Eight Ways “Free Trade” Is Destroying America
Instead of fair trade, America has turned to “free trade” as its dominant trading policy. This is like turning from milk to gasoline in your drinking policy. “Free trade” has taken America from the world’s superpower to a second-rate nation and it’s getting worse. Here are eight ways in which “free trade” is killing our economy.
1. “Free trade” leads to more imports. Because the United States does not protect itself but throws its borders wide open to any nation that wants to sell here, our producers have to compete with nation’s whose wages are abysmally low, too low for American workers to match. Consequently, these imports are cheap and Americans start buying them up. Unfortunately, this means we produce less, since foreigners are doing it for us.
2. “Free trade” kills American jobs. When these imports come in and are bought instead of the American-made product, this naturally reduces the American share of the market. With less demand for American goods, American companies close down (or, more likely, move overseas to take advantage of the cheap labor). Ever wonder why our true unemployment rate is around 23%? It’s because producers don’t want to produce here.
3. “Free trade” erodes our tax base. When companies leave and jobs die, there is obviously less for the government to tax. But the population of the United States does not change, just the job market and industrial base. The government still needs the same funds, but it is reduced to trying to squeeze more juice out of a smaller orange, which also hurts the economy.
4. It increases debt. Because the government cannot get the revenue it needs from our tax base, it must take on loans, mostly from foreigners. This is why our federal debt has reached over $17.5 trillion. Private debt is also on the rise. People without jobs cannot pay off debts like mortgages and college loans, and might even need to take on more credit card debt to get by. The total debt in the United States is staggering, and we are suffocating under it.
5. It makes government less effective. With fewer funds and a limit to how much other countries will lend us, our government does not have the necessary funds to perform its basic functions. Laws, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act, get passed but not fully implemented. Bureaus must cut back on the extent of the services they provide. This is also why our infrastructure is in such bad shape.
6. It endangers our food supply. The lack of revenue hits us in a lot of ways. Our FDA cannot inspect more than 1% – 2% of the food we import each year, despite its coming from countries with terrible sanitation standards. Not only do foreign food producers get to access our market for free, they send us toxic food in the process! This puts our health at risk.
7. “Free trade” consolidates and entrenches the plutocracy. Money has been demonstrated to have a decisive influence on elections. The greater the wealth gap, therefore, the greater will be the difference in power between the One Percent and the rest of us. “Free trade” widens the wealth gap by killing middle class jobs while giving CEOs opportunities for ultra-cheap production. A plutocracy is inevitable under “free trade”.
8. It makes us a vassal nation to the World Trade Organization. “Free trade” requires some sort of overseeing body to make sure “Free Trade” Agreements are being adhered to. Their adjudication of all disputes means that America can no longer plot its own course and do what is in its best interest. Even worse, this overseeing body is not elected and not in any way beholden to the people it rules over!
“Free trade” has been nothing but a disaster. There were no good reasons to think it would be a success, and experience has proven this. We need to elect leaders who will pursue fair trade policies and leave behind “free trade” as an embarrassing chapter in our nation’s history.