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home : insight & opinion : letters to the editor April 18, 2015

2/16/2006 2:57:00 PM
We elected politicians who sold us down the free-trade river

Editor:

In my judgment, Wal-Mart is getting a bum rap. Your article on Wal-Mart was lengthy and it had a considerable amount of informative information in it. However, it also contained a lot of heifer dust and above all you still missed the point as to why the United States is in the predicament it is in.

The free-trade policies of the United States are the systemic poison in American society's and, in my judgment, given Wal-Mart a huge advantage.

Americans have been for a long time, and still are, sold this poison under the disguise of a health tonic. This is not fair trade and it is killing this country.

That old propaganda that every $1 billion in exports creates a sizable number of jobs in America is again nothing but heifer dust and it doesn't take long to come to the conclusion that it is so.

It is, just like many other statistics, without any foundation in reality. The American academia needs to do some work on this subject.

For that to be true, all exports would have to be identical and clearly they are not, and clearly the amount of jobs involved depends on the type of exports.

The North Koreans are counterfeiting our paper money. The Chinese are copying our CDs and who knows what other cheating and stealing is going on. They are also selling cigarettes that are not made in this country but are labeled Marlboro.

Exports of manufactured products would create jobs in this country. Exports of raw materials create jobs at their destination. Exporting capital and machinery for plants overseas kill jobs in America. I hope this is not too difficult to understand.

Actually approximately half of our (United States) trade is nothing but intercorporate transfers. A multinational corporation ships raw material overseas where the material is assembled into products by slave labor or sweat shops - and then shipped back to the United States without any tariff or fee. The United States is flooded with these products. A lot of it is junk. A tariff here would make a lot of difference.

Powerful multinational corporations have snowed politicians of both major parties Republican and Democrats with a lot of propaganda. I never imagined these politicians were so gullible. It is apparent that almost half of the senators are more interested in the abortion issue Roe versus Wade that they are in the welfare of the working people.

No one wants to discuss another reason for jobs being shipped overseas: Most of the unions have been demanding exorbitant wages and benefits which increases union dues. What do the unions do with all of this money? No one will even know, and there is never an accounting of this money.

This is where Wal-Mart comes in, as well as a lot of other retailers. It is not illegal and these retailers are taking advantage of every aspect of these free trade agreements. Wal-Mart sells junk also.

These products are made by cheap labor and these retailers can sell these products for a lower price. If the labor was more costly, Wal-Mart would have to sell at a higher price and would have to pay higher wages for its employees. They would be more competitive with local businesses.

Our politicians were sold a bill of goods when they passed these free-trade agreements, and they have no guts to change these agreements now.

If free trade brings prosperity and protectionism brings poverty, then why is Japan, which is protectionist, better off economically than the United State,s which is for free trade. Our free-trade imbalance is nearing $1 trillion. Japan is a nation with high savings and very little poverty and crime.

United States is a nation with very low savings and a high poverty and high crime. The credit-card debt is astronomical. What gives here? When you check the theory against reality, the theory doesn't hold up.

In Japan, the entire social structure rests on full employment and family sustaining wages. Our government has not created the same social structure. Our decent-paying jobs were sent overseas.

The average wages in real income in the United States have been declining steadily for more than a decade and our politicians haven't been able to figure that out. One reason is that they are paid way too much and they also get way too many benefits. Term limits are needed badly.

The number of people in poverty has also increased substantially. We have to be careful when we point fingers at something or someone because the other three fingers are pointing right back at us. We are the ones that elected these politicians that sold us down the river. We helped them to screw things up and if we use our intellect, we could at least partially straighten this situation out. The next election could help that out.

Alex Sakonyi

Robinson





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