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Response to jpgray (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 07:18 AM

15. Here we go again. All of our problems are due to trade with those evil poor foreigners.

Let's do the "progressive" thing and build walls around the country to keep out immigrants and products made by these unsavory poor folks.

To do so would be stealing from the republican playbook of 1921 to 1930 when they passed two restrictive immigration laws (1921 and 1924) and two tariffs laws (1922 and 1930).

"Woodrow Wilson made a drastic lowering of tariff rates a major priority for his presidency. The 1913 Underwood Tariff cut rates..."

"When the Republicans regained power after the war they restored the usual high rates, with the Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922. When the Great Depression hit, international trade shrank drastically. The crisis baffled the GOP, and it unwisely tried its magic one last time in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930."

" Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Dealers made promises about lowering tariffs on a reciprocal country-by-country basis (which they did)..."

"After the war the U.S. promoted the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in 1947, to minimize tariffs and other restrictions, and to liberalize trade..."

"The GOP under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush abandoned the protectionist ideology..."


Until 1980 the republicans were the party of high tariffs (and restrictive immigration laws) and the Democratic Party promoted low tariffs (and liberal immigration laws such as the 1965 act). Since the republicans dropped their high-tariff policy in 1980's (and converted to FDR's commitment to promoting international trade), progressives are supposed to start pushing it in their place?

Bill Moyers had a great show a couple of weeks ago on how the progressive "socialist" countries of Europe have promoted a strong middle class. They have encouraged global poverty reduction while at the same time promoting employment and income equality at home. To summarize the show: Our economic problems are not caused by "others" but by actions that "we" have done to ourselves - repeatedly cutting taxes for the rich, weakening our unions, slashing our safety net, deregulating to the point of absurdity, etc.

Countries that have not cut taxes for the rich, weakened unions, slashed safety nets and recklessly deregulated have weathered the Great Recession relatively much better than Americans have with stronger economies, more equality and a stronger middle class, even though they trade with "poor" countries at a much higher level than we do.

In Europe they explicitly trade more with the Third World as a part of their global development strategy designed to help the poorest. Over the last 20 years it has been successful, as the UN's statistics show, while domestic economies in these progressive countries have continued to provide good jobs and better pay despite the global recession (which was caused by the US' financial industry, not by poor Third World workers).


America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.

How, in a nation as wealthy as America, can the economy simply stop working for people at large, while super-serving those at the very top? Through exhaustive research and analysis, the political scientists Hacker and Pierson — whom Bill regards as the “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” of economics — detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class.

Who’s the culprit? “American politics did it– far more than we would have believed when we started this research,” Hacker explains. “What government has done and not done, and the politics that produced it, is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.”

Bill considers their book the best he’s seen detailing “how politicians rewrote the rules to create a winner-take-all economy that favors the 1% over everyone else, putting our once and future middle class in peril.”

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jpgray Jan 2012 OP
upi402 Jan 2012 #1
russspeakeasy Jan 2012 #2
Bandit Jan 2012 #19
Populist_Prole Jan 2012 #27
NNN0LHI Jan 2012 #20
lonestarnot Jan 2012 #33
2ndAmForComputers Jan 2012 #3
freshwest Jan 2012 #30
2ndAmForComputers Jan 2012 #31
freshwest Jan 2012 #32
doc03 Jan 2012 #4
upi402 Jan 2012 #7
Populist_Prole Jan 2012 #28
xchrom Jan 2012 #5
DCKit Jan 2012 #8
xchrom Jan 2012 #13
freshwest Jan 2012 #6
snagglepuss Jan 2012 #11
jpgray Jan 2012 #18
freshwest Jan 2012 #23
Warpy Jan 2012 #9
snagglepuss Jan 2012 #10
freshwest Jan 2012 #12
BrendaBrick Jan 2012 #21
freshwest Jan 2012 #22
BrendaBrick Jan 2012 #25
freshwest Jan 2012 #29
eShirl Jan 2012 #14
LineReply Here we go again. All of our problems are due to trade with those evil poor foreigners.
pampango Jan 2012 #15
jpgray Jan 2012 #16
eShirl Jan 2012 #17
Ron Green Jan 2012 #24
Zalatix Jan 2012 #26
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