Today, there are very few national figures that are dissenting from the politically-correct viewpoint that free trade is a good thing. The vast majority of Republican politicians believe in free trade. The vast majority of Democrats believe in free trade. Barack Obama believes in free trade. Nancy Pelosi believes in free trade. Rush Limbaugh believes in free trade. Glenn Beck believes in free trade. In fact, just about anyone who goes on mainstream media and starts speaking out against free trade is immediately branded an idiot who does not understand the first thing about economics. So considering the fact that leaders on both sides of the “political spectrum” fully embrace free trade, shouldn’t we just go with the consensus and consider the debate about trade to be over? Well, there is just one problem. All of this globalism and free trade is killing the American Dream and is destroying the American middle class.
But isn’t being able to purchase products at the store for a much lower price a good thing? If China can make clothing much cheaper than we can, then why shouldn’t our clothes be made in their factories?
Well, it turns out that free trade and low prices come with a shockingly high cost.
The following are 10 reasons why globalism and free trade are really bad for middle class Americans….
1- Millions upon millions of good paying middle class jobs have been outsourced and offshored and they are never coming back. The transition to a global economy has put middle class American workers in direct competition with the cheapest labor in the world. The gigantic global predator corporations that now dominate the world economy have made their choice and they are moving factories and offices out of the United States at a staggering rate. 30 million Americans are now unemployed or underemployed. Today there are approximately 6 unemployed Americans for every single job opening. But why should giant global corporations hire middle class Americans? In many areas of the third world, the taxes are much lower, regulations are virtually non-existent and highly-motivated workers will gladly work for less than a tenth of what a middle class American worker would make.
2 – The millions of American workers that have lost their jobs end up being supported by the government. The truth is that we pay for American workers one way or another. Either we buy the products and services they create or we support welfare payments to them. In the United States today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to an all-time record of 35.2 weeks. The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits is at record levels. The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a new all-time record of 40.8 million in May. In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps has set a new all-time record for 18 months in a row. One way or another, we are going to end up financially supporting American workers. Would you rather buy their products and services or would you rather have your taxes raised to pay for their welfare benefits?
3- In our new system of “global trade”, the profits that are made leave our communities. When you buy something at Wal-Mart, the profits do not stay in your local community. Instead, that money leaves and it goes to support sweatshop workers in China and the third world, and it goes to fatten the wallets of the Walton family and other Wal-Mart owners. The only thing the local community gets out of the deal is a bunch of minimum wage “jobs” that do not pay nearly enough to support a family.
4 – Globalism and free trade provides jobs in China, India and dozens of third world nations and it enables big global corporations to make larger profits. That sounds like a good deal, right? Unfortunately, there is a big loser in all of this. The big loser is the American middle class. The truth is that free trade is enabling the rich to get richer, is causing the poor to get poorer and is destroying the American middle class. If you doubt that the American middle class is being wiped out of existence, then please read the following article that we previously did on this topic: 22 Statistics That Prove That The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America.
5- In the name of “free trade”, big global corporations are able to operate sweatshops around the globe in countries where there is very little regulation, and they are able to pay these workers little more than slave labor wages. The truth is that case after case after case has been documented of big, global corporations running sweatshops where children work in some of the most horrific conditions imaginable. But as long as we are able to save 50 cents down at the Wal-Mart what do we care, right?
6 – Over the past 20 years, the U.S. trade deficit has exploded to nightmarish proportions. Every single day, we buy much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us. The massive transfer of wealth that this is creating is absolutely staggering. Each year, somewhere between a half trillion and a trillion dollars of our national wealth gets transferred out of the United States. Free trade is literally bleeding us dry in slow motion, but nobody seems to want to do anything to stop it.
7 – Globalism and free trade give each of us less political control over the economy. Back in the old days, our representatives could very easily regulate American companies and American workers. But today, our representatives simply do not have much power over what is happening in China, India and dozens of other third world nations around the globe. So if you or I wanted to change the global economy, exactly how are we supposed to go about doing that?
8 – Thousands and thousands of products are now made outside the United States far from the watchful eyes of our regulatory agencies. Not that our regulatory agencies are doing much good anyway, but the reality is that many of the products made over in China and in other nations have proven to be very dangerous to American consumers. The U.S. government can try to do their best to regulate what is sold inside the United States, but the reality is that it is really hard to control what is being done on the other side of the world, and as these past couple of years have demonstrated, way too many dangerous products have been slipping through the cracks.
9- Globalism and free trade are big steps towards world government. After all, what does a global economy require? Well, it requires global rules and regulations. So who will implement and enforce those global rules and regulations? Global organizations of course. Today, the G20, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank and hordes of regional trade agreements govern the world economy. What an average middle class American has to say is essentially meaningless in such a system.
10 – All of this “free trade” has enabled the economies of nations such as communist China to dramatically expand while formerly great American manufacturing cities such as Detroit have slowly been dying a brutal death. China has gone from a third world nation to a major world superpower. The Chinese economy is now the second largest in the world. This would have never have happened without the tremendous amount of trade that we have developed with them. All of this new affluence is allowing the Chinese government to dramatically upgrade and modernize its military. If one day we find ourselves in a war against the Chinese military we will be fighting a monster of our own creation.
So, while China and India are booming, unemployment is spreading like a plague all over the United States. If you doubt this, take just 38 seconds to watch the video posted below….
So is there anything we can do about globalism and free trade?
Well, yes there is.
It may not be much, but we can all act on a local and an individual level.
We can all make the choice to start buying more American-made products.
We can all start saying no to the gigantic global predator corporations that dominate our economic landscape.
In fact, some local communities are banding together to take a stand. A growing number of U.S. towns are actually passing laws to keep the big retail chains out of their neighborhoods.
But is there anything that can be done on the national level?
Well, for right now both political parties are completely dominated by politicians that firmly back globalism and free trade.
But starting with the 2010 elections we have the opportunity to start changing that. We need to make globalism and free trade important political issues. We need to make the American people realize that millions of their jobs have been shipped overseas and that millions more of their jobs will be offshored and outsourced if something is not done quickly.
Hopefully the American people can divert their attention from Lady Gaga, Brett Favre, American Idol, Justin Bieber, Dancing with the Stars and the latest Hollywood movies long enough to do something about the issues that really matter to all of us.
But I wouldn’t count on it.