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View Diary: Memo to NY Times (And Everyone Else) - It's Not Just About Taxes (38 comments)

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  •  The trade deficit is a problem. (1+ / 0-)
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    Liberal Thinking

    But since we print our own money (unlike Greece) and China likes getting paid in - and investing in - our money, it's not as big a problem as it might be.

    The wage disparity - that's the problem. But that's a different issue. We can demand that Chinese suppliers of US firms pay a living wage and maintain decent working conditions.

    That will lessen the wage disparity in a way that cannot be argued against without the opponents of such a program looking like the ogres that they are. I like the idea of using an argument from Christian decency that inserts a wedge between Christian Conservatives and "vulture Capitalists." :)

    (I'm so glad it was Governor Rick Perry who popularized that phrase. It makes it hard for Republicans to disavow it.)

    The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

    by bubbajim on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:42:02 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's a Huge Problem (0+ / 0-)

      The trade problem is at the heart of why we have repeating economic problems. It is impoverishing the country, which leads to the fiscal problems Republicans continually use to squeeze one concession after another out of Democrats.

      Manufacturing peaked here in 1979. Since then it is down at least 25%. This means production jobs have gone elsewhere, and that 25% hides the fact that we've had a massive increase in population since the 1970s, which should have lead to an expansion of production.

      Production is what creates wealth. if you move wealth-production out of the country you impoverish that country. It's really as simple and as hard as that.

      Our trade deficit has been as high as the $700 billion a year range. Over the years literally trillions of dollars have gone out of the country this way. Along with each of those dollars is a 10.6% hit on payroll taxes for every dollar of production involved. It amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars shortfall for Social Security and Medicare.

      I agree with you that China should be paying a living wage to their workers and maintaining decent working conditions. The way to get there is to insist that no product be sold in the U.S. unless it is made to our workplace and environmental standards. That should start with an international minimum wage. I want to see an IMW of at least $2.50/hour, going up by 2-3% per year until it reaches parity with our domestic minimum wage. This implies a 40-hour work week, sensible child labor laws, reasonable overtime rates, and so on. This is the minimum necessary to get back on the right track.

      I'd also like to see a 10% uniform tariff on all products. That would encourage local production, helping not just with the economy but with climate change, as well.

      Right now you are making 1/2 what you should be making, presuming you even have a job. The reason is our poor trade agreements. To the first order of magnitude poor trade deals have translated directly into destroying your standard of living.

      Please help refocus the debate on jobs and wages. That's where this should have been fought in the first place. We have a chance right now to go back and make that the crisis in Washington.

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