In my previous column on the flaws of free trade theory, I concentrated primarily on the theoretical aspects and the errors in the historical arguments that have been made for it. In this column, I will focus on the practical side and show how free trade, if implemented in a genuine manner, will necessarily result in the complete destruction of the United States of America as we know it.
It is difficult to have a substantive discussion of the practical results of free trade with one of its advocates because they can so readily, with some justification, fall back on the argument that free trade agreements like NAFTA and the Agreement on the European Economic Area are not equivalent to truly free trade. While that is partially true, the argument nevertheless amounts to a massive evasion, as NAFTA without question brought much freer trade to the North American continent than it had previously known.
When it was implemented in 1994, NAFTA immediately eliminated the tariffs on more than one-half of Mexican exports and more than one-third of U.S. exports. By 2009, all tariffs between the U.S. and Mexico were eliminated. How, one wonders, can the complete elimination of all tariffs between two countries be considered anything but free trade? And yet, as anyone who was paying attention to the news in 2009 will recall, that free trade did not bring great economic prosperity to Americans.
It would be erroneous to claim free trade with Mexico was the source of the current economic crisis that began in 2008, but it is well worth pointing out that the free trade proved to be no panacea, and that the millions of Mexican immigrants who were part of the freer movement of goods, capital and labor inspired by NAFTA contributed greatly to the housing bubble that was the chief driver of the six-year financial boom that ran from 2002 to 2008.
And indeed, while most of the historical concerns about free trade have revolved around the societal costs of the free movement of goods, it is the free movement of labor that most thoroughly damns free-trade ideology and reveals it to be a utopian evil every bit as dangerous as communism, feminism and globalism.
Free-trade advocates often point to the free movement of goods, capital and labor in the domestic economy and ask why the same system cannot work internationally since it works so well within the national borders. The reason is simple: The nation cannot continue to exist if the same degree of labor movement takes place across the borders as it presently does within them. In a paper entitled “Comparing labour mobility in Europe and the U.S.: facts and pitfalls,” it was shown that in the years between 2000 and 2005, the annual interstate mobility rate in the U.S. ranged between 2.8 and 3.4 percent.
To put this into terms most people will understand, just under half of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 44, 50.5 percent, still reside in the state in which they were born. This isn’t a big deal to most Americans. After all, the move from Michigan to Florida or from Minnesota to California is generally regarded as a step up in quality of life. But that’s not likely to be true on an international level.
Because the labor cost difference between the U.S. and China is much greater than between Massachusetts and Texas, the pressure on Americans to move abroad in search of jobs would be even greater than presently exists in the domestic market. Enacting the same sort of free-trade regime on an international level as presently exists on the domestic level would require both a) a reduction in the American standard of living to one that is much closer global average, and b) the expatriation of more than 50 percent of young Americans under the age of 35.
This statistically predictable destruction of the population and dissolution of the American people in the name of increased global prosperity through free trade is not a rhetorical exaggeration. Nor is it a concept that is unknown to the champions of free trade. Consider the words of Mr. Peter Sutherland, the former director-general of the World Trade Organization:
Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas. He told the House of Lords committee migration was a “crucial dynamic for economic growth” in some EU nations “however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states.”
What this means is that if, despite understanding its true costs, you still favor free trade as a desirable means to increase the wealth of nations, then you should at least admit to yourself and others that you favor the total destruction of national sovereignty, the elimination of the U.S. Constitution and the end of America and other historical nations. You favor the ideology of ein Welt, ein Recht, eine Wirtschaft.