The Outrageous WTO
WTO now stands for World Trade Outrage rather than its original name, World Trade Organization. The WTO just ruled that the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda can freely violate American copyrights and trademarks in order to punish the United States for our laws prohibiting internet gambling.
Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006 after finding that “internet gambling is a growing cause of debt collection problems for insured depository institutions and the consumer credit industry.” The social and financial costs of gambling would be greatly increased if we permit internet gambling.
The WTO ordered this punishment because it says U.S. laws interfere with free trade in “recreational services.” The foreign tribunal ranks free trade as more important than the intellectual property rights Americans have enjoyed since our Constitution was written. The WTO’s 88-page decision issued in December contained the panel’s remarkable admission that “we feel we are on shaky grounds.” But that didn’t stop the Geneva tribunal from issuing its ruling anyway.
We have every right to protect our people against the corruption and loss of wealth that result from gambling on the internet. It is shocking for an unelected foreign tribunal to tell our Congress and President they lack the power to protect our people. Even American supremacist judges would not have the nerve to authorize stealing copyrights and trademarks as a remedy for one side in an unrelated dispute. But the WTO granted what has been called a “piracy permit” that allows a small Caribbean nation to “pirate,” or steal, U.S. property rights.
The WTO has ruled against the United States in 40 out of 47 major cases, and against us in 30 out of 33 trade remedies cases. After the WTO ruled that the U.S. cannot divert tariff revenue to U.S. companies that are injured by foreign subsidies to their competitors, Vice President Dick Cheney provided the tie-breaking vote in the Senate on December 21, 2005 to kowtow to the WTO.
For many years, opponents of the WTO have predicted that this foreign bureaucracy would massively interfere with our sovereignty. This new ruling is crazy, unjust and impertinent, but without a lot of public protest, it looks unlikely that our “free trade” President or Congress will do anything to protect us from the WTO.
How is a foreign tribunal in Geneva able to put the United States in such a box? It’s because the internationalist free-trade lobby cooked up a sleazy deal to force the WTO on us back in 1994 during the week after Thanksgiving when Americans were preoccupied with Christmas shopping and festivities.
The deal to lock us into WTO consisted of three parts. First, the 14-page WTO agreement was surreptitiously added, without debate or publicity, to the 22,000-page revision of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) implementing legislation, and was voted on under “fast track” rules which allowed no amendments or changes, severely limited debate, and forbade any filibuster. Second, the Treaty Clause in the U.S. Constitution for ratification of treaties was ignored, and WTO was declared passed by Congress as a non-treaty. Third, the GATT/WTO agreement was passed in the December lame-duck session with the votes of dozens of Congressmen who were looking for lucrative jobs representing foreign interests because they had already been defeated in the Republican landslide of November 1994.
The WTO is not “free trade” at all, but is a supra-national body in Geneva that sets, manages and enforces WTO-made rules to govern global trade. The WTO includes a one-country-one-vote legislature of 151 nations (we have the same one vote as Cuba), an unelected multinational bureaucracy, and a Dispute Settlement Board which deliberates and votes in secret and whose decisions cannot be appealed or vetoed.
WTO is a direct attack on our sovereignty because it claims it can force us to change our laws to comply with WTO rulings. Article XVI, paragraph 4, states: “Each Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations, and administrative procedures with its obligations.” The WTO has the final say about whether U.S. laws meet WTO requirements.
Where are the presidential candidates who speak up to defend our sovereignty against the globalists who, under the mantra of “free trade,” willingly allow the WTO to tell us what laws we may or may not adopt?
Do They Assimilate — or Not?
Are you tired of anonymous voices on the phone telling you to “Press 1 (or sometimes 2) for English”? The ability to speak and communicate in English is the litmus test of whether our immigrants are assimilating into the American culture or not. To become a naturalized American citizen, the law states that the immigrant must demonstrate “the ability to read, write and speak ordinary English.” All public opinion polls confirm by majorities approaching 90% that this is what the American people want.
Despite the law, the Pew Hispanic Center just reported that only 52% of Hispanic naturalized citizens speak English well or pretty well. Pew also reported that 28% of Latino immigrants speak only Spanish on the job.
Even those who seek diversity in politics, in religion, in morals, in lifestyles and in nationalities reject diversity when it comes to speaking English. It’s the tie that binds; it’s the e pluribus unum of our culture; it’s the route to success in education, careers, and the chance to live the American dream.
As George W. Bush rounds out his second term as President, pundits are speculating on what his legacy will be. The Census Bureau just answered that question: his legacy is admitting the staggering number of 10.3 million foreigners into the United States, both legally and illegally, plus many more illegal residents the Census Bureau could not identify. The jury is still out on whether those 10.3 million will assimilate into the American socio-economic culture or will remain in neighborhoods where they associate only with each other and fail to communicate and compete with citizens of their adopted country. One would think that sound government policy should encourage assimilation, but unhappily our government, both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, is retarding assimilation.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) lifted the lid on one of the government’s major campaigns to discourage assimilation when he offered an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3093) to prohibit federal funds from being used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to sue employers for requiring English to be spoken by employees on the job. EEOC has filed over 200 such lawsuits against employers. EEOC accused the Salvation Army at Framingham, Mass., of discriminating against two employees “on the basis of their national origin.” The charge is ridiculous because the Salvation Army actually hired the two employees and gave them a year to learn enough English to speak it on the job, which they failed to do.
Alexander’s amendment reflected extraordinary bipartisan congressional common sense and it passed the Senate 75-19. The amendment was approved by the House 218-186, and headed for the conference committee. Then the Hispanic caucus had a tantrum, threatening to block passage of every bill until the amendment was removed. Despite the massive votes in both Houses of Congress, Alexander’s amendment was deleted from the appropriations bill that passed.
Our government also discourages assimilation by printing foreign language ballots, even though only U.S. citizens are supposed to vote. Another way that government programs retard assimilation is by forcing children with Hispanic-sounding names into Spanish-language classes in public schools, often over the opposition of their parents.
One of the most objectionable anti-assimilation policies is Clinton’s Executive Order 13166, which requires all recipients of federal funds to provide all information and services in any language requested by any recipient of federal funds (such as a private-practice physician who accepts a Medicare or Medicaid patient). Despite the unnecessary costs and unpopularity of this unilateral Clinton action, the Bush Administration has continued the policy.
College Not Necessary for Many Careers
U.S. News & World Report, which has made a name for itself by ranking and announcing the Best Colleges every year, is now ranking and listing the Best Careers for young people. A comparison of the latest lists shows a shocking disconnect and makes for dispiriting holiday reading.
While the price of a college education has skyrocketed far faster than inflation, many careers for which colleges prepare their graduates are disappearing. U.S. News’ Best Careers guide concludes that “college grads might want to consider blue-collar careers” because B.A. diploma holders “are having trouble finding jobs that require college-graduate skills.” Incredibly, U.S. News is telling college graduates to look for jobs that do not require a college diploma. Among the 31 best opportunities for 2008 are the careers of firefighter, hairstylist, cosmetologist, locksmith, and security system technician. Where did the higher-skill jobs go? Both large and small companies are “quietly increasing offshoring efforts.”
Ten years ago we were told we really didn’t need manufacturing because it can be done more cheaply elsewhere, that auto workers and others should move to Information Age jobs. But now the information jobs are moving offshore, too, as well as marketing research and even many varieties of innovation.
The flight overseas includes professional as well as low-wage jobs, with engineering jobs offshored to India and China. Thousands of bright Asian engineers are willing to work for a fraction of American wages, which is why Boeing just signed a 10-year, $1-billion-a-year deal with an Indian government-run company.
Society has been telling high school students that college is the ticket to get a life, and politicians are pandering to parents’ desire for their children to be better educated and so have a higher standard of living. But it doesn’t make sense for parents to mortgage their homes, or for students to saddle themselves with long-term debt, in order to pay overpriced college tuition to prepare for jobs that no longer exist. Tuition at public universities has risen an unprecedented 51% over the past five years.
U.S. News offers this advice for the nerds who still spend five to six years earning an engineering degree despite increasingly grim prospects of a well-paid engineering career: “Look for government work.” Or maybe you can be an “Offshoring Manager” and be part of the process of shipping your fellow graduates’ jobs overseas.
A Duke University spokesman said that 40% of Duke’s engineering graduates cannot get engineering jobs. A Duke University publication suggests that the best prospect for good engineering jobs is for the U.S. government to start another major project like going to the moon. U.S. News warns us that “government is becoming an employer of choice.” Corporations are getting leaner, but government can continue to pay good salaries, with lots of vacation days, sick leave, health insurance and retirement benefits, because government rakes in more tax revenue in good times and can raise taxes in bad times; and if the Democrats win in 2008, we can expect government to expand even more.
G.O.P. candidates haven’t yet gotten the message that jobs are just as big a gut issue as immigration. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey conducted December 14-17 reports that, by 58% to 28%, Americans believe globalization is bad because it subjects U.S. companies and employees to unfair competition and cheap labor.
Where are the limited-government fiscal-conservatives when we need them to refute the notion that the best anengineering graduate can hope for is a job with the government? When are we going to call a halt to the way globalism is destroying U.S. jobs by foreign currency manipulation, theft of our intellectual property, shipping us poisonous seafood and toys, and unfair trade agreements that allow foreign subsidies (through the so-called Value Added Tax) to massively discriminate against U.S. producers and workers?
How China Cheats the U.S.
Free trade with China means acquiescing in gross discrimination against U.S. products and jobs. The Chinese avoid a level trading field by artificially undervaluing their currency up to 40%, subsidizing their products, and imposing import duties against U.S. products that are ten times higher than tariffs on their products in U.S. stores. Our free-trade negotiators routinely accept trade agreements that give other countries the right to charge higher tariffs than we charge for similar products. For example, the Chinese Chery car will face a 2.5% tariff when sold in the U.S., but U.S. autos entering China will be taxed at 25%.
Foreign countries get by with this discrimination by calling it a Value Added Tax (VAT) instead of a tariff, but it amounts to just as high a barrier against free trade. The result is that millions of American jobs have moved overseas.
All presidential candidates ought to be asked what they plan to do about China’s organized theft of our intellectual property and counterfeiting of our products. Communist China is the world’s top producer of illegal copies of music, movies, software, designer clothes, and medicines. All candidates should be asked what they plan to do about China putting its billion dollars of profits from U.S. trade into military weaponry to threaten, not only Taiwan, but the United States, especially our communication satellites.
The toy advertised by Wal-Mart as the top toy of the season had to be recalled after it was discovered that children in Texas, Delaware, New Hampshire, Illinois and Utah fell sick and were hospitalized because of swallowing the toy’s bead-like parts. After 4.2 million were recalled, China finally admitted that the beads in this toy, called Aqua Dots, contained a substance that can turn into the “date-rape” drug after children swallow them. That drug, gamma-hydroxy butyrate, causes breathing problems, loss of consciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma, and death. Aqua Dots were supposed to have been coated with a nontoxic chemical, but that chemical costs three or four times the price of the poisonous compound, so the Chinese manufacturer couldn’t resist using the cheaper product.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, 26 million toys and other products made in China have been recalled by U.S. companies since August. Even the Boy Scouts of America had to recall a million Chinese-made plastic badges that contained unsafe amounts of lead.
Australia recalled hundreds of blankets imported from China in October because they contained formaldehyde up to ten times the level permissible under international standards. The World Heath Organization has classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.
Chinese products are so cheap because the workers in Guangdong, where most of the Chinese toys are made, are primarily females age 17 to 25 who work an average of 16 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, for about $50 per month. They live in unhealthy, overcrowded dormitories, where a bed is all they have of their own.
Seafood from China is a potentially more dangerous import. About 80% of seafood consumed by Americans is imported, and the Food and Drug Administration inspects and tests only 1%. Lab tests show that China uses antibiotics to treat fish raised in filthy waters where bacteria, viruses and parasites breed. Lab testers say that when seafood is rejected for an illegal chemical, the Chinese simply switch to another harmful chemical. Often found in imported fish is a fungicide called malachite green, which is illegal to use in food in the U.S. because studies show it can cause cancer and birth defects.
Let’s Protect American Jobs
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is an old verse that just isn’t true. Indeed, words can hurt, break up marriages, destroy careers, and defeat political candidates.
Even words out of one’s own mouth can be destructive. We recall such bloopers as presidential candidate George Romney self-destructing his 1968 presidential candidacy with the word “brainwashing,” or Gerald Ford losing in 1976 after saying “there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe,” or Richard Nixon pleading “I am not a crook.”
In the fast-moving battleground of the internet, words used as epithets can be powerful missiles to hurl at an enemy. Among the arrows with poison tips designed to slay a political enemy are the words “racist,” “bigot, “fascist,” “nativist,” and “extremist.”
The spin artists, now a fixture in modern politics, tell us what we are supposed to think about what we just saw (such as a presidential debate). They use word power to set the parameters of political debate.
More insidious are the words that are redefined to stifle political discourse. As Humpty Dumpty told Alice in Wonderland, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” Alice demurred: “The question is whether you can make words mean different things.” Humpty Dumpty countered, “The question is which is to be master; that’s all.” The word definers who choose to be master frustrate rational debate by redefining good words into bad words, mouthing them with a sneer until they become a smear.
Protect is an obviously good word. The dictionary defines it as preservation from injury or harm. Most of us fervently believe in protecting things that are precious to us. We all want to protect our homes from being invaded by a robber. Parents want to protect their children from predators in person or on the internet, as well as from immoral curricula in public schools.
We want to protect the institution of marriage so we can have a stable society based on the family, and so children can grow up with a mother and a father. Most of us want to protect innocent unborn babies from the butcher’s knife and scissors. We believe in protecting our country and our flag. Our soldiers fight to protect us from foreign enemies. Our police stand guard to protect us from thugs on the street.
We want to protect our liberties from over-reaching bureaucrats and from supremacist judges who pretend to “evolve” the U.S. Constitution. We want to protect the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments from the lawsuits that try to ban them from schools, courthouses and parks. We want to protect our borders from being invaded by illegals who violate our laws. We want to protect Americans from the illegal drugs that are smuggled across our border.
Protectionism is an acknowledged virtue in all areas of life, except one. It is a semantic curiosity that, somehow, the word protectionism has been placed in the globalists’ quiver of arrows to shoot down anyone who tries to protect the good jobs that have enabled millions to rise from poverty into the middle class and live the American dream.
It’s time that we denounce the semantic scalpers who have perverted the word protectionism. It’s time to say, yes, we do want to protect American jobs and industries from global competition with slave labor, inhumane working conditions, and countries that use the profits on their sales to us to build a military force to threaten us.
Yes, we do want to protect American industries from competition with foreign countries that engage in unfair trade practices, dishonestly manipulate their currency, steal our intellectual property, and then bring their products into our stores without paying the same border fees that U.S. products must pay when we sell to foreign countries.
Yes, we do want to protect American workers against the globalists’ effort to locate manufacturing jobs in Asia where people work for 30 cents an hour. Even the Wall Street Journal-NBC poll reports that Republican voters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, now believe that free trade is bad for the U.S. economy because it costs jobs.
Yes, we do want to protect Americans from the low-wage, non-English-speaking Mexican truck drivers whom George W. Bush is allowing on our highways despite the law that prohibits this. Yes, we do want to protect Americans from the poisonous petfood, seafood, toothpaste, and toys that come from Communist China.
Yes, we do want to protect American sovereignty and wealth from the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea which seeks to control all the seas and the minerals under them. Yes, we do want to protect American sovereignty from the foreign tribunals that rule against us, such as the World Trade Organization that has ruled against the United States in 40 out of 47 cases and now is demanding that we repeal our law against internet gambling.
It’s time we reclaim the words protect and protectionism and proudly say, yes, we believe in protecting American sovereignty against unfair foreign tribunals that presume to dictate our laws and our trade.