May 15, 2005
a debate topic
I totally disagree with this. I've had a lot of people bitch at me in the past over my ideas about free trade, unions and tarriffs, but I still stick with my gut instincts.
Farm bills, import quotas and tarriffs DO not solve what is really a long-range problem. That kind of crap may look like a quick fix (yeah--- government stopped the massive hemorrage, but they never treated the slow bleeding) and a lot of people are happy with that kind of expensive band-aid. I am NOT.
Just look at what happened when Japan almost wrecked the US car market back in the 1970s. We forgot how to build a decent car. Japan knew how. Because of that fact, people started buying Japanese cars in droves.
The US car manufacturers were painted into a corner--- which isn't necessarily a bad place to be when you need to either shit or get off the pot--- and they responded to the crisis by building better cars (and partnering with the Japanese). Now, we compete with the Japanese, and the last two American trucks I bought have been gems.
I put well over 100,000 miles on both of them and I never had a bit of trouble that wasn't routine maintenace that you expect when a truck has a lot of miles on it.
The garment industry needs to do the same thing. They DO NOT need to be running to the government asking for protection from a market that will kick their asses if they have to play fair.
I saw it happen in the coal mines of Kentucky, I saw it happen in the chemical plant where I worked, and I've seen it happen in textile mills all over Georgia and South Carolina. Remember Sally Fields in that stupid movie, where she played a union advocate, boldly waving that sign saying "UNION NOW!!!" I'll bet that the mill no longer operates. The labor force priced itself right out of a job.
And when government steps in and says that you MUST pay $20 more for a pair of pants than you could buy them otherwise, because government is protecting "jobs," just who the hell is paying for those "jobs?" YOU work so that somebody else can be paid more than they're worth.
I would rather earn minimum wage that sit on my ass and whine about being unemployed. And people who think that jobs come from government need to be dragged off and shot. If government were involved 100 years ago, we'd be paying subsidities TODAY to buggy-whip companies, just to protect jobs.
Sometimes, the world just outgrows your business. When that happens, you either learn to compete, or you find something else to do. (Just read the history of the Fischer Body Company, for example)
Business is like a wrestiling match. If you can't handle your opponent on the mat, he'll pin you. Government DOES NOT need to referree.
Now. Debate THAT!
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