An (Indomitable) Argument for Protectionism

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Seagate Wuxi China Factory Tour

Protectionism helps us at home and our friends abroad

The expired Multi-Fiber Arrangement left thirty million people across the world unemployed.  These workers were unfortunate victims of globalized free trade.  Free trade leads us to believe that goods should always be produced by the firms competing under pure capitalist conditions.  This idea is not wrong; it is only the dangers of free trade should be mitigated in emerging markets around the globe to give them the opportunity to succeed.  Protectionism, the antagonist of free trade, is the solution to best prepare infant industries and emerging economies anywhere in the world; this policy employees more denizens, produces stronger industries, and cultivates stronger markets than free trade ever could.

Inefficiency creates more jobs.  If the entire world can exploit a market then only those countries with the most efficient industries will be able to sell.  Protectionism erects a wall of tariffs that prevents foreign goods from ever contaminating domestic markets by driving prices up to an inclusive level for domestic products.  Under protectionism, small industries gain a foothold, bloom, and employ more denizens in every country across the world.  There are minor concessions; on a global level less of goods are produced and the cost is driven up slightly as well.  These negligible effects diffused throughout the consumer markets means the world to the now employed workers who can support their families.  Protectionism is more humane than free trade.

Stronger industries are built under the shield of protectionism.  Behind a wall of tariffs the United States built mighty firms of  industry that dominated the world for the second half of the twentieth century.  Preceding the Americans, the British had done the same when the pioneered the Industrial Revolution and built an empire upon which the sun never set.  Since the 1970’s China used numerous protectionist policies, notably keeping its currency artificially low.  It is predicted to have the world’s largest GDP by 2020.  Examples of booming economies that got their start in free trade are scare.  Columbus and Admiral Perry opened up trade to the Americas and East Asia respectively.  In both countries widespread exploitation of natives and complete sterilization of domestic industries ensued following the introduction of cheap free trade imports.  Free trade is a tool of the strong to stay in power and collect wealth; for weaker nations and industries free trade is a poison which cripples.

Stronger markets evolve under protectionism.  Protectionist policies protect infant industries and prevent exploitation of weak economies.  In an international market of free trade monopolies are certain to emerge.  Monopolies are established when there is not industrial competition.  This problem hurts everyone.  Consumers suffer from an inferior product; without the Darwinian survival of the fittest threat the producers have no incentive to innovate.  Marginal producers are harmed.  Any attempts to breach the market are squelched under the monopoly.  The monopoly hurts itself through stagnation.  Protectionism is the best means in a globalized economy to give marginal producers and infant industries the time to create a profitable industries despite the monopolies.  Consumers and marginal producers benefit from better products and pay checks while potential monopolies are broken out of self-defeating cycles of stagnation.  Protectionism helps everyone.

Protectionist protects countries.  It harbors citizens and gives them jobs.  It cultivates infant industries under a cocoon of tariffs.  Better products and firms are brought to market thanks to protectionism.  It seems almost silly to even think about introducing globalized free trade to emerging economies; it corrupts infant industries and kills jobs.  If it were not for multinational corporations, who preach fallacious free trade to all for a better profit margin, protectionism would indisputably hold in its rightful place as protector of firms, consumes, and employees.

Above the Law (Of One Child Policy)

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Pink Face Tibetan Girl

Cute Enough to Risk a Second?

At the heart of every blockbuster rests a simple question: how far would you go to save a loved one?

In China, the distances are further from here to a galaxy far, far away and the trials exceed Rocky’s worst nightmares.

Having a second child in China is not just heavily frowned upon, it is against the law.  The government is ruthless and despicable in its dark crusade against the unborn: in some regions of China infanticide is commonplace, two-child mothers are forcibly sterilized, and corpses of the unborn are tossed in ditches on the side of the road.  It is little surprise that around 500 women commit suicide every day in China

There are three major routes for the daring few to have a second child.

1) Face the Fines

Wealthy families can pay the stiffs fines to have seconds.  The costs per child range with from providence to providence and with the ferocity of the population administrators.  Many of the fines range between 200,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan, $20,000 and $30,000 American dollars, per year in a country where the household income is just over $10,000 American dollars.  The costs rise quickly with additional child.  Only the elite have two children, having three is almost unheard of , and more than that seems to be sacrilege.  This path is only open to the wealthy. The 99% must look elsewhere.

2) Bribe the Bureaucrats

For the majority of the 160,000 “out of plan” children are born into China this is the best option since  corruption is a core pillar in Chinese culture.  For a bride, officials are more than happy to legitimize the paperwork for illegal children.  Loopholes in the law are stretched to the breaking point.  The second child can be declared a member of a childless family or that of a rural family which was alloted two children.  More daring families risk simply declaring the second child a twin of the legal first-born one.  As families get poorer they go to further extremes to meet the loophole conditions; it has driven some to marry relatives to hide seconds while others hide children when inspectors arrive.  This path is dangerous, however it is the only option presented to most parents.

3) Births Abroad

Middle income parents choose to have babies abroad.  Some are born in capitalist cities like Hong Kong, where the restrictions are not in place.  Others go to great distances; some fly all the way to Japan or even the United States to birth children.  Illegal clinics host the expecting mothers, paying lucrative rates, until their children are ready.  These children are then birthed  like normal babies in conventional hospitals.  The problems arise with getting the mother and baby back to the family.  Since the babies were born on foreign soil they are technically foreigners.  This makes life difficult because parents still pay hiked rates for education and health of the children.  This is generally the cheapest legal option.

Conclusion

Out of love and passion every year tens of thousands of children are born “out of plan” every year.  This is a bold statement about the indomitable nature of mankind as the desire for having multiple children survived terrifying propaganda encompassing half a century.

This situation brings to mind a quote from chaos theorist Malcolm, of Jurassic Park, “Life will find a way.”  Another, lesser known, Jurassic Park quote comes to mind as well: ” OH-MY-GO-THE-DINOSAURS-ARE-EATING-ME-SHOT-IT-SHOT-IT-SH——*crunch, crunch*.”  With its one-child policy the Chinese government is fighting the very forces of evolution.  A hundred thousand years of primal struggle cannot be snuffed out by a few misguided politicians and a little red book.

When the Jurassic side of China’s one-child-policy emerges the country will be torn asunder.  Love of family is stronger than the logic of population parameters.  These massing illegals parents and activists indicate a revolution will happen sooner rather than later.  Change is coming to China: life will find a way.

Renegade Radiation: Fukushima Contamination Escapes Exclusion Zone, Town Evacuated

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fukushima #3 blacksmoke

Two months after a tsunami devastated Japan cancerous levels of nuclear radiation have been discovered in a Japanese town forty kilometers from the leaking Fukushima Reactors, twenty kilometers outside the state declared exclusion zone.  These high radiation levels were discovered by International Atomic Energy Agency officials, who suspected that undiscovered pockets of radiation had been missed or ignored by Japanese officials. Residents were evacuated from the village, while more extreme actions by the government are being planned once specific levels of radiation are determined.

How Dangerous Are the Radiation Levels?

The radiation spikes in the village raised immediate concerns because while they would not instantly kill or main anyone.  Only prolonged exposure would result in cancer.  Residents were notified and promptly evacuated from the town.  Iodine tablets had been distributed by the  Japanese government to the entire region after the disaster, the tablets counteract radiation poisoning which is emitted during nuclear meltdowns.  These tablets may have protected many residence from cancer, giving them enough time to escape the toxic town.

How Has This Outbreak of News Affected the Region?

Officials are considering to recall civilians allowed to return to their homes in the exclusion zone; these short visits were designated exclusively to pick up irreplaceable items like medicine or family artifacts.  Many refugees have expressed fear and outrage at this latest development, blaming their ineffective Prime Minister Naoto Kan for not protecting his citizens.  This anger flared earlier in the week as unprecedented radiation levels, “550,000 bacquerels per square meter”, or enough to irradiate the area for over thirty years were discovered in the shadow of the Fukushima Reactors.  The Japanese people believe their leader should have directly taken control of Tokyo Electric Company, who operates the reactors, and dictated a resolution rather than indirectly asking for one by the sluggish company.

How Had Work on the Reactors Progressed In Light of These Recent Setbacks?

Activity at the damaged Fukushima reactor continue without hesitation; while complete nuclear meltdown has been adverted a long perilous road until the situation can declared safe.  They know they have a long way to go, these recent events are obstacles that will be overcome in due time.  Relentless struggles by the Faceless Fifty, heroic technicians and engineers who remained at the reactor despite the near certain risk of cancer, have adverted disaster and prevented the reactors from melting down have taken account of these recent activities, delegating the responsibly to the government.  Their work in the reactor takes a higher priority, such as high priority that all have placed their country above their own lives; within the next time years all are expected to die from cancer.

Toyota Totaled by Tsunami: American Plants Warned Of Possible Shutdown (Other Car Companies Eying American Markets)

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Factories from California to Michigan have been ordered to prepare for shutdown.  As vital car parts that originate in Japan shrink in numbers new ones have yet to arrive from Japan. The Japanese tsunami killed thousands of civilians, triggered partial meltdowns at several nuclear reactors, and ravaged miles of Japan. [Please Help the Japanese People Recover, Donate Here Anytime]   Factories have been crippled in the island nation and the ports have been frozen except for food and medical supplies.  Car parts do not meet these strict requisites.  New parts will not be shipping soon, which has led to a stagnation of the assembly lines.

This has led to many factories having reduced production, however until the now 25,000 workers that work at the 13 plants have not been laid off, although they may be in the near future.  Furthermore, Toyota has promised to continue paying them regardless of the status of the plants and intends to employ them in community related activities, such as grass-roots marketing and social service.

Despite their token humanitarian efforts Toyota will be drastically set back by this tsunami.  While Toyota has recently dominated the upper tiers of the car market this shut down could easily allow other car companies, such as Ford or Volkswagen, to take control of swathes of American consumers.  The types of cars that everyone is driving will be slightly altered because of this tsunami, there will be many fewer Toyota’s and many more of everything else.

This directly relates to macroeconomics; the consumer price index of will be altered from consuming more Asian cars to more American and European cars.  This may not seem like a large difference, but it will translate into millions, if not billions, of American dollars ending up in different hands.  The contents of the average America’s financial basket will could change up to several hundred dollars.  Some of those funds will be used to help rebuild the decaying American car companies.  This may add thousands of jobs here in America, more if the European or Korean car companies set up new factories to replace the closed Toyota manufactures.

This illustrates just how interconnected the whole world is.  An earthquake in Japan triggers a long and painful domino effect that has recently resulted in 25,000 American workers receiving vacation with pay, while maintaining the possibility that they might lose their jobs.  Economically this is terrible in the short-term, but healthy for the American economy in the long-term.  It harms the American economy to allow foreign companies to invade our shores and steal the profits, millions of irretrievable dollars are being sent overseas.

This dangerous trend is one of the key reasons why Americans have to work harder today to maintain the same standard of living than they did forty years ago.  Back then they were chiefly working for American profits, which trickled back down into the community.  Today that money continues to trickle down, in China, Japan, and India.  This tsunami may have brought a small portion of America’s jobs back to America.

(Irrationally) Protesting Nuclear Power: 100,000 Demonstrators Against Nuclear Reactors in Germany

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The international consequences of the Nuclear Powder Keg that threatens Japan have spanned the globe, protests have cropped up around the world as all governments scrutinize their own nuclear reactors.  Many of these demonstrations numbered in the tens of thousands as petulant environmentalists and myopic citizens called for a swift end to the nuclear power, ignoring that without nuclear power the world would grow dark.

Where are the Protests?

Berlin, Germany and Stuttgart, Germany have the largest demonstrations with 100,000 protesters.

Germany has the second largest concentrations of nuclear power plants in Europe with 17 aging reactors.  Today, protesters at Stuttgart formed a 45 kilometer chain to call attention to failings at Germany’s oldest reactors. Craving to demonstrators demands demands the German government has ordered the nuclear power company Merkel to shut down 7 of the oldest reactors for the next three months.  Many celebrate this landmark decision, however skeptics are wondering where supplement power will come from.  By closing those seven plants over three percent of German power will need to be bought from surrounding countries or made in wasteful auxiliary generators.

Meanwhile major protests rocked France, a country that runs on over 80% nuclear power.  French officials remain unrelenting defenders of French nuclear power, with an impeccable record of  having no major or minor meltdowns.  In addition they are joining all European Union nations is stress testing their nuclear reactors.

American anti-nuclear protests were centered in California, where protesters fear radiation from Japan infecting American shores and the potential of meltdowns at California’s two aging reactors.  Activists call for a swift and immediate closer of the power plants, favoring environmentally friendly wind and solar power sources.  Obama has announced his protection of nuclear power in the United States, stating that America’s reactors are safe from all common natural disasters.  Demonstrators ignored his statements and continue to protest in California and in every major city in the United States.

What will This Mean For Nuclear Power?

The nuclear industry has not been negatively impacted by the Japanese disaster.

Construction of new nuclear reactors has continued despite the wave of protesters calling for reevaluation of power options.  Canada has decided to continue with a nuclear reactor in Vancouver.  Russia and Belarus have just announced signing a nine billion dollar deal that will lead to construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, adding their first nuclear reactor to supplement traditional sources.  It is collectively agreed that the Japanese Nuclear Powder Keg is a perfect example the danger of nuclear powers; in addition many claim that since there has not been a full meltdown that humanity is successfully defeated the worst nature can dish out.

Besides, the tsunamis of this magnitude occurs only once every thousand years.

Is Nuclear Power Good or Bad (or Necessary)?

Fossil fuels are running dry while wind, solar, and hydrogen cannot support the demand; Nuclear power is necessary for the modern world. 14% of all power produced in the world is produced by nuclear reactors.  In addition, the most dangerous sources of power continue to be coal and oil; hundreds of workers die each year in explosions and collapses.  There has only been one major nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, a disaster that could have been easily prevented or mitigated.  The only problem in this tragic disaster was human failings.

In order to progress into the future humanity will need nuclear power, there are no reliable, efficient, or healthy alternatives.  The nuclear Renaissance will soldier on throughout the world, simply because there is no other choice.  This means the nuclear industry will continue to flourish, leading to a more prosperous international economy with reduced energy dependence.

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