Free Trade Fiasco

Free trade is a natural aspect of free enterprise that opens markets to the free exchange of goods and services while lowering consumer prices, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other snake oil scams being sold to Congress under the guise of free trade are simply schemes to subsume American sovereignty into a Pacific collective similar to the European Union whereby other countries will have more say over American laws and rights than American elected officials operating under the Constitution.

Tariffs and other protectionist schemes which purport to protect domestic production at the expense of foreign manufacturers seeking access to overseas markets are pure distortions of the free enterprise system which prevent the free flow of goods and services at the expense of consumers. Domestic manufacturers enjoy protection from foreign competition while consumers suffer through higher prices and the lack of innovation driven by intense free market competition. Introduction of these free market distortions are the reason free trade is commonly viewed as something necessary to be achieved in trade negotiations instead of being presumed as a bedrock principle of free enterprise in the first place.

Protectionism is touted as being necessary for the development of domestic industries until they are able to compete against established foreign competitors. In a free enterprise system, domestic industries would arise through radical innovations that placed foreign competitors at a disadvantage while benefiting consumers with new products at lower prices. With protectionist schemes, we merely trade a foreign inefficient manufacturer for a domestic one, and the need for protectionism seems to never disappear as the domestic manufacturer easily succumbs to the allure of protectionism instead of being forced into the hard work of innovation. It takes a great deal of effort to study an industry and dream up innovations which give you a competitive advantage in the market. It’s much easier to lobby politicians for protectionist measures which shield one from one’s competition.

Protectionists will argue that protectionism is necessary to prevent manufacturing jobs from being outsourced to other countries, yet America has had protectionist schemes in place all while shipping millions of American manufacturing jobs to China since the latter part of the last century. What American manufacturers have discovered in their zeal to take advantage of the willingness of Chinese workers to sell their labor so cheaply is that they have no control over their intellectual property, no control over the quality of Chinese manufactured goods, and no ability to return defective or substandard products due to the high transportation costs. Many American manufacturers are moving their operations back to America after being humiliated by the discovery of substandard and dangerous products being shipped here from China and sold under their brand names. Defective Chinese drywall, poisonous pet food, and dangerous baby food are just a few of the defective Chinese products which have cost American companies millions in legal liability all because they chased cheap wages whose cost was the abandonment of their ability to control production quality.

The free enterprise system only works when its participants endeavor to provide value to their customers in a win-win situation whereby both parties to a deal get what they want in a fair and equitable manner. There will always be those who seek shortcuts to profit through deception and dishonesty, but the free enterprise system eventually discovers these charlatans and punishes them severely through exclusion from future participation. That is, the free enterprise system does so only when it is allowed to operate free from distortion by overzealous government regulation that imposes these distortions not to protect consumers, but to protect favored corporatist entities whose carefully calculated generous donations fund political campaign coffers.

Establishment Republicans have a penchant for boxing themselves into corners through their own stubborn adherence to ideals advanced with the intention of demonstrating their opposition to the left. Grover Norquist makes the rounds every election cycle bullying Republican candidates into signing his no-tax pledge which then paints any elected Republican into a corner when it comes time to vote on the omnibus legislation favored by modern American politicians as a way to bury just about anything into bills so large no person could pretend to comprehend. Buried in any omnibus bill is the modification of some tax which then allows Democrats to point to any Republican supporter of that legislation as breaking his no-tax pledge. Having been publicly discredited with the revelation that a particular Republican voted for legislation that contained a tax hike, even though no normal person would infer that the legislation in question had anything to do with raising a tax, it is far easier to discredit this Republican legislator in any other area by reminding voters that he broke his no-tax pledge.

Free trade is yet another area where establishment Republicans have painted themselves into a corner and allowed the left to take advantage of their rhetoric. Progressives have designed a series of secretive trade bills they wish Congress to pass into law without having any clue as to their contents. To assuage the fears of Congress, the Obama administration has labeled this mess as free trade hoping establishment Republicans take the bait unable to defend a vote against something to which they have pledged such fealty in the past. To be sure, establishment Republicans are also being duplicitous on the point of free trade to reward their corporatist cronies with even more protectionism that stifles any need for them to do the heavy lifting of generating competitive innovations.

The fast track trade authority sought by President Obama would grant him the ability to negotiate free trade pacts which would then face an up or down congressional vote without the ability for legislators to offer amendments that strip out any disagreeable portions. Past presidents have used this fast track trade authority to negotiate free trade deals that benefited consumers by removing free enterprise distortions allowing for lower prices and access to goods and services. In President Obama’s case, the difference is that those past presidents approached Congress as men who had earned the trust of Congress and who could be counted on to negotiate in good faith.

President Obama has spent the last six years abusing any notion of trustworthiness as he has constantly reneged on his word both to Congress and the American people. From expanding the surveillance established in the wake of 9/11 to prosecute the War on Terror into a domestic spying operation on all Americans, to the use of the IRS to specifically target his political opponents with the full force of the federal government, to his constant berating of police officers defending their lives in desperate situations, to his permeating vision of race as the basis of any situation, President Obama has thoroughly abused the trust of the American people, yet he continues to not only ask, but demand additional trust as if it is inconceivable that he should not be granted such as he wishes.

Several prominent conservative legislators such as Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are warning that the TPP is nothing less that the creation of a Pacific Union which would place America in an amalgamation of countries on an even par while granting that collective amalgamation the ability to override the laws of any member country through a vote of the collective members. Senator Sessions pointed out that the British joined the European Union only to learn later that they could no longer fox hunt. This example may not resonate well with Americans who have no tradition of fox hunting, but the point is that many of the freedoms we take for granted as Americans will now fall under the jurisdiction of countries who do not share our passion for such freedoms. For example, many of the nations involved in this TPP have strict gun control laws, and it won’t be long before there is a vote to impose gun control on Americans despite the Second Amendment. By establishing the TPP, America would be relinquishing control of its sovereignty as defined by the Constitution to the whims of a council of these member nations with only a single vote on any business before that council.

It has long been a goal of progressives to establish a world government that erases national borders and national sovereignty. As a progressive, President Obama and members of his administration have worked diligently towards this goal with the culmination being this Trans-Pacific Partnership. If enacted, this legislation will finally grant to progressives that which has eluded them through the channel of the United Nations – the assimilation of America into a world body whose sovereignty eliminates American sovereignty and subsumes our freedom to the whims of other progressive totalitarians who do not share our penchant for individualism and personal liberty.

Do not be mistaken by the attempts of progressives to wrap this loss of American sovereignty in the guise of free trade. That is merely a label designed to conceal the true nature of this secretive pact advanced by an untrustworthy president. Benjamin Franklin warned that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” While Franklin was mostly talking about money in the context of the letter in which this quote appears, it is still prescient as a warning against the forces of totalitarianism which seek ever expanding government power under the guise of providing protection. The 9/11 terrorist attacks awakened Americans to their lack of safety from terrorism, which the progressives and establishment Republicans have been all too happy to exploit in their expansion of Big Government. This demonstrates just how successful the progressives have been in stifling our natural individualism and desire of personal liberty through their indoctrination camps they conveniently label public schools. Instead of first assessing our own ability to protect ourselves, Americans now look to government first when trouble arises. Nowhere was this pitiful point demonstrated so well as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where cowed citizens of New Orleans died waiting on help from the government to arrive instead of looking to their own natural abilities to save themselves.

Having reached for the brass ring in President Obama’s first term to enact as much of the progressive agenda as they could and been rewarded for their efforts with his reelection, now they seek that ultimate progressive fantasy of world government as the crowning achievement of their progressive president. From an American perspective valuing constitutional fidelity and personal liberty, history will judge President Obama harshly and relegate his tenure as the worst of our presidents. However, it is progressives, squirreled away in academia, who write history books, and they will praise President Obama in glowing terms to future generations of Americans if any still exist. The fact that doubts persist as to the probability of that outcome reveals the power of the TPP to eliminate American sovereignty, and thus future generations of what we now know as Americans.

Democrats in marginally safe districts who succumbed to the charms of President Obama and enthusiastically supported his legislative desires have found themselves turned out by voters in droves over the past three election cycles. The Democrat bloodletting has been so bad that Democrat viability is seriously threatened in several states, even down to the local level. It is House Democrats, led by ultra progressive Nancy Pelosi herself, who have revolted against the TPP and handed President Obama a stinging defeat on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation specifically designed to address Democrat concerns about the effects of this legislation on American workers.

To put this defeat in context, Democrats voted against a bill designed to protect American workers despite years of painting themselves into a corner on the sanctity of protecting American workers. This move is on par with Republicans suddenly voting for a tax increase despite having signed Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge! Democrats are essentially saying that this TPP legislation is so bad for America that they are unwilling to support their own president to pass it. Not surprising to us TEA Party conservatives, it has been the establishment Republicans, under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner who have rushed to the president’s defense to push for passage of this disastrous legislation.

With this move, establishment Republicans have fully revealed themselves as the Big Government corporatist supporters we conservatives have always known them to be. Establishment Republicans are fully owned by their corporatist donors to provide the political protection necessary for them to continue taking advantage of Americans by their continued transfer of wealth to their lofty perch at the top of the pyramid. They have no qualms about sacrificing American sovereignty to a world body despite their rhetoric disguised as conservatism, all in the service of enlarging Big Government and serving their corporatist masters. Any illusions by battered-wife conservatives of retaking the thoroughly corrupt Republican Party and ousting the establishment Republicans to restore conservatism as the guiding principle of the GOP should be completely disabused of those idealistic notions by this turn of events.

Future generations will look back to the decline of America and point to the tenure of President Obama as the impetus which seriously escalated that decline. Furthermore, they will view passage of the TPP as the single legislative event which doomed American sovereignty by placing it under the control of a world body hostile to the ideas of personal liberty and individualism upon which America was founded and which successfully guided her through much of her history. Never again will the collectivists have to face another threat to their control such as America has presented to them, because with America’s fall, never again will men attempt to wrest control of their individual liberty from the collective as they see the futility of such a fight having witnessed the collective juggernaut’s incessant and relentless attacks upon America until she eventually caved in to their demands.

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