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Free Trade And Sensible Regulation, Can The Two Reasonably Co-exist?: Left of Center View

Regulated Free Trade is an oxymoron. Free Trade is a regional concept. As long as goods and services pass from one region to another, some governmental agency is going to attempt to profit from the exchange and the whole concept of free trade is out the window.

Governments and bureaucracies always need more money while at the same time their constituents always want to give them less money. The compromise seems to be to get as much from those from outsiders whenever possible. Hotel taxes are a popular form of this. Ironically, this does constitute free trade as the same tax is levied on everyone. But this sort of tactic can quickly backfire.

In an attempt to raise funds for their various municipal programs the city of San Francisco added a substantial tax to tobacco products sold within the city limits. This tax was in addition to a previous tax the city levied, and at the same time as a Federal tax. The end result was an approximate dollar difference in price. The end result; San Francisco lost money as commuters began purchasing their nicotine elsewhere. So not only did they not receive the additional revenue they were counting on from the new tax, they lost millions in revenue from the taxes they had previously passed.

But what would have happened if San Francisco had passed these taxes on only one brand or type of tobacco? Probably the same thing that happens when other countries give their industries a home court advantage; sales of the favored products increase while those of the targeted items plummet.

When this occurs on the international level, the results can be devastating, turning a once thriving metropolis like Detroit in to a vestige of economic woe. Governments need to protect the well being of their citizens and sometimes this also means protecting the industries that employ them. To do this at times regulation becomes necessary. Where we have miss-stepped in the past is when we regulate, not to level the field, but to benefit individuals, corporate executives, and not the economy as a whole.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Next week's subject: How Can We Get American Jobs Back From Foreign Workers?

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Can America Be The Leader In A 21st Century Global Economy?

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Free Trade And Sensible Regulation, Can The Two Reasonably Co-exist?: Right of Center View

The key word in that question is sensible. Sensible regulation is almost a contradiction in terms when Washington is involved. Congress is very good at telling business how to do business but if businesses were run like the federal government, we would all live in shanty towns. The core problem with federal regulation of commerce is that the people in Washington are clueless about how business actually works.

Letís take our trade agreements as an example of how Washington screws up regulation. Chinese companies are not subject to anywhere near the level of safety or quality regulations that American businesses are required to follow. Knowing this, instead of increased scrutiny of Chinese goods coming into America, they said that our ports are to treat Chinese goods as if they were made by Americans and not inspect them any more thoroughly than if they were made in Topeka.

This is Washingtonís version of free trade. We donít hold them to the same standards as our own products, we just treat them as if they held themselves to the same standards, which we know for a fact they donít. And what is the result? Melamine in our food, thatís what. Toxic material in food coming from China that they use to fool the tests into thinking the food has more protein than it actually has. You would think that would have been enough for Congress to alter the agreements right? Nope, they didnít change a thing.

The problem with letting Washington muck around with ďfree tradeĒ is that they have no idea as to what is needed to actually level the playing field for American businesses around the world. We import goods at a frighteningly high rate while we close down factories here because we have no customers to buy the things they make. Do you ever wonder why? It just might be that we donít make trade agreements that require reciprocal market presence in foreign markets. It could also be that we donít charge sufficient tariffs on imported goods to keep them price competitive with American goods. The truth is we donít have either free trade or sensible regulations on trade so the question is kind of pointless.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Can America Be The Leader In A 21st Century Global Economy?

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A Legal Immigrantís Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally ďThe RaceĒ in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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