Was opening the China trade a mistake?
There is a developing consensus among my friends that our own nation has reached its apex, and is bound to decline under a series of continuing mediocre leaders. I hate to be a prophet of doom, as on occasion I have been called, but what's to be optimistic about with the current state of things - barring a miracle, and we don't believe in miracles.
There have been strategic blunders.
It was a mistake to open up the trade gates to imports from China - now huge and growing wildly - without extracting from them basic concessions toward human rights on their native soil. The decision stemmed from greed for higher profits, i.e., the desire to exploit cheap labor for the betterment of the corporation.
Meanwhile China owns an enormous share of our own national debt. We could go bankrupt if China cashed in on what we owe it,
Supporting both free trade and human freedoms in China at the same time should have been our priority. We should be unionizing the workers of China, but the union movement has succumbed to inertia and lack of ambition. Union leaders would call unionizing China a wild dream. Yet look what solidarity accomplished in Poland.
Never the less, for these strategic blunders, we will pay a price steeper than the amount of the bargain price we think we received at Walmart.
But the strategic blunders have less to do with our incipient decline than the disregard for morality that saps the character of both workers and employers here at home. War, abortion, and divorce have depleted our strength as a civilization, making us prone to strategic blunders.
I support free trade.
I support human freedoms.
We could have had both.
The price to be paid will be exacted from our children and grandchildren, and we might not escape either.