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04:58 AM on 02/23/2011
Fantastic article!! A 10 percent tariff on all goods from all countries would raise about 350 to 400 billion dollars and could cover 1/3 of the deficit this year. I know this does not sound like a lot , but we only had 2.2 trillion in revenue last year. this would be substantial with an almost 20 percent increase in revenue without taxing a single business or individual. as for the manufacturers who do not want to play in that market it would be a grand opportunity for American businesses.
Canadian conservative,still left of a democrat
09:07 AM on 02/23/2011
but don't forget the %10 retalitory tarifs on all your exported items as they sit on the docks rotting
Coffee Drinker
11:16 AM on 02/23/2011
Not to mention all the job loses from exporters who no longer have markets for their goods (and the people working with imports domestically).
01:40 PM on 02/23/2011
We tax everything that moves in this country and no one seems to mind. I also doubt that many would flee one of the largest markets in the world over the tariffs. especially if it is universal and not used to punish individual countries.
Hon! Ministry of Love agents are at the door!
03:01 AM on 02/23/2011
Also noted is the analogy implied by the blind adherence to an ideal which is just that, not unlike a religious attachment to a belief. Despite ones fervent and adamant profession of this system of belief, it cannot conquer the indifference of those who do not adhere to that particular belief system and are willing to use your blind belief as a weapon against you. Only one thought on the whole.
Hon! Ministry of Love agents are at the door!
02:53 AM on 02/23/2011
Well done, a forthright article discussing the true downside of the horror of Free Trade and Globalization. The trap is now long set, and the quarry twists in feigned consumer sated delusion before the realisation of the end which awaits.
02:46 AM on 02/23/2011
It's not just free trade but also work visas. H-1b work visas are a prime example. Corporations went to congress and lobbied for federal interference in the US labor market. They know that H-1b only serves to drive down wages. It's class warfare. But both parties support it.

It's not just trade that is rigged to hurt working people, it's also work visas. And finally there is amnesty. The only reason to grant amnesty is to drive wages down. And amazingly almost all liberal support it.
Hon! Ministry of Love agents are at the door!
03:08 AM on 02/23/2011
The assault on the working persons is full on. I have often purported to some that the goal of globalization is the equalization of wages, down, to the lowest common denominator. Therein the multi-national corporations are unrestricted as to where they may locate in order to profit from production cost reduction. It does beg the question as to what kind of sustainable business model this is.
06:25 AM on 02/23/2011
Endless pursuit of the cheapest possible labor is what it's all about.

Ship factories overseas to China - the whole industrial US is gone. Offshore systems and programming work to India... even local accountants now send your tax returns overseas to be done by an accountant there. Banks are sending purchasing and other back office operations overseas (despite all that bail out money from taxpayers). Call centers - which once provided jobs in South Dakota now are in India....

And if you can't send the work overseas - bring in cheap labor... H1B's fill ranks at Microsoft and elsewhere in Silicon Valley - displacing US college grads. At the other end you have illegals in meatpacking and other crap jobs that used to be Union. Periodic raids are for show - workers sent back but the employers get off scot free.

You didn't see plummeting emp,loyment numbers when housing starts crashed because so many construction workers were illegals... not many Union workers left in trades these days.

Welcome to the new Feudalism. A few wealthy Lords and lots and lots of serfs. Instead of sharing the wealth and raising average living standards it's a very few grabbing as much as they can.... that increasing productivity of the past 50 years did not translate into shorter work weeks or increased earning power for the majority - it went to higher salaries and bigger bonuses for the few at the top.
We're living a Great Renewal
02:37 AM on 02/23/2011
These 'Free' Trade agreements have hurt countries globally. Jobs removed from 'consumer' countries in exchange for cheap goods and jobs created in 'producer' countries in exchange for horrible working conditions and degraded environment ... and of course lots of trinkets.

There is actually a Pan Pacific Trade Deal happening quietly. How do I know? I share citizenship in NZ and they are talking about the benefits.

Funny world isn't it.

We must be willing to do two things:

1) Be willing to pay more for goods in order to have good wages.

2) Willing to pay increased taxes for shared benefits of a real 'standard of living' and not just more things.

The Great Renewal is available for us if we stick to how this country was envisioned ... We The People! For a more perfect Union. For The People. To ensure domestic tranquility. By The People. Promote the general Welfare.

Exactly how can you read this as: 'I The Person and user pay' or 'We The Corporation and you pay us'.
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01:44 AM on 02/23/2011
The WTO would probably file a complaint against the U.S. for reinstating Glass-Stea­gall...
To Rescue Main Street, We Need to Curb the WTO

"...The WTO rules require deregulati­on – and lock-in – of financial services that countries “liberaliz­e” under these terms.


For instance, the Glass-Stea­gall Act created a firewall between commercial and investment banks to prevent the former from speculatin­g with consumers’ savings. But the U.S.’ 1997 FSA commitment­s noted an intent to change Glass-Stea­gall to conform with WTO rules. The Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act, which did so, passed in 1999 – the year the FSA went into effect....­"

The U.S. should withdraw from the World Trade Organizati­on, while it still has some semblance of sovereignt­y.
07:25 AM on 02/23/2011
It was as a result of The Gramm-Leac­­h-Bliley Act, that the financial meltdown occurred in 2008 and The Gramm-Leac­­h-Bliley ought to be prosecuted along with the management of the brokerage and hedge funds that defrauded the country. This is only one example of the downhill slide of this country brought about by bought politicians and international corporations. The U.S. should withdraw from the World Trade Organizati­­on, free trade in general as it now occurs and bring back the tariffs and a progressive income tax, such as existed under the Eisenhower Administration. It should be made legally clear that corporations are not citizens, but a legal construct and money is definitely not free speech. The Supreme Court Justices that brought that "animal farm" logic into the law of the land should be impeached. None of this is likely to happen. I think it will only get worse until the people revolt, when it finally dawns on them what has been done.
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11:03 AM on 02/23/2011
Bankers aren't sent to prison, just fined, even for laundering drug money...
Wachovia's Drug Habit -

"...The bank didn’t react quickly enough to the prosecutors’ requests and failed to hire enough investigators, the U.S. Treasury Department said in March. After a 22-month investigation, the Justice Department on March 12 charged Wachovia with violating the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to run an effective anti-money-laundering program.

Five days later, Wells Fargo promised in a Miami federal courtroom to revamp its detection systems. Wachovia’s new owner paid $160 million in fines and penalties, less than 2 percent of its $12.3 billion profit in 2009..


Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory.

Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets, says Jack Blum, a U.S. Senate investigator for 14 years and a consultant to international banks and brokerage firms on money laundering.

The theory is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for big banks, Blum says.

“There’s no capacity to regulate or punish them because they’re too big to be threatened with failure,” Blum says. “They seem to be willing to do anything that improves their bottom line, until they’re caught...”
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01:07 AM on 02/23/2011
The current model of off-shore, low-cost production for transport/import of every item in huge, global supply chains is seriously undermined by expensive energy. With the Fed's bizarre "easing" likely to continue until something breaks, we may get a foretaste of the costs that will soon be with us irrespective of monetary policy simply as a result of the end of the supply of cheap oil.
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11:39 AM on 02/23/2011
Air Pollution from ships - Air Pollution & Climate Secretaria­t

"Ships pour out large quantities of pollutants into the air, principall­y in the form of sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

The emissions from ships engaged in internatio­nal trade in the seas surroundin­g Europe - the Baltic, the North Sea, the north-east­ern part of the Atlantic, the Mediterran­ean and the Black Sea - were estimated to have been 2.3 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide and 3.3 million tonnes of nitrogen oxides a year in 2000.

In contrast to the progress in reducing emissions from land-based sources, shipping emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides are expected to continue increasing by as much as 40 per cent by 2020. As a result, by 2020 the emissions from internatio­nal shipping around Europe is expected to equal or even surpass the total from all land-based sources in the 27 EU member states combined (see charts below).


Significan­t health effects

According to results from continuing scientific research, premature deaths caused by air pollution from internatio
The snake was right "the gods lie"
01:01 AM on 02/23/2011
A hundred years ago a businessman hires another man to keep track of his money. Business being what it is competition is fierce. One day the hired man whispers "you know let's forget all this business of competing with other companies. It's troubling, let's just collect a fee(read "tax") from our shops and the people that work for them and let them pay us."

The businessman looks over not really understanding and says "this will work?" ...

Replace "businessman" "with politician" and "company" with "country" and there you have it. The rest as they say is history.

As a country we haven't been in competition with other countries since we banned tariffs. What we've been is landlords who rent space to companies to exploit workers. "

"Give us(me) your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore."

Seems trite now doesn't it.
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12:51 AM on 02/23/2011
"Clueless" "Doesn't get it." Stop it right now!
12:14 AM on 02/23/2011
Funny how you offer ZERO solutions just criticism.
Wendy Davis
12:35 AM on 02/23/2011
Glass Seagall, isolationism, protectionism to name a few. A guy cashes his paycheck and stops at the bar on his way home. Feeling rich, he buys the guy beside him and the guy next to him and the next and next and next. When the time comes to go home, he has a ton of friends but no money. That is today's America. The next time he goes to the bar with only enough money to buy his own beer, the "friends" are gone, until his next payday. I think America is buying allies.
11:43 PM on 02/22/2011
This is the first article on free trade that lays out its problems wit brutal honesty. The American people understand the pitfalls of "free trade." Why can't our politicians understand this? The continued destruction of the American economy seems to be a proud accomplishment for our pseudo-progressive President. There does not seem to be ANYONE with any power fighting against the continued leaching of money out of this country. Thank you for this post. I hope someone in the WH reads it.
11:38 PM on 02/22/2011
The very worst Democrat President in modern history. Nobody comes close.
11:47 PM on 02/22/2011
How many DEMOCRATIC presidents have there been in modern history? Clinton is the only other one in several decades and he was all NAFTA/CAFTA.
Wendy Davis
12:36 AM on 02/23/2011
Jimmy Carter
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01:09 AM on 02/23/2011
You seem to be saying modern history started in 1992. Do the initials LBJ of JFK ring a bell somewhere?
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12:27 AM on 02/23/2011
Obama on a bad day is better than Ronald Reagan.
07:33 AM on 02/23/2011
Or any republican since Ike. I take that back. I think I'd even rather have Nixon than Any Democrat after the formation of the DLC. The Democrats now days are more right than the old style Republicans and the Republicans are crazy.
11:36 PM on 02/22/2011
Obama's deal with South Korea is estimated to cost a minimum of 160,000 high paying jobs. Where are the Democrats in our Senate and Congress that will stand up to this guy? Look at all the precious time that's been lost dithering and sucking up and mitigating. Obama is delusional and could care less about the working people of the United States.
01:28 AM on 02/23/2011
It seems that way.
11:30 PM on 02/22/2011
There is a total lack of industrial or trade policy in this country. That alone could cut our unemployment to acceptable levels while vastly increasing GDP growth in the next 5-10 years if implemented immediately.
11:27 PM on 02/22/2011
Since we can't expect any help from our multinational-controlled government, we have to become our own trade policy.

American consumer spending is 70% of the U.S. economy. It is therefore the largest single economic force in the world. Little wonder the rest of the world is trying to steal it from us.

We can continue to lose jobs, security, independence, and $ billions every day through the purchase of foreign goods.

Or we can buy American-made goods. Before it's too late.

Do the math:

309 million people

"x" dollars per day simply reallocated from foreign- to American-made goods

365 days per year

See "College Girl, Economy, Jobs":
11:45 PM on 02/22/2011
I am completely for this but....the other day I spent an hour in WalMart looking for a certain type of utensil which was made in America. Nothing. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond looking for the same utensil. Nothing. Where do you find ANYTHING made in American any more? I am more than willing to shop there!
12:13 AM on 02/23/2011
Wal-Mart is now essentially a communist Chinese operation that accounts for some 10 percent of our trade deficit in goods.

However, the Internet is full of wonderful sources for American-made products.

To again borrow from"College Girl, Economy, Jobs":

Google "American-made goods" and have a great future!
12:02 AM on 02/23/2011
Buy American, UNION MADE!