Tariffs are a Winning Political Strategy Unless A Political Party Counters with a Solution that is both Populist and Effective

The relative world peace established by the United States’ rise as the world’s sole super power has for several decades lulled the potential for global war. By spending more than all other nations combined on war capability during the previous decades, America effectively eradicated multinational corporations’ (MNCs) only known natural predator. In the absence of other governments organizing their citizens to wage war for control of another country’s resources, multinational corporations have had no natural predators in third world countries for the past 40 years.

In third world countries, where developed and complex economies do not exist, dictators have been easily influenced to enter into one sided contracts and socialist countries’ have had few alternatives to the purchasing power of corporations but to enter into monopolistic contracts as well. Therefore, just as in any ecosystem that is devoid of natural predators, MNCs have proliferated during the previous three decades. While U.S. corporations have led the growth of MNCs, industrialized countries throughout the world have competed for direct foreign investments worldwide.

Two results of this explosion of MNCs have been the driving down of consumer goods prices and loss of jobs in industrialized nations. Since America consumes a quarter of the world’s output, jobs have been lost in countries across the globe to support our consumption. Other industrialized countries have partially subsidized the price benefits that America has received.

However, America has also lost jobs as a result of the transfer of investment to other countries. Some in America claim that we should have imposed limits on our country’s corporations’ foreign investments to limit American job losses. Limiting our investment would have only allowed other countries’ corporations to invest without competition from U.S. corporations. As a result, our corporations would miss opportunities as other nations’ corporations increased worldwide market share. Therefore, America correctly acquiesced to the notion that we must share the burdens of globalization to ensure our corporations maintain world market share of global investments.

Globalization is a worldwide phenomena created by America’s overwhelming military goals. Our military is an economic catalyst transferring the wealth of industrialized nations toward creating household purchasing parity around the globe. And this economic disparity of household incomes is so great that it will continue to provide overseas investment opportunities for America’s wealthy for decades to come unless the disaffection of industrial nations’ middle classes creates another predator. While China is quickly gaining long term worldwide contractual relationships with third world countries and building military defenses for a future military threat to its hegemony, war does not seem a threat to globalization for several decades at least. The more eminent threat to globalization is the political opportunity that MNCs have caused by their increasing structural unemployment in industrialized countries.

America’s Republican Party is now attempting to capitalize on the high unemployment of our middle class by touting tariffs as a way increase employment and to win the 2012 elections. Tariffs do increase employment and America is ready for a populist employment platform. Unfortunately, history has shown that as a government centric solution, tariffs are ineffective and ultimately cost a nation more than they benefit it. However, unless political parties are prepared to counteract waves of populist sentiment, America is destined to repeat detrimental policies. Remember what happened in Great Britain in 1945. Even though Winston Churchill had 83 percent support after the war, his party was overwhelmingly rejected when the Labour Party touted full employment, health and housing platforms.

To win against the party that supports tariffs, the competing party must support full employment that does not raise costs to Americans and that ultimately makes our goods and services more competitive in the world marketplace, two things that tariffs cannot accomplish.

My job voucher plan is a solution that can give the political party that retains it as part of its 2012 platform a winning populist strategy. It makes America competitive without raising costs of foreign goods to our consumers. It creates full employment without creating more social costs than our current unemployment and welfare solution. My job voucher plan does reduce the cost of American goods, does provide full employment for our labor force, does reduce our trade deficits, and ultimately pays back America for its investment in our people.

If you have a member of your political party that would be interested in more details, I would be happy to engage a discussion

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Full Employment

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