Free markets mean f-r-e-e-e-e-d-o-m ! !

A challenge to my conservative friends – justify this:

  • Almost every American-themed trinket sold in the Smithsonian Institute is made in China.
  • San Francisco is importing its new bay bridge from China.
  • New York City awarded Chinese state-subsidized firms contracts to renovate the city’s subway system, refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River, and build a new Metro-North train platform near Yankee Stadium.
  • the Martin Luther King monument in Washington was designed by a Chinese sculptor and assembled by low-wage Chinese workers.

Of the last, David Sirota, in an op-ed published in Truthout September 2, said:

Imagine the contradiction: a memorial for a civil rights leader who deplored “starvation wages” and died supporting a sanitation union’s strike is built by non-union serfs from China! The Chinese invasion, Sirota wrote, is caused by an America “no longer willing or able to invest in its own future.”

Original article at Human Rights for Workers, via an email from Joe.

29 responses to “Free markets mean f-r-e-e-e-e-d-o-m ! !

  1. This is a crazy country. Right-wingers are told to fear and hate socialism and communism, but they defend all the outsourcing of American jobs to Communist/Socialist China. They’d be against popcorn if that’s what they were told to do.

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  2. The sad thing is, is that David Sirota is right.

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    • That he is. The King statue kind of pissed me off – there is no reason why that couldn’t have been limited to American competitors. In fact, it should have been.

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  3. I find it humorous that all four examples involve American governments buying Chinese goods.

    I think it all boils down to whether you want to pay $6,000 or $500 for that new computer. It is that simple.

    If you don’t support companies offering cheaper products because they have cheaper labor, simply boycott them. You don’t have to buy their products. You can always buy much more expensive ones here…well, until those companies go out of business that is…

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    • Imports from China into the US can’t really be called ‘free trade’ although I will allow that I do NOT want to pay $6K for a computer.

      But the gov’t has a bit of a patriotic obligation; it’s not just about getting the best price. They should be showcasing what America can do. Instead, we’re showcasing what we can’t or won’t do.

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      • That’s a fair point. There should be a balance between getting something cheaper and government supporting U.S. domestic manufacturers.

        Perhaps the King Statue could have been manufactured domestically. That said, there is NO way Californian labor could have produced the Bay Bridge at anything remotely approaching a reasonal cost.

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        • Well then we have to ask ourselves what are we doing wrong Sean. If we cannot, as a nation, build a bridge for ourselves and accept that it costs a few scheckles . . . we could build half a dozen Bay Bridges for what Iraq cost. We could build a lovely little bridge for the $60billion we wasted in Iraq. And we could build a fine fine little bridge for the $8billion walk around cash that went missing in Iraq in the first two years.

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          • We could do the same by raising the retirement age and means-testing social security.

            Additionally, California has to balance its budget each year. Cost really matters. A statue is one thing, but a bridge is a colossal expenditure. The cost of labor is simply too high in California for it make any sense it building it here. The fact that the state would be willing to haul something 8,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean should give one a sense of how out of balance labor costs are in the Bay Area.

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          • We could do the same by raising the retirement age and means-testing social security.

            Raising the retirement age will result is a larger workforce, which means higher unemployment. A better idea is to lower the retirement age.

            Means testing SS is a good idea, though. Millionaires shouldn’t be collecting SS when we’re $14.5 trillion dollars in debt.

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          • Sean – Most states have to balance their budgets. But they also exempt capital project from the budget and usually handle those by issuing bonds. But I’ll still disagree on principle.Unionized workers built most of our infrastructure in the 20th century (except for the CCC) until about the 1980’s. We did it then and we should just find a way to do it now.

            Ben put forth a very good reason for not raising hte retirement age. Raising the cap on payroll taxes would be much more equitable.

            As for means testing it, I disagree. That would turn it into a welfare program and another class issue, rather than a shared pension fund. Imagine the howls from the exempted wealthy if they were cut out and had to ‘pay for’ all the peasants.

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          • Moe,

            I could not disagree with you more. Increasing the payroll tax cap simply shifts more of the burden for the wealthier elderly on to the poorer young. My generation has already paid too much for all the mistakes of the baby boomer generation. As far as I’m concerned, my generation won’t get SS, because the boomers will have exhausted it by the time we retire. I think a means test makes sense. SS should be a safety net, not a divine right. It simply doesn’t make sense to provide it for everyone. Pushing back the retirement age also makes more sense because the elderly have had their entire lives to save. They can afford to live one or two extra years on their savings, whereas unemployment for young adults is pushing upwards of 30%. Asking that generation to pay more for SS when their prospects of receiving SS are nil is outrageous. Let’s just hope they never watch Logan’s Run.

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          • Anonymous, perhaps you misunderstand me. “Raising the cap” would only affect – as of today – those making over $108,000. Earnings above that are currently exempted from the payroll tax and that cap was put in place 30+ years ago. Even as wages for the rich soared, the cap never moved. It should – if we raise the cap by whatever measurement reflects the changes over 30 years – maybe to $175 or $225? 30 years ago $100K was considered a gigantic salary. Today a newly minted lawyer makes $200.

            That’s what I mean. And by the way, the SS ‘trust fund’ is fully able to cover obligations for decades to come. Our problem isn’t htat the money isn’t on the books, the problem is that the money is no longer in the bank because Congress has been dipping into it for other purposes (wars anyone?) and just counting it as a journal entry, a debt. But they have no plans to pay it back.

            SS isn’t a failure. In fact, it’s been wildly successful for nearly a century. It’s the most popular program in the country. People love it and they want to protect it forever, no matter the rhetoric from those who are committed to destroying it.

            Ask your congressman when they’re planning to pay back the money they borrowed from SS.

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          • Also, Logan’s Run . . . yikes!!!

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          • BTW, I was “Anonymous.” For some reason, the system did not log me in as…well…me.

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          • Sean – that happens to me all the time – and on my own blog! You know how WP makes you log in periodically – I fail to notice . . .

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    • I think it all boils down to whether you want to pay $6,000 or $500 for that new computer. It is that simple.

      No, it’s all about profits. We’d still get our cheap electronics if they were made here. There would just be more automation in the manufacturing process, which would create different kinds of jobs.

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  4. Mr. Hoffman ,

    ” This is a crazy country. Right-wingers are told to fear and hate socialism and communism, but they defend all the outsourcing of American jobs to Communist/Socialist China. They’d be against popcorn if that’s what they were told to do. ”

    No, no, no, strike that, reverse it . You left wingers support industries that outsource and you shut down industries that employ Americans with high paying jobs .

    Example, you guys give hundreds of millions to dead end industries like solar manufacturers who go bankrupt, and then most of those solar panels are now made in China by slave laborers. Do you care ? No! Long as it’s green and saves the planet .

    Industries that do not outsource to China,,,like uh geez who could it be, like oil and gas drillers, you guys are always looking to screw them over royally. And we ain’t talkin minimum wage jobs on those drilling platforms.

    In fact your guy, President Obama, the guy you personally voted into office, is doing everything in his almighty power to outsource those high paying jobs to Brazil .

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  5. I’m being cycinaical here….

    Everybody answering this post….
    Do you buy the $300 computer made in China….
    Or…
    Do you buy the $800 one built in the US?

    People go for spending less money….
    They care less where the computer was build….
    And if the builder was free or not…..

    Second…..
    China is no longer just a ‘cheap’ labor place….
    Check this piece out from the Dog…..
    http://www.politicaldog101.com/?p=34373

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    • Dammiot james, I just wrote a lenghty comment at the Dog and when I tried to subscribe to the comment thread, lost the comment. I think this has happened before.

      What am I doing wrong? (damn it was a good comment)

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  6. Pingback: Free markets mean f-r-e-e-e-e-d-o-m ! ! - Politicaldog101.Com

  7. Isn’t it funny how people in “red” states support the outsourcing of our jobs to communist China? I think we need an investigation and maybe some Congressional hearings to determine what country they’re actually loyal to.

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  8. jamesb,

    I do not know where the parts came from, but my last two PCs were built by local ‘ American ‘ shops. I go out of my way to buy American, but it gets harder all the time . I even refuse to buy Chinese batteries, except more and more they come with the other things I buy .

    I confess to buying Korean cars, but since I buy used, I am buying what I can afford and what’s available in my price range.

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  9. Pingback: Duane gets it exactly right | Whatever Works

  10. Pingback: Duane gets it exactly right….Whatever Works… - Politicaldog101.Com

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