Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

57 Free Trade


When I was young, I was a Free Trader because it seemed like the sophisticated thing to be. Free Trade does offer an alternative to dealing with exploitative unions in the U.S., plus it prevents the Black Marketeering resulting from tariffs and other import restrictions. But after considering the ramifications of Free Trade for the past two decades, I have changed my mind. The reason: market economies like ours seek out the lowest costs, and more and more often, the lowest costs are not in our country.

As it turns out, America is having done to it what it did to Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Back then our labor and productivity was better than the nations we were selling to because we were developing: now new developing nations do the same thing to us. A job that pays the rent, values your expertise and reliability, and is plentiful enough to quit, most likely involves manufacturing. We don’t have many of those kind of jobs anymore: we sent them overseas so that The Rich could get richer and things are cheaper. This undermining goes under the title of “Free Trade.” Unfortunately, we have a huge portion of our population whose capabilities are limited to the kind of jobs that we are losing, so we end up supporting them via the social safety net. Free Trade is definitely not free.

The trade-off is owning more stuff or employment. If given the chance to choose, most working Americans would choose employment but the “Free” Trade purveyors have some persuasive arguments why workers in other countries should benefit from American largess, and that new jobs are created back home due to “Free” Trade, even though for any job created, many more have been lost. America is not one-with-the-World: we are our own economic system, our people are ambitious, and our culture is different. We’re certainly willing to work with the World but not to our detriment. So, if the goal is “jobs,” then we know where to get them: take them back from the foreigners we gave them to. Get rid of Minimum Wage & restrictive union rules, and redistribute the wealth from the Nouveau Aristocracy via subsidies to people making less than it costs to live. It would no longer be cheaper for a business to off-shore, so the people who make all the money from off-shoring would redistribute to the low wage workers, and rest of us would still get all the cost benefits that off-shoring brings.

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