LETTER: Bring back protectionism

Many ideas have been floated at the Jobs Summit, including the training of people for jobs that don't exist. The plain fact is that
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Many ideas have been floated at the Jobs Summit, including the training of people for jobs that don't exist. The plain fact is that we can't go on forever by processing information, running shopping centers and selling services. Someone somewhere must produce something. And that is the flaw in the global economy. It's a fatal flaw. The outsourcing model has failed. Despite the propagandists and deniers, the outsourcing model has failed and the sooner we realize that, the better off we will be.

To stop the increase in unemployment we need to rebuild America's manufacturing base. We can't depend on someone getting one of the few green jobs that might be "created." We can't depend on false government jobs everyone has to pay for. And we can't compete with dollar-an-hour jobs in China.

What we need is good old-fashioned protectionism, the kind that built America. We need to hit China and Mexico with staggering tariffs -- tariffs high enough to encourage United States manufacturers to start up the factories again. We need thousands of jobs, and manufacturing can provide them. If we risk export business, you should know that exports represent only 13 percent of the economy. Now is the time to take care of the other 87 percent.

Write or call your senators and representatives and tell them you want protectionism and you want a job.

Carl R. Goodwin

Norwalk

Comments

STREAK90

Amen Mr. Goodwin! It galls me to think that this government of ours thinks we are that stupid to believe that products made overseas are cheaper. That's one of the first things they try to bring up on all these talk shows who support the outsourcing of jobs to other countries. If the economy and housing market are ever going to recover people here in the U.S.A are going to need more than minimum wage or temporary jobs. Bring your business back where it belongs.

brutus smith

I'll drink to that Carl.

6079 Smith W

Quoting Mr. Goodwin:

'What we need is good old-fashioned protectionism,'

With all due respect, your wrongheaded idea is about 200 yrs. too late.

For one, throwing up trade barriers will only encourage trade wars - which nobody wins.

The U.S. is the number three exporter in the world. What do you think protectionism will do to those exports?

2. Assuming that protectionism will somehow cause factories in the Flats to sprout miraculously like mushrooms is naive. It’s a pure fallacy to assume that it will occur. Capital is needed, where will it come from?

3. Protectionism is for developing nations, not for developed like the U.S.

4. The U.S. still has a large manufacturing base it’s just that much of it is automated. We don’t need several workers standing around watching a functioning robot.

5. Arguing for a return of high-paying inefficient and unproductive manufacturing jobs is akin to asking the U.S. to once again become an agrarian society.

If your argument has any credibility, you should also argue that we as a nation should also grow our own food stuffs.

Study capital flows Mr. Goodwin, the problem ain’t the loss of ‘jobs,’ it’s the flow of capital to where it is best being rewarded.

Know this:

As China and other developing economies are to the U.S. and Europe, the U.S. was to Britain in the nineteenth century.

Britain once led the world in textiles, then production moved to New England, then South, then to India and China.

Protectionism will cause the U.S. standard of living to decline along with severe inflation and a loss of innovation.

The unintended consequences of protectionism will cause the almost complete opposite of what it is that you desire.

Kindly tell me where historically or in the present where protectionism worked or is working for a betterment in the quality of life for the population.

Duhast

Winston,

I know this is rare, but I actually agree with you. I work in manufacturing. Fortunately, it’s not auto related. Anyway, I’ve dealt with Chinese workers. Very good at cheap assembly line labor, but when it comes to engineering and critical thinking, their general laborers fall short. It would be very short sighted to assume that all American manufacturers will spend capital to build new plants and train a whole bunch of well paid US workers. No, America will excel with college educated professionals in the technical, service, and medical fields.

brutus smith

The service industry will not save this country. Once again all smoke and mirrors with no facts. What a shill for the rich.

Duhast

Brutus,

It is not possible to compete with the 3rd world labor rates. Eventually, as the standard of living increases in China, their workers will demand higher wages and things will equalize. Don’t look at that happening anytime soon.

brutus smith

Cleaners 'worth more to society' than bankers - study

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/busin...

That is where protectionism comes in Duhast. Those other countries do it, China, Japan, you know the ones with the money.

6079 Smith W

duhast wrote on Dec 14, 2009 4:11 PM:

'...their workers will demand higher wages and things will equalize. Don’t look at that happening anytime soon.'

Agreed.

Currently the U.S. has an approx. 10-to-1 ratio in wage scales with developing countries like China.

Studies have estimated that approx. 500 million Chinese will relocate from rural to urban areas by the yr. 2025.

This migration will cause tremendous downward pressure on wages for low-skilled workers, keeping labor costs depressed for an appreciable time.

In the nineteenth century, the U.S. essentially copied and stole Britain’s technology; eventually we began to innovate. Expect a similar paradigm shift with the Chinese.

6079 Smith W

Mr. Goodwin writes:

'…exports represent only 13 percent of the (U.S.) economy.’

Source?

The U.S. is the third largest exporter in the world with $1.3 trillion.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publ...

In a developed economy with a large domestic consumer class, exports should be a smaller portion of GDP.

Much of what we produce, we consume.

The Chinese economy is a developing one and they do not as yet have a very large domestic consumer base.

-----------

So if we throw up trade barriers, exactly what is the U.S. producing and to whom are we exporting it?

----------

As the largest (and growing) debtor nation in the history of the world, the U.S. is exceptionally good at importing capital and exporting debt.

Unlike our Asian friends, the Chinese and Japanese, we Americans are spenders – not savers.

6079 Smith W

brutus smith wrote on Dec 14, 2009 2:50 PM:

‘What a shill for the rich.’

@ Censors: Why is this name calling allowed?

6079 Smith W

Hey duhast! Let’s agree to agree again - someday.

I love the following short Milton Friedman story regarding employment:

http://tarpon.wordpress.com/2009...

Duhast

I certainly don’t like the outsourcing and would love to see some tariffs in response to Chinese tariffs on US autos and some other goods. But, we are not the only customers of China. The UK and most of Europe also buys Chinese goods. By starting a trade war with them, we would be hurting ourselves much more than China.

As insane as this sounds, I think the only thing that can save us from cheap labor is when the foreign workers themselves make par wages. However, as this happens, we will simply switch countries. You’ve seen it before. Everything was made In Japan, then Taiwan, then Mexico, and now China. I hope the majority of products don’t say made in USA. Because, by then WE will be the third world country.

brutus smith

A shill is an associate of a person selling goods or services or a political group, who pretends no association to the seller/group and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer. The intention of the shill is, using crowd psychology, to encourage others unaware of the set-up to purchase said goods or services or support the political group's ideological claims. Shills are often employed by confidence artists. The term plant is also used

6079 Smith W

brutus smith wrote on Dec 15, 2009 2:19 PM:

‘A shill is (snip)'

Then you’re an admitted shill for ‘confidence artist’ Obama and the lefty loonies?

In the name of accuracy, you honestly need to read what you’ve copied and apply it to yourself

Name calling is name calling no matter how ineptly you attempt to explain yourself.

Follow duhast's lead - the man chooses to debate ideas, not to attempt to debase the debater in a childish manner with ad hominem attacks.

6079 Smith W

According to the U.S. Treasury, a major U.S. export – debt, hasn’t been going so well recently.

Foreigners are increasingly becoming net purchasers and U.S. buyers aren’t picking up the slack:

http://www.treas.gov/press/relea...

A good article on the growing U.S. debt problem:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/...

6079 Smith W

@ duhast:

Overall, I agree with your assessment; however, you wrote:

‘As insane as this sounds, I think the only thing that can save us from cheap labor is when the foreign workers themselves make par wages.’

With that in mind, should the wage scale for a similar job be the same all across the U.S.?

Which standard of living scale should we use – NYC? LA? Sheep Dip, MT?

Rising wages tends to create inflation, which usually leads to devaluation in the currency.

If you make more money, but it’s purchasing power is worth less, what have you gained?

The importation of cheap foreign goods over the past couple of decades has increased the overall U.S. standard of living and has had a deflationary effect on the U.S. economy.

Increases in productivity leads to growth – you do the same amount of work with less effort thereby creating capital.

-----------

IMO, basic economics and personal finance should be taught in every U.S. school beginning at the elementary levels.

The deep level of financial ignorance in the richest country in the world is a national disgrace.

6079 Smith W

No one has yet to answer my question:

So if we throw up trade barriers, exactly what is the U.S. producing and to whom are we exporting it?

------------

On Mar. 26, 2009, Obama said himself that low-skilled, high paying jobs aren't coming back:

‘…not all of these jobs are going to come back. And it probably wouldn't be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because, frankly, there's no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs -- at least in order to be competitive in an international setting.’

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/2...

Obama’s advice? Education.

But becoming educated doing ‘what’; therein lies the quandary…

Duhast

Winston, I studied electronics and controls, not economics. I wish had the answers, but much smarter people the me are on the job. I do believe that as the Chinese middle class grows, they will start to give the Communist party trouble.

As for American jobs: The Chinese are very good at low cost assembly. But when it comes to large scale quality equipment which requires skilled labor to assemble, we have them. As I said, I work in manufacturing. We build industrial equipment. Yes, there is a host of cheap Chinese equipment in Asia. It is tough to sell in that market. But in the US and Canada, there are buyers who want cheap. But, the majority want a quality peace of equipment that will last may years and not need replaced in very few. These are companies that run high production and can not afford to be down. They do not want to wait 4-6 weeks for a boat to deliver a replacement part.

You can also see this in the Auto market. The Japanese cars do well because they are made well at an affordable price. You don’t buy a Kia and expect it to go 200k miles. If our auto industry has actually produced quality equipment, it would have sold. I drive a Mazda and my wife drives a GM. Both are the same age. Hers has had multiple warranty fixes and still has issues. Mine has never had more than an oil change.

brutus smith

Calling you a moron would be name calling. Describing what you do is truth telling. The gig is up.

brutus smith

Duhast, you are wasting your time with someone who never got his hands dirty in his life.

6079 Smith W

duhast wrote on Dec 16, 2009 8:32 AM:

‘The Chinese are very good at low cost assembly. But when it comes to large scale quality equipment which requires skilled labor to assemble, we have them.’

‘We have them’ – For now.

Over the coming short decades, there is little doubt that their quality will improve as will their innovation.

Their manned and unmanned space program highly illustrates their technological prowess.

They are building commercial aircraft that will eventually compete with Boeing.

In the future, those in the U.S. with an education in marketable skills should continue to do well.

But we have an educational dearth in the country that will most likely be our ultimate undoing. What are we as a society to do with a permanent underclass of unproductive wards of the state?

Economics? More art than science. Pleading ignorance is no excuse.

I have a liberal arts BA, allied with business experience, but I've also educated myself and attempt whenever possible not to risk my family’s economic and financial future to the whims of ‘experts.’

I perform due diligence whenever possible and do not play the blame game or 'victim' when one of my decisions does not meet its expectations.

6079 Smith W

brutus smith wrote on Dec 16, 2009 9:56 AM:

" Duhast, you are wasting your time with someone who never got his hands dirty in his life. "

LOL. And tell me little troll, what factories have you worked in?

6079 Smith W

What is an internet troll?

According to one author:

'I believe that most trolls are sad people, living their lonely lives vicariously through those they see as strong and successful.

Disrupting a stable newsgroup gives the illusion of power, just as for a few, stalking a strong person allows them to think they are strong, too.

For trolls, any response is 'recognition'; they are unable to distinguish between irritation and admiration; their ego grows directly in proportion to the response, regardless of the form or content of that response.

Trolls, rather surprisingly, dispute this, claiming that it's a game or joke; this merely confirms the diagnosis; how sad do you have to be to find such mind-numbingly trivial timewasting to be funny?

Remember that trolls are cowards; they'll usually post just enough to get an argument going, then sit back and count the responses (Yes, that's what they do!).’

bs how does that description not fit you perfectly?

http://www.flayme.com/troll/#What

brutus smith

Ohhhh, so it is you posting as someone else on the Bellevue strike blog. I knew it was either you or goofus. Way to expose yourself Winnie. The gig is up.