Monday, February 16, 2009

Buy American

I do not understand the "free traders." They are legion and on all sides of the ideological spectrum. They say that protectionism is entirely bad, and that so-called "free" trade is the economic panacea for all nations.

It's pure bunk.

If you did not catch last night's 60 Minutes with Nucor Steel, a steel recycler in America whose workers' salaries are tied to production, then I will try to find You-Tube footage for you tomorrow.

Any American with any heart or sense of patriotism at all could not watch this segment and come away feeling like a "free trader." As the CEO says basically, "Free trade is not free. It's an academic luxury. If you want to study it at Harvard, go ahead. But it has no practical application in the real world."

I agree. I don't understand how a system that causes our nation to have unending trade deficits year after year after year after year can be such a fantastic phenomenon. I'm so glad that the "Buy American" provisions in the stimulus bill the president will sign in Denver on Tuesday contains this provision for bill-authorized acquisitions of steel.

You see I have studied free trade at Harvard. And I agree with steel-workers that it has no practical application in the real world as currently practiced. We have a right, more a patriotic duty, to advance our nation's economic interests where possible. To say otherwise is simply un-American.