Friday, March 11, 2016

Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?

"I used to think that I want to buy only goods made in America" a student said as we were wrapping up the academic term.  "But, now I think that I will be helping people in Bangladesh and Vietnam when I buy stuff they make" she added.

I am confident that any honest and thinking person will understand such a level of global inter-connectedness even if their gut instincts initially led them down a different path.

The gadget that no student would even dream of going without--the smartphone--is almost always one of those "Made in China" goods.  In commenting about Apple's products being manufactured overseas, Steve Jobs made headlines when he flatly stated : "“Those jobs aren’t coming back,”  President Obama had to reconcile with the fact that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

That was four years ago. It is now the campaign season all over again.  A candidate who wants to take over from Obama loudly proclaimed:
We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.
The candidate thundered why imposing a 35 percent tax on goods manufactured overseas is good:
Free trade is good. But we have to do it [force them back to the US]. Or we won't have a country left,
You are perhaps thinking that this is so typical of that damn socialist Bernie Sanders.

Except that it was not Sanders who said all that.  It was the capitalist billionaire Donald Trump!
Trump promises to bring Third World jobs back to an advanced economy, and millions of voters—left and right—find this emotionally satisfying and politically reasonable. Many of these people just want to find work, so it's understandable. And when the economy is stagnant, you're not going to allay working-class anxiety by pointing out that capital account surpluses matter more than trade deficits or that productivity, not foreigners, is realigning the workforce—even if it's all true.
People just don't care.
The support for Trump's economic rhetoric reflects a dangerous combination among his supporters: ignorance and apathy--don't know and don't care.  Try telling that to trump and his Trumpeters!

Of course, Sanders has offered his own wise economic policies as well.  Angry that we no longer make stuff here in America, he:
pushed the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to only sell bobble-heads, T-shirts, snow-globes, and other souvenirs that are made in America.
An honest and thinking person will immediately see that manufacturing all that "stuff" here is not worth it.  But, try telling Sanders that!

Imagine it it became a Trump versus Sanders fight in November :(

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