by Jerry Lobdill
Now, in an editorial titled "The Peril of Buy American", (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/opinion/03weds1.html?th&emc=th) the New York Times is bringing up the reasons why we can't save ourselves, pointing out that we no longer are sovereign in our ability to make choices that are necessary to save this nation. Guess what? They have discovered that we no longer can produce steel or make other materials such as vinyl pipe since we have gone down the road to dependence on other countries for our national security while chanting the mantra that "protectionism" is evil. Yes sir, the New York Times says we are in peril if we decide to make our own materials.
Yesterday, Reich had the temerity to resurrect his idiotic theory that the US is going to be fine, because we are all going to prosper by becoming "symbolic analysts" and will no longer have to depend on producing anything at all for our daily bread. Let the peons in the third world furnish us all the goods we must buy with that high dollar income we're going to make as symbolic analysts. I went to his blog to register my disgust and found that 133 others had beat me to it. In a quick scan I didn't find a single message supporting his nonsense. The b*!@#$d ought to be hung, drawn, and quartered as a traitor. (And that goes for all his co-conspirators as well).
The fallacy lies in the deliberate misapplication of David Riccardo's 18th century unrealistic theory of comparative advantage, in which sovereign nations decide to become interdependent by using the different labor costs in the nations as a criterion for deciding who will produce what for all the nations while importing all other needs from the other members of the consortium. In theory, each country specializes in production according to the ranking of the production costs of different products in different nations, and all nations benefit because they get all their needs met at the cheapest price. As a theory it was great, but it was totally at odds with other small considerations such as national security, the reality of shifting alliances among nations, human nature...you know, little details like those.
As Stan Rogers so aptly put it in his "Barrett's Privateers",
"God damn them all! I was told
We'd cruise the seas for American gold.
We'd fire no shots, shed no tears.
Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier,
The last of Barrett's privateers."