Friday, January 1, 2010

Who is the Real Enemy of the Middle Class?

China's been benefiting almost exclusively from the stupidity of American trade policy. We seem to be subsidizing an entity that appears to be more of a predator than a partner. In the process, all we have created is a monster, it seems.

But a closer look reveals an even more sinister process. I would argue that American business, with the complicity and support of a terribly myopic and corrupted American government, seems to be content to cut its own throat in the long run for the benefit of short-term gains.

By allowing such trade policy to continue, the U.S. economy continues to take body blows, particularly to its middle class, the true economic engine of the American economy. It can reasonably be argued that the only people who have benefited by a free trade policy combined with an unrestricted and unparalleled corporate globalization effort are the business owners who have opted to abandon America's middle class for personal profit. Is this the "American way"?

Like the various investment bubbles that have blown up in our collective faces recently, this trade bubble will explode as well when American businesses realize that the products that they used to manufacture in the good old US of A are no longer being bought by American consumers in the numbers that they projected -- because the purchasing power of the American middle class has been dramatically reduced through corporate globalization and the resulting exportation of American manufacturing jobs.

China is not alone in hurting us economically. China is being enabled or empowered by both American business owners and our very own government who are working against the best interests of its very own citizens. By allowing corporations to freely send our jobs to China and places elsewhere, they are endorsing myopic policies that are principally motivated by personal greed. And which political party has supported these efforts? Answer: the Republican party.

When have you heard Republicans complain about globalization and outsourced manufacturing? Answer: You haven't -- because they have openly embraced these policies from day one. Since when have Republicans been on the opposite side of an argument with big business? They haven't and they won't. Remember, it's the "invisible hand of the free market" that Republicans put so much faith and trust in. History has shown that they reflexively react against any intrusion by government into the private affairs of the business community.

If the Democratic Party is smart, they will work to reverse these devastating trends and position themselves in opposition to the Republicans on the "globalization" initiative. Then Americans -- who are most concerned about JOBS and EMPLOYMENT -- will remain loyal in the upcoming elections.

I think we need to get very tough with China by becoming MUCH MORE PROTECTIONIST. And, in my opinion, it can't happen fast enough.