Free trade hypocrisy
By Thomas E. Brewton
Is liberal self-contradiction deliberate, or the result of ignorance?
Liberal labor union supporters speak of promoting human welfare by opposing free trade. But the evidence shows that free trade has greatly improved the lot of citizens in countries exporting to the United States.
The problem within the United States is not loss of jobs in total, but the loss of jobs in heavily unionized, therefore over-paid sectors of the economy that were able to free-load on the rest of the nation before foreign competition became a reality.
Liberals have hooked the free-trade issue into opposition to globalization, the latter being only indirectly related to the former. Globalization – the dispersion of a corporation's activities around the globe to optimize economic efficiency – is not a necessary implication of free trade. Globalization is rather a phenomenon of instantaneous satellite communications systems and the transition of human activity into a more heavily technological age.
Labor unions deliberately conflate the two as a way to deflect full scrutiny from their purely selfish desire to increase union membership, no matter what the cost to everyone else. If free-trade can be tarred as a new form of colonialism that oppresses people for no motive other than corporate profits, then labor unions can climb upon the pseudo "moral" high ground of liberal-Progressive-socialism.
In liberal-Progressive-socialistic doctrine, of course, profit is an evil word. The very idea that someone would expect to make a profit as an incentive to risk his own savings and livelihood in entrepreneurial activity is unconscionable greed to liberals.
The seamy underbelly of anti-globalism is typified by mass protests that illogically attempt to link globalization with political oppression. A few examples:
From an article by David Horowitz and John Perazzo in the April 13, 2005, edition of FrontPageMagazine.com:
Another example, from DiscoverTheNetwork.org:
It is particularly appealing to liberal-Progressive-socialists that the globalization aspect resonates with the internationalism of socialism. The Marxian paradigm is one of a worldwide brotherhood within an abstraction called "the workers." Such abstractions are used to separate consideration of the putative virtues of socialism from the reality of everyday life for those afflicted with socialist regimes.
An example of such thinking is What Real Globalization Would Mean by David Graeber, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Yale University.
[The traditional term for this is nations, an outmoded concept to socialist internationalists]
[We shouldn't imprison terrorists, but American Presidents and Cabinet officers are fair game; the Supreme Court should forget about the Constitution]
[How does Warner Brothers compel Chinese to buy Michael Jackson CDs? Why should Indian pharmaceutical companies be permitted to steal the billions of dollars of research work of American and European Pharmaceutical companies?]
[A banker is also a fiduciary charged with protecting depositors' funds; simply giving them away to Third World countries is criminal activity]
[Try to convince unions that immigration law reducing the ratio of workers to jobs is a bad idea]
[Here we have the scientific, socialistic reason for the anti-Americanism of our college students]
It's easy for liberals to talk passionately about benefiting "the people" as long as they don't have to deal in specifics. Liberal-Progressive-socialists gloss over the necessity for tyrannical governments to implement the global uniformity they desire for socialism and abhor for capitalism.
The German movie "The Lives of Others" pictures with clinical lack of emotion the horror of living in a "good socialist" society under the Stasi (the Ministry for State Security, East Germany's version of the Gestapo), one in which most people are equally poor. Stasi officials spoke always in terms of benefiting society, but individual Stasi leaders inevitably came to equate their personal career advancement, via spying and intimidation, with the common good.
In the same vein, union leaders, enjoying huge salaries and perks many times greater than their members, talk about universal human values to justify forcing unionism upon workers who, in secret ballots, consistently reject unionism.
Costs to the nation of anti-free-trade unionism are substantial. First, union efforts to shut off foreign competition and restrict American production to over-paid union workers would penalize poor citizens in the United States, who, because of inexpensive imports, now can buy a variety of products far beyond the reach of their parents and grandparents. Second, we have only to look at areas like New England and New York State, once major manufacturing centers that have been crippled by pro-union regulations and mandatory medical and other benefits demanded by unions. Costs and restrictions on corporate flexibility have driven business to more friendly locales, in the United States and overseas, leaving high unemployment and stagnant economies in labor union-friendly states.
Lest there linger any doubt about the true nature and aim of labor unionism, let Karl Marx's colleague Friedrich Engels describe it in specific terms (in The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1844):
In a nutshell you have the essence of labor unionism: the sort of tyranny and isolationism that played a major role in the 1930s Depression.
From one side of their mouths liberal-Progressive-socialists and their labor union cohort speak in grandiloquent terms of human values. But from the other side of their mouths they champion exactly the same economic policies as Hitler's National Socialism: walling off the United States from the world economy to create a tightly regulated, socialized political economy.
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is The View From 1776. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.