The United States has morphed from a manufacturing society to a service society, leading to the greatest number of unemployed and underemployed Americans since the Great Depression. With working Americans making less and less, the U.S. is running out of funding for its welfare programs. This is happening at a time when programs like health care and welfare are becoming more and more necessary for the underemployed to make ends meet.
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“Free trade” would more accurately be called “freedom for other countries to undercut and destroy American domestic production” because in practice that is what is happening. This is an undeniable fact that should be obvious to any consumer or business in this country. Very little of what is consumed here is made by American-owned companies operating in America. This was not formerly the case, and it was not how the wealth of this country was created.
For a long time now, observers have been predicting that China will be the dominant super power of the latter half of this century. At the rate they are growing, they look poised to turn this prediction into a reality very soon. As they stake their claim to the throne, and unseat the United States, it is maddening to reflect on how we have done so much to make them more powerful at our expense.
President Obama has come under much deserved criticism for the secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. After all, if he isn’t doing anything wrong, what does he have to hide? What is true of the TPP, and all other trade negotiations, should be a rule of thumb for other government activities. It is high time our Federal Reserve—America’s central bank—had an audit.
No country or civilization has ever risen to such wealth and power to have receded so quickly to stagnation, dependency and indebtedness. The reason is twofold: our disastrous “free trade” agreements and our membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).