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View Diary: Waxman channels many of us (238 comments)

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  •  it's a sure loser (0+ / 0-)

    Every time it's been tried before, it lost. It assumes that people's patriotism means more to them than their wallets mean to them.  It doesn't.

    And of course there is the simple fact that there IS no "American" to buy anymore.  All of the large corporations are global, all of them own big chunks of each other, and none of them have any loyalty whatsoever to any national government anywhere. GM is no more or less "American" than BP or Toyota is (which is the "American" car, the Ford assembled in Mexico, or the Toyota assembled in Tennessee?).

    The reality is that national economies simply no longer exist. "Buy American" is a quaint relic of the 20th century.

    The 21st century is different. It's time we joined it.

    •  Seems we need a 'national economy' (2+ / 0-)
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      kefauver, happymisanthropy

      as we have no other way to feed and house ourselves and  made in America means somebody got employed to produce it. I disagree i think the third way, free market, globalizing, privatizing era is now the relic as we are living though the consequences of the inevitable. The boats didn't rise, and we are the ones feeling the pain. Small businesses are what keeps any boats at all floating. Wallets are empty. Developing a real economy one that works for people and locally and globally is the challenge of the 21st century.  

      •  we don't have a "national economy" (0+ / 0-)

        We have a "global economy".  Everything you use, from the hamburgers you eat to the computer you are using right now---came from somewhere else. Any high-wage "American jobs" we create, will just get shipped off to low-wage havens, just like all the previous ones did.  The alternative is to ask corporados to voluntarily pay their American workers higher wages, out of the goodness of their patriotic heart, than they can get in China or Vietnam.  They simply won't do that, and there's simply no way we can MAKE them do that. It's sheer lunacy to even think we can.

        As for "American jobs"---I once again ask---which is the "American" car, the Ford made in Mexico, or the Toyota made in Tennessee?

        Do you plan on giving Toyota subsidies to keep its plants in Tennessee?  I'd very much like to see that--I want to see all the screaming headlines "US Government Gives Money to Japanese Company !!!!!"

        "Buy American" is already dead. "Made in America" is already dead. They died for global economic reasons that the US is utterly powerless to prevent or to change. We simply cannot force business to pay higher wages to their workers than they can get away with by moving elsewhere---and asking them nicely to please do it voluntarily for the patriotic flag, is the height of idiocy.

        Some of us are old enough to remember firsthand how the silly "Buy American" campaign failed so miserably the FIRST time, back in the 80's---right before the American corporations shipped everyone's jobs to Mexico and China. And all the reasons why it failed so laughably back then, still are in force today.  The end result will be the same.

        The world has changed. Nation-states and national economies, no longer exist. We are a unified global entity now. We might not like that, but alas reality is a stubborn thing, and it doesn't go away just because we don't like it.  (shrug)

        Small businesses are what keeps any boats at all floating.

        Nonsense.  Small businesses are a nonentity.  Nearly all of them die within the first three years anyway.  The ones that survive, live only at the sufference of the Big Boys who really matter. We do not live in an Adam-Smithian world of small shopkeepers--we live in a world of supra-national corporations who are bigger, richer and more powerful than any national government. The Big Boys routinely stomp small businesses into the mud any time it's convenient.  WalMart kills hundreds of small businesses every time it opens a new store. Small businesses are like krill---they flash in and out of existence in a brief moment, and during their ephemeral lifetime, their only purpose is to feed the bigger fish.

        The idealized world you dream of, of Adam-Smithian small businesses, doesn't exist anymore.  The corporados killed it over a century ago.

        •  reality and history (1+ / 0-)
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          are not static the only inevitable is change. Nothing is too big to fail in fact gravity alone pulls it down. The earth itself cannot sustain 'globalism' of this sort. It is crisis capitalism and it's eating itself. Of course the Adam-Smithian small business idealized world doesn't exist probably never did. The current version of capitalism run amok is not 21st century it is a reverse back to feudalism. Our small business has been around for 20years.

          The global economy is not working for people. It is based on funny money and slave labor the only solution for this disconnect is regulation and developing economies that actually allow people a means to live. The global economy is divorced from reality, it doesn't even work for the oligrachy/investment class unless it is bailed out and pumped up with fake bubbles. Free Market is a con, and small businesses are a major pert of the real economy that people live in.  

          •  reality is what it is (shrug) (1+ / 0-)
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            I don't create reality--I only point it out and describe it.

            The reality is that nation-states are dead.  The multinational corporados killed them. There is no "America" or "Japan" or "Swaziland" anymore---there are only geographical divisions of Ford, Seimanns, Honda and BP.

            If we want to fight that, we must become international too.  If we stay nationalistic and focus only on Americans -- as the labor movement stupidly did back in the 80's when the corporados were first going international -- then the corporados will simply grind us into the mud, one nation at a time. They are far more powerful than any national labor union, or any national government. If we are to face them on equal power, we too must become international and global.

            It used to be that "workers of all countries unite!" was just a utopian slogan.  Now, it is our only survival strategy. Capital is global and international; we must be, too.  We must be able to pursue them, fight them and BEAT them, anywhere on this blue earth that they choose to go. We must have an international labor movement that organizes no longer by nation or by region, but by company---we must insure that any Ford worker who does a particular job gets the SAME PAY for that same job, no matter where his factory is, whether San Francisco or Somalia, Tennessee or Tibet. One company, one union, one contract---everywhere. Ditto for environmental regulations, safety standards, child labor and minimum wage laws, etc etc etc.

            That, of course, will be a long hard process---and it will cost us lots of blood (just imagine what it's going to take to organize workers in CHINA). But it simply must be done.  We have no alternative. Narrow nation-based "solutions" have already failed in the past, and they will fail just as utterly in the future.  We no longer live in a world of nations.

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