The advent of Donald Trump provides the perfect occasion to analyze the tropes of the liberal mind. The progressives’ vision rests on the assumption that environmentalism, globalism, immigration, open borders, minority rights and individual rights can be melded seamlessly into utopia, directed, of course, by themselves. But the clanging contradictions cannot be ignored.
For starters, globalization isn’t green. You see the evidence everywhere- endless lines of rail cars crossing the continent, gigantic cargo ships and oil tankers off our coasts, the booming business of air cargo. Raw materials are shipped to point A, semi-finished goods go from A to B, then finished parts go to point C for assembly, requiring materials (like packing) ordered from point D, then the final product goes to warehouses at point E, and then shipped to market at point F.
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This has been done in a cycle of rising energy costs, and was only economical due to cheap foreign labor. Meanwhile one-sided trade deals prevented the US from benefiting in many areas where we had comparative advantage. (Try exporting rice to Japan.) Then there is the whole issue of currency manipulation, which even Romney attacked in 2012.
Energy prices are expected to rise again as the current glut works itself out. Wage levels have risen overseas, especially in countries where infrastructure is in place for manufacturing. With better negotiated trade deals (i.e. the US doesn’t just give stuff away), the economic benefits of offshoring won’t be as great, while the political headaches will multiply. Donald Trump was elected because the Bernie voters were DEAD set against the TPP and Clintonite global corporatism, and many stayed home.
We could see a reversal of offshoring and a revival of American manufacturing as the economic paradigm shifts. The liberals will decry this as a resurgence of nationalism. But it is simply the reassertion of economic common sense. And the result will not only be a healthier nation, but a greener planet.
Image-Cargo ship Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. Credit: Slawos