The best politics is no politics
By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator
2011 -- People don't realize that the jobs problem is not caused by a
downturn in the economy or recession but the off-shoring of investment,
research, development, production, jobs - the economy. The recession has
been over for a year and a half. But, in the last ten years we have off-shored
one-third of the nation's manufacture. South Carolina has lost 26,600
jobs, Michigan 832,000 jobs; Ohio 610,600 jobs. South Carolina lost the
textile industry long before the recession; North Carolina the furniture
industry; Michigan the automobile industry; and long before the recession
the best of innovation, Intel, had left for Ireland, then to China, and
now in Vietnam. Last year Silicon Valley had 22% unemployment.
economist, Alan Blinder, long before the recession, in February 2007,
estimated that in the next ten years the United States would lose an average
of three to four million jobs a year to off-shoring. General Motors is
producing more cars in China than in the United States.
Corporate America doesn't want our trade laws enforced, and President
Obama is obliging. Enforcing these laws would make the United States competitive
in globalization but displease China in its headlong drive to take over
the world economy. Corporate America will do anything to please China
for its off-shored production. In short, Corporate America is interested
in the economy of China, not the United States. To obscure its interest
in China, Corporate America engages in a tremendous charade to obscure
the trade war. Globalization is nothing more than a trade war with production
looking for a country cheaper to produce. So Corporate America cries:
"Anything can be produced anywhere." "The world is flat
and nothing can be done to bring the jobs home." "Free trade;"
"don't start a trade war." This belies our history.
The United States was born in a trade war, which continues today. The Mother Country prohibited manufacture in the Colony. The Navigation Act of 1635 required the Colony's trade to be carried in English bottoms. The Tea Tariff that caused the Boston Tea Party triggered the Revolution. Under the Constitution of 1787, Article I, Section 8, called on Congress to regulate trade, not free it. The founding fathers agreed on trade four years before they could agree on first amendment rights. Thank heavens the founders didn't opt for innovation, education or freebies for small business.
leadership of Alexander Hamilton they opted for manufacture, the engine
of growth. The first act of the first Congress in history on July 4, 1789,
was a protectionist trade tariff. We didn't pass the income tax until
1913. Manufacture financed and built the United States into an industrial
power the first hundred years with protectionism. Speaking of free trade,
in 1832 Henry Clay said: "It never existed; it never will exist
And President Teddy Roosevelt exclaimed in a letter: "Thank God I'm
not a Free Trader."
paid for the government in Washington in ten years, and all the President
suggests is to freeze some spending, which guarantees continuing deficits
in excess of $1 trillion each year. President Obama doesn't mention off-shoring
of jobs or the trade war. But he gets dramatic with a "Sputnik moment,"
calling for innovation and education to create jobs. As Andy Grove has
shown us, it pays to develop innovation off-shore. Silicon Valley has
engineers and Ph.D.s looking for a job for more than a year. South Carolina
needs a lot more educating, but we have the skills to produce "the
ultimate driving machine" for BMW and the Dreamliner for Boeing.
Draining the country of its manufacture and middle class, this is a "Pearl
Harbor moment." We need to get in the trade war.
follows suit. In the Harvard Business Review last year, Immelt states:
"To tap opportunities in emerging markets and pioneer value segments
in wealthy countries, companies must learn reverse innovation; developing
products in countries like China and India and then distributing them
globally." At his appointment Jeffrey Immelt published "A blueprint
for keeping America competitive," in which he states: "Those
who advocate increasing domestic manufacturing jobs by erecting trade
barriers have it exactly wrong." Immelt is exactly wrong. With communist
China controlling every phase of its economy, the only way for the United
States to compete in the trade war; the only way for the United States
to protect its production, environment and economy is by enforcing the
trade laws - by raising barriers.
Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of the recently published book, Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
© 2011, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
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