Friday, August 01, 2008

China, Free Trade, and Unions

Dear Editor:

In response to "China siphons jobs from Ohio" (Dispatch article, July 30, 2008), I have to ask: Is the job siphon really free trade (or trade hampered by thousands of pages of trade policy)? Or is it Ohio tax policy and trade unions?

Seems to me that free trade works best for all. Leo Gerard, president of the steelworkers' union, states otherwise. But his solution is to increase tariffs, raising the price of consumer goods for everyone else.

Hey, Gerard, start producing and quit lobbying and obstructing. The rest of us Ohioans would be much better off.


Anonymous said...

Or is it because the Chinese live in huts and on dirt floors? How do we compete with that standard of living?

Jim Fedako said...

Let me get this straight ... Chinese living in huts outperform American's who are the product of the (supposedly) greatest government-run education system, supported by union-friendly regulations and redistributive taxation, and under the able leadership of union shop stewards. Hmmm. Something's wrong with this picture.

Anonymous said...

Not my point. My point is that because their standard of living is so low, they can be paid much less for doing the same job. What would an American working in a toy manufacturing plant make in US dollars in order to provide the same toy made in China for the same price?

American workers are competing against an oppressive, uncaring government in China. While taxation here might have some impact I think that working conditions and salaries in China skew the playing field far more.

Jim Fedako said...

How do they outperform US workers? By forging iron over open pit ovens? Come on.

By the way, I've seen photos of China today -- there are very few huts, with the exception of the rural areas.

Assuming that their stand of living is low, and that a standard of living includes the whole bag of so-called public goods (public education included), how are the Chinese outperforming us?

Remember, the US toy manufactoring plant has employees that were educated in our so-called superior, public schools. That should give us the advantage. Right?

Plus all the publically-financed infrastructure supporting US companies, along with our protectionist tarrifs.

Then there is transportation costs.

The issues are our own doing. US car companies spend more in on retirees healthcare benefits than they do for steel. US taxes capital as evil profits, leading companies to invest more overseas.

The issues are endless.

But to say that we are at the mercy of Chinese living in huts is silly.

Those comments come from people who want to take advantage over the US consumer and people who desire more government regulations and wealth transfers.

Anonymous said...

During the recent Olympic event, I watched a segment filmed in China. It showed some amazing decadence of lifestyle in big-city China that I had not realized existed. The scene looked like something from Los Angeles.