil rights. It is now considered unacceptable to state your personal beliefs if they diverge from the culture of the lowest common denominator. Political correctness strangles freedom from college campuses to board rooms. The murder of unborn babies has made the womb the most dangerous place for an American child. Television, movies, and music are filled with vile hateful filth. Triple X superstores and legal gambling are now the trophies for the victors and tombstones for the vanquished in a war Mr. Buchanan was pilloried for having the courage to name.
What about the technology?
In their exuberance and hubris our leaders, Bush the First and Clinton the Last, decided that we could make free trade work for our advantage when it had killed every other empire that ever followed it to cheap consumer goods and industrial destruction. Ross Perot was ridiculed when he would ask, “Do you hear that giant sucking sound?” That’s American jobs being sucked out by NAFTA.” But he was right. Our balance of trade with Mexico went from more than a billion dollars a year surplus in 1994 to more than a 64 billion deficit in 2011. This was followed with so-called free trade agreements with country after country systematically turning a positive balance of trade into a negative.
Then when we combined free trade agreements with an American innovation, shipping with containers, we set the stage for our markets to be overwhelmed by Chinese imports. Today if the balance of trade and the content of that trade were examined it becomes apparent that Americais fast becoming a de-industrialized colony of China as they have been a financial colony of ours. We supply them with vast amounts of invisible credit via the pegged, undervalued, yuan-dollar exchange rate and raw materials while they supply us with cheap manufactured goods. Our own money is inflating a mercantilist predator poised to devour our industrial base. Even our military now relies on Chinese parts and our security may rest upon components that are designed to either malfunction or provide a backdoor for hackers.
What about politics?
Bush the First crowed about creating a New World Order and couldn’t beat a womanizing bubba in a tux. Clintonthe Last spent his Peace Dividend buying votes and gutting the military. Bush the Next led us into a war inIraqwe never should have fought and refused to leave a war inAfghanistanhe didn’t notice we had won. Obama the Destroyer of Worlds leads from behind while following the UN, apologizes for American exceptionalism, and bows to foreign leaders. When you fight a war against an enemy you won’t name how will you know if you have won?
Is there anything we could do to reverse our slide into insignificance?
How do you end the degradation of our society into an open sewer of licentiousness? Values are taught in the home or they are picked up in the street. Ethics are passed on by people who believe there are absolutes and who live consistently as if those absolutes actually matter. Telling our children to do as we say not as we do has produced generations of people who do whatever they want. Hedonism and conspicuous consumption have combined to give us a world where getting what you want is prized above getting what you deserve. Let those who live right be salt and light in this world and those who seek the day instead of the night will follow. Billy Graham, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Bible are right Larry Flint, Hugh Heffner, and Bill Clinton are wrong. And if it isn’t right it’s wrong.
Take the steel boot of regulations off the throat of industry and innovation. Allow economic freedom and the invisible hand of entrepreneurship will once again transform America into the powerhouse of industry and technology. Adam Smith and Milton Friedman had it right; Keynes and the Progressives have it wrong. And if it isn’t right it’s wrong.
End the so-called free trade, and insist upon equitable trade. If someone uses tricks to add fees to our products add the same fees to their products. If someone restricts our products in their markets put the same restrictions on their products. Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan had it right; our progressive politicians have it wrong. And if it isn’t right it’s wrong.
Return to what was once traditional American policy: a friend to all and entangled with none. Why are American troops still garrisoned in Europe, Japan, and Korea? Why are America’s finest stationed in hundreds of bases in over 100 nations? Bring our troops home. Let them guard our own borders from the hordes that now walk across them every day. Let their bases provide an economic stimulus to American towns and cities instead of those of foreigners. Washington, Hamilton, and Monroe had it right. The Bush dynasty, Clinton, and Obama have it wrong. And if it isn’t right it’s wrong.
What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. How do we restore what’s wrong with America? We do what’s right.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens
Webster’s II New College Dictionary defines capitalism as an economic system marked by open competition in a free market in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to increasing accumulation and investment of profits.
Open-market competition permeates the evolution of American culture and the American people. Capitalism has led to America’s hegemonic status among the nations of the world. Absent an environment allowing capitalism to be born and incubated, America would not have developed into the world’s only true superpower. An America sans capitalism would have arrested the flowering of American Democracy, the expression of the American spirit, and the ascendancy of American greatness. The birthright of every American to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” could not have had the remotest chance of becoming a reality except under a capitalist system. American capitalism is the framework that allows realization of the concepts expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Capitalism is the lynchpin in the concept of the American ideal. America’s strength and wealth are a testament to the superiority of capitalism as a political and social system of organization.
However, critics of capitalism in general and American capitalism in particular recite a litany of shortcomings, basically revolving around the idea that capitalism is fraught with inequity and unfairness in economic outcomes. Because of this idea, Karl Marx predicted that capitalism would be the cause of the growing schism between the “proletariat” working class and the industrial class, and at some point, there would be a class revolt. Even Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, who coined the term “creative destruction” to explain the march of economic progress under capitalism, speculated that capitalism would mature to the point that it would be fertile ground for a seamless transition to socialism.
The primary characteristics of a capitalist system that had run its course and was ready to ease into socialism, according to Schumpeter, were vanishing investment opportunities and “obsolescence of the Entrepreneurial Function.”
I disagree. Capitalism will not fail because of its maturing and running its natural course of existence, as Schumpeter thought; and capitalism will not fail because of any innate unfairness or failure tofairly advocate a system of material resources, as Marx suggested. If American citizens were left to make economic decisions that were in their own best interest, capitalism would work fine. It’s the interference of Washington’s elite that has been killing American Capitalism by the death of a thousand cuts. Washington, D.C. is the torturer and executioner of American capitalism. Politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists there constitute a powerful fifth column whose actions diminish every American’s endowment to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This effort has been prosecuted against the American populace by the current confiscatory progressive tax code, inflationary monetary policy, deficit spending, and protectionism.
Complicit in this torture and slow death are the Internal Revenue Service by usurping power from the American people, and the Federal Reserve by debasing the dollar. Critics of capitalism point to Wall Street and the recent carnage in the economies of America and the Euro zone as evidence of the travails of unfettered or under-regulated capitalism, proclaiming that capitalism must be reined in and controlled. However, the activities of Wall Street in its present iteration, and the incessant borrowing of America and the Euro zone countries, are not capitalism.
The fact that individuals, businesses, and sovereign governments got caught in a vortex of too-easy credit and developed an unsustainable thirst for easy money is no reflection on the soundness or attractiveness of capitalism as a superior economic system. The present state of the economy is due to collective greed, the universal suspension of common sense, and failure of the referees in our economic regulation. This greed and lapse of common sense in rationalizing economic decisions originated from the federal government’s interference with the free market through the current confiscatory tax code, inflationary monetary policy, deficit spending, and protectionism. These Four Horsemen of America’s economic apocalypse frustrate the workings of Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand,” leading to a misallocation of resources within the American economy and a misalignment of economic incentives. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other economists who studied the Great Depression identified their “lessons learned” that would allow the Federal Reserve to steer monetary policy to mitigate business cycles.
With the typical policy options and his study of the Great Depression, Bernanke set out to navigate the American economy back to safety by calibrating money supply. His reliance on these tired and ineffective tactics rank with the foolhardiness of French generals on the eve of World War II, and their faith in the security of the Maginot Line to protect France from a German invasion. It didn’t and couldn’t. The Federal Reserve’s actions in the current financial crisis are proving just as ineffective and indeed counterproductive. Paired with the actions of the United States Treasury under Timothy Geithner this has turned out to be a total disaster. Competition is the hallmark of capitalism. Competition guides Adams Smith’s “Invisible Hand.” Competition breeds champions. Even Giacomo Casanova recognized the role of competition and limited government in his autobiography, “History of My Life,” describing the success of Lyons, France in the fashion industry: “Low prices come from competition, whose soul is freedom. Hence a government which wishes to see the state prospering by commerce has but to leave commerce completely free, only being watchful to prevent frauds which private interest may invent to the detriment of the general interest.”
The Four Horsemen of America’s economic apocalypse are killing American capitalism by strangling competition and thus, American democracy. The way out of America’s self-built economic hell is to change the system structurally, and return to limited constitutional governance that respects the sovereignty of the 50 states and the freedoms of the American people. We can achieve this goal with a fair tax, a balanced budget amendment, a return to the gold standard, and free trade.
HasAmericareached the stage where we all stand in a circle and take turns holding a constantly shrinking dollar?
If our Dear Leader and the Daley led Outfit wins re-election next year perhaps a few more people will see the hand writing on the wall. Though the Constitution is undeniably the greatest work to come from the hand of man, though it provided the safe haven of freedom for generations it is today a dead letter. If after the coming November election the Democrats tax storm sweeps us down the economic drain and inflation kicks in those dazed by the success of theChicagosystem in re-electing the first anti-American president then the silent majority will be ready to hear the watchmen on the walls.
We have sold our birthright for a bowl of entitlements. We have stood silently by while corrupt politicians have looted our posterity of opportunity and hope. We have allowed our Federal Government to assume powers never delegated to them by the Constitution. We have spent the revenues of the future for a present that no longer resembles the last best hope of mankind. We have followed the pipers from the Land of the free and the home of the brave onto the road to serfdom and we are about to learn that he who pays the piper calls the tune.
While our nation wallows in the Great Recession which our Progressive leaders and their water boys in the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media keep trying to tell us is over Chinakeeps eating our lunch. Starting with NAFTA both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to free trade deals that aren’t free and have suppressed our trade. For these economic geniuses who think they can centrally plan the largest economy in the history of the world let me spell this out slowly and clearly:
- If you buy more than you sell you have a negative balance of trade
- If you spend more than you make you eventually go bankrupt
- Everyone else except you seems to know these two simple truths.
Maybe our economic geniuses should try Economics 101. They want us to accept thatAmericahas become a no growth zero sum pie. It doesn’t fit their game plan to take their foot off the throat of the economy. If they did it would roar to life as the liberty and opportunity which is our heritage, and once again prove that free people making free choices is the best way to grow the pie and enrich the people.
A new book calls President Obama an amateur, and at first glance he may appear to be one. However he does not stand alone. He is the front man for a triumphant Progressive Movement which has successfully implemented a strategy that has taken more than a century to mature. Starting in the 1890s they set their sights on education capturing the universities and then training generations of teachers, journalists, and lawyers. These people have infiltrated every aspect of our lives dumbing down successive generations while Progressive politicians have worked at getting a majority of the voters addicted to government handouts. Then in the1960s the Cloward and Piven Strategy was embraced as a way to spend the country into oblivion so that it could be remade in a Progressive image. Step by step, inch by inch, line upon line these webs have been woven, and as the average American twists and turns trying to find some avenue of escape from the shabby future these want to be commissars have planned, all they see is the party line on the major networks telling them everything is coming up roses.
It is time to WAKE UP! It is time to prepare as if the world we have known will end and expect major dislocations in every aspect of life. Even an overwhelming defeat for President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of their fellow travelers will only mean this train wreck is slowing down. The so-called draconian Ryan Budget never gets to a balanced budget for 40 or 50 years. More than 30 years out the national debt is still growing. Projections show that by 2025 the interest on the debt alone will begin to consume any hope of getting out of the trick bag they have spent us in to. Our elected leaders have no plan to reverse the decline. They merely want to manage it in a more orderly fashion.
Each of us must decide what is most important. Each of us must either prepare for the coming contraction or hit the wall like a crash dummy.
Personally I have decided that family is more important than career, food is more important than convenience, and honor is more important than status. I have left the tenured halls and headed for the hills. I have abandoned friends of many years to be surrounded by family. I have embraced the soil to grow my own food. In other words, I believe I have been to the top of the mountain, I have seen what is coming, and I have taken my own advice.
When I was the Dean of a School of Christian Ministries I used to tell my students to prepare as if there was no Holy Spirit and preach as if there were no notes. Today I advise my readers, prepare as if the America we have known and loved is about to be transformed before our eyes into a social democracy of European proportions, and live as if there is still hope.
For as long as we believe there is still hope we will not be hopeless.
So we come to the ultimate message: hope in Christ and you will never be disappointed. All things must pass and only those things done in Christ will last. All empires fall. It is our place in History to watch the slow motion fall of a mighty empire: Western Civilization. But if we hold on to what is true, if we stand for what we believe, though a thousand fall on our right and ten thousand fall on our left it will not come upon us.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens
Are We On Our Way To Gettysburg?
The nightly newsreel rolls and we watch in fascination as our friend and ally Japan struggles to regain its bearings after nature’s devastating one-two-punch seems to have set them up for a potential nuclear knock-out. Boosting the ratings of the wall-to-wall news channels we sit for hours glued to the scenes of devastation waiting to be amazed by the most recently discovered views of water overtaking land in a world where every phone is a video camera. The destruction of this latest mega-tragedy is reminiscent of World War II after America paid back Pearl Harbor in spades and today’s situation even has an atomic twist at the end. One major difference is that this time we are all praying that our partners in the land of the rising sun won’t have to surrender.
Today America faces an economic earthquake and a social tsunami. Our leaders have spent us into the poor house. Our melting pot has become a smelting pot. Our social glue consists of eating at the same fast food restaurants and watching the same game shows. Reality shows are more popular than reality. Our President fiddles while Rome burns more concerned about b-ball brackets then about a 14 trillion dollar debt, two wars, and a world aimed at meltdown. The only event able to hold the administration’s interest is the 2012 election and their obsession to maintain their grasp on power.
The lack of a Historical perspective may well prove to be the undoing of our nation. Once a people are divorced from their past they live in the Eternal Now and those who set the agenda can always change now. The study of History not only provides context it also provides an endless number of lessons, illustrations, and warnings.
The magnitude of the calamities currently assaulting Japan cannot help but bring to mind the terrors of total war. In all our wars only one ever visited such destruction on our homeland. In the Civil War the North adopted a policy of total war to destroy the South’s will and ability to fight. After the South under a string of brilliant generals culminating in Robert E. Lee handed the Union defeat after defeat Grant and Sherman were able to convince Lincoln of the necessity of wonton destruction of civilian as well as military targets.
Flush with victory Lee launched his first invasion of the North in 1862. He marched into Maryland, a slave state which stayed loyal to the Union more because of an occupying army then because of popular sentiment. Lee’s goal was to defeat the Union Army and lead Maryland into the Confederacy thus surrounding Washington DC, probably winning foreign recognition, and possibly winning the war.
The previously invincible Army of Northern Virginia led by arguably the greatest tactician America has ever produced met General George McClellan and the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Antietam for the bloodiest day in American combat history. More than twice as many Americans were killed or mortally wounded at Antietam on that one day than in the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Spanish-American War combined.
After twelve hours of savage combat more than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing. The fighting ended in a stalemate with combat stopping due to the sheer exhaustion of the armies not because one side had triumphed over the other. However, Lee and his men were at the end of a precarious line of supply through enemy territory with no hope for reinforcement and more Union forces were arriving all the time. Therefore, even though the Union sustained more casualties than the South, Lee was forced to withdraw. This was a tactical victory for the South but a strategic victory for the North opening the door for Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation thus seizing the moral high ground in the war and precluding any recognition of the South by the European powers.
One year later after fresh victories at Spotsylvania Courthouse, in the Wilderness, and Chancellorsville Lee once again sought to end the war with a second invasion of the North. This time he crossed the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry and marched into the heart of Pennsylvania hoping to destroy the North’s will to fight by bringing the war to them.
This time he met the Union Army under General George Meade a career officer and civil engineer. In this pivotal battle of the war the great bold tactician met the plodding bureaucrat. On the first day of the battle General Lee moved uncharacteristically slow and Meade moved uncharacteristically fast allowing the North to gain the high ground. This set the stage for the battle as the South wasted itself attacking strong positions culminating in the fruitless slaughter of Pickett’s charge. Bled white and facing a Union army that was constantly growing Lee turned around and carried the Confederacy’s last hope of victory from the field of honor.
But it didn’t have to end that way. Instead of attacking against fortified positions either uphill or over open ground Lee could have turned to the east to march towards Washington. Meade and the Union army would have had to follow him doing their best to move around him to shield the capitol. Lee could then have chosen his ground and allowed the North to waste itself against a fixed position as they had so many times before. A victory here would have left Lee with an unopposed road to Washington and possible victory.
Hindsight is 20/20 and at this distance without the hazard of battle and the gamble of combat it’s easy for an armchair general to improve upon the real life experience of one of the greatest generals in history.
What we need now is not hindsight but foresight. Domestically, America is facing the perfect storm of crushing debt, dwindling industrial capacity, high unemployment, and creeping inflation. Internationally we’re engaged in two hot wars, a desultory campaign against international terrorists, pirates on the high seas, and collapsing prestige.
Are we boldly marching towards our Gettysburg? Are we blindly relying on our past glories expecting them to propel us to future triumphs? Will we waste ourselves assailing massive debt with paltry cuts? Are we marching over open ground against the fixed positions of free trade agreements that are free in only one direction? Are we hamstringing ourselves with an energy policy designed to keep the earth green by devastating our pockets for the benefit of our enemies?
Before it’s too late we should turn and march towards victory! Stop the over spending. Renegotiate all our trade deals, and make them equitable for all sides. Put the welfare genie back in its lamp before Ali Baba and his 535 thieves pass another budget, loot the treasury, and we end up sitting in the dirt eating leaves.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.