Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Capitalism and Competition: Can We Handle It?

"We have a China problem. It is not, however, a China problem in the way most people think. It is not a problem with safety standards that threaten our children and our pets. It is a problem with the very fact of China as an emerging force on the global economic stage, and it underscores a profound and worrying trend in American political and economic life. For half a century we fought for the creation of a global capitalist system. Now that we have one, we seem to have forgotten one little thing: Capitalism means competition, and we are acting like we can't handle it.

Since the dawn of the American republic, we have never faced the kind of economic challenge that China presents. It is playing the game of global capitalism almost as adeptly as we are, and our response for now seems to be a mixture of fear and disbelief.

China bashing raises questions about the ability of the U.S. to compete in the global economy that it did so much to create."

~From today's WSJ editorial "Watch Out for the China Bashers."

1 Comments:

At 9/06/2007 8:30 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

“China bashing raises questions about the ability of the U.S. to compete in the global economy that it did so much to create."

I realize that the mention of “fair trade” is interpreted by free-market thinkers as protectionism; however, how can U.S. companies compete against foreign companies that do not have to abide by the same laws and regulations? Even I could run a profitable company in the U.S. with 25 cents-per-hour prison labor, by dumping dangerous chemicals on the ground, spewing poisonous vapors into the air, and ignoring all rules, regulations, and standards. We could easily have a capitalist Chinese economic model in one of our states if we were to remove all the laws and protections inherent to our way of life.

As a consumer, I enjoy the low prices that China provides (the earlier post on this blog “Trade Retaliation is the Worst Possible Response” is very informative), but as a U.S. worker and stockholder, I yell foul and feel threatened. Would it be a fair contest if an armed person could kill an unarmed person in a fight? U.S. workers are unarmed in their fight against foreign competition. Why does the outrage of U.S. workers who have lost their jobs surprise so many intelligent people?

Free trade is simply not fair trade. U.S. workers can compete with anybody, but they shouldn't have to compete with one hand tied behind their backs. Expect that to change in the near future.

 

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