Thursday, August 25, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Free-Trade Blues

(WWH, 8/25) One question I see a lot is why the industrial capitalists don't just step in, do their patriotic duty, and help out good ol' Uncle Sam, by recreating and refurbishing the American manufacturing infrastructure and putting Americans back to work.

In a word, it boils down to "free trade."

Since the '80s, 14 Free Trade Agreements have been ratified by Congress, including (SING) APTA, AFTA, SICA, CEFTA, COMESA, G-3, GAFTA, GCC, NAFTA, SAFTA, SADC, MERCOSUR, TPP, and a couple that don't have acronyms. There are 23 more proposed or in various stages of completion. Interestingly almost all of 'em are with entities which have LOWER wages than ours.

Now, what do all these things do?

What they DO is remove/reduce barriers to capital movement, while usually simultaneously preventing the movement of labor and the enforcement of labor laws or worker safety agreements. The CorpoRats love 'em. Remember Ross Perot, and the "giant sucking sound" he predicted (accurately, as it turned out) would follow the signing of NAFTA? How higher paid, more expensively benefitted, American manufacturing) jobs went south?

Free trade agreements are touted by Gummints as binding nations together in bonds of trade, and by the US especially as "the foremost tools for "opening up foreign markets for American products and investment." Foreign investment, you must remember, almost always means the creation somewhere else of modes of production already in place albeit more expensively at home and making the more expensive unprofitably redundant, and obsolete.

Hence, the "giant sucking sound."

In the deluge of "FTA-liberated" capital, and the subsequent "investment" in 'overseas facilities," the Master Class then sold off, moved, or tore down the Murkin industrial/manufacturing infrastructure--after having raped the land, and indentured the people.

They went on to greener, cheaper pastures, and they ain't coming back...At least not to the USofA as currently recognized, with labor laws, waste disposal regulations, water and air quality standards, safety rules, and even a few unions. Noooooo way.

To 'bring back the jobs," bring the industry back, we're going to have to 'agree' to austerity on a grand scale. (which is what they're trying to get us used to now.) "We'll" have to virtually enslave ourselves in perpetuity to the CorpoRat class... Agree to work for peanuts, in unsafe conditions, in toxic-waste spewing factories, dumping waste for convenience, wherever it strikes the industries as likely, environmental consequences be damned. We need jobs, they demand incentives.

What OTHER incentives can you offer them? Your daughters?

Cuz here's the dirty secret: The "world market" needs the USer consumer less and less. There are burgeoning populations of eager consumers with spending money in places like Brazil, China, Russia, and India who are desperate to "improve their lives" with the latest tchotchkes from GE (or GM), which produce them endlessly and more cheaply than ANY USer economy can or will. It's a seller's market, and we've been sold out.

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