Free Trade

Abe Lincoln: when "Corporations have been enthroned" a chilling prediction coming true

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

ratical.org

Bold text added by the diarist


(Note: The authenticity of this quote has been disputed, but I believe it is worthwhile to discuss nonetheless. The link I have provided is my proof of the validity of this quote, but I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.)

Almost 150 years later . . .

More below the fold

There is more to this than "just jobs"

Campaign for America's Future has an interesting story up on how free trade has been integral in crushing our economy. In discussing his book, “The Betrayal of American Prosperity,” author Clyde Prestowitz hits on many issues like the incentives that China has used to draw in manufacturing jobs and their many investments in big ticket infrastructure items as well a combination of other lesser factors that are driving the industry to set up shop in China:

On the website of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, an article confirms that the Chinese government was “influential in persuading Intel to setup its semiconductor manufacturing plant in Dalian,” and notes that, among other things, the Chinese government is building high-speed rail links, new highways and port facilities that would support new industry in Dalian and surrounding areas.

These are just some of the many economic investments that China is making in revamping their entire economy.

Recently, during our world wide economic disaster and our own ongoing Healthcare Reform debate, I and many other Bloggers had noted that China was making a major investment creating a new Single Payer healthcare system partly as a way to drive down the costs for Corporations and partly as a long term job creation strategy in order to create an entirely new economy for their nation of higher paying medical jobs that repay not only the government in the tax base they create as a means of recouping some of the initial investments but also repay the Corporations that may have shoulder some of the burden's of healthcare costs with healthier workers that will, in the long run, be more productive. Sick workers have always been a drain on any economy where workers have little to no access to Doctors and have to show up to work sick or miss more days of work because they can not afford the proper treatment. Never mind the burdens on governments when, like in the USA, people that can not afford healthcare walk in to Hospitals when they are so sick they are often at a point where treatment is more costly than if they had been able to access treatment earlier on.

Chalmers Johnson book review tackles the Myth of Free Trade

Promoted. Originally authored/posted 2008-02-08 16:38:42 -0500.


Chalmers Johnson has an lengthy but very informative review of South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang’s Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism at truthdig.org
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Pub. Date: December 2007
ISBN-13: 9781596913998
288pp

via TruthDig-- from the Publisher:

With irreverent wit, an engagingly personal style, and a battery of real-life examples, Ha-Joon Chang blasts holes in the "World Is Flat" orthodoxy of Thomas Friedman and other neo-liberal economists who argue that only unfettered capitalism and wide-open international trade can lift struggling nations out of poverty. On the contrary, Chang shows, today's economic superpowers - from the United States to Britain to his native South Korea - all attained prosperity by shameless protectionism and government intervention in industry. We in the wealthy nations have conveniently forgotten this fact, telling ourselves a fairy tale about the magic of free trade and - via our proxies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization - ramming policies that suit ourselves down the throat of the developing world.

Free Trade vs Smart Trade, Edwards takes on the Supply-Siders

Since the days of Reagan, America has been chasing a Theory.

Since the Clinton era, and the rise of NAFTA and Global Free Trade, our "Corporate Leaders" have been conducting an unprecedented Social Experiment.

The Experiment: Economic Darwinism

The Test Subjects in this Experiment: none other than American Workers and our "more competitive" counterparts, overseas.