I saw a news item in Washington Post this morning that Trump is going to sign an order on his “Buy American, Hire American” rhetoric. Then, I saw it on CNN.
I know this is a populist message that he is singing now to please his voters, who are already becoming disillusioned with him.
(Hence, the war drumbeat to shore up support at home. North Korea has less than 15 nuclear weapons compared to U.S. and Russia’s 7,000 each. Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, India and Pakistan has 120 each. Media’s new portrayal of “evil” North Korea is just like mirror image of what we saw before U.S. bombed Iraq. Kim Jong-un looks strikingly similar to media’s “evil” Saddam Hussain just a few years ago.)
But this is purely rhetoric, and has nothing to do with reality. I just thought I should write about my two cents on this issue, in case anybody out there cares. I doubt anybody truly does, other than the diehard peace and anti-nuclear activists.
So, what is going on? Why is “Buy American” a fake, cheap slogan?
Basically, globalization of the economy has broken down all the barriers and national frontiers, when it comes to doing business and free flowing of money around the world. Of course, the biggest beneficiaries have been the richest of the rich: the one percent. Globalization has not done much, if anything at all, to bring the human communities together from various races, colors, religions and nationalities. In fact, hate, fear, and division have risen in an unprecedented way. Across the world, whether it’s USA, India, France, or Turkey, isolationist, anti-democracy leaders have cashed in on fear and terror, and divided people even more.
This is a low point in human history.
“Buy American” in particular is a hollow slogan, and not only it’s a failed saga of and isolationist economic principle that does not work, but it is also a slogan based on pure lies and propaganda. Here is why.
Almost all U.S. and other multinational corporations now manufacture their products across the globe, almost always outside of the U.S., exploiting slave labor and sweatshops, maximizing profit, and destroying the environment and labor unions. And we all know, by outsourcing their manufacturing and other trading bases, they have managed to dodge their share of taxes, in billions of dollars. Wal-Mart, GE, Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Disney, Monsanto, Apple, Coke, IBM, Apple, Oracle, Gap, J. C. Penny, Caterpillar, and also war industries and drug companies have done it the worst possible way.
Even Facebook, Google, and all the other social media…they all do a big chunk of their IT business outside of the U.S. Paying much less to their white-collar slaves in Third World countries. With no union rights. Sure, Google’s head is an Indian origin. So what?
Can Trump bring all these corporations back to USA for manufacturing here 100%, using 100% U.S. labor? And unionized labor? We all know that’s not what he has on his mind. He is using big media – Fox, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, ABC and NBC included – to create this illusion, without telling the American people the whole story.
Fact is, U.S. foreign policy has always been based on forcing countries across the world to buy U.S. businesses, and U.S. powers have toppled governments when they resisted. They have killed democracy, and created and supported dictatorship.
Just look up. It’s easily available. Maybe, start with Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn.
Can U.S. economy survive without selling its products across the globe? Will U.S. stop selling its weapons, cars, tobacco, movies, toys, computers, clothes, or drugs in India, Africa, China, Europe, or Latin America?
What if countries retaliate by banning U.S. products in their countries? Poor and powerless countries may not be able to do it, but rich countries might. Will Trump start bombing them too? If Germany does not import U.S. computers…if Britain does not allow U.S. pharmaceuticals…If Canada does not let MacDonald’s or Coke in…
Can we separate U.S. economic policies from its foreign policies and war policies? Will the biggest corporations – the one percent – let a U.S. president force them to pay their taxes, and bring their jobs back home?
I believe we need to search for our own answers, and let our own people know what we think. That’s all we the small people with small powers can do.
Brooklyn, New York