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Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?: Left of Center View

In this era of corporate domination of politics one does not have to look far from Washington to see the cause of the rise in unsafe imports into America. Since the early nineties, the people of the United States have been the loser in virtually every trade agreement our politicians have signed. During discussions of NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement) then presidential candidate Ross Perot spoke of a ďGreat sucking soundĒ of American jobs going overseas that would occur if the agreement was signed. The warning from Perot turned out to be prophetic. American manufacturing jobs have steadily gone overseas while the service jobs that should have replaced them have now also begun to be outsourced to places like India.

What Perotís prophecy didnít include was the decline in safety of products brought about by the relaxing of inspection standards as a result of the same trade agreements. Under current US trade agreements, the United States cannot inspect goods from other nations with any more scrutiny than products made in the United States. This means that despite the fact that many of our trading partners have nothing resembling EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations to keep their working environments clean and their products free of harmful pollutants, we must accept on faith that their goods are made to the same standards of safety as goods in the US that are subject to the standards of the aforementioned bodies and other consumer protection agencies. Thatís a rather large thing to take on faith when you think about it.

So who is behind these trade agreements? Ultimately it is the politicians that sign the agreements who are responsible for them but who is behind the politicians? The simple answer is companies like Wal-Mart whose businesses rely on dirt cheap products regardless of quality coming into America to support their sales. To be fair, it is not just the retailers pushing the trend towards less expensive and less safe items. Virtually every industry once based in the United States has some level of dependence on China for goods today. From apple juice to car parts and computers, we are quickly becoming utterly dependent on goods arriving from China despite the fact that China has quite possibly the worldís worst record on the environment and workplace safety of any industrialized nation on Earth. We are literally getting fish raised in filth and grain products with poisonous chemicals in them as food for our children to eat in order for the companies selling it to make a higher profit margin. Many of these companies are based in the US and try to present their products as buying American because their corporate headquarters are here. Theyíre about as all-American as George Bush is a Rhodes Scholar.

The fact of the matter is that we, the public at large, may have already lost the battle. The politicians in addition to getting millions in campaign contributions from the people profiting from theses goods are also now in a position of having to defend their decisions to support these trade agreements. It is an issue that neither side of the aisle can distance themselves from for long. The Democrats supported the opening of US borders to trade to make more items affordable for average folks while the Republicans supported the growth of business through international trade. The only hope for Americans may be a massive push against incumbency. A wholesale change in Washington from top to bottom including a move toward Independent candidates may be the only thing that can protect our childrenís safety from those who would endanger their lives for a profit. At this point the ballot box is our last defense and if we fail to use that we might as well just accept that our kids will have unsafe toys and poisoned food.


LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Multiculturalism and the Holidays

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Left:
Amnesty and Elections

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Terrorists at the Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy And Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs and Fair Trade
Open Borders and the American Worker
ICE Raids Detain Thousands of Innocent People
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Common Sense Laws
Rise & Fall
Outsourcing & Insourcing
English
Amnesty vs. Reality
Defining Immigration




Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?: Right of Center View

It seems like every time you turn around these days there is another news story about the Chinese sending us more stuff to try and kill us. From the poisoned wheat to the little magnets that pop off and punch holes in your kids stomach when they swallow them itís like there is some kind of plot to kill us off while taking all our money. You canít pick up a toy in the store nowadays without seeing ďMade in ChinaĒ on it. Now it turns out weíre losing the trade battle to China so bad that we actually need them more than they need us. Good move politicians! Way to sell out your country!

So who wrote these trade agreements and did anyone read them before they signed on the bottom line? It seems like they gave up so much in the deals that we canít even stop the stuff coming into the country now. These geniuses in Washington also sold out our national security in the process. According to the current trade agreements with China, our ports have to treat the goods from China as if they are no different from things made in US factories. What jackass came up with that one? So let me just get this straight, China has nothing even close to our standards for making their products safe, they are completely controlled by Communists whose allies include countries like North Korea and Iran but weíre supposed to just trust them that they made the stuff for us as safe as if we made it here? Have our politicians gone insane?!? Their best friends are our mortal enemies yet we just take it on faith that they wonít do anything to compromise the safety of our kids. How dumb do you have to be to become a trade negotiator for the US? Apparently being pretty dumb is a requirement for the job.

I know that some people want to lay all the blame on business but you have to look at the people buying the cheep Chinese crap too. If the people didnít buy it the stores wouldnít stock it. Among the many addictions Americans seemingly have there seems to be a pretty big Jones for cheap crap that they donít need. I go over to friends houses and see a few hundred DVDís, about the same number of video games and when I ask them about the movies or the games theyíll tell me that they havenít gotten to them yet. They saw them and they thought the things looked cool so they got them. No need, no real intention to use them but they simply had to have them. Our priorities have left us at the mercies of the enemy quite literally. So while we mindlessly spend on cheap Chinese crap, our trade deficit grows at about the same rate as Chinaís military capability. Well, what would you expect a totalitarian Communist government to do with all our cash? The weapons to kill the Western pigs donít just buy themselves.

We have to face facts. We are the ones buying the crap we donít need. Excess has become the equivalent of success in American culture. Youíre nothing unless you have three TVís and all the latest music and God forbid you not have the new iPod. You would just simply die if you donít have the new iPod or even better the iPhone because itís just so cool. Only $300 for a flipping phone!!! Itís a phone folks. Talk in one end, hear in the other. All the other bells and whistles are things you donít need but have been convinced you do by some slick ad man wanting to get rich off of your stupidity. Guess what, itís working. The ad man is getting richer, and our children are getting dumber. All the while, our biggest worry is about getting that forty-two inch flat screen at Joeís house of cheap Chinese crap. So whoís to blame?

The Realist | Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Multiculturalism and the Holidays

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
Amnesty and Elections

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Enemies At The Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy and Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs, Safety and Fair Trade
Open Border Trucking Policies
Unions Defending Illegal Aliens
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Let's Get It Right This Time
Once Again Congress Fails
American Jobs
English Also vs. English Only
Amnesty
Defining Immigration

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:

Countries will be divided into 4 groups, the first group would be countries which are in the bottom quarter of the world in population and the fourth would be countries which consist of the top quarter of the world's population. So of the remaining amount of immigrants allowed will be equal to Y.

Thus:

Group 1=X
Group 2=2X
Group 3=3X
Group 4=4X


Y=10X

This amount will be recalculated every census just like the original 1% of the total US population.

-Priority for immigration will be put on reuniting split up families, those taking refuge in our country, and educated and skilled workers.

Requirements for immigrants will be:

-Must read and write one language
-Must pay for and pass a criminal background check (any person committing what the United States would consider a felony will not be allowed in).

Once an immigrant is allowed in to the country they will then enter temporary citizenship.

Requirements for entry into Temporary Citizenship:

-Ability to read or write in one language
-A criminal background check must be preformed by the United States at the expense of the immigrant

Requirements during Temporary Citizenship (1st 5 years in the US):

-Learn to read and write English (at the government's expense)
-Learn about their rights and the government in the United States (at the government's expense)
-Cannot commit a felony (otherwise they will be deported)

Rights during Temporary Citizenship (1st 5 years):

-All the protections of being an American citizen
-Free education
-Must pay for healthcare (minimal fees)
-No right to vote

Requirements after 1st 5 years of Temporary Citizenship:

-Must pass an English reading and writing test
-Must pass a United States government and personal rights test (If requirements not met they will be deported)

After passing the tests they receive these rights:

-Right to vote
-Free healthcare

Special terms of probation for 2nd 5 years:

-Must remain within the United States for 11 months out of the year
-Cannot commit a felony
(If terms of probation are not adhered to they can be deported)

After the 2nd 5 years (10 years total) the citizen can no longer be deported and receives full citizenship.

Submitted by a different organization called Reform America | E-mail Comments on this column. | Visit their website at www.reformamerica.net

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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