In Defense Of Wage And Environmental Parity Tariffs
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2010-09-28 10:43 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 45 references Ignore this thread
In Defense Of Wage And Environmental Parity Tariffs *
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This ought to wake you up:

Household incomes plunged for the second year in a row in 2009, as fewer families earned over $100,000 a year and the ranks of the poor rose, according to census statistics released Tuesday.

...

....almost one in four families earned less than $25,000, an increase of one percentage point. "

Folks, either our wage and hour laws, along with our environmental protection laws, are defensible or they are not.

If they are, then they are for any product or service sold in the United States, irrespective of where it's produced.

If they're not, then they're not defensible for any product or service sold here, again, irrespective of where it's produced.

We have spent 20 years exporting our labor to places where effective slave-labor conditions are the order of the day and environmental standards are non-existent.

This is what rivers and lakes look like in China, where we source most of our "consumer goods" nowdays:

inline

Who are we trying to kid here?

International corporations do this because it's cheaper.  They use the lack of these laws to evade our laws here.  We permit it, we allow them to import as "free trade", and in doing so we are just as responsible for the exploitation of the people, and destruction of the environment, as if it took place right behind your house.

But for our economic activity in this "trade" that pollution and slave-labor would not happen.

So cut the crap America.

Either our standards are valid or they are not.  If they are, then they are.  Enforce them.  Since we can't force other nations to conform with our laws, the solution is simple: we enact wage and environmental parity tariffs, thereby destroying the incentive for firms to poison the environment and exploit people elsewhere to evade our laws here.

The manufacturers now have a choice - either bring the jobs back here, in which case we now have a rising wage base, or our Treasury gets refilled with funds with which to pay welfare and other benefits in various forms to those who are displaced.

Neither political party wants to face this reality, of course.  But that doesn't make it less true.  To the contrary - it is absolutely the case, and we're hypocrites.

We as Americans, bluntly, are pigs.  We claim that "Minimum Wage" laws are both just and necessary, but we won't enforce that which we claim is just and necessary - instead we give manufacturers a simple way around the law by simply firing all the US workers involved and moving the plant to Mexico or China!

Likewise, we claim that environmental protection is important.  But instead of enforcing it, we then allow the manufacturers to do what you see above, so long as it happens to someone else.

Wake up America.  Either our laws are worth enforcing or they're not.  If they're just then they are, and for those who choose to evade them by offshoring, the proper response is to tariff everything that comes into this country using those means of bypass in the exact amount of the benefit so gained.