March 21, 2012
Troubleshooting Our Stalling Economic EngineBy John Kelly
If Sadi Carnot, father of your car's engine, were asked to analyze our nation's troubled economic engine, he would simply tell us we are defying, if not denying, the operating principles of that which we claim intent to repair.
We know the distortion created by counting only Americans actively unemployed as such, but do we realize the lie of calculating economic growth using false inflation numbers? John Williams at shadowstats.com apparently does. Asst. Treasury Secretary Paul Roberts calls today's government numbers "statistical artifacts," not facts.
Our manufacturing dwindles, trained specialists and youth are underemployed, private-sector career prospects are glum, and family dwellings bleed value. Problems run much deeper than government debt. Before corporate-government elites finish butchering our country for parts and draining its resources for use elsewhere, let's troubleshoot the problem.
The first question any good troubleshooter asks is, Did the thing ever work? The answer: yes, it once ran great. That's a sign of hope. Fixing it shouldn't require novel upgrades or futuristic schemes...only a return to basics -- getting what has worked back to what might or should -- simple natural truths.
In an economic engine, motivated people with their ideas, abilities, and materials go in one end; sustenance and well-being come out the other -- quality in, quality out. Allowed to run reasonably and freely within protective yet competitive national margins, a well-running economic engine creates useful product while it sustains and betters people's lives.
Looking at automobile engines for clues, we find that the nation needs just three essentials -- good fuel, solid compression, and strong ignition. Other factors contribute to those three, but engines simply won't run without the three things mentioned. Ask any mechanic.
While Washington elites attempt futuristic, socially compensating, redistributive, Euro-style, eco-amazing globalization schemes, America's economic engine really needs its three basics: a civilized people, a solid nation, and strong incentive. Other things -- natural resources, commerce, and currency -- play their part, yet those basic three are rock-bottom necessities.
Engines need good fuel. An economic engine uses the fuel of civil people who flow through its economic engine, supplying their work product, creativity, and protective strength. Our nation's potential equals its people's potential in terms of civility, work ethic, and resourcefulness.
An automobile engine's cylinders use compression to contain and direct fuel combustion. They can't leak outward or inward. Our nation should be a stronghold that protects the lives, work product, homes, and future of our people -- our people, not the world's people. National "compression" requires a solid border, self-interested trade and labor policy, reasonable law, and a capable military.
Friendly international rivalry is healthy. Historically, says Cambridge economics professor Ha-Joon Chang, building the economies of "Britain and the United States depended on protective tariffs to a significant degree." Our first apologist in chief, Woodrow Wilson, abandoned them.
Combustion engines use a high-voltage ignition to explode the fuel's potential energy. Freedom is America's ignition. Protecting both property and individual rights "ignites" civilized people's inborn incentives to better life by creating work product, industry, and commerce. Their creativity and work expand within a strong, self-interested nation's borders, benefiting all involved citizens. This ignition of protected rights and freedoms was once America's overriding secret of success.
Notice how vastly different that outline of our once well-functioning, traditional economic engine is from the stalling, sputtering mess now developing before our eyes. According to business school professor Peter Morici, "[g]ains are concentrated in areas such as restaurants, health care and education, and business services categories -- waiters, nurse's aids and record keepers, not teachers, architects and lawyers."
Obama was quoted as saying, "Industry tells me that they don't have enough highly skilled engineers." That quote's source, the Center for Immigration Studies, speaks of "1.8 million U.S.-born individuals with engineering degrees who are either unemployed, out of the labor market, or not working as engineers." This headline, "The Demand for Foreign Scientists and Engineers Increasing" should have read, "The Demand for Long Hours and Low Pay Increasing." The government grants 125,000 foreign work permits every month competing against Americans.
Taking on other countries' fuel gives cost benefits to employers, while Americans work for less pay, sit idle, or retire. State and federal budgets endure a $19,588 net annual cost per typical low-skilled immigrant household. Our natural environment suffers increased human overload while our society assumes the manners of a mismatched, stew-like culture -- a recipe for civil unrest and failure.
People once came to America to be part of a nation unlike all others. Now people come here to make America like all others. Roughly 85% of legal immigrants are from various countries lacking egalitarian rule of law, constitution-based governance, or high standards of civil society. Even Texas' economic growth tale was really about jobs filled with anyone but Americans.
Our engine's compression is lowered by a hapless free trade policy that pursues global corporate interests, not the American peoples' interests. Rampant globalism creates deep trade deficits and encourages offshore investments that flush what were once "high-compression" industries and jobs. The border, our economic engine's "head gasket," leaks while lawmakers discuss amnesty options and increases visa numbers. Our overpriced education system fails to teach its three basics -- reading, writing, and arithmetic -- while promoting anti-American culture and eccentric, anti-family social behavior.
Even our most critical "high-compression" feature, military readiness, is becoming economically and culturally threatened. Bogart's character, Joe Gunn, in Sahara attributes American fighting prowess to a striving to preserve one's "dignity of freedom." Now, with freedom waning and our country culturally confused, for what and for whom are we fighting? The term "nation," take the Arapaho Nation, for example, used to denote a proud self-identifying people. Under globalism, a nation is just a tired brand name, logo, and set of colors.
Americans' incentive to pursue self-interest -- our engine's ignition -- is being weakened by government mandates, environmental regulations, social engineering, progressive taxation, and over-advantaged foreign competitiveness. The left's current watershed era of booming government including Obama's allusion to militaristic compliance hastens the growth of government-corporate cronyism and moves America toward a globalist, Mussolini-style fascism. Fear and uncertainty loom while political correctness twists the words and arms of anyone sounding alarm.
A simple "tune-up" won't restore our engine. The restoration of fundamental design standards is vital. We must restore our freedom and our nation's traditional integrity while dealing more cautiously with global economics.
To enrich America's fuel, resume pre-1965 immigration policies, end birthright citizenship, and restore border integrity.
To regain America's compression, enact a simple Natural Strategic Tariff to rebuild manufacturing industry. Educate our selves "how the U.S. once succeeded so well under tariff regimes that were not particularly sophisticated."
To rekindle America's ignition, reinstate our constitutional foundation of individual and states' rights.
All engines run on simple, essential, and self-evident natural laws. Our country's leaders deceitfully avoid this truth.
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