Thursday, May 20, 2010

Consider An Embargo On World Imports

Fixing A Broken Economy


By James Donahue


In reading all of the reports of global efforts for heading off fears of a world-wide depression we remember that someone in Washington . . . it may have been President Bush . . . once assured us that the U.S. would not stop imports of goods from overseas.

The comment started us thinking about all of the world trade agreements our country has made and how it might be difficult, if not impossible to consider turning off the spigot on imported products. And while on that line of thinking, it struck us that a federal embargo on imports might just be what our nation needs to fix a lot of things that have gone wrong. It appears that we have been set up for everything that has happened to us.

Imagine what a difference it would make if America could or would stop ALL goods from other countries, even the things manufactured by U.S. companies that moved to Mexico, China, Indonesia and other places to exploit poverty stricken areas that supply cheap non-union labor.

Along with this embargo our government should prohibit all financial dealings that make it possible for big corporations to operate out of obscure places like the Cayman Islands, a British Territory in the Caribbean that has become a popular tax haven. Most of all, there should be a prohibition against the United States borrowing any more money from other countries, or selling government-owned lands, buildings and bridges owners abroad.

We also suggest shutting down our wars in other lands and bringing our troops home to reinforce the blockade of our ports, major airports and borders, to make sure nothing sneaks into a black market.

Knowing how big business interests control Washington these days, we know that this is all a hypothetical scenario. But if it could be done, here is what we think would happen:

American stores would quickly run out of imported items. Since most of the stuff we think we must have to make our lives more enjoyable . . . new televisions, computers, stereos, cell phones, cameras, sewing machines, shoes, clothes and Japanese and European manufactured automobiles . . .would be unavailable. We would be forced to use the old things we already have or go without. You might be amazed at the things that would be missing from our store shelves.

Is that a bad thing? Indeed, going without certain food items like coffee, bananas, dates and spices will be a severe sacrifice for many of us, but it won't kill us. American farmers still produce enough food to feed our people. And if people overseas get hungry enough, they will probably allow us to export excess foods.

Another critical loss would be oil. We would be forced to scale down our use of oil produced at home, pay extremely high prices for fuel, and get serious in our research to find alternative energy sources to heat our homes and alternative ways to get to work.

Placing our troops at the borders and in our ports and airports where overseas flights land would not only help solve the so-called immigration problem but put a quick end to a large part of the nation's drug trafficking . . . at least stop the import of cocaine and heroin. Of course this would also make importing certain medicines like pain-killing drugs like morphine, manufactured from the poppy flowers that produce heroin, a thing of the past. We would have to rely on synthetic chemicals and, we might suggest, marijuana, to replace them.

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