Thursday, May 21, 2015
Buchanan strikes back
I like a lot of what Pat Buchanan says -- his knowledge of history is exceptional -- but I disagree with his views below. He clearly has no background in economics. His major point below is that largely bipartisan measures fostering free trade have led to a large loss of American factory jobs -- with most consumer products now being made in China. What he refuses to look at is the great enrichment of Americans that freeish trade has brought about. You now get far more for your dollar by buying Chinese. It's much the same in Australia. I have seen the price of some electrical goods plummet from around $100 to $10. That's phenomenal.
Buchanan notes that America is now much less self-sufficient than it was but America is not at war with the rest of the world and the huge trade relationship with China is surely a strong force for peace. America would not want to cut itself off from its major supplier and China would not want to cut itself off from its major customer.
And the situation in fact gives America a lot of leverage. If China became particularly annoying, America could without great bother embargo the import of all Chinese products. Suppliers in Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere could readily take up the slack and replace China as suppliers. China, on the other hand, could not at all replace America as a customer. So China has now to a substantial extent put itself in America's power. Not that the black jellyfish in the White House at present would ever exercise such power.
And moving Americans out of assembly line jobs surely has a lot to be said for it also
As Middle America rises in rage against "fast track" and the mammoth Obamatrade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Wall Street Journal has located the source of the malady.
Last Monday's lead editorial began:
"Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats."
But, woe is us, "the GOP's Buchanan wing is making a comeback."
Now it is true that, while Nixon and Reagan won 49-state landslides and gave the GOP five victories in six presidential contests, the party has fallen upon hard times. Only once since 1988 has a Republican presidential nominee won the popular vote.
But was this caused by following this writer's counsel? Or by the GOP listening to the deceptions of its Davos-Doha-Journal wing?
In the 1990s, this writer and allies in both parties fought NAFTA, GATT and MFN for China. The Journal and GOP establishment ran with Bill and Hillary and globalization. And the fruits of their victory?
Between 2000 and 2010, 55,000 U.S. factories closed and 5 million to 6 million manufacturing jobs disappeared. Columnist Terry Jeffrey writes that, since 1979, the year of maximum U.S. manufacturing employment, "The number of jobs in manufacturing has declined by 7,231,000 — or 37 percent."
Does the Journal regard this gutting of the greatest industrial base the world had ever seen, which gave America an independence no republic had ever known, an acceptable price of its New World Order?
Beginning in 1991, traveling the country and visiting plant after plant that was shutting down or moving to Asia or Mexico, some of us warned that this economic treason against America's workers would bring about political retribution. And so it came to pass.
Since 1988, a free-trade Republican Party has not once won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois or Wisconsin in a presidential election. Ohio, the other great Midwest industrial state, is tipping. The Reagan Democrats are gone. Who cast them aside? You or us?
Since the early 1990s, we have run $3 billion to $4 billion in trade deficits with China. Last year's was $325 billion, or twice China's defense budget. Are not all those factories, jobs, investment capital and consumer dollars pouring into China a reason why Beijing has been able to build mighty air and naval fleets, claim sovereignty over the South and East China seas, fortify reefs 1,000 miles south of Hainan Island, and tell the U.S. Navy to back off?
The Journal accuses us of being anti-growth. But as trade surpluses add to a nation's GDP, trade deficits subtract from it. Does the Journal think our $11 trillion in trade deficits since 1992 represents a pro-growth policy?
On immigration, this writer did campaign on securing the border in 1991-92, when there were 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
But the Bush Republicans refused to seal the border.
Now there are 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants and the issue is tearing the party apart. Now everybody is for "secure borders."
We did urge a "moratorium" on legal immigration, such as America had from 1924 to 1965, to assimilate and Americanize the millions who had come. The Journal Republicans called that xenophobia.
Since then, tens of millions of immigrants, here legally and illegally, mostly from the Third World, have arrived. Economically, they consume more in tax dollars than they contribute.
Politically, most belong to ethnic groups that vote between 70 and 90 percent Democratic. Their children will bury the GOP.
Consider California, which voted for Nixon all five times he was on a national ticket and for Reagan in landslides all four times he ran.
Since 1988, California has not gone Republican in a single presidential election. No Republican holds statewide office. Both U.S. Senators are Democrats. Democrats have 39 of 53 U.S. House seats. Republican state legislators are outnumbered 2-to-1.
Americans of European descent, who provide the GOP with 90 percent of its presidential vote, are down to 63 percent of the nation and falling. By 2042, they will be a minority. And there goes the GOP.
Jindal on Hillary Clinton's Vision: 'It Sounds Like Reeducation Camps'
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.-La.) told Fox News on Sunday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded like she was pushing for “re-education camps” when she said "deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed" on abortion.
"The reality is first of all you listen to her language: ‘our religious beliefs need to be changed.’ It sounds like reeducation camps. She didn't say specifically how she wants us to change our beliefs. My religious beliefs aren't between me and Hillary Clinton. They're between me and God," Jindal said.
Jindal was asked what he thought about Clinton saying religious beliefs will have to be changed in terms of abortion.
Speaking at the "Women in the World" Summit last month, Clinton said women won't have full access to "reproductive health care" until "deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases" are changed.
"Yes we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half but far too many women are denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. All the laws we've passed don't count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed," Clinton said.
Jindal also criticized Clinton and the left for how they construe freedom of religion.
"That's the dangerous view of the left. You hear Hillary Clinton, President Obama, when they say you've got freedom of religious expression. For them what that really means is you're allowed to go to church and say whatever you want for an hour or two a week. That doesn't mean you've got the real religious liberty rights our Founding Fathers intended. They intended we should be able to live our lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to our beliefs," Jindal said.
"Our Founding Fathers would never recognize what the left is trying to do. They're trying to take God out of the public square. They're trying to make America a much more secular country. They're trying to make faith something that is private, circumscribed, something you've got to put into a corner. That's not the America our Founding Fathers would've recognized, not an America our parents would've recognized. It's not an America I hope our children recognize,” he said.
Sharpton's Daughter Learns the Shakedown
Dominique Sharpton believes NYC owes her $5 mil because that's where she was when she tripped and sprained her ankle.
Al Sharpton's oldest daughter, 29 year old Dominique, has filed a lawsuit against New York City because she tripped while crossing the street and sprained her ankle. The alleged fall happened in October of last year, and she was pictured wearing a walking boot several times in the following few weeks. Shortly afterwards, she began wearing very high heels again, demonstrating that her ankle had healed. By December, she was participating in her father's Justice for All March through DC.
In the lawsuit she claims that her fall left her "severely injured, bruised, and wounded." Although she stated on her social media pages that she "sprained [her] ankle real bad lol," the lawsuit alleges that her unspecified injuries were much more severe. She and her lawyer claim she has, "internal and external injuries to the whole body, lower and upper limbs, the full extent of which are unknown, permanent pain and mental anguish."
These claims of full-body injury and "permanent pain," may be difficult to prove, given that she recently climbed a mountain while vacationing in Bali. She posted a selfie taken from the top of the mountain on her social media pages. It's unlikely that she would have been able to perform that feat were she still in pain. It's even more unlikely that a simple sprain or bruising from a typical trip would cause "permanent pain." If she were truly "still suffering," as the lawsuit alleges climbing a mountain should have been nearly impossible.
Dominique is seeking $5 million from the city to compensate for her "loss of quality of life, future pain and suffering, future medical bills, and future diminution of income."
No explanation has been offered as to how a sprained ankle last October will affect her income in the future. She works for her father's organization and none of the work she does should be anywhere near as physical as climbing a mountain.
Obama's slimy language again
In a recent panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama gave another demonstration of his mastery of rhetoric — and disregard of reality.
One of the ways of fighting poverty, he proposed, was to “ask from society’s lottery winners” that they make a “modest investment” in government programs to help the poor.
Since free speech is guaranteed to everyone by the First Amendment to the Constitution, there is nothing to prevent anybody from asking anything from anybody else. But the federal government does not just “ask” for money. It takes the money it wants in taxes, usually before the people who have earned it see their paychecks.
Despite pious rhetoric on the left about “asking” the more fortunate for more money, the government does not “ask” anything. It seizes what it wants by force. If you don’t pay up, it can take not only your paycheck, it can seize your bank account, put a lien on your home and/or put you in federal prison.
So please don’t insult our intelligence by talking piously about “asking.”
And please don’t call the government’s pouring trillions of tax dollars down a bottomless pit “investment.” Remember the soaring words from Barack Obama, in his early days in the White House, about “investing in the industries of the future”? After Solyndra and other companies in which he “invested” the taxpayers' money went bankrupt, we haven’t heard those soaring words so much.
Then there are those who produced the wealth that politicians want to grab. In Obama’s rhetoric, these producers are called “society’s lottery winners.”
Was Bill Gates a lottery winner? Or did he produce and sell a computer operating system that allows billions of people around the world to use computers, without knowing anything about the inner workings of this complex technology?
Was Henry Ford a lottery winner? Or did he revolutionize the production of automobiles, bringing the price down to the point where cars were no longer luxuries of the rich but vehicles that millions of ordinary people could afford, greatly expanding the scope of their lives?
Most people who want to redistribute wealth don’t want to talk about how that wealth was produced in the first place. They just want “the rich” to pay their undefined “fair share” of taxes. This “fair share” must remain undefined because all it really means is “more.”
Once you have defined it — whether at 30 percent, 60 percent or 90 percent — you wouldn’t be able to come back for more.
Obama goes further than other income redistributionists. “You didn’t build that!” he declared to those who did. Why? Because those who created additions to the world’s wealth used government-built roads or other government-provided services to market their products.
And who paid for those roads and other government-provided services if not the taxpayers? Since all other taxpayers, as well as non-taxpayers, also use government facilities, why are those who created private wealth not to use them also, since they are taxpayers as well?
The fact that most of the rhetorical ploys used by Barack Obama and other redistributionists will not stand up under scrutiny means very little politically. After all, how many people who come out of our schools and colleges today are capable of critical scrutiny?
When all else fails, redistributionists can say, as Obama did at Georgetown University, that “coldhearted, free-market capitalist types” are people who “pretty much have more than you’ll ever be able to use and your family will ever be able to use,” so they should let the government take that extra money to help the poor.
Slippery use of the word “use” seems to confine it to personal consumption. The real question is whether the investment of wealth is likely to be done better by those who created that wealth in the first place or by politicians. The track record of politicians hardly suggests that turning ever more of a nation’s wealth over to them is likely to turn out well.
It certainly has not turned out well in the American economy under Barack Obama.
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Posted by JR at 12:34 AM