The U.S. government has become too dependent on foreign debt, largely due to our unfunded wars and an over-reaching military spread all over the globe. Unnecessary spending on wars and empire expansion should not be an excuse to cut government spending on necessary programs. With tax reform, we could cut debt while making sure Americans can still retire with dignity and, on top of all that, care for the poor. In other words, we need to fix the system to provide for America without punishing working Americans.
We should not have to depend so heavily on foreign imports. We are losing an average of $600 billion a year in our massive trade deficit. If we make more needed goods here, that money could remain in the states – keeping the middle class alive, rather than on food stamps and unemployment. We have had these trade deficits for far too long. Tariffs should be a part of the answer – other nations should pay for the privilege of selling to the largest consumer country in the world. In addition, reducing the income tax and adding a value-added tax would also level the playing field and bring back American jobs.
Companies should not need to rely on outsourced jobs that American workers used to use to feed their families. Self-sufficient American companies should be incentivized to hire American citizens and penalized for outsourcing. Corporations should be held responsible for the damage they are doing to the American economy.
We need to work now for future generations. America ranks below the top 20 countries in education. This is unacceptable. Without a proper education, the youth of today will not be able to ensure a better tomorrow. In addition, college education or vocational training should be affordable to all. An educated America is a working, innovative and productive America.
Net neutrality, green technology and space exploration should also be a top priority to keep the American economy healthy and strong. We should be leaders in these fields, not followers. There is no reason the U.S. should be importing innovation or manufacturing.
America, it is time we broke free from our vicious cycle and started fresh. Not with blood or bullets, but with real hope and real change, leaving false promises behind us. The New Dream for America should be equality and a vision for a better future for the coming generations. Let’s stop talking about it and work together to make it happen.
When NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was passed, many people feared the worst. The results have indeed been disastrous for the U.S. Economy:
- The trade deficit with Mexico has exploded
- Mexican wages remain nearly as low as they were prior to NAFTA and are still a small fraction of our average wages
- Wealth and power has not filtered to the people. Most of Mexico is still controlled by less than 100 corporations in Mexico
- Many of our other trading partners have relocated facilities to Mexico to circumvent other trade agreements with the U.S.
- American manufacturing has lost 1 million jobs in the past 20 years as U.S. companies have also moved to Mexico for lower wages and lax regulation
The evidence was clear that NAFTA would be a disaster.
Imagine if Congress decided that a single state, such as California or Michigan, was in desperate need of jobs and investment and made dramatic changes to boost that state’s economy.
Imagine Congress did the following for only that one American state:
- Dropped the minimum wage to $3 per hour
- Exempted them from child labor laws
- Expanded the work week
- Reduced health and work place safety laws
- Banned unions
- Reduced protection for the environment
What would you think of that? You and the other 49 states might agree that this was absolutely ridiculous!
But this is exactly what is happening right now with NAFTA and other “free” trade agreements, like the KORUS FTA (Korean.S. Free Trade Agreement). Not with California or Michigan, but with Mexico and Canada from the time NAFTA was passed. Why would any company manufacture in the U.S. now when it can produce next-door in Mexico with all these unfair advantages?
Because of disastrous “free trade” agreements like NAFTA and the KORUS FTA, our productive factories are shutting down. Millions of jobs are disappearing. Enrollment on programs like food stamps is exploding. Poverty is becoming an epidemic.
Our government allows outsourcers to ship our jobs overseas, which results in millions of dollars in profits for them, while our middle class erodes.
The quickest solution is to penalize outsourcing, establish tariffs and incentivize production. We can either do this–or enact similar changes–or the millions of our jobless will soon storm out of their homeless shelters and take to the streets to demand new elections, to select leaders who can actually lift them and the rest of the nation out of poverty and starvation.
The current system of “free trade” is not working for the United States. “Free trade” means unrestricted, uncontrolled access to our economy—tariff- and duty-free—for goods made in foreign countries for $4-per-hour or less. We cannot compete with these wages so we are forced to choose between going bankrupt, outsourcing nearly all of our manufacturing, or simply selling out.
Unfortunately for 99% of the U.S. public, we are at the mercy of the one-percenters. This greedy group of people include corrupt politicians, corporations like Walmart, and lobbyists. This avaricious bunch are all out to benefit from damaging “free trade” agreements while the rest of the United States is left to suffer the loss of jobs and even entire cities. Witness Detroit.
Just when did this economic decline, fueled by “free trade,” begin?
At the start of the 21st century, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported the United States was producing 32% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, we were sporting a budget surplus. Our government was actually receiving more than it was spending. However, over the course of the decade, that 32% decreased to 24%. The scary thing is that this figure is still declining. Even more alarming is that the surplus we started the 21st century with has now morphed into a gigantic deficit.
As our GDP declined during the first decade, so too did our manufacturing sector. Due to harmful “free trade” agreements and outsourcing jobs overseas, between 25% and 35% of our manufacturing jobs disappeared. In addition, the wages of U.S. workers did not increase and that national debt is still climbing today.
Jobs aren’t the only casualties in “free trade,” though. “Free trade” has also led to the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world thanks to the removal of tariffs!
Trillions of U.S. dollars have been lost in our colossal trade deficit due to the removal of tariffs. Tariff-free imports are one of the largest barriers to “free trade”. The absence of tariffs tends to favor the country with lower wage-rates. This results in the lower wage-rate country enjoying a transfer of production benefits from the higher wage-rate country. And while there are supposed to be reciprocating benefits in the form of lower prices for the outsourcing country, the reality is an increase in that nation’s income disparity and the deterioration of its manufacturing capabilities.
Despite the horde of notable politicians, economists, journalists and industrialists that have spoken out against “free trade”, our elected leaders have done nothing to cut our ties with the harmful practice. This is frightening, since there exists no intelligible argument supporting our continued involvement in “free trade” agreements. They are damaging our industries, decimating jobs and crushing our ability to compete on the global economic stage.
“Free trade” has effectively rendered the United States uncompetitive. In order to ensure a strong economic future, it is imperative that the U.S. cut ties with all of our “free trade” pacts. We must act now, before it is too late!
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