McCain Versus Obama on Free Trade: McCain = McCan’t and Obama = OhMama

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

You have heard this famous cliché many times, we are sure. “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. There is even an acronym for it! TANSTAAFL. Go figure. For an explanation of how the cliché was derived, read the reference link. It is quite fascinating, well, at least interesting, well worth a click anyway.

Our politicians banter about the term “free trade”, but what it means is not exactly clear. Similar to the “free lunch”, it is practically a cliché. Our personal definition would be trade of merchandise between nations without taxes, duties or fees. So, if an item costs $5.00 to purchase from a company in Mexico, you don’t pay $30 because the US government wants $25 in tariffs, you actually pay $5.00!!  This combined with free and equal access, so it is as easy to find and buy our goods there as it is to find and purchase theirs here.

This really does not exist for the individual. We have relatives and friends all over the globe and most nations examine every package sent, even those declared as gifts, and charge fees and duties to the recipients. This is even with our so-called allies. Recently we sent a video collection to a friend in Canada. Its value was $100. They taxed our friend $30 even though it was marked clearly as a gift. 30% is hardly free.

Similarly, when we arrive home from travel to a foreign destination, our bags are searched to see if we have anything to “declare”. If we do, we pay taxes and duties on it. “Free trade” is a pipe dream for the individual.

On a larger scale, free trade provides merchandise from foreign countries at a significantly cheaper price than if tariffs and fees were charged. The questions become, why is it cheaper and what does it really cost us to deliver those cheap goods to our shores?

So called “free trade” has proven to be a double edged sword (what another cliché?). It clearly cuts both ways. It is not always tit for tat.  or even Steven. But we digress.

Fact is, nothing is “free” in “free trade” except the word free, and the lie behind that word has cost America plenty. What America has gained with respect to “free trade” is primarily a lower inflation rate. Just ask Uncle Alan Greenspan. We are able to import vastly cheaper products than we could manufacture in the US, so products are indeed cheaper. Check that $10 shirt in the closet and your $39.99 shoes and see where they are made. We are willing to bet it isn’t in the US.

Most of our cars are manufactured in Mexico, Canada, Korea, Germany and Japan. Most bicycles, clothing, shoes, etc. (and we stress the etc.) are manufactured in China and throughout Asia. The other edge of the sword is that it is no longer profitable to make anything in America, so jobs are lost, but more importantly, the national trade deficit rises as we purchase vastly more than we sell. Perhaps, as our wonderful politicians state, you actually could train people for new jobs, but that would only make them buy more foreign products increasing the deficit even more. Great idea.

The biggest consideration of a huge trade deficit is a weak dollar. The dollar has collapsed versus other currencies since we instituted supposed “free trade” with many other nations. Now, think for a minute. If this were fair, why are their currencies soaring with respect to ours? Because the only thing we have to trade is our dollar!! We don’t make anything else, so all we can do is print money to buy it all!

It is apparent that the gain in lowering the rate of inflation does not compensate those that lost their jobs as a result, and it certainly does not justify our huge trade deficit. If “free trade” were equal trade, the huge trade deficit would not be there! But we do at least have EBAY for those that lost their jobs as a result.

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was drafted for free trade among North American Nations. We cannot possibly cover all the facets and criticisms of this agreement, but it is also covered here. It has caused much of a stir over the years, and whether it was beneficial or not depends on your perspective, but we believe it the least of our problems.

We do not believe in “free trade”. We believe in fair trade. And we do not believe in fairness only for special interests, but for America as a whole. Certainly some businesses benefit strongly from marketing cheap goods in the US Market or exporting their labor to foreign nations, but who pays for that, and just as importantly, who gets paid for endorsing it (lobbyists, government officials)?

Here is an article that clearly defines how badly we are doing on the trade front. We agree completely with the Democratic position here. “In July, the politically sensitive deficit with China increased 16.1 percent to $24.9 billion, the second highest gap on record.

Critics contend the administration has not done enough to combat unfair Chinese trade practices. U.S. manufacturers say the Chinese keep the yuan undervalued by as much as 40 percent against the American dollar. That makes Chinese goods cheaper for American consumers while making U.S. products more expensive in China.”

On an international basis, we must be more restrictive with nations that cheat the United States. China, for example, while they provide cheap products, steals daily from Americans. They destroy American companies with illegally exported products and they cheat wherever it favors them. They market fake companies on our stock markets and steal from our investors by falsifying reporting information with the assistance of the NASDAQ and NYSE. And when one of these companies goes under, and the Chinese criminals make off with the money, no one prosecutes them; the Chinese government lines their pockets and Americans surrender another portion of their retirement portfolios.

Nations that cheat and steal from the United States should not be offered free trade even if it means cheaper products. Those cheaper products ruin US companies, destroy jobs and line the pockets of criminals. It is not that we think fair trade is not an objective we should seek with all nations, but we think our government has severely failed us in protecting us from economic theft by nations such as China that even cheat with 12 year old girls in Olympic Gymnastics. China does not deserve free access to our markets, and US citizens do not deserve to be abused by a government drooling over the evident opportunities for their special interests.

All that said, and now that we have made our opinions on “free trade” and trade in general as clear as we can without a complete dissertation on every possible trade agreement, let’s allow the candidates to have a say. After all, it isn’t we that are running for President.

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Communism Does Not Upset Us, Chinese Cheats do! How NASDAQ Assists China As They Cheat the US in Olympics and In Business.

China not only cheated when they sent under-aged contestants into the 2008 Olympic Women’s Gymnastics competition, they repeatedly cheat against the US in many other ways.   Our politicians are afraid to turn away cheap Chinese imports, so they continually look the other way.  Some call it free trade. Certainly it is “FREE” for China, but it is very expensive for the US.

They destroy US companies and are solely responsible for their criminal activity. Other Asian countries may have somewhat similar problems, but it is primarily the Chinese that continue to tap our economy for their criminal gains.

China repeatedly allows the resale of bootlegged US Software, brand name purses and other products throughout the world. This practice devastates many US and International companies. Recently, in a trip to our local mall, a vendor was selling $10 knock-offs of sunglasses, Revo, Oakley and Ray-Ban, claiming them all to be genuine.  All made in, you guessed it, China.

Fake crocs or frocs 1Also recently, the companies CROCS and HLYS were devastated by Chinese knock-offs and the International Trade Commission did nothing as knock-offs of patented shoes were exported from China throughout the world.

When CROCS was sued because soft shoes were found to be dangerous on escalators, the Chinese companies that had robbed them of hundreds of millions in sales were nowhere to be found. They take the profits of their criminal activity, but they disappear when it comes to financial and social responsibility.

China Energy Savings Technology, Inc.

(CESV when they were traded on the NASDAQ) is another example of a Chinese disgrace. The company was marketed on the US Stock exchange. The company claimed that it had over $3.00 in cash on hand. The NASDAQ and Yahoo trusted them and published these statistics as fact showing their strong cash position and cash flow.

It was all a lie, and the NASDAQ was complicit. CESV dissolved in days as the CEO disappeared and all that cash was nowhere to be found.  The rest of the board then walked away, leaving American investors to lose hundreds of millions. What was China’s action on the matter? To market more fraudulent companies on the NASDAQ and continue to apparently endorse the fraud.  They took no specific action against the criminals that committed the fraud, nor did they make any effort to make foreign investors whole.  Lawsuits were filed, but suing a company within Communist boarders is like trying to teach a pig to talk, you waste your time and you annoy the pig.

The Chinese gymnastics team is only one small example of where China defrauds the US and the World, in some cases stealing retirement savings from legitimate investors. They have no remorse and take no remedial action to prevent the fraud as they consume our resources.

And so we trust them with the Olympics as they abuse children too.

Chinese Government Cheats At Olympics, Chinese Women’s Gymnasts Deserve Our Respect

In our Polls we have seen most people believe that China not only cheated, but that the Chinese team should be stripped of their Olympics medal. This is by a huge 5-1 margin so we have to respect our readers’ opinion.

We would like to add, however, that we humbly disagree with the people in our polls. We feel that the team members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics team are victims of a totalitarian government that has placed pressure on them to lie and win at all costs.

We feel that the media and the world will know the truth within months and China will be disgraced. But these girls deserve our respect for surviving in an environment in which a government rules by intimidation and lies.

Our hearts go out to them, and we wish them our best and hope they are back again to show us their best in the next Olympics. We hope China does not get excluded from the next Olympics for their illegal acts, because these girls deserved better.