In business there are two realities; the way things should be, and the way things are. But at the end of the day what business is intended to do is to make as much money as possible, principally for the owners of the company. So you can't blame corporations for going overseas for labor if the balance sheets tell you that it just makes good business sense.
For years I have railed against the imbalances in our free market system, and that's saying something since I happen to be a strong proponent of the free market. But what I have argued is that what we have now is not really a free market at all. It's a market that is rigged and it's not necessarily because of the businesses, but because of policy which has made myriad deals with other nations which have served to suffocate the American worker, kill the middle class, widen the gap between the rich and the poor, and simply make our economy a real sour lemon.
I have long held that the key to the continuity of American progress economically is that we have to make things. Back in the day cheaper was a novelty. It was a convenience. People were making good money, and cheaper goods meant they could make it go farther. Now cheaper is a necessity. Median income has been nearly unchanged for the past 30 years—and that's a problem because inflation has not been stagnant.
You want to do the right thing and keep as much of your operations in the United States as possible. But when there are a multitude of things that hinder the sensibility of doing that, you are forced to rethink things and just "go with the flow."
Taxes, regulations, cheap labor overseas, unruly union leaders...
All of these things make it difficult for a business to operate within the margins and compete, not
only with foreign businesses doing business in the United States, but to compete with companies operating within its own borders.
Who knows this better than anyone? Businessmen. If you leave this sort of thing up to people who have never been in business what you wind up with are good intentions that look good in theory and on paper, but when put into reality it becomes clear to see that it's more than just a mess. It's a fucking disaster.
The simple truth is that both establishment republicans and democrats alike simply don't know what's wrong, and therefore don't really have the right solutions for fixing the problem. The democrats want to point fingers at the rich and big business, and want to tout unions who at one time had their place in the world, but are now corrupt and hugely bad for business, and who have done as much damage—if not more—to the stability of the American workers' wages than even the worst trade deals. And there are, of course, the trade deals, largely supported by the republican party in the interest of the free markets, which again, I argue aren't operating like a true free market at all.
Going with the "status quo" simply is not going to get it done. It's a failing proposition, and I think in part it is a large reason Donald Trump is getting so much traction in this presidential race. On the flip side, it may also be a part of why even a guy like Bernie Sanders at any stage in this race could ever be perceived by anyone to be viable—even for progressive liberal democrats. The signal, which is very clear, is that if guys like Sanders and Trump are resonating with voters it is because the majority of Americans—even if they are unclear exactly why—are finally starting to understand that they are no longer even running in place. They are going backwards. And if and until we address this matter, and right quick, it may be impossible to gain any traction economically.
Anyone who has ever had even a little bit of credit card debt knows that it is much harder to get out of debt the deeper in debt you go. If our economy is not fixed now. If the trade imbalances are not fixed now. If the trade deals are not renegotiated now...
We could lose our standing in the world as an economic power, and we may never get it back. Even if we finally work toward that goal, our country would be a second or third tier nation economically for the next 50-100 years.
Unfortunately, and I am a republican mind you, none of the other guys on the stage—not a single one of them except for Donald Trump—will do a damn thing to address the meat of why the economy is largely in the state that it is in.
Granted, Trump may not be able to get anything done either. I get that. But of all of the other candidates on the stage, he is the only guy stating what I have believed for years when it comes to jobs and business and the stability of the American economy.
Cheap labor has us by the balls and our hands our tied behind our backs so we can't loosen the grip.
But it's not just the cheap labor. It is simply a component. It's those fucking trade deals. The one thing we know of our history is that back in the day we knew there would be differences between one economy and another, and in order to level the playing field we made adjustments—tariffs. We have long gotten ridden of correcting imbalances by opening up Most Favored Nation status with countries like China. We've widened imbalances with deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—George H.W. Bush pushed for it, and Clinton eventually signed it into law—and the most recent Trans-Pacific deal. We have allowed Japan to dictate what we can sell to them, and likewise China. We have allowed China, in fact, to tell us flat out "if you want to sell to us, you have to make it in China."
What America has become, and not just in terms of economics, is a giant sell out, and who has been hurt badly by this is us. The American people. And despite our ability to vote our leaders in or out, we really have not had much control on this issue. We've had to simply do what is necessary. But again, continuing along that path puts us in a very real and dangerous situation. We are at that certain turning point in our nation on this issue among other very important ones. It's do or die. We simply must get it right this time around. If we do not, America as we know it may well be lost forever.
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