Although I agree with Mr. Biddle’s assertion that the educational experience of today’s students is woefully inadequate to the task of creating a knowledgeable work force, I think his arguments supporting “free trade” are not supported by the facts. We don’t have anything like “free trade,” regardless of whatever regional agreements with whomever signatory countries we’ve aligned ourselves with. Rather, we have “managed trade,” which is a costly bureaucratic nightmare for any company that attempts to do business in today’s international markets. In “managed trade,” we see expensive inequities and disparities foisted on businesses by governments around the world that would not stand up in a competitive capitalistic system. The social requirements of the welfare state demanded of businesses by these governments have undermined the ability of their own national companies to be successful. These governments then negotiate preferred status with their “free trade” partners to protect whatever market sector within their borders needs foreign assistance to remain solvent.
For misguided political reasons, successive U.S. governments have played this game with such foolish alacrity that we have lost our pre-eminence in many industries, such as energy, steel, machine tools, shipbuilding, electronics, garments, and now automobiles. There is no rationale for any “free trade” agreement to be of such scope and scale that it would fill the National Archives. Such agreements distort the markets and result in lost opportunities to employers and employees alike, and are usually “one-way” in their outcomes, that is, for the benefit of countries other than the U.S. These attempts of the politically well-connected to game the system result in the inability of businesses to be profitable here, the lack of employment options for workers, whether white collar (the H1-B Visa fiasco) or blue-collar (construction and trades job loss), and runaway illegal immigration.p>Perhaps it is time to take off the rose-colored glasses and objectively assess our position after over fifty years of “free trade” agreements, rather than blindly continuing this folly. We need to become advocates for truly open markets and demand that our trading partners do the same. If we don’t do this, any educational improvements we enjoy won’t be nearly enough to overcome these economic barriers to progress. br> — Harry Hill
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?