I never thought you were SEEKING to declare victory "Pete" ! I simply pointed out that there is no way to test the tariff system that I want instituted since there are no politicians willing to renegotiate "free" trade agreements into fair trade agreements. Consequently, the debate is really not worth having....<quoted text>
I am not seeking to declare a victory on this debate OT. We simply have different viewpoints. It wouldn't please me more to be able to share what industry I am in and relate some of my experiences with import regulations, ocean freight, import duties, etc. I don't feel comfortable revealing my industry or my retail category. I would like nothing more than to be able to purchase goods from U.S. manufacturers. Nothing is worse than dealing with the Chinese. Second to the Chinese are freight brokers in terms of inefficiency. I posted earlier describing a governmental program called the GSP. This program not only does not levy tariffs, it actually eliminates all import duties for several countries. This has been going on for years across numerous administrations. I will opt to purchase some goods based on the advantageous terms of this program, and sometimes, have purchased goods from one of these countries only to learn the program has temporarily elapsed. The end result is thousands of dollars of import duties I was not counting on and I would not have purchased the goods knowing the GSP program had elapsed. The government gets the import duties, I have goods I cannot sell due to their high price, and Americans are doing without the jobs associated with manufacturing these goods. It is a lose-lose situation all the way around and the objective of the program is to aid developing countries. Well, what about this country? This is one of the reasons I have a distaste for many government regulations.
In my opinion, true manufacturing jobs are never going to come back to the U.S. It is my belief that we have too much regulation, too many labor taxes, etc. to competitively manufacture commodities at the global market rate. I don't like it, but I think I am being realistic. T.V.'s are now made in Korea and Japan because they make better t.v.'s. I think this is because we make a better product in these categories. We also are superior in software development and computers. The goods I sell are mainly commodities now and any country can make them. Therefore, price prevails. That means I must import most of my products. The federal government used to impose tariffs on foreign factories in my industry but gave up. They simply didn't work.
In my opinion, if we are going to regulate manufacturing and task businesses with healthcare, unemployment, etc., then we should focus on manufacturing products that the world wants to buy and is willing to pay more for them. Trying to regulate the world's goods in my opinion simply won't work. It hasn't thus far. Develop a car that the world wants to buy and desires, we will start exporting more cars. If someone were to develop a synthetic fabric that is superior in durablity, cost and looks, then we would have more fabric mills and more people would buy clothes, upholstery, etc. from the U.S. We haven't had a lot of creativity in the past 20 or so years. My two cents.
The result of this reality is that government MUST pick up the slack for those lost wages and benefits and subsidize the employment of people at Wal-Mart with food stamps, housing subsidies and healthcare. I would prefer my alternative but like you, I have come to the conclusion that those jobs aren't returning to the USA. Without them, government will increasingly be required to pick up the slack. Those millions who work and do not earn enough to meet Federal Poverty Standards, are being subsidized so that their employers can continue to prosper and yet those employers are NEVER vilified but those workers certainly are. In my opinion, that is not seeing the forest for the trees.