Very rich institutions loan their money and their investors’ money to businesses or governments world wide. Those loans are repaid over time, sometimes loan periods of twenty or thirty years. Now the international capitalists (I don’t use that term pejoratively, but for accuracy’s sake) are interested in a), the return on their money, and b) the return of their money. Therefore political and social stability is of paramount importance. Nothing ruins an investment banker’s day more quickly than a loan default. Societal instability has to be addressed, whether in China, Bangladesh, or the United States, Let’s be frank, drug use and abuse, whether the substance abused can be possessed lawfully or not, creates social instability. Drug trafficking, easily facilitated by porous borders, feeds the societal malignancy that is addiction.
I suspect the ongoing addiction crisis in America and it’s damaging effects on the work force and society as a whole, was a factor in American industry leaving North America. So, about thirty years ago, manufacturing industries began their exodus from the United States and Canada. The overseas relocation was financed, in whole or in part, by Wall Street investment bankers, who loaned money to build the factories and acquire the equipment.
Now there stands the real possibility that industries could relocate back to North America. The loans that financed the departure of industry probably have been repaid. And new plants need to be built and old factories need to be rehabilitated and retrofitted. That takes capital, or as we plebeians out here call it, money. 💰
What we have here is an “investment opportunity”. If trade policies are written that protect American jobs, this should be a win for both labour (People who work) and capital (People with money). Set aside your political ideology for awhile and consider those basic truths.
The global economy depends on people with money to buy the stuff that’s made, from jumbo jets to pantyhose. Americans, whose spending patterns are determined by how well their jobs pay, will buy more of the world’s stuff if they have money to make purchases. Luxury items, whether a technology rich smart phone or a jet ski, to name just two, are made with discretionary dollars. Bringing the higher paying manufacturing jobs back will accelerate that objective.
Trade policies that harm workers impede local and global stability. How much of the addiction crises are attributable to factory and mine closings? Idleness exacerbates despair. A social welfare system may meet some material needs of the economically dislocated, but nothing compares to the dignity of work in restoring and building self-esteem.
Gandhi is often depicted with a hand spinning wheel. He understood that British imperialism had robbed India of her self-reliance. Cotton spinning was about restoring that self-reliance.
Something to consider when looking at the conundrum of trade and tariff policy.