United Front Against Austerity
May 5, 2014
When someone tells you we live in a "post-industrial" age, you might want to check their facts.
The dirty secret is that there are more than enough industrial jobs to
go around – they're just being done with appallingly low efficiency in 3rd
The photo above is taken from a New York Times
article about the drift of the production of manhole covers from the US
While American manufacturers like the Neenah Foundry Company (formerly a
primary producer of these manhole covers) are long gone or in and out
of bankruptcy, semi-skilled (and sometimes skilled) industrial work –
from the shop floor to the engineering department – proliferates in
India, Mexico, China, El Salvador, and anywhere Wall Street and
corporate America can oppress workers enough to satisfy their
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is
essentially a reflection of China's ascendancy, and the desire of the
west to shift sweatshops to Vietnam, Chile, Bangladesh and other
countries that keep their workers in line.
The early Republican
Party, represented by Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley and others, was
founded largely to promote protective tariffs – the logical and perhaps
only solution to prevent job loss to lower-wage countries. During the
civil war, the tax protecting union manufacturers from the British
empire approached 50% and generated half the nation's revenue.
But wait – aren't tariffs an outdated concept that don't apply in our
Ask China – they protect their own manufacturers (like
their emerging auto industry) and internal economic development with
tariffs in the neighborhood of 25%!
Maybe it's time we take a
lesson from the country that used to supply much of the world's "coolie
labor" (a racist slur for the early Chinese workers in America, South
Africa and elsewhere), and is beginning to act a lot more American than
End free trade, demand a protective tariff!