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We are in a very real battle in this nation and it is a battle for our heart and soul. It is spread out on many, many fronts...education, foreign policy, work ethic (individually and societally), immigration, the economy, moral values...and the list goes on.
Let's focus on the economy and one significant part of it...a major, growing part of it. Free Trade and foreign outsourcing.
I was going to entitle this article..."I used to make something"...or..."We used to make something in this country". But, I thought better of it and realized that such a statment was really focusing on the tail end of the issue as opposed to the root.
So, instead, I am simply calling it, "Today's Free Trade is not about the Free Market."
And it is so, today's Free Trade is NOT about the free market. Instead, in a very similar manner to other key issues in this battle for the heart and soul of America, what is happening is that a very craftily wordsmithed message of "Free Trade" has been put forth that people have bought into, thinking "How could anyone be against free trade? Why, isn't that all-American?".
Like with abortion, "How could anyone be against a woman's right to choose? Isn't that all American?".
In both cases, the craftily worded title has nothing remotely to do with what is actually going on.
The free market is the system our founders based our commerce on, where the intrinsic, underlying moral values of the people involved in the free market governed the equitable, free exchange of goods and services for other goods and services or currency. Sort of like John Adams said regarding the Constitution...
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."- John Adams, Oct. 11, 1798It is that underlying moral foundation coupled woth our liberty that made the Free Market in America the envy of the world, just like those same issues made our governmental form the envy of the world.
Well, as far as I am conerned, Adam's words could be tailored to this topic like so, ie... The Free Market was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the economy of any other.
This is a basic truth. Like our government, our free market was not supposed to be very regulated or burdened with miriad rules. The people and the companies were to use their own moral foundation to govern themselves. But, when the moral foundation is removed, you do not have what was intended for the Constitution, and you do not have a true free market.
When we use our foreign policy and economic policy to set up shop and trade with countries, societies, organizations or to implement policies that exploit their people's mercilessly, who keep them down without a hope for true liberty or freedom, who trample the moral values our own system was based upon...and when we do it knowingly, without compuction for those very underlying values, then we do not create a free market...no, that free trade has nothing whatsoever to do with, and is in no way similar to the FREE MARKET, rather, it serves to corrupt it.
Such notions, such actions are in fact wordsmithing for popularizing and putting forth a policy to drain the United States manufacturing, technological, agricultural, energy and other critical industries in order to weaken us...plain and simple...and it is working.
Based on my own travels on behalf of US firms and then later consulting for them...that is what is really happening here in my own opinion, and until we refocus as a people on that underlying moral foundation and the absolute need for it...we will continue to lose ground.
By the way, those same principles that are working at the societal level, have equal application at the personal level too...in fact, in the end it is the sum of their working at the personal level that creates the issue at the societal level.
August 1, 2003