Sunday, September 09, 2007
Republicans, Immigration and the Knowledge Crisis in the Blogosphere...
Millions of people living in poverty depend on affordable medicines made in India. When Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis launched a legal battle to challenge India’s right to produce cheap, generic versions of medicines, half a million people voiced their opposition. And it has worked! Now, imagine if employees of Indian outsourcing firms stood for their own people and displayed just an ounce of patriotism.
So, before we go too far off-topic, let's understand the difference between free trade and fair trade. Free Trade means that China and others pay substantially less in taxes to do business in the U.S. than American companies. It means they are free to use the strength of the dollar to close our manufacturing facilities and put millions of workers out of work. It means they are free to ignore patent and trademark laws and protections. Free trade means that China and others are free to ignore the environment and dump toxins into the water and air which soon will affect our air and weather and eventually our coasts.Free trade also means foreign competitors are free to disregard trade agreements by closing their countries to U.S. products.
"Fair trade", on the other hand, would equalize the tax burdens of our domestic producers and competing imports. It would price the dollar at its fair trade value. It would enforce trademark, patent, and environmental laws and enforce trade agreements.
Fair trade would reward those companies that innovate, cut costs and invest in productivity. Fair Trade would achieve all the goals that Free Trade advocates espouse yet do so in a manner of integrity and with transparency.
As Fair Trade continues to be repressed and Free But Not Fair Trade is allowed to decimate our manufacturing, our wages will begin to equalize with the rest of the world by descending to the world’s standard of living. This will affect every American, no matter if their job is in manufacturing, service or government.
The answer for not only America, but India, China, Brazil, Philippines and the Caribbean is to eschew free trade and champion fair trade...
Disclaimer: I currently hold Novartis in my investment portfolio and have probably lost money due to them losing their court decision. I am happy to be a loser if humans in India can live...
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