[From my new book, How to Really Occupy Wall Street.]
Free trade sounds like a good thing. Who doesn’t want freedom? How could restricted trade be better?
Usurer economists have managed to enforce the usurer-invented ideology that free trade benefits both nations that engage in it. It has certain benefits that usurers use to justify it, the same way that usurious lending, for-profit insurance and futures contracts have benefits that usurers use to justify them.
Free trade is how corporations (and their usurer owners) maximize profits by bypassing local laws that ensure livable working conditions, health insurance, and environmental protection. They move production to countries where workers are cheap because education is cheap or free there, instead of having to pay local workers who have $100,000 or more in student debt and who need a certain amount of pay just to make ends meet.
Free trade is how usurers double-dip the world economy, producing things where it is cheapest, and selling them where it is most expensive. They do their utmost to maximize profits while contributing the very least to either of the nations they exploit.
The usual argument in support of free trade goes like this: If one nation is good at producing airplanes, and another good at producing wine, then if each nation specializes at what it does best, both nations will produce more of the things they specialize in, and in this way the production of both nations increases, and thus both nations enjoy a surplus of both wine and airplanes.
What goes into this argument is the naive and fraudulent assumption that all of a country’s workers are equally capable of moving from one industry to another. If our country’s largest software companies move their best jobs to India, does that mean our own programmers can become farmers or airplane makers? Is that the best use of their talents for our country?
A programmer put out of work due to Microsoft off-shoring work to India (or importing workers from India through the H1-B visa) is not going to be happy as a farmer or accountant. They have spent years learning their specific trade (and perhaps have collected hundreds of thousands of debt from usurers in the process), and they need an outlet for their talents that can enable them to get their investment back.
Usurer economists will say that they are free to create their own companies. But they cannot. Usurer-backed companies like Microsoft, who get their cheap labor from India, will always be able to out-compete them, because their workers are cheaper, and they have the money to out-spend all competitors in advertising.
By putting our programmers out of work, these programmers are forced to either accept a low-paying job so that they can find work again, or start a company that supplies a small product to a niche market, while the major software industries of our country are run by foreign programmers, meaning that there will never be a major market for the talents of our own programmers.
The same is true for manufacturing workers. A worker who specializes in producing specific car parts for the car industry cannot effectively move to another industry when the car part maker decides to move production to Mexico or China. They cannot start their own car part making company because the company that fired them is going to be producing the parts cheaper, so that they cannot compete.
This has been happening in industry after industry in the United States as our globalist usurers have continually sent production overseas. The market for the talents of our local workers and professionals has continued to shrink, and their incomes have stagnated, even as the profits of corporate managers have skyrocketed.
Free trade is all about treating people like cattle. Your entire industry has been sent overseas so that there is no outlet for your talents? Too bad, start flipping burgers. You are an exchangeable cog, if a cheaper one can be found, then goodbye. And good luck paying off your student loans. If you are lucky, you will be able to find another job, or start a company that can make enough for you to get by.
But most people are not lucky. What free trade does to most people is that it takes away the jobs they enjoy (and have spent years learning to do effectively) and forces them to do second-rate jobs, often at lower pay. It turns thriving cities into ghost towns as factories and businesses close and the workers are left living in barren economies, to become alcoholics and drug addicts.
These workers are filled with an overwhelming sense of shame, as they feel there is no purpose to their existence anymore. They either completely give up, or leave for a larger city and start to rebuild their lives anew, often while carrying large debt loads from their past lives.
Since Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), which enacted free trade between the US, Mexico and Canada in 1994, drug overdose deaths and death rates in general in small US towns skyrocketed, in a phenomenon that’s only now being recognized. Some are calling it the “White Death”, as it has mainly affected majority-white counties in the Midwest and surrounding areas.
It was the counties that were hit hardest by NAFTA that gave the most votes to Donald Trump.
The NAFTA hasn’t been any easier on Mexico. Our usurer economists use the media’s nascent racism against lower-class whites (“they took our jerbs!”) to pretend that free trade is a good thing that the lower class opposes because it benefits other poor people.
What actually happened after the NAFTA is that it put millions of Mexican corn farmers out of work, since Mexico was flooded with cheap corn produced by US corporations. The devastation caused by NAFTA caused the biggest wave ever of Mexican illegal immigration into the United States.
Usurers and their economists said the NAFTA would help raise the wages of Mexicans. What actually happened is that Mexicans in 2014 actually had lower wages than they did in 1994. Millions of Mexican families had to give up the plots of land that had been farmed by them for generations, as their land was now worthless thanks to US corn.
And usurers on both sides of the border got richer. Mexico’s chief usurer, Carlos Slim, became the richest man in the world for a while.
The root evil of free trade is that it ignores the very, very important fact that the majority of the workforce cannot effectively move from one sector of the economy to another. Once free trade destroys their industry, they are left with nearly nothing. Years of education and training (in the case of US workers), or generations of hard work on a farm (in the case of Mexican farmers) or business are made entirely worthless by it.
People are not cattle. And a million-dollar factory cannot magically go from producing car parts, or milling grain, to producing smartphones. When free trade hits, all the investment that went into the factory becomes mostly worthless. The Midwest is full of abandoned and rusting factories that once were worth millions and were surrounded by thriving towns.
There are people who love to write software for computers, and who have spent years of effort, and have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, to acquire the skills they have. If most of the country’s software industry is suddenly run by foreigners, then local software programmers will have no outlet for their talents, and they will suffer unemployment and lower wages. Corporations will treat them as undesirable, since they cost so much more than foreigners, and they will do their best to only maintain skeleton crews of local software programmers while outsourcing everything that can be outsourced.
Free trade is a great tool for beating employees into submission. If they complain that their wages aren’t sufficient for them to make a living, you can just threaten them to send their jobs overseas. Through the use of this threat, local wages can be kept low, so that more profits go into the stomachs of the usurers who own and run the country’s corporations.
Usurers want to be able to freely import goods and services from China. What they ignore to mention is that China doesn’t allow its own usurers to freely import goods and services from other countries. China only believes in one-way free trade, where it can flood the world with its own products while refusing to take in other countries’ products freely, in this way ensuring full employment for its own citizens and creating unemployment in other countries.
The people who run China are clever, and unlike the US government, their policy decisions are meant for the benefit of the nation as a whole, instead of entirely for the benefit of an all-powerful usurer class. China encourages local industry and employment through charging heavy taxes on imports. Many American and European car makers have been forced to build factories there, since China makes it so difficult for them to import cars built elsewhere. Through this policy, China makes these companies hire Chinese workers, who acquire the technologies of these companies, and through the government’s strong support for local industry, they are able to leave these Western companies and create Chinese alternatives to them. It’s one of the main goals of the Chinese government to reduce imports (its reliance on other nations) so much that by 2025 it means to ensure that 70% of all products the country needs are entirely locally produced. Universities are working with local factories to develop alternatives to materials which so far they have only been able to import from other countries.
Encouraging local employment and preserving the value of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that go into educating and training a skilled worker is only one of the benefits of restricted trade. The other important benefit is innovation. You cannot innovate in producing passenger airplanes if your country doesn’t have an industry producing passenger airplanes. If all of your airplanes are imported from China, the innovation is going to be happening there. This is the case with screen technology. As most smartphone, laptop and TV screens are made in South Korea and Japan, these two countries are the world leaders when it comes to inventing and marketing new screen technologies.
By importing any good or service from other countries, we are subsidizing innovation and research in that country, allowing them to maintain a permanent technological edge over us.
The solution to all of this is restricted trade, which we can also call “fair trade”. This was the policy of the United States during its extremely fast industrialization in the 19th century, until it was given up through the efforts of bank lobbyists.
One of the greatest American economists of the 19th century was the anti-free-trade thinker Erasmus Peshine Smith, whose ideas inspired American trade policy until the end of the 1800’s. Almost no one knows his name, since he wasn’t a usurer economist, and his ideas go against the interests of the usurer class, so that not a single mention of him can be found in most of today’s college textbooks. An entire 40 year period of American economic history has been wiped from the public consciousness.
One reason usurers and their media hate Donald Trump so much is that he says he will charge a tax on imports (such taxes are known as tariffs), which threatens their profits, and which will force them to raise the wages of their local workers. It is a policy that will help the peasant class at the cost of the usurer class, and so to a usurer it is utter blasphemy.
The latest defense of globalism and free trade is that sooner or later, everything is going to be automated, so that “bringing those jobs back” is not going to happen anyway, as the jobs will not exist. They are using some imaginary event 50 years in the future to justify continuing their current policy of plundering the working and middle classes. Bringing any industry back to the country would not only bring those jobs back, but will also create a great number of other supporting industries that too will employ people. Usurers will be forced to raise wages, and job opportunities would greatly increase for job seekers.
Yes, automation is a big, looming threat to everyone except the top 10% most skilled workers and professionals in society. But leaving our industries overseas is not the answer, because even if a factory is entirely automated, if it is overseas, the knowledge to run the factory, and the innovation required to improve it and make greater things out of it, will also happen overseas, giving that overseas nation (and its skilled workers) a great advantage over our workers.
The solution is to bring jobs back regardless of automation. As for automation, there is a powerful solution to it known as wealth recycling, that I will address in a future chapter, that will ensure that automation, instead of reducing people’s wages and living standards, will actually increase them.
To oppose free trade, which we should call “globalism”, since the word “free” in “free trade” makes it sound like a good thing to most people, fair trade has to be promoted in its place. That means putting our workers and professionals on an equal footing with foreign ones. We shouldn’t let a usurer corporation like Microsoft import tens of thousands of cheap foreign workers so that it wouldn’t have to raise the wages of local ones. Big tech companies have put hundreds of thousands of skilled software engineers out of work through this selfish and greedy policy.
The usual argument for these companies to import workers is that there aren’t enough skilled workers locally. Anyone familiar with their industries knows that this is a breathtakingly enormous lie. What they are really saying is that local workers cost too much. They want cheap workers who will ensure them continued enormous profits. So far, through importing cheap workers, these companies have managed to create wage stagnation for their workers over the past 15 workers just as executive pay has skyrocketed.
The United States does not have a talent shortage like these companies pretend. It has a massive surplus of talent that is going to waste. There are so many unemployed skilled workers that today even a PhD is not sufficient to ensure employment. A usurer corporation like Google gets to lord it over its employees by getting the best of the best of the country at incredibly discounted salaries, since they always have the power of outsourcing and hiring foreign workers.
There is nothing wrong with Google having an Indian branch that serves India. What is wrong is Google sending most of its jobs to India, and then from there serving the US market. Because this way all of the investment and innovation will happen in India, and Google will be able to offer services to the US market at discounted rates, so that no local company that hires local workers will be able to compete. This is the exact situation that has happened in industry after industry since the 90’s when outsourcing and worker importation soared.
Chinese leaders are very well aware of this, and so they make Western companies establish local operations there, and make them produce things there, if they want to serve the Chinese market.
President Donald Trump too seems to be aware of this and is promising to fix the matter. While this will be a step in the right direction for the people of the US, it is only a small step. It prevents one type of usurer abuse, but it doesn’t address the root cause of our economic woes: usury. Still, we need to be thankful for any progress made.
I call companies like Microsoft and Google usurer companies because they (and every other big corporation) all practice usury. They amass large hoards of cash, and like any usurer, lend these at interest to others through Wall Street banks. Apple made $4 billion solely from usury (reported as “interest income” on their earnings statements) in 2016, Microsoft made $903 million, Oracle $538 million, Google $434 million, and Facebook $91 million. The actual amount of money invested in usury by these large tech companies is probably upwards of $100 billion, the numbers earlier are only the interest they earned on their usurious lending.
Since taxes on imports are, in effect, a tax on the local population (since they end up having to pay higher prices for imports), the tax could be returned directly to the bottom 50% of society as part of the larger wealth tax that will be covered later. In this way imports will be prevented from destroying local industries on the one hand, and they will contribute to the wellbeing of the poor and the lower middle class on the other hand.
Feb 19, 2017 09:10 AM /