How We Can Reclaim American Prosperity
Fifth of a Series
This is the fifth of a series in which Moore County’s Republican and Democratic party chairmen will address various political issues. Today's issue is the economy. Jim Heim is chairman of the Moore County Democratic Party. Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican Party. Click here for Heim's take on the issue.
When it comes to finding the key to an economy that has locked out job creation, both sides have claimed a hero. Yet, between the spending of traditional Democrats and the tax cutting of traditional Republicans, many voters fear "there's not a dime's worth of difference."
The theories of both John Maynard Keynes for the traditional Democrats and Arthur Laffer for the traditional Republicans are that increasing the money supply will "stimulate" the economy.
Traditional Democrats want to borrow money from the Chinese to create more bureaucrats. Traditional Republicans want to borrow money from the Chinese to lower taxes, encouraging "investment" like buying cheap Chinese TVs. In -reality, neither solution will create jobs. Because, -without reclaiming America's wealth, borrowing money from China is like paying for groceries on MasterCard. The result is obesity and bankruptcy.
But there is a new conservative solution emerging from Republican ranks. It is all part of a quiet revolution to return America to the prosperity and job growth we deserve.
A real recovery must begin with real jobs that actually create wealth. Yet wealth is not created by a government job pushing papers to the government worker across the hall. America's job problem comes not only from a lack of jobs, but also a lack of jobs that create -tangible wealth, jobs which -manufacture textiles, steel, and everything from Master locks to bobby socks.
Recently, America has exported jobs and imported immigrants. Much of our economy has been transformed from manufacturing goods we consume to consuming the goods that others produce.
When we manufactured the things we consumed, America was a wealthy, creditor nation. Now, the things previously manufactured by us are made in China. They now loan money to us. Any questions?
In order to truly recover from this recession, America needs to reclaim actual wealth-creating jobs previously abandoned. The biggest consumer market in the world must restrict legal imported goods and export unwanted illegal immigrants, creating jobs that last for the American workers who, for a change, need now to be placed first.
It will not be easy. The United States must withdraw from the multinational trade agreements to which we have surrendered our sovereignty. We must say to NAFTA and the World Trade Organization that the great -"sucking sound" of jobs leaving America will be silenced.
Congress must further restrict imports, which undercut the salaries of American workers. Goods manufactured with a labor cost of less than 75 percent of the American minimum wage must be banned from U.S. markets. The most likely result of this action will not only be an easing of the downward pressure on domestic salaries, but also a rise in the -living standard of the foreign worker - who, in turn, might have money to buy American exports.
Additionally, tariffs on imported goods must be raised substantially and in a manner similar to the method Ronald Reagan employed to save Harley-Davidson. Such tariffs are needed to rescue our aging industries and abandoned factories.
Other things are necessary, too. The elimination of the income tax, replacing it with the Fair Tax, will free a sluggish economy to create new wealth. It will encourage -corporations to again bring jobs to the United States, where profits will belong to shareholders, not political parasites.
Once jobs are reclaimed, many other controversies become moot. Workers who make textiles, -televisions or tap shoes will not need government "free" health care. People who have good jobs can buy their own either on their own or with employer help. Welfare could be almost -eliminated when replaced with a job that can provide enough wealth to pay for the necessities of life.
In the days of John Maynard Keynes, a few dollars injected into the American economy from a WPA job in Wyoming would create a consumer for a radio manufactured in Ohio. In the days of Arthur Laffer, a tax reduction for a trader in New York would -provide money to buy a sofa from High Point.
Today, that "stimulus" provides jobs for Mexico and China, while Americans figure out how to pay their credit card debt at "50 cents on the dollar."
In November, America will clearly reject the welfare state. But, as Churchill said, this will not be the "end" or "the beginning of the end." In our struggle for jobs, it will only be "the end of the beginning."
True recovery will be politically painful. Our newly elected Republican majority will need to befriend, as did Reagan before them, industrial union workers who have traditionally supported Democrats while their jobs were outsourced and their payroll office moved from the factory to the unemployment office.
Republicans will also have to stand up to wealthy manufacturers who advocate illegal immigration and foreign assembly to lower labor costs. Henry Ford realized long ago that the key to American wealth is a worker who can buy the goods he produces. The alternative is serfdom.
Yes, voting Republican, and "throwing the bums out," is -important. But the real solution for job creation is a conservative consensus to reclaim American manufacturing wealth in order to rebuild and sustain our "Shining City on a Hill."
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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