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Conservatives/conservative and cheap labor


Hi Dennis,

I'm a conservative who thinks we've gone stray from the Constitution, and the administrative branch shouldn't combine the three powers, be an expedient for big government, helping it side-step the Constitution, nor it should be a tool for the fed. gov. to dictate to the states.

As the free market is the "invisible hand", the administrative power are its "invisible handcuffs". So I oppose centralized government regulation and intervention in what should be the free market. But at the same time I think China and other "cheap production providing" nations are taking advantage of the free market, causing companies to move manufacturing and other jobs there. What would be the conservative approach to solve that?

Thank you in advance,


Hi Rick,

This is a question I have often pondered because there seems to be no easy answer. When I was young, Japan produced all the junk you could possibly want. Then as their workers' standard of living rise, so did their prices. Then cheap labor was found in Korea, now it is in China.

The problem with no government regulation results in situations such as we have now with TV sets and recorders. None of those products are made in the U.S. anymore. That's because Japan subsidized companies so they could sell such items below cost. Zenith and Motorola used to make pretty good TV sets, but people stopped by them because Japan was able to sell cheaper products. Of course that ended when the American companies stopped producing TVs. Panasonic and Sony (and the rest) then raised their prices. So consumers benefited, but US workers lost jobs.

On the other hand, there also was a period in the 70s when tariffs were added to imported products. I recall wanting to by a Marantz amplifier that cost twice what everything else cost. That was because of "fair trade" tariff. So in that case, the consumer lost (I did buy the Marantz, but I still remember the pain i went through).

A few years ago, I believe during the Clinton administration, we imposed a tariff on somebody (maybe Japan) for some illegal things they were doing, and they retaliated by banning U.S. pork (or corn or something). The farmers went crazy.

So to find that balance between having trade wars, and letting them run all over us (and trust me, the Asian countries will do anything they can do make a profit) will be difficult. I had a friend who worked for Kirin beer, and he said they went right up to the legal line in every area of competition that they could, and then they pushed a little more.

The only thing that I can come up with that strikes a balance between the "invisible hand" and the crooks that we have to deal with is having a trade policy based on the other countries policies. We will trade with the same regulations Mexico has with us, etc. What Japan does to us with electronics, we will do to them with our exports (like corn).

The problem is that all countries are not made the same, so probably none would quietly go along with that idea.


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