Speaking the Unspeakable Truth: America in Decline

Our State Rep. Robert Sprague let slip a fundamental truth that informs the budget battle at all levels of government.  He said right out loud “We’re all going to have to deal with less money and a lower standard of living”.  He is right.  I am also sure he had not been following the Republican talking points when he said it, but our budget battle is really not about spending priorities.  What is really going on is just pointless squabbling over the shrinking pie of American prosperity.  Until we address the fundamental failure of our economic, trade and immigration policies over the last 25 years, we are going to face endless rounds of increased social spending needs and shrinking funds to meet those needs.

Do I have issues with Gov. Kasich’s budget priorities?  Do I think sb5 is an affront to all working people and a violation of our constitutional rights?  Yes, I do.  But until we face the failure of free trade and our failure to make any reasonable effort to enforce the immigration laws, there is not much we can do to fix the budget issues, whether at the State or federal level.  Working families will continue to struggle to make ends meet, the economy will continue to bump along at our current sad pace and tax revenues will continue to fail to meet even the lowest level of public funding needs.

We can lower taxes; we can cut services and drive down the pay and benefits of public workers.  We can steal companies and jobs for other states.  But how does any of that make the United States or Ohio, in the long run, a better place to live and work?

I just finished reading Sen. Sherrod Brown’s book Why American Trade Policy Has Failed: Myths of Free Trade and while I was heartened to read that I am not the only Democrat that feels President Clinton’s support of NAFTA took America 180 degrees in the wrong direction when it comes to our trade policy, I am disappointed that Sen. Brown supports amnesty.  Some years ago, I remember a prominent democrat (if you know who it was, please drop me an e-mail) say that “free trade and illegal immigration are two sides of the same coin”.

Our trade relationship with China (and others) is sucking this country dry.  The total lack of immigration enforcement is simply allowing US companies to in-source workers to undercut wages and benefits for jobs that cannot ship overseas.

I am left to hope, without much hope, that the Democratic Party will get right with the American middle class working family and face up to the real issue face our country and save the American economy.

One Response to Speaking the Unspeakable Truth: America in Decline

  1. Dennis L Paul says:

    The politicians that call back to doing things as the founding fathers intended forget that the main source of funding for the government was tariffs. Today, however, the choice has to be made whether we are part of the world economy or separate. If we are part of this world economy, we must expect wages to level across the globe, which means our worker salaries will fall. We must have special skills not available elsewhere to keep our worker income at a higher level then the rest of the world. If we are not a part of the world economy, we must be ready to be self sufficient and reorganize our workforce from a service industry to production of physical products. NAFTA is an attempt to include Canada and Mexico as part of our economy and to pull their economy to our level of production. Mexico’s has improved but is still well below that of Canada and the US.

    One thing to remember about immigration, most of economic booms have coincided with a large immigration to the US. The new citizens bring a energy and innovation (and sometimes skills) that make the country more productive. I do think the problem of illegal immigration is overblown (many of the illegal immigrants came to the country legally and their Visa or Green Card expired)since the major emphasis is place on Mexican immigration and not other races. Illegals situations should be reviewed and if they are productive members, they should be allowed to work toward citizenship and not automatically deported. We should also loosen immigration standards to allow more people to immigrate to the US to bring that infusion of energy to the economy.

    The corporations have the government by the short and curlys. If local governments want a company to move in then they have to give them tax breaks and incentives. If not, they take their factory and jobs elsewhere. I think this competition between local governments is short sighted and only the corporations are the winners.

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