There you go again Senator ignoring the negative consequences of your own actions. Those provisions risk a trade war at a time when our exports are falling and contributing to the growing unemployement, it would be the height of irresponsibility to pursue such a course. The Global economy is slumping and so there needs to be stimulus worldwide. The idea that you can isolate our economy would lead to a permenent Depression. Indeed the Smoot Hawley passed in 1930 jacked up tariff rates, a trade war ensued after which our exports plunged and Depression grew deeper. You want to help Manufacturing then invest in Technology, make our tax rates competative with foriegn manufacturers, and stop letting Unions drive them into the ground.
Okay, well, let's start off with something simple: You haven't a clue what you're talking about. For the sake of economic debate, I'll be referring to Atlasia as the US, using real-life statistics.
The global economy is indeed slumping and other countries have alot of work to do when it comes to stimulating our own economies. But the idea that I'm "ignoring the consequences of my own actions" is ludicrous. The U.S. (aka Atlasia) should not be stimulating the world on our own, other countries should stimulate their economies on their own. We can maintain trade, and make things easier for people to get into the market, but we need to be realistic about the real effect certain policies have on the economy, and, for one, "Buy Atlasian" ain't got nuthin' on Smoot-Hawley.
Smoot-Hawley jacked up tariffs to record levels (more than quadrupling them) on over 20,000 types of imported products and effectively choked off trade to Europe and other areas of the world very
quickly. This provision does nothing of the sort
and pretending it does is the height of ignorance. This clause of the bill simply mandates that a great deal of the manufacturing material involved in projects funded by the stimulus package will be created/manufactured from Atlasian businesses and workers, it doesn't stop other projects from being funded by foreign sources, it doesn't block foreign sources from doing trade with us in any other way, and it still allows a full 33% of stimulus project
materials to be obtained from other countries.
Protectionism is never a great policy when it's the only solution, and raising tariffs is seldom a bright idea when it comes to fixing the economy or raising revenue, but this is neither serious protectionism nor tariff raising, nor any other sort of trade restriction. I'm baffled that you would even pretend that they're on the same level. Manufacturing employment has been dropping for years now
and during that time, our exports slow and our reliance on Chinese imports skyrockets. There's an interesting article from 2002
that talks about the history of our trade and manufacturing relations with China since the end of the 80s, "Between 1989 and 2001, though U.S. exports to China more than tripled, imports from China increased eightfold, causing a whopping twelvefold surge in the U.S-China trade deficit."
You might be thinking "Well, a drop in employment is understandable as long as output continues to increase." Not so in most cases. Manufacturing output as either stalled, or, as government statistics have shown of industrial output overall
, has consistently, with blips throughout the rapid economic expansion after the fall of the Soviet Union, fallen lower and lower, and the overall peaks of industrial output have been less strong with each peaking. (These are less broad and somewhat unrelated, but California
manufacturing employment numbers are somewhat startling.)
My point is this, our reliance on Chinese imports is hurting our industry and our ability to manufacture and to export. Free trade generally does
increase jobs in certain sectors, but this is often at the expense of our manufacturing output, and we can't keep ignoring our ability to manufacture in favor of pencil pushing and service management jobs. The "Buy Atlasian" Provision makes it so we mandate a small portion of our overall manufacturing work be produced and done in Atlasia by Atlasians, and gives our manufacturing sector a much needed boost. Protectionism, in small doses as to not choke off trade or offend other nations, is not always a bad thing.
Nations need an element of self-sufficiency.
And this ties into the argument for temporary nationalization of the 3 Auto-Makers. The success of the "Big 3" is not only an economic concern, but a concern of national security.
These auto-makers often provide quick support for the military when materials and army trucks, jeeps, and even tanks and artillery are needed. These security demands increase our industrial production and manufacturing employment (which is, consequently, another contributor to the unusual freeze of manufacturing employment throughout the 90's, because of every other decade experiencing falls since WWII) and made sure that we could always rely on ourselves
rather than other nations in fighting our wars.
There are, of course, obvious concerns economically as well. We could lose millions of jobs in the auto-making industry alone if we do nothing, not to mention the additional millions of jobs that are indirectly dependent on that sector.
Moving on to your other (asinine) points, taxes are often overblown, and there's only so long we can whine about them. The taxpayer is now dealing with one of the lowest tax burdens in decades
and other tax hikes, such as FDR's during the Great Depression, Reagan's during the period of economic expansion under his two terms, and Clinton's in the first year of his term (which were surprisingly broad, by the way
) all had no noticeable negative effects on the economy. Especially Clinton's, which Republicans said would kill jobs, did nothing to stop the 23 million jobs created under Clinton's tenure.
Business taxes can be lowered, sure, we do have one of the highest (and some things put it at the highest) business tax rate in the world, but we should caution ourselves from just taking a hatchet to the business tax rate. Something like that is neither responsible, more effective than modest cuts, nor just economically sound at all. Permanent tax cuts are often bad, bad economic stimulus, and slashing the business tax rate has almost no sensible economic efficiency on the dollar
in comparison to other measures we could be taking. These tax cuts are modest and A) More psychological than seriously impacting, which does matter. And B) Designed to focus on very small businesses where tax cuts have a more sensitive effect.
Your union bashing is similarly dumb. Sticking to the topic of manufacturing work in auto-plants, non-unionized foreign auto-plants are very competitive with US-unionized plants in terms of pay.
There is no union-bashing to be done here, just business mismanagement. If you take a closer look at the numbers provided as comparisons, the major difference between the two are legacy costs
which, dumbed down for you if you're too lazy to check the link, are things like pensions, healthcare benefits for retired workers, etc.
WAGES: Base hourly wages and cost of living adjustments
* UAW: $29
* Transplants: $26
WAGE RELATED: Paid vacation, overtime, holidays, night and weekend pay, break time
* UAW: $14
* Transplants: $9
BENEFITS: Healthcare, training, etc
* UAW: $12
* Transplants: $11
LEGACY COSTS (Without VEBA): Pension and healthcare benefits for retirees
* UAW: $16
* Transplants: $3
LEGACY COSTS (With VEBA): Pension and healthcare benefits for retirees
* UAW: $3
* Transplants: $3
TOTAL LABOR COST:
* UAW (without VEBA): $71 * UAW (with VEBA): $58
* Transplants: $49http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2008/12/13/299179.html
This is, further, an argument that government management can bring forward the necessary changes that throwing money at the auto-makers, as we've done for many years now, could be the best bet we have towards properly restructuring their businesses and bringing forward a new American/Atlasian auto industry which is essential in more than a few ways. Simply, this has nothing to do with unions, just bad business decisions from the past and incompetent management. Stop with the knee-jerk union-bashing.
Of course, you and your RPP friend in the office of Game Moderator can continue to try and undermine anything the Senate does because he, through a partisan prism, doesn't like it. But let's stop acting like I'm ignoring the consequences of my actions and that I don't know what the hell I'm doing, hm?