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'Competition' with China is Killing U.S.

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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"Protectionism conveniently shifts the blame for trade-related hardships to foreigners, which is easier than adapting homegrown business practices to make America more competitive." -- New York Times editorial, "Curing the Debt Addiction," Oct. 2

Well, that makes sense. According to The New York Times, what we need to do to compete with China economically is adopt commensurate "homegrown business practices" that will enhance our performance.

What do they have in mind? Eliminating the freedom of speech? Outlawing free trade associations? Legalizing child labor? Eliminating all environmental regulations and letting workers roll around in hazardous chemicals for fifteen hours a day for ten cents an hour? Ending all forms of corporate transparency? Come to think of it, we could solve our juvenile delinquency program and our trade competitiveness problem at the same time -- let's just lock up our high school dropouts in toy factories, get those little bastards making radioactive Lego sets six days a week for a buck a shift. Imagine the profits! Who'd be laughing then, Yunagjiang City?

Remember Roger and Me? Remember those two rich old white ladies on the golf course who waxed poetic on the first tee about the despair of laid-off auto workers in Flint, Michigan, talking about how people just need to "try harder" and "keep at it" or whatever to overcome their problems? Well, that same bullshit is on display here in the Times and in a lot of other places lately. In fact, "When it comes to China, we just need to try harder" has to be among the most pervasive and universally-held lies in the American press these days, right up there with, "In elections, any candidate, no matter how poor, has a chance" and "The networks are just giving the people the news they want."

One of the biggest purveyors of this dreck is arch-capitalist spokesmodel Thomas Friedman, who has spent the last ten years trying to talk himself into the position that having to compete with Chinese and Indian industrial slaves is somehow a good thing for America. Nothing makes Friedman happier than being able to appear before a bunch of old ladies in some cobweb-strewn Midwestern library or Jaycees hall and deliver his favorite faux-homespun platitude about the new global economy, a clunky tale about advice he often gives to his daughters. "Girls," his story goes, "when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, 'Tom, finish your dinner. People in China ... are starving.' my thoughts to you now: 'Girls, finish your homework, people in China ... are starving for your jobs.' "

(An aside here: Can you imagine being the offspring of Thomas Friedman? Here you are, just a kid, playing with your dollhouse and your coloring books ... and here comes Daddy in his mustache and his Windsor knot and his Blackberry, fresh from work, warning you that if you don't quit your playing, Communist factory workers will leave you in the poorhouse? What a great guy -- loves his kids so much, he throws 'em in the globalization thresher while they're still little! Thanks, Dad!)

Conservative commentators go to great lengths to assure Americans that the rise of China is actually a good thing. Townhall.com chairman Doug Wilson wrote a great "How we can compete with China" column a few months ago in which he proposed four steps America could take to correct the trade imbalance. The first three of these steps were a school voucher program, tax cuts (so that there will be more capital available for investment), and immigration reform measures that would allow foreign students to stay and work after they complete their education. The fourth step? Attitude reform. "The American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well," he writes. "As Newt Gingrich says, 'We can win the future.' A positive vision for a better America is critical to our future."

This, too, sounds like good advice for taking on a country that pays its workers pennies an hour, pollutes indiscriminately and arrests any labor leaders who dare to stick their heads above ground -- think positive! You can do it, America! Just put yer nose to the ol' grindstone, and things will work out. Didn't you all see Rudy?

The impetus for the Times editorial was an effort by New York Senator Chuck Schumer and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham to impose tariffs on China for its alleged manipulation of the yuan, which the two legislators claim gives China an "unfair trade advantage." The effort by the Senators was apparently headed off following a meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. and pressure from companies such as Caterpillar, General Electric and Citibank (the latter two, incidentally, have been heavy contributors to Schumer in particular).

The whole episode shows just exactly how twisted American politics have become. To even try to take action in protest of Chinese business practices, lawmakers like Graham and Schumer only have an opening to get self-righteous when they perceive that China has committed a crime against capitalism, i.e. manipulating the yuan. Apparently it is not possible any longer to complain that China uses slave labor and ruthlessly represses dissent, which of course also results in a clearly "unfair trade advantage." And since most American politicians are heavily subsidized by campaign contributions from companies who take massive advantage of cheap Chinese labor -- GE alone donated over $1.4 million to federal candidates in the 2006 cycle -- the likelihood of anyone in government taking such action in the future is extremely limited.

In fact, not only does Congress not protest Chinese human rights violations, it refuses even to stop giving subsidies to American corporations that move domestic jobs to China. I remember Vermont's Bernie Sanders explaining to me how that whole deal works. "I'll ask a company like GE why we should give them money, if they won't promise to stop moving American jobs to China," he told me. "And they'll say, 'Look, we're going to China, one way or another. But if you don't give us the money, we'll move there faster.' They're very honest about it."

Everyone knows what the end result of all of this is. The more countries like China prosper and take over our manufacturing business, the more downward pressure is exerted not only on American wages, but on local tax rates and American workers' rights. It's not a coincidence that unions all over America are being broken and forced to take humiliating positions in collective bargaining agreements as our manufacturing economy moves across the Pacific Ocean. And it's not a coincidence that states are not only no longer collecting the same tax revenue from manufacturers, they're practically paying companies to stay -- like the case of the state of Ohio, which worked with the city of Toledo to provide GM with over $300 million in tax breaks, as well as property and infrastructure investments, to keep Jeep in that city.

The dirty little secret of both the American media and the American government is that neither sector much minds this state of affairs. In both cases the corporate sponsors who pay their bills would like nothing more than a full rollback here in America of workers' rights and deep cuts, if not the outright elimination, of corporate taxes. And if the General Electrics and the Caterpillars of the world are very much concerned about preserving democracy and civil liberties here in America, well, they're doing a good job of hiding it. These companies would love to be able to dump raw thallium in the Mississippi River, pay even skilled Americans pennies and get local cops in Little Rock and Peoria to arrest troublesome union leaders. And one good way to get there is to move overseas and then insist that America needs to "try harder" to compete. And we know what they mean by "trying harder."

That is what is most disgusting about the recent Times editorial, which cynically echoed its own undeserved reputation for liberal extremism to make it seem like they were calling protectionist measures a kind of racism -- "blaming foreigners," which they say is "easier" than adapting "homegrown business practices." That's a lie, just like Tom Friedman's "Do your homework" schtick is a lie. As if GE would pick the union member with the fair wage over the no-vote, ten-cent Chinese if he'd just done better in school.

America doesn't need to try harder. China needs to stop using slave labor. If you see things any other way, you've probably got a factory in the Suzhou industrial park. Or you're taking money from someone who does.

Matt Taibbi is a writer for Rolling Stone.

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Filed: Country: Belarus
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Free trade with China and illegal aliens galore here in the USA...ain't life wonderful for the American working class?


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
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The working class here has had no representation since the democrats took the dive in the late 1960's and 70's. When we are dependant enough on foriegn labor, the same thing that happened to oil will happen to labor, and rightfully so, people should be paid a decent wage. Wages in those countries will increase 10 times, inflation will run rampent here. (The opec of labor). At that time you can kiss the USA goodbye. I would be looking for a plot to build elsewhere real soon. Thankyou both major parties who have sold America down the drain. If they had asked for an honest competive situation from the beginning the world would be a much more humane place, environmentally safe place and a more economically sound place. The ####### that has gone on, and I say this while I am on my knees puking, actually makes one appreciate Richard Nixon. Now that is about as low as you can get.


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Filed: Country: Belarus
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The working class here has had no representation since the democrats took the dive in the late 1960's and 70's. When we are dependant enough on foriegn labor, the same thing that happened to oil will happen to labor, and rightfully so, people should be paid a decent wage. Wages in those countries will increase 10 times, inflation will run rampent here. (The opec of labor). At that time you can kiss the USA goodbye. I would be looking for a plot to build elsewhere real soon. Thankyou both major parties who have sold America down the drain. If they had asked for an honest competive situation from the beginning the world would be a much more humane place, environmentally safe place and a more economically sound place. The ####### that has gone on, and I say this while I am on my knees puking, actually makes one appreciate Richard Nixon. Now that is about as low as you can get.

The Democrats today are vying to be the party of the illegal alien. And the unholy alliance of mostly Democratic Senators (with help from enough Republican Senators) tried to screw the working class even more with S.2611 that was misnamed "comprehensive immigration reform." It would have given amnesty to almost all illegal aliens, removed caps on H1B work visas, created a guest worker program, and increased legal immigration to unheard of levels. Thank our lucky stars that the US House of mostly Republicans shot it down.

Not that I'm a big fan of Republicans, but I'll give the devil its due. And the Dems claim to be the freind of labor...bullsh!t!!!

I've voted both parties as an independent voter. I vote for my best interests instead of party labels. There really isn't much of a choice for the working man. It's either cheap labor Republicans or cheap vote Democrats. Yuk!!!

Thank heavens for the US House Republicans though. They saved us this year so far.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
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The US is transitioning to a service based economy.

Thats Chineese for "Were taking all your jobs :-)"


IR1

April 14, 2004 I-130 NOA1

April 25, 2005 IR1 Received

April 26, 2005 POE Dorval Airport

May 13, 2005 Welcome to America Letters Received

May 21, 2005 PR Card in Mail

May 26, 2005 Applied for SSN at local office

June 06, 2005 SSN Received

June 11, 2005 Driver Licence Issued!

June 20, 2005 Deb gets a Check Card! Just like Donald Trump's!

Citizenship

Jan 30, 2008 N400 Mailed off to the VSC!

Feb 2, 2008 N400 Received at VSC

Feb 6, 2008 Check Cashed!

Feb 13, 2008 NOA1 Received

Feb 15, 2008 Fingerprint letter received. (Feb 26th scheduled)

Feb 18, 2008 Mailed out the old Please Reschedule us for Biometics <sigh>...

Feb 27, 2008 Received the new scheduled biometrics.

Mar 15, 2008 Biometrics Rescheduled.

Sep 18, 2008 Interview Letter Recieved.

Nov 11, 2008 Interview Passed :-).

Nov 14, 2008 Oath Cerimony.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Ecuador
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The US is transitioning to a service based economy.

Thats Chineese for "Were taking all your jobs :-)"

words to remember

"Would you like to supersize that?"


James & Sara - Aug 12, 05

Humanity... destined to pass the baton shortly.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
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lol..

I saw a bumper sticker on a 10 year old Toyota Avalon with Michigan plates the other day. It said Wall*Mart, Your source for cheap plastic #######. I can remember not so long ago in this country that you faced ridicule for buying a Japanese car. I used to shop and see labels that said made in China and just put the thing back on the shelf. Now I cant do that. Id be naked without a pot to pee in. I certainly wouldn't be on the internet.


IR1

April 14, 2004 I-130 NOA1

April 25, 2005 IR1 Received

April 26, 2005 POE Dorval Airport

May 13, 2005 Welcome to America Letters Received

May 21, 2005 PR Card in Mail

May 26, 2005 Applied for SSN at local office

June 06, 2005 SSN Received

June 11, 2005 Driver Licence Issued!

June 20, 2005 Deb gets a Check Card! Just like Donald Trump's!

Citizenship

Jan 30, 2008 N400 Mailed off to the VSC!

Feb 2, 2008 N400 Received at VSC

Feb 6, 2008 Check Cashed!

Feb 13, 2008 NOA1 Received

Feb 15, 2008 Fingerprint letter received. (Feb 26th scheduled)

Feb 18, 2008 Mailed out the old Please Reschedule us for Biometics <sigh>...

Feb 27, 2008 Received the new scheduled biometrics.

Mar 15, 2008 Biometrics Rescheduled.

Sep 18, 2008 Interview Letter Recieved.

Nov 11, 2008 Interview Passed :-).

Nov 14, 2008 Oath Cerimony.

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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The US is transitioning to a service based economy.

Thats Chineese for "Were taking all your jobs :-)"

We are losing our competitiveness in the global market when it comes to manufacturing, not because of technology or quality of product, but because of cheap labor and production costs.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
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Well, thats partly true. But US Cars still blow chunks. People pay big premiums to drive a Camry instead of a Malibu.


IR1

April 14, 2004 I-130 NOA1

April 25, 2005 IR1 Received

April 26, 2005 POE Dorval Airport

May 13, 2005 Welcome to America Letters Received

May 21, 2005 PR Card in Mail

May 26, 2005 Applied for SSN at local office

June 06, 2005 SSN Received

June 11, 2005 Driver Licence Issued!

June 20, 2005 Deb gets a Check Card! Just like Donald Trump's!

Citizenship

Jan 30, 2008 N400 Mailed off to the VSC!

Feb 2, 2008 N400 Received at VSC

Feb 6, 2008 Check Cashed!

Feb 13, 2008 NOA1 Received

Feb 15, 2008 Fingerprint letter received. (Feb 26th scheduled)

Feb 18, 2008 Mailed out the old Please Reschedule us for Biometics <sigh>...

Feb 27, 2008 Received the new scheduled biometrics.

Mar 15, 2008 Biometrics Rescheduled.

Sep 18, 2008 Interview Letter Recieved.

Nov 11, 2008 Interview Passed :-).

Nov 14, 2008 Oath Cerimony.

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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Well, thats partly true. But US Cars still blow chunks. People pay big premiums to drive a Camry instead of a Malibu.

Good point. German and Japanese automakers are able to remain competitive because they produce reliable, high quality automobiles - so much so, that people are willing to pay extra for them. But the American consumer seems a bit schizophrenic to pay premium for their cars while buying the cheapest household products. I'm not sure why that happens. :unsure:

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
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Such is the duality of America. Ban Books and toys but legalize the personal ownership of anti-tank rifles. There is a twisted logic to it somewhere I am sure.

Edited by cmartyn

IR1

April 14, 2004 I-130 NOA1

April 25, 2005 IR1 Received

April 26, 2005 POE Dorval Airport

May 13, 2005 Welcome to America Letters Received

May 21, 2005 PR Card in Mail

May 26, 2005 Applied for SSN at local office

June 06, 2005 SSN Received

June 11, 2005 Driver Licence Issued!

June 20, 2005 Deb gets a Check Card! Just like Donald Trump's!

Citizenship

Jan 30, 2008 N400 Mailed off to the VSC!

Feb 2, 2008 N400 Received at VSC

Feb 6, 2008 Check Cashed!

Feb 13, 2008 NOA1 Received

Feb 15, 2008 Fingerprint letter received. (Feb 26th scheduled)

Feb 18, 2008 Mailed out the old Please Reschedule us for Biometics <sigh>...

Feb 27, 2008 Received the new scheduled biometrics.

Mar 15, 2008 Biometrics Rescheduled.

Sep 18, 2008 Interview Letter Recieved.

Nov 11, 2008 Interview Passed :-).

Nov 14, 2008 Oath Cerimony.

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lol..

I saw a bumper sticker on a 10 year old Toyota Avalon with Michigan plates the other day. It said Wall*Mart, Your source for cheap plastic #######. I can remember not so long ago in this country that you faced ridicule for buying a Japanese car. I used to shop and see labels that said made in China and just put the thing back on the shelf. Now I cant do that. Id be naked without a pot to pee in. I certainly wouldn't be on the internet.

That Avalon's made in Kentucky, USA.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Yeah its assembled there with Japanese parts and has about 14 hours of labour content in it at about 20 bucks an hour, The workers paychecks are processed in India. But hey! Go Congress!


IR1

April 14, 2004 I-130 NOA1

April 25, 2005 IR1 Received

April 26, 2005 POE Dorval Airport

May 13, 2005 Welcome to America Letters Received

May 21, 2005 PR Card in Mail

May 26, 2005 Applied for SSN at local office

June 06, 2005 SSN Received

June 11, 2005 Driver Licence Issued!

June 20, 2005 Deb gets a Check Card! Just like Donald Trump's!

Citizenship

Jan 30, 2008 N400 Mailed off to the VSC!

Feb 2, 2008 N400 Received at VSC

Feb 6, 2008 Check Cashed!

Feb 13, 2008 NOA1 Received

Feb 15, 2008 Fingerprint letter received. (Feb 26th scheduled)

Feb 18, 2008 Mailed out the old Please Reschedule us for Biometics <sigh>...

Feb 27, 2008 Received the new scheduled biometrics.

Mar 15, 2008 Biometrics Rescheduled.

Sep 18, 2008 Interview Letter Recieved.

Nov 11, 2008 Interview Passed :-).

Nov 14, 2008 Oath Cerimony.

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