American JOBS- Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, tell us what to do..??
We Americans got some good news recently, as the unemployment figures DROPPED from 10.2 %- to 10%.
I remain skeptical though, because in the business that I am in, I know this may only be temporary.
Yes, I saw a lot of new people being trained for new jobs. However, I know that come January and February, many of these “new faces” will be gone.
They are commonly called: Seasonal employees, who are picked up for the Christmas shopping season. Only a few, who show drive and determination, will remain in that job after the holidays.
Still, it is good news because the unemployment figures could have gotten worse.
Can we live with 10% unemployment..??
Can we live with one out of every ten people in America out of work..??
And let’s not forget, how many people are “under-employed”? How many people are working a job that they are vastly over- qualified for, but they settle for what they have because there is nothing else out there?
I still believe that JOBS and the economy are the most important issue that we face today. Hence, we march forward with our editorial series on JOBS.
When trying to find a solution to the economic problems that we face today, the debate usually unfolds like this:
(Here is an example debate between the liberal progressive and the conservative:)
“It was those dam democrats: Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who caused this crisis. They were in charge of banking.”
“Oh, yea; what about President Bush and the republicans? They were in charge of the government for 6 years and did nothing.”
“Really, well it was Reaganomics that de-regulated everything and caused this crisis because banks went nuts giving out crappy loans that hurt people.”
“You suck, it was Carter who set the country on this socialistic path and taxes are so high that people cannot pay their bills.”
“You idiot, it was Nixon who…”
At this point, if you folks would like to go get a sandwich and maybe a beverage, you have plenty of time. I guaranty that this fight will still be taking place when you return.
Might I suggest an ice cold soda pop and a baloney sandwich?
OK, let’s rejoin this debate between the liberal and the conservative, on what caused the current bad economy.
“You perverted fool, it was Jefferson who taxed people so that he could beef up his Navy.”
“Don’t call me a perverted fool you sick bastard, it was Adams who couldn’t decide if he was for a bigger government or a smaller one.”
“Oh, yea; well it was George Washington who…”
OK, let’s leave this debate between the liberal and the conservative. (You get the point.)
BOTH political party’s had a fair share in causing this economic crisis that we are in today.
And it will take both: conservatives and liberals to fix it.
In my last editorial on JOBS, we talked about the only solution that we can use to bring jobs back to America is with (taxes) tariffs.
We do not want to work for lower pay like in China, India, or Mexico.
We could relax environmental laws somewhat, but we do not want to pollute the air and water.
One stumbling block to tariffs is the belief that:
“You cannot mess with the free market. If government screws with capitalism, we are doomed to fail as a nation.”
Well, that might not necessarily be true. Let’s start at the beginning.
American JOBS- Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton; tell us what to do?
From the beginning, the Colonies in the New World were supplied by European ships carrying goods from foreign lands.
Sure, we built our own houses and grew our own food; but we imported most other things. (Clothing material, iron works, mechanical devices, etc.)
It was apparent after the Revolutionary War, that America NEEDED it’s own industry.
Joined together in the fight for freedom; Jefferson, Adams, and Hamilton were united. After the war, they could agree on little.
Jefferson wanted a smaller federal government with powerful “states rights” and personal freedom.
Hamilton wanted a larger federal government with “laws and order” and a powerful Navy.
Adams was stuck somewhere in between and spent his time trying to hold America together by appeasing both sides.
George Washington didn’t belong to any political party and after the Revolutionary War, Washington just wanted to go home and do some fishing. (Smart guy..!!)
One thing that all these men could agree on was that the federal government would have to raise money. But how..??
The founding fathers knew that they couldn’t impose personal taxes, they had just fought a war to get away from that. Yet, they knew that the federal government could not survive by charity. (Politicians working for free, states- banding together to donate materials and labor to build Navy ships, etc.)
Being resourceful, the founding fathers always looked for ways to solve two problems with one solution. And America had 3 BIG problems to solve:
(One) The federal government needed funds
(Two) America needed industry. We didn’t “make” many things in America. (Sound familiar..??)
(Three) The Southern States had “slave” labor. How could any Northern business compete with Southern States that had very low labor costs? (Also, very familiar with our situation today. Low labor costs of goods made in China, Mexico, etc.)
The founding fathers solution was ingenious and simple:
Tax (tariff) all goods that arrive by ship.
This solution solved all three problems.
The federal government received the money it needed to survive. Yet, it didn’t tax individual Americans, personally.
The tax was high enough that it forced some European companies to move to America and set up shop. Also, enterprising Americans ventured into business on their own.
And, the South couldn’t bombard the North with cheap goods made from slave labor because these goods arrived up North, from the South, by ship; thereby receiving the shipping tariff. (It was almost impossible to ship large amounts of goods over land in those days.)
The tariff was the solution that solved our problems in those early days. The tariff ranged from a low 5%, all the way up to a high of 50%, in 1828.
You could almost tell who controlled congress by how high the tariff was.
When southern democrats (“Democrat- Republicans” as they were called back then) controlled the congress, they would lower the tariff to “help the southern states compete in the global market.”
When a northern member of the “Whig Party” controlled congress, the tariff would rise to “protect northern states from unfair advantages that ‘other’ countries have over America.”
The tariff fluctuated like that until President Lincoln and the abolishment of slavery. Now, the south didn’t have an unfair labor advantage. President Lincoln had to impose a 49% tariff to fund the Civil War. After the Civil War, with the south no longer demanding the lower tariff, the tariff remained high.
With this HIGH “protection tariff” in place, American industry became one of the best in the world.
By the 1900’s, the British newspaper: “The Daily Mail”, declared: “We have lost to the American manufacturer. (We have lost) electrical machinery, locomotives, steel rails, and agriculture machinery, the pride and backbone of the British engineering industry.”
America had become an industrial giant.
However, greed has a way of poking it’s ugly head into our lives.
American politicians (and large companies) began to believe that if America lowered it’s tariff, (and other countries lowered theirs) American manufacturers could make EVEN MORE MONEY selling goods overseas.
Enter- The era of Free Trade and low Tariffs
President Woodrow Wilson believed in low tariffs. With the advent of the “income tax”, the federal government no longer needed a high tariff to run the country. Income tax provided the government with plenty of money.
America experienced a great industrial boom.
This is where, (I believe) the notion was formed that: “trade MUST be free from tariffs, for American industry to grow”.
It is important to remember that Europe went through WW1. The “Old World’s” industry was devastated from this war. American goods would have been bought by foreign nations REGARDLESS of the tariff rate. Other nations had little choice. WW1 and WW2 crippled these nations.
Now, I’m NOT saying that we should have taxed “the crap” out of people who were suffering. I’m saying that “Free Trade” wasn’t the only catalyst for our economic growth.
None the less- free trade, low tariffs, and world trade policies became the normal for democrats and republicans alike.
America chugged along pretty good after WW2. That is, until…
American labor unions demanded HIGHER pay for it’s workers.
Americans demanded cleaner air, clearer water.
We wanted safer jobs.
And WHY NOT..!!
(We deserve it.) We work hard..!!
And, from the safety of our front porches, we all watched as the textile industry left American shores. We do not make clothing material here, anymore.
We all laughed at the first Japanese made TV sets. They were made with plastic shells. “Who would buy one ..??”, we said. American made television sets were framed in wood. They were BIG, heavy, scary looking things and it took four guys to move one. Today, you cannot find an American made TV.
We scratched our heads when we saw the first “small” foreign cars zipping by on American highways. Today, foreign cars make up nearly 45% of the vehicles sold in America.
We do not “make” anything, anymore.
But we do not make anything, anymore.
Some argue that “free markets” are what built America.
Others debate that “protectionism” allowed America to become strong.
I argue that it was a delicate balance between the two, that made America strong.
Protectionism of the 1800’s allowed American industry to become strong and excel in the “free markets” of the 1900’s.
The key is knowing when to “protect” and when to “free” the markets.
If ever there was a time to protect our industry, it is the present.
We need to learn from the founding fathers, for they went through the same thing that we are experiencing today.
It worked for the founding fathers. There is no reason why it will not work again, today.
Written by AR Babonie for The Angry Republic
This concludes our 4th editorial on American JOBS. If you are interested in this topic and you missed the first 3 parts, I have links below.
The next editorial on American JOBS will deal with the next level of business for returning jobs to America.
We know what the problem is, we have a solution, and we have looked at the constitutionality of this solution. (Hell, the founding fathers did it, so it MUST be legal.)
Next, we need to start to implement this solution. I will need your help and your impute. We need to find politicians who also believe that American JOBS are the most important issue of the day.
I do not care if this politician is an independent, republican, or democrat. The issue of American JOBS rises above political parties.
If we cannot find a politician who supports the issue of American JOBS, then we will create one. (After all, these politicians work for us.)
But, that is for our next editorial, called:
American JOBS part 5- Taking the First Step
Past editorials on American JOBS
American JOBS part 4- Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, tell us what to do
(You just read that one)
American JOBS part 5- Taking the First Step
(Due out in a couple of weeks)
Thanks for reading
The Angry Republic