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The Biden administration intensified its war on China last week when it detonated a thermonuclear bomb at the heart of Beijing's booming technology industry. In an effort to block China's access to crucial semiconductor technology, Team Biden announced onerous new export rules aimed at a "comprehensive supply cut-off" of essential semic
Corporate Whines
A war of words has broken out between China and the United States and the pundits are predicting that it will end in a full-blown trade war. The Obama administration thinks that China is manipulating its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage and increase its exports. China's Premier Wen Jiabao's adamantly denies the charge.... Read More
On December 8, Chinese and French news services reported that Iran had stopped billing its oil exports in dollars. Americans might never hear this news as the independence of the US media was destroyed in the 1990s when Rupert Murdoch persuaded the Clinton administration and the quislings in Congress to allow the US media to... Read More
On August 28 the Cato Institute in Washington DC published a report, “Thriving in a Global Economy: The Truth about US Manufacturing and Trade.” The report confuses a company’s offshored products with its import competition and wrongly concludes that US companies with the most import competition are the companies that are thriving. The Cato report... Read More
At a time when even the Wall Street Journal has disappeared into the maw of a huge media conglomerate, the New York Times remains an independent newspaper. But it doesn’t show any independence in reporting or in thought. The Times issued a mea culpa for letting its reporter, Judith Miller, misinform readers about Iraq, thus... Read More
On January 6, 2004, Senator Charles Schumer (D, NY) and I scandalized the economics profession and Washington policymakers with our New York Times article, Second Thoughts on Free Trade. We noted that the two conditions on which the case for free trade rests no longer exist in the present-day world and that there was no... Read More
Manufacturing And Technology News February 6, 2007 Volume 14, No. 3 At a Washington, D.C., press conference last November, Harvard University economics professor Michael Porter claimed that globalism was bringing benefits to Americans (Manufacturing & Technology News, Nov. 30, 2006). Porter was introducing the latest report, “Competitiveness Index: Where America Stands” [PDF]of which he is... Read More
Published in the print edition of Counterpunch, July 2006 For decades Democrats seemed to have a monopoly on class war with demagogy of “the rich.” Today it is the rich who are instigating class war with attacks on middle class jobs. The ladders of upward mobility are being dismantled. America, the land of opportunity, is... Read More
One must marvel at the campaign that a handful of neoconservatives were able to create around September 11. They were able to commit vast resources to a war based on falsified intelligence and to set aside in the interest of executive power the essential civil liberties that define America as a nation. A fabricated threat... Read More
If it's a tsunami you're afraid of, what happened in the Indian Ocean last month is probably not what you should be worrying about. The tsunami Americans need to fear is the man-made wave of globalization that has helped gut the American work force by exporting its jobs overseas in part through the cute little... Read More
In the current economic recovery, low pay, low skill jobs account for twice the normal amount of job growth reports Stephen Roach, chief economist for Morgan Stanley (More Jobs, Worse Work New York Times, July 22). Mr. Roach attributes the low quality of new US jobs to globalization: “What are we going to do about... Read More
The good news, as reported across front pages last week, is that some 250,000 new jobs were created in the American economy in the last month. The bad news, at least for those who hold the jobs or would like to, is that they may soon go overseas. The June issue of American Demographics explains... Read More
Moving jobs overseas can cut a company’s costs. But is it bad for the U.S. economy? Two economists debate the issue.
By TIMOTHY AEPPEL Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL May 10, 2004; Page R6   Does offshore outsourcing hurt the U.S. economy by draining away jobs and investment, or does it ultimately make the U.S. stronger? Is it a cost-cutting tactic that should be encouraged, or should it be punished in some way? The... Read More
The Future Of Work Business Week, March 22, 2004 SPECIAL REPORT—WHERE ARE THE JOBS? Guest Commentary: The Harsh Truth About Outsourcing. It’s not a mutually beneficial trade practice—it’s outright labor arbitrage Economists are blind to the loss of American industries and occupations because they believe these results reflect the beneficial workings of free trade. Whatever... Read More
Belatedly, pundits are beginning to notice that economic growth without job growth is not politically viable. But they still haven’t a clue about what has become of job growth. Pundits no longer confidently assert that the massive US trade deficit is good for the economy, because it puts money in foreign hands to buy US... Read More
Who does Bill Gates think he is fooling? Microsoft’s Chairman spent the last week of February on the college stump trying to talk up computer engineering. But nothing he can say can overcome the fact that students have been reading announcements from every American high tech company, including Microsoft itself, about thousands of engineering and... Read More
The dollar keeps going down, and the trade deficit keeps going up. Economists and reporters explain this in terms of American appetite for foreign goods outstripping overseas demand for U.S. goods. There is another explanation, one perhaps closer to the truth. Americans are buying the same goods as in the past made by the same... Read More
Charles Schumer and Paul Craig Roberts, “Second Thoughts on Free Trade,” New York Times, 6 January 2004 Republished on on February 15, 2004 “I was brought up, like most Englishmen, to respect free trade not only as an economic doctrine which a rational and instructed person could not doubt but almost as a part... Read More
For several years I have been tracking US job losses and seeking to understand the causes. I have written enough columns about this subject to have caused angst among some inside-the-beltway think-tankers. Two critics, Bruce Bartlett and Daniel T. Griswold have yet to comprehend the argument that they dispute. This is puzzling. Whereas international trade... Read More
Sending me many suggestions, readers have beseeched me to revive the “No-think Nation” theme that I developed in six columns during April and May of 2002. I doubt that editors have that big a stomach for the subject, but I will risk one more column. [I, II, III, IV, V, VI] My target is Bruce... Read More
Despite the economic recovery, the unemployment rate has risen to a nine-year high. How can this be? Part of the answer is the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. Between January 2001 and May 2003, US manufacturing jobs declined by 13.3 percent. (The jobs continue to decline. As of June the loss is 14.1 percent on... Read More
During the first 27 months of the Bush administration, the U.S. economy has lost 2.6 million private sector jobs. Much of this loss is from the fall in profits and subsequent downsizing after the high-tech bust. Some lost jobs, however, are from a new development: America’s export of high-wage jobs to low-wage countries. The collapse... Read More
In a recent cover story Business Week magazine observed that economists haven’t begun to fathom the implications of outsourcing for the U.S. economy. Economists don’t understand globalism because they don’t think about it. They simply assume globalism to be the beneficial workings of free trade. Most economists take for granted that the benefits of free... Read More
Do you remember those Information Technology (IT) jobs that were going to take the place in the “new economy” of those outsourced manufacturing jobs? Don’t bother to retrain. The IT jobs are leaving, too. Knowledge work can be done anywhere there are educated people. These days that’s just about everywhere: the Philippines, India, China, Russia,... Read More
Obsessed with Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration believes an invasion of Iraq is a winning issue. Meanwhile, the economy continues to drag. The latest statistics show no job growth and no income growth. Low interest rates and home mortgage refinance have cut monthly housing payments, thus permitting consumers to continue spending. However, the stock market... Read More
Recent economic reports indicate that the recovery is struggling to move forward. The main barriers are high consumer indebtedness and mediocre corporate earnings. Consequently, neither consumer demand nor business investment is driving the recovery. Interest rates are low, but Federal Reserve easing has not provided the usual stimulus to spending and equity prices. Part of... Read More
First in a series on America’s imperiled future.[II, III, IV, V, VI] From a superpower to a third world country, the U.S. is in rapid decline. It is a change of which the population—especially the “experts”—are unaware. Because of past success, Americans live in a smug no-think world. Wake up! This is the first in... Read More
At birth, a fresh idea encourages thought, but not all ideas age well. Some turn into shibboleths that block debate. Today shibboleths rule over thought. Consider the idea of “the public interest.” This idea was once useful to restrain the arbitrary power of kings. But today every self-serving politician and interest group claims to be... Read More
Back in 1993, when the propaganda campaign for passage of theNorth American Free Trade Agreement was swinging, there were three main reasons offered as to why NAFTA should pass. It would help reduce illegal immigration from Mexico; it would help modernize the Mexican economy, and it would help Americans by removing trade barriers. Not one... Read More
A belief in free trade is part of being an economist, and a belief in America’s competitiveness is part of the economist’s commitment to the global economy. Economists note that no other country has the depth and breadth of our capital markets, political stability, rule of law protecting contracts and property rights, strong currency, and... Read More
"Free trade" and its partner, "globalization," are the happy thoughts of the day, with few in either party of any ideological persuasion expressing disagreement. But there are reasons to disagree with the direction in which the words point. Last week an article in the New York Times reminded us of some of them. So dependent... Read More
With the release of the Cox Commission report, the growing national hysteria regarding relations with China has reached troubling, even alarming, proportions. Growing international hostility between America and China rather than apparent Chinese spying in America is the far greater threat to our national security. The basic conclusions of the Cox Report are certainly correct:... Read More
HAVING PULLED America back from the brink of a disastrous trade war with the Japanese, the Clinton administration deserves at least faint praise for its last-minute lack of commitment to principle. All along, Clinton's trade negotiators had demanded that the Japanese government pledge its private companies and individual consumers to specific "numerical goals and timetables"... Read More