20th April 04:41
Unemployed? Worried? Read On...
Unemployed? Worried? Read On...
By Carl F. Worden
Now that at least 6% of you are unemployed in the United States
and have more free time to read, perhaps you'd like to know why you no
longer have a job, why your job-finding prospects are bleak, why our
trade deficit is off the charts and even more importantly, who did this
In order for you to fully grasp what I'm about to write, we'll
need to review what worked to make this nation the most wealthy and
powerful nation ever to grace the face of this earth.
First, we need to remember how wealth is created. The average
high school graduate comes out thinking that if they get more of the
money others have, then that's the way to create wealth.
They don't have a clue about wealth creation, because in most
cases, the schools don't teach it, and most of the kid's parents don't
know either -- so herewith is a refresher course.
In the most perfect scenario, and one that the United States of
America just happened to follow, this nation was established on a
continent that was blessed with magnificent amounts of raw materials,
like wood and metals, and an agricultural breadbasket that could produce
far more food than the domestic population could possibly eat. Add to
that potent mix a population with a strong work ethic, solid moral
integrity and the freedom to be as personally successful as they want to
be, and the Founding Fathers just let human nature take its course.
Those raw materials are mined and harvested, then manufactured
into items of quality and desirability that the entire world wants to
purchase. That is how wealth is created. The same goes for a vigorous
agricultural program: You plant a seed and water it, it grows and
produces whatever, you sell it, and voila! You've created wealth.
In the meantime, people need to be employed in order to
manufacture and grow things, and if you employ someone, you have to pay
them for their contribution to your efforts. As time goes by, more and
more of your domestic population becomes employed, which means they are
making money and able to purchase land, homes, cars and other things
Over time, our growing domestic population became this nation's
largest consumer of U.S. manufactured goods. Because of our Constitution
and our Republican form of government, our people were free to explore
and invent with little or no government intervention. This led to
technological advances that produced goods of such fine quality and
craftsmanship that no other nation could compete with us at the same
level. The world could buy cheaper goods of lower quality made in Japan,
for example, but if you wanted quality that would last, you bought
American. As a result, wealth poured into this nation, creating more
millionaires per capita than any other nation on earth.
As our population came to earn more and more money in salaries
and wages, our domestic manufacturers employing those workers had to
charge more and more for their goods at the wholesale level in order to
maintain a profit and stay healthy.
The workers employed in other nations earned far less than our
workers, so in theory, they could produce manufactured goods at a lower
cost than our domestic manufacturers could. The problem is that they
generally lacked the raw materials we had in such abundance, and they
also lacked our superior manufacturing technology, making foreign-made
goods generally inferior.
Even so, the United States maintained tariffs and trade
restrictions that forced the shelf price of imported manufactured goods
high enough to keep their price comparable to the goods produced by
As a result, the American standard of living kept climbing and
outpacing that of the rest of the world - by leaps and bounds.
Later on, foreign manufacturers managed to steal a great deal of
our technology, but the tariffs and trade restrictions still kept doing
their intended duty of protecting American jobs.
That is what made America the most wealthy and powerful nation
on the face of this earth, and all that changed with the passage of
NAFTA and GATT in 1994. We are now hemorrhaging jobs and wealth to other
nations, particularly China, at such an astonishing rate that there is
no foreseeable way to stop the carnage. The North American Free Trade
Agreement and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs quite literally
slashed America's economic throat.
NAFTA/GATT were pushed through by the Republicans, and signed
into law by President Bill Clinton over the strenuous objections of his
NAFTA/GATT removed our last line of defense against unfair
foreign competition by manufacturers who now use cheap labor, equal
manufacturing technology and even our own raw materials to compete with
American manufacturers in a so-called "free" market. NAFTA/GATT were
international treaties requiring a 2/3 Senate approval - votes they
didn't have - so they just passed them as regular legislation.
Incredibly, when American labor unions challenged the passage of
NAFTA/GATT as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court let them stand!
So what I want you to understand here is that all legal means
for ridding ourselves of those treasonous acts have been exhausted. Our
elected representatives show no signs of wanting to end our
participation in NAFTA/GATT, therefore nothing short of a bloody and
violent revolution to take this government back will have any chance of
stopping our economic nosedive. This slide will not, and indeed, cannot
end until our wages and our standard of living have equalized with the
rest of the world.
Ross Perot held the public forum during his presidential
campaign, and screamed from the rooftops that if NAFTA/GATT were passed,
we'd hear this giant ****ing sound of American manufacturing jobs going
to other nations, remember that? He was out-shouted by that
truth-impaired radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, who assured us all
that NAFTA/GATT were a good thing for America and would enable American
consumers to buy manufactured and other goods at substantially lower
Where it comes to basic math and economics, Rush Limbaugh is
definitely not the guy to ask. You have to have a job to buy
manufactured goods and foodstuffs, no matter what the price, right? And
if American manufacturers close their plants in America and start
manufacturing in China and elsewhere, as they had to do in order to stay
competitive and viable, doesn't that mean those high-paying American
manufacturing jobs are now held by slave-laborers in China? Is this
treason starting to sink in yet? You didn't seem to care when you had a
job, right? Well, I'll bet you do now.
Oh, and what about those lowered prices for foreign-made goods
we were promised ala Limbaugh? Seen any lately? No?? And why? Because
the formerly American and foreign manufacturers now in China and Taiwan
didn't 't have to lower them! All they had to do was lower their price a
buck or two under what the American manufacturer had to sell the same
product for here.
You see, it doesn't matter that it only costs them pennies on
the dollar to make the same item an American manufacturer does. They
have no obligation whatsoever to pass those savings on to you and me if
they don't have to - and under NAFTA/GATT they don't have to! The whole
idea is to make the highest possible profit while remaining competitive,
right? Well, if that's the case, then prices won't drop until Americans
have lost so many family-wage paying jobs that they simply cannot afford
to pay the higher prices anymore.
I wish I could end this article with a ray of hope for our
economy, but I cannot. If we are to have free trade with other nations,
then the inevitable result will have to be our parity in living
standards with the rest of the "global" community, and because we have a
comparatively high standard of living, it naturally follows that our
standard of living will have to decline. This is Math 101, and there's
no way around it.
I just read an interesting Associated Press article at
If you have been paying attention to this mess, you'll recall
that President Bush slapped a 30% tariff of foreign steel imported to
the United States. At the time he did it, I couldn't figure out where
NAFTA/GATT allowed him to do it, but if they did, why don't we just slap
tariffs on all imported foreign goods to protect our remaining domestic
manufacturers who are too stupid to close up and move to China?
Well, I just got my answer: The World Trade Organization, whose
rules we agreed to abide by under NAFTA/GATT, just ruled Bush's tariff
violates "global trade rules". If the American appeal fails, we
taxpayers will pay a stiff fine and thousands more American steel
manufacturing jobs will be lost.
Would you like to hear some good news? I thought so. Here goes:
I just read somewhere that China was being lauded for having
reduced its poverty level by more than half. I wonder how they did it,
and where they got the money?
"All history is a set of lies agreed upon".