Our hollow prosperity

Posted: February 15, 2006, 1:00 a.m. Eastern, By Patrick J. Buchanan


Now that the U.S. trade deficit for 2005 has come in at $726 billion, the fourth straight all-time record, a question arises. What constitutes failure for a free-trade policy? Or is there no such thing? Is free trade simply right no matter the results? Last
year, the United States ran a $202 billion trade deficit with China,
the largest ever between two nations. We ran all-time record trade
deficits with OPEC, the European Union, Japan, Canada and Latin
America. The $50 billion deficit with Mexico was the largest since
NAFTA passed and also the largest in history.

When
NAFTA was up for a vote in 1993, the Clintonites and their GOP
fellow-travelers said it would grow our trade surplus, raise Mexico’s
standard of living and reduce illegal immigration. None
of this happened. Indeed, the opposite occurred. Mexico’s standard of
living is lower than it was in 1993, the U.S. trade surplus has
vanished, and America is being invaded. Mexico is now the primary
source of narcotics entering the United States….

The Bushites point proudly to 4.6 million jobs created since May 2003, a 4.7 percent unemployment rate and low inflation….The
entire job increase since 2001 has been in the service sector – credit
intermediation, health care, social assistance, waiters, waitresses,
bartenders, etc. – and state and local government. But,
from January 2001 to January 2006, the United States lost 2.9 million
manufacturing jobs, 17 percent of all we had. Over the past five years,
we have suffered a net loss in goods-producing jobs. “The
decline in some manufacturing sectors has more in common with a country
undergoing saturation bombing than with a super-economy that is ‘the
envy of the world,'” writes Roberts.

… Non-Hispanic
whites, over 70 percent of the labor force, saw only a 1 percent
employment increase in 2005. Hispanics, half of whom are foreign born,
saw a 4.7 percent increase. As Hispanics will work for less in
hospitals and hospices, and as waiters and waitresses, they are getting
the new jobs. But
are not wages rising? Nope. When inflation is factored in, the Economic
Policy Institute reports, “real wages fell by 0.5 percent over the last
12 months after falling 0.7 percent the previous 12 months.” …

The
affluent free-traders, whose wealth resides in stocks in global
companies, are enriching themselves at the expense of their fellow
citizens and sacrificing the American worker on the altar of the Global
Economy. None dare call it economic treason.

1 Comment »

  1. Matt Stiles

    March 14, 2006 @ 3:17 am

    1

    “America is being invaded.” I’ve got news for you. America has always been invaded. By those seeking higher paying positions in the fields they are trained in. If you don’t like how Mexican doctors are willing to work for less, maybe your government should have done a better job at educating your own doctors, to make their skills more sought after. If you wanted to retain your manufacturing industry, you should have invested more in Research and Development and acted quicker in reducing costs. Unfortunately for you, the world has taken advantage of the US’s sluggishness on these issues and are now reaping the rewards. Instead of whining about how the world is changing, maybe something should be done to alter it in your favour (ie. producing a more educated and productive workforce instead of bombing innocent people)

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