We Americans own the American market. Others – foreign companies and multinationals – sell in our market only with our permission. It is not their right to sell in our market, it is a privilege that we have granted them. Our Congress, acting upon our instruction, has every right to determine who can sell in our market and under what terms and conditions.
I want to assure you in this the most beloved of all holiday seasons that what we aspire to do, i.e., determine how we and others conduct international trade within the boundaries of the United States, is a right that exists in natural law and is embedded in our Constitution.
What we clearly seek to accomplish in this website and through discussions in this blog is to manage trade between the U.S. and other countries in such a way that it benefits Americans first and foremost, and citizens of most of the rest of the world as an intended consequence.
We will ask ourselves, at the end of the day, can we look down from the mountaintop and proclaim that we have created our brave new world, a world that we have imagined, a world that we have hoped for and a world that we will eventually will to our children and future generations of Americans?
The obvious answer to me is that we can. Si se puede. The proposed new American doctrine of “51% of all manufactured products sold in the U.S. market, with rational exceptions, shall be manufactured in the U.S.” not only makes sense, it is the easiest and quickest way to a new and revitalized America.
The reasons are clear as a sunny day in the eternal sunshine of southern Nevada.
First, no foreign country or a company manufacturing its products in a foreign country has an inalienable right to sell such foreign-manufactured products in the American market. They have the privilege of doing this because we Americans have granted them that privilege. But we do so consistent with our Constitution. And our Constitution grants the U.S. Congress, acting on our behalf, the right to regulate all commerce between the U.S. and other countries, between the various states, between the United States and the Indian tribes.
Second, trade with foreign countries must be beneficial to us Americans and not lopsidedly beneficial to our trading “partners.” We do allow trade to be lopsidedly in favor of China, Japan in the recent past, South Korea, etc., but only on the assumption that such lopsided trade is temporary, that over the long haul, the movement of goods will become two-way and not virtually one-way, which it is now with China and some other countries. We therefore have a right to force the issue of mutually beneficial trade.
Third, the goal of foreign trade must be zero, or close to zero. That is, ideally a country’s exports to another country must be roughly equal to its imports from that country. In the 1960s and prior decades, net U.S. foreign trade was only 4% of gross national income. Our exports to other countries were just slightly more than our imports from them.
Fourth, American consumers are the greatest economic engine in the universe. Any country or multinational that sells in the American market must be put on notice that Americans will no longer allow unfettered access to that market under rules prevailing in the 20th and earlier centuries. Trade rules must change, and foreigners’ access to the American market must be conditioned upon whether such trade creates jobs in America. No longer shall it be enough to say that cheap goods are made available to Americans, we must make sure that no country is able to export its unemployment to America and destroy American jobs.
Fifth and lastly, globalization must benefit most if not all countries on the planet. The U.S. must serve as an example for the rest of the world. We must encourage other countries to adopt policies similar to our 51%. Imagine what would happen if countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Argentina, Uruguay, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Pakistan, etc. have their version of the 51% rule. Those countries will experience a boom in construction of industrial plants and in hiring to staff the new factories that shall be set up. Most countries will be both producers and consumers all at once. Gone will be the export economies that sell to the rest of the world but buy very little from the rest of the world.
The U.S. will maintain its preeminence because our standard of living will recover its lofty heights achieved in the 20th century, but close on our heels will be other countries. That last point is important. Other countries must realize their potential too, not just the U.S.
This is our brave new world. We can do this. We can do this by setting the example. We will require that 51% of all manufactured products sold in the U.S. are manufactured in the U.S., within reason. We will watch as other countries adopt similar policies. We will watch as China’s growth slows down and as other export economies realize that they can no longer take advantage of other countries whose markets are open to them.
The wealth of the world will be distributed equitably, and the resultant boom will benefit the greatest number as most countries experience a rapid growth in their middle classes.
Of course prices will tend to rise in the short term because production costs will increase temporarily. That is to be expected. But we here in the U.S. know that cheap prices at Wal-Mart and Target are NOT good for the country. What is good for Americans and people around the world is to have good jobs. People who have good jobs can afford to pay for the products that they buy even if those products are more expensive than they are now.
Remember, before the Japanese and the Chinese, most of the things that we bought at Sears and J.C. Penney were made in the U.S. And they were expensive. But we did not mind, because we had jobs, we had good jobs, and we had good careers. We could afford to pay for those American goods because we had money. We could buy houses and cars. We could marry, have children and own our own homes. We did not have to stay with mom and dad.
My friends, toss these principles in your heads during this holiday season. In January we will resume our journey and think of better ways to spread the news. We will look at the devastated manufacturing industries that have been sacrificed to the gods of globalization and ask: how and why did we let it happen?
We Americans are ready to take control of our markets again. We have this power to choose what we will buy and what we will reject. We have this power to influence our President and our Congress to change the rules of international trade in a way that assures us, our children, our loved ones a bright future. We reject the idea that America is in permanent decline.
We will lead the world in this new enlightenment. We will open the eyes of the world to a truth that has been forgotten: the truth that we own our economy and we have the right and the duty to set the rules of commerce in such a way that the commerce benefits us and not some villagers in a faraway country such as China.
The America we know is forever upbeat. We are Americans, and we will never, ever feel that we are on the way down.
Happy holidays to all!
The horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut should convince us all that something must be done about our unfettered love and adoration of guns. We must also remember that our society is broken and must be reformed in many other areas, such as immigration, taxation and international trade. We must make across-the-board adjustments in our body politic if our country is to emerge from our many national crises as the America we all know. Finally, we grieve for the loss of the 20 angelic voices and their teachers who sacrificed their lives in defense of the children.