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View Diary: Social Security by the Numbers (73 comments)

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  •  Tariffs would do the trick (1+ / 0-)
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    Liberal Thinking

    They would raise prices a little, but raise pay and employment by a larger margin.

    Other countries would threaten retaliation, which would be fine.  They would be hurt by being denied access to our markets more than we would be hurt by access to our market.

    For example:  US companies build the IPhone and computers and software, we just build them overseas.  If it became more profitable to build them here then they would relocate them here.  I would bet that the threat of losing access to US electronic devices and software would convince other countries to not get into a trade war with us.

    Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

    by AppleP on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:34:08 AM PDT

    •  Precisely (0+ / 0-)

      In his excellent book Free Trade Doesn't Work Ian Fletcher points out that decades of free trade haven't increased jobs in the industries here that export. He suggests higher tariffs (30% uniform tariffs).

      I don't think I would go that high, but I think we need to supplement that with an international minimum wage. The combination of the two (and they should be phased in over time) would bring production back to the U.S. We consume something like 40% of the world's output. Companies would move production to the U.S. to address that market.

      I'd like to see 10% uniform tariffs (for all countries, not just the U.S., to promote local production) and an IMW stating around $2.50/hour and rising steadily until it is equal to our domestic minimum wage. (I'm thinking of phasing in the higher tariffs over a ten-year period and increasing the IMW in real terms by about 2-3% per years until it reaches parity).

      Cheap foreign labor is the chief cause of job loss. It has resulted in a steady decline of manufacturing in the U.S. Over the last thirty-plus years we've lost over a quarter of our manufacturing jobs--and that doesn't even take into account population growth. Along with that is the steady decline in average wages.

      Manufacturing jobs are wealth-producing jobs. This is where wealth comes from. It comes from creating a product that is more useful than the resources that went into it. When you move wealth-producing jobs overseas you impoverish the country. It should be our top priority to get them back.

      So, our trade situation is intimately bound up in the jobs and wages situation. It's the primary thing, IMO, we need to address in order to get jobs and wages up.

      Thanks for your comment. Right on!

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