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How to stop exporting jobs

By Henry Lamb
web posted February 16, 2004

It's really quite simple. To stop the outflow of American jobs, all that is required is the repeal of: the minimum wage law; outlaw labor unions; repeal the Americans with Disabilities Act; dismantle OSHA; abolish the EPA; repeal the Endangered Species Act; abandon the Ecosystem Management Policy; repeal all articles of the Clean Water Act that affect non-navigable waters, and, in general, return America to the social status of India, China, and the other nations to which American jobs are flowing.

"The loss of three-million jobs under Bush's leadership," has become the central battle cry of Democrats in this election year. The outflow began long before the current administration, and will continue well after November, regardless of who wins the White House.

There is another alternative: force India, China, and the other nations to adopt the same environmental and social standards America has adopted, thus imposing the same production costs on foreign producers that American producers must pay. This is the goal of the United Nations, working through the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and several other international institutions.

The goal of the United Nations is to bring the global economy under its regulatory power. The U.N.'s High Level Panel on Financing Development is trying to establish a global mechanism to equalize tax rates, and to extract a tax on currency exchange to provide independent funding for a global government. The Kyoto Protocol attempted to give an international agency the power to control energy use, in developed countries first, and then globally. The Convention on Biological Diversity, and other treaties and agreements, seek to control the use of land and natural resources.

These are all components of "sustainable development," a euphemism which means a controlled society, spelled out in great detail in the U.N.'s Agenda 21.

The United States has been a driving force toward sustainable development, for many years. The current president is the first since Ronald Reagan, to show any reluctance at all to advancing the principles of sustainable development at home, and around the world.

Many people, including many in Congress, believe that the sustainable development model is the only solution to the world's economic and environmental problems. The Democratic Socialists of America, the Progressive Caucus, most of the Democrats in Congress, and many Republicans actually advocate this policy. Of course, the idea of free enterprise cannot exist in a managed, or "sustainable" society, but this fact seems to be unimportant to proponents of sustainable development.

Americans will decide whether the world continues to move toward a globally-managed society, by the people elected to Congress and to the White House.

Americans, however, are in a real dilemma: Americans want the highest paying jobs possible for the work they perform, along with the highest possible environmental, safety, and social standards. At the same time, they want to pay the lowest possible price for the goods they buy -- even if those goods are produced in India, China, or any other nation.

We cannot have both at the same time, unless we allow a third party -- the United Nations -- to manage the global economy and dictate "fair" wage and tax rates for all producers, and also dictate which products are really needed, and which resources may be used to produce them.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, and the evolving Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, are both major steps toward the ultimate economic globalization. While proponents of these agreements may argue to the contrary, they both exacerbate the conditions which beg for third-party oversight. Specifically, the agreements tend to abolish tariffs, making foreign goods much cheaper than domestic goods, while doing nothing to elevate the standards (increase the cost of production) in foreign countries.

This so-called "free trade" is precisely what drives American companies and capital to move to foreign countries where they can produce goods cheaper, to sell in America. This is, in fact, the redistribution of wealth dreamed of by the authors of Agenda 21. The process has begun to diminish the economic power of the United States, while providing new economic opportunity in foreign lands.

The irony is that Americans have made it happen. The policy agenda driven by the DSA, the Progressive Caucus, and the other Democrat and Republican proponents of "sustainable development," are responsible for the export of jobs in recent years.

Since the first alternative suggested -- repeal of the laws that inflate the cost of production -- is not likely to happen, and since the second alternative is already happening, with the approval and support of much of society, those who cherish free enterprise must find a way to save it.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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