Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Preserving our Way of Life with a New Economic Policy

Jim brings up a great question over at his Great Depression blog. In the international race to the bottom in wages, can we do anything, or are we doomed to economic collapse as cheap-labor countries wipe us out? Here my thoughts on a rational economic policy in our globalized world.

Part of our high pay rate is definitely our social net. From environmental protections to health care costs to retirement benefits, our entire government-based social services safety net, in fact our entire quality of life, is build on the bedrock of our wages.

Because our entire quality of life, and the government itself is build on it, clearly, gov't policy should be to preserve our high wage jobs. But how to do so in a world of global capital flows and international communication as the basis of the information economy? We are no longer in the 1930's, so tarriff walls against imported products, while an important step, will not be sufficient

We need a new concept: call it a "foreign labor tarriff". Meaning, a company's percentage of foreign workers would determine its tax treatment. It is no longer enough to worry about imported goods. We also have to combat outsourincing in "knowledge work" service field, such as medicine, information technology, accounting, and education.

Companies whose path to larger profit lines is along the road of wage arbitrage need to be stimied. Wage arbitrage by global companies has one end result: greater concentration of profits for the parasitic global investment class, at the expense of the deteriorating American quality of life and impoverished American working class.

It is a basic economic law: you have to be a producer before you can enter the market as a consumer. If you aren't producing something, you have no basis of wealth to enter into an economic transaction. In short, JOBS HAVE TO COME FIRST.

This is common sense. Who exactly is distributing the crazy pills? Until our gov't forumates an economic policy that is based on preserving our quality of life, we will continue to get poorer and poorer.