The Journal

 

Serving the Metropolitan Area

 

Since 1872

 

May 20th

 

FAIR TRADE a'fore FREE TRADE!

 

By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate

 

Syndicated by Acme Features

 

          Parnells been gathered in one or another of those as are called border states (besides Kentucky, that would include West Virginia and Missouri) for six generations but my pa, the Senator, counted himself among Southern Democrats, which course I faithfully followed... at the beginning. Not that I ever thought myself a liberal... after Wet Willie and his missus, China Gore and Ketchup Johnny's 57 varieties of failed campaignin' and negotiatin’ and, then, the false springs of ’08 and twelve and the ersatz people’s revolution of 2016, even neoliberalism tastes like a hair in the stew, now... but, by the time I skidaddled out of DeeCee, I think I'd become what might be called a "ring" politician, gone radical in some ways, reactionary in others as the doughnut aroun' that mushy dark hole of moderation within. Radical as in getting to the root of matters. Reactionary as not only standin' up against malignant progress... which is why I hoot at cunning PeeCeister liberals, as restyle themselves "progressives" when they ain't fit to shine Fightin' Bob LaFollette's shoes or them alt-righter “populists” whom Huey Long would have ordered shot first, then hanged... but workin' to keep the science and civil rights stuff, but otherwise turn the clock back to simpler, rosier-colored good ol' days, where politically inappropriate stuff as jobs and values still occurred.

          Most avoid either categorization like a plague; radical associated with the Bernie Sanders crowd, reaction interpreted as being against the civil rights and bringing back seventy-hour workweeks and child labor. I might point out we need more civil responsibilities, and already have seventy, eighty, even upwards of hundred-hour weeks... just split up among man and wife, each holding down two or three jobs so as to be screwed out'n the healthcare and overtime and the neglecting of their younger generation. And speaking of them and the child labor... all's the same to me, whether in Houston, El Salvador or Indonesia… wouldn’t you rather have your high school age kids apprenticed to useful trades instead of hanging out on the corner, chewing kat n’ polishing their assault weapons, or sitting in public schools… getting an earful of liberal mush as to how winning at football or acing a geometry test is “bullying” the “differently abled”… or how ‘bout them private madrassas as teach the world is flat, began in 4,000 BC and… hey!... let’s kill the Jews and Methodists?  So, to get to the point, where I'm in favor of radicalism is in the realm of populism without racism, while reaction is in bringing back those parts of the good old days as when Americans learned those fundamentals as would help them make stuff, got paid fairly for it and use the money to buy other stuff, as the Constitution allows.

          Seeing as how equitability requires mention of President Djonald Unchained and his pretensions of populism, think of Mister Trump as the mold on the hole in the donut… a black hole mold of chaotic irresponsibility of which it may be said that things would probably be going worse if those folks were sincere.  And a lot worse if they were competent.

          Ross Perot, batdada as Ralph Nader between them big bat-ears of his'n, said: "In the United States, you just play with money." Bro' Ross din't like me and I din't care for him, so I feel free to agree with this without fear of being identified with his crashed and burnt Reform Party or Ralphie’s tossed and mixed-up Greens... "We, even more so, got to go back to building and making things." Is that so hard to understand?

Wall Street Joural columnist Froma Harrop doesn’t.  The left’s success in denying President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ugly to behold,” she fulminated last year. “The case put forth by a showboating Sen. Elizabeth Warren — that Obama cannot be trusted to make a deal in the interests of American workers — is almost worse than wrong. It is irrelevant.”  Like working Americans since the nine-eleven… irrelevant.  Until the plague introduces itself and you need a ventilator – or even some rubber gloves.

          "And what about free trade?" I hear the chirruping of termites, waving their antennae frumiously; wings glistening with a lacy patina of subsidy-swag, forelegs rubbing against one another like the praying hands of motel-'vangelists as just heard their wife a-knockin' at the door.

          Now trade itself is a fine thing… I have something you want, you have something I want – let’s trade.  But Herbert Schiller, a mass communications expert from my father's day, called free trade the mechanism by which powerful states "penetrate and dominate" (meaning feminize or, call it what it is, rape) the smaller ones; snatching what natural or human resources they may possess while imposing their lifestyles and value systems on an often resentful world. We succeeded in doing this so well that Baghdad had that Hard Rock Cafe, as went broke in Hollywood, another dive for the Shiites to blow up. Now, Indonesia and Egypt and Guatemala are selling us back cheap, frequently defective American cultural junk... Mickety Mosk sweatshirts and Spligermann action figures... we go to China for the chips as program our missile defenses (Mister President was neither soft nor wrong when he recoiled from the possibility of those ZTE folks going out of business over there) and Korea for the steel that (sort of) armours our humvees in Damascus, San Jose and Jogjakarta!  It’s where the O-man and Robert (the Second) Reich, in them books of theirs’n, missed the point that tariffs won’t necessarily succor the steel industry… the issue is whether we allow our own productive capacity to expire and trust that the nuclear nutball camped sixty-nine kilometers north of Seoul will pass up the opportunity to reduce the American enemy to makin’ its armaments from tin, spit and that newfangled duck tape as seems half as cheap, but only about a quarter as strong as the old!)

          Meanwhile, pipsqueak, tinpot dictatorships as snatched voting control of the 121-nation GATT vote as a bloc to let French socialists quota-quash American films (fair payback to all those Saddam-loving Hollywood boneheads dragged behind the dimmycratic bandwagon, bleedin' ketchup out their backsides) and let the “good” Koreans restore their anti-American prohibitions against food importing by arresting any damnyankee fool as even thinks of trading a bowl of rice for a wingnut on his Kia.

          The sunshine patriots pranced when that maid-raping IMB boss got Hollandaise elected President of France but, in my opinion… since confirmed… he was just another Sartre, floating away on his iceberg, red sails in the sunset and plotting more wars that Americans will have to finish for him.  Hot girlfriend, though… now the French have got a hot boy toy as still hasn’t made it clear what he stands for (although the media claims Macron will be the new, younger face of Europe, taking over from a tired Angela Merkl, who’ll be otherwise distracted by the neo-Nazis as have gained seats in the German legislature).

“This is not a partisan issue,” Warren insisted. Yes, in a twisted way, the hard left’s fixation over big corporations has joined the right’s determination to undermine Obama at every pass and then to alternately scold and defend their boy at 1600..

          Sony's Akio Morita used to boast that America was producing forty thousand lawyers a year and only seventeen thousand engineers, whilst Japan (with less than half our population) was graduating twenty four thousand electrical engineers annually, but only three hundred attorneys. "Is this not, truly, Japan's golden age?" a Yankee businessman told Atlantic journalist James Fallows, fellow of the Japan Society back in '86. "It was," followed fellow Fallows, for what most Americans then feared about Japan was this: "precisely that it works so well."

          But fickle Fortune followed fellow Fallows' flawed fallacy with a fatal fall. Japan started to graduate more lawyers, send its own manufacturing elsewhere… meaning Taiwan (which really means their subcontractors in “Communist” Vietnam)… and invest in American real estate (which outcome may dissuade the People's Red Army rolling over their snakehead lucre to buy up bubble-flated Main Streets from Boston to Austin!) and collectible jazz and rockabilly vinyl from the fifties. As one teen Tokyo manga-trepreneur remarked: "We're just like ants. We all teem around a biscuit and carry it off. That's the only way we succeed." And the American biscuit Japan bit into was seeded with Entropy's mutagens.

          (Were I spiteful, I might just say: "let's bring our troops in Germany and the Far East home... or redeploy them to Iraq or Costa Rica... let North Korea overrun the South, causing Japan to get into a nukin' war with China, taking out Taiwan, the nut in the Philippines and, of course, them Vietnamasians besides while Mr. Putin marches into Poland. A few jobs might come home, then, like surplus Ph.D.'s to couches in their parents' basements." But that, as Mr. Nixon is said to have said, would be wrong.)

          Excellence-dude Tom Peters mocks that "forlorn, 53-year-old male" laid off from his soft, unionized assembly line job along with "his roughly 99,999 peers". Instead, Tommy Boy invites us to identify with "a 26-year-old woman... part of a team designing just-in-time inventory management systems for a giant manufacturer... a bundle of up-to-date skills in her head and modern tools at her fingertips." Hey, who wouldn't identify with the babe fondling the tools... though it's more than likely that, if she warn't born rich or lucked out in the scholarship lottery, it was the lifetime savings of some forlorn, grumpy old workingman as enabled her to afford an education to acquire those up-to-date skills!  (That and, of course, the mountain of debt which will remain long after her just-in-time training’s in the rear-view mirror and she’s ringing up purchases at the Wal-Mart!)

          His remedy for worker dislocation is "...sweeping, big-ticket worker retraining programs and bold increases to government adjustment assistance" (emphases added)... a paid-on-credit welfare-pork bowl, in other words, as would tantalize the white-hooded palate of even my father’s old bud, Senator Byrd.

          Sets me to ask, as once did former Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin and Treasury Undersecretary Robert Roosa, in an America long, long ago and far away: "Is it too much to expect the richest society the world has ever known to get its income and expenses into line - in one way or the other - so that it isn't perennially passing IOUs in lieu of paying its bills?"

          Read my lips.  If elected, I will repeal Obamacare, Trumpcare and cut entitlement spending… even and especially as regards sacred beef as social security, Medicare and Medicaid… and I will raise taxes.  I will raise taxes on the rich.  I will raise taxes on the middle class.  And I will raise taxes on the poor… income taxes, death taxes, energy taxes (once the oily roller-coaster starts coasting down again as a consequence of the Saudis and Iraniacs goin’ back to bankruptin’ each other) and either honest Federal sales taxes or sneaky, Europy VATs... everything’s on the table, including a tax on internet and cellphone usage as will probably put most spammers and robcallers out of business.  And then I will charge a surtax on the tax increases until we get our deficit down to around twenty percent of GNP, give or take.  Fifty percent?   I will not raise the debt limit and, if Congress disagrees, I’ll shut the government down, declare martial law and turn over the basic tasks of day to day management to local volunteers (who might or might not be associated with the CNC).

          And then, instead of programs as merely succor the Washington bureaucrats and local poverty pimps, I’ll actually create jobs, like those infrastructure jobs Mr. Trump talked about for awhile until he had to choose between them and his tax cuts for the billionaires.  Boring stuff, like the science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut derided as “reeks and wrecks” – stuff like roads and bridges and recycling, construction and reconstruction at a rate of pay as will allow most to put a roof over their heads (except in some parts of California and New York) and food on the table, but not so high as to keep them from finding better opportunities in the private sector, when and if those present themselves.

          "I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies," Tom Jefferson contended, once upon a time, long before we elected a populist who filled his cabinet with hacks from Goldman-Sachs, "and that the principle of spending money to be paid for by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling on a large scale."

          Not to say I’d shut the banks down, but I might well slap a tax on them as do not hire more human beings to answer phones instead of outsourcing consumer services to English-deficient peons or, worse, machines.

          "Those who are out of work or in lower paying jobs," observed Orlando financial writer Dick Marlow, a decade back, "will still be around and in need of food, shelter, health care and other necessities of life - including dignity."

 

CLICK the CATFISH to go to PAST and PRESENT EPISODES of "BLACK HELICOPTERS" and to OTHER JACK PARNELL COLUMNS

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