Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Living without Tickle Me Elmo

One hundred and twenty members of Congress delivered a letter to the Obama Administration requesting that the President formally declare the Peoples Republic of China to be a currency manipulator and apply the appropriate tariffs to imports from China. It had caused a minor stir when Treasury Sec Guithner stated unequivocally in Congressional testimony early last year that China was in fact doing that. It had been China’s practice for more than ten years but nobody from the Clinton or Bush Adm. would say it out loud.

Speculation had heated up that Obama might do something about trade with China after he imposed a 99% tariff on steel pipe in response to their dumping of the product into the US market. This was something Bush had many opportunities to do but never did even once as industry after industry was wiped out. China now has a stranglehold on a most of the vital segments of the US economy as a result of this process. It completely escapes the people who hold up signs accusing Obama of being some sort of foreign infiltrator bent on destroying America is that the destruction has already been done.

The letter from Congress was delivered on the eve of Obama’s second Asia trip. He has only two scheduled stops, one in Australia to address Parliament and a longer one in Indonesia but no stops in Japan, China or India. The accusation that they are manipulating their currency doesn’t make China very happy. They have complained to the multi-national corporations that govern the United States about the insult and they expect corrective action to be taken.

Candidate Obama said repeatedly that our trade deals needed to be revisited but President Obama’s people have been saying “protectionism” was “dangerous” idea. Indeed with many of Obama’s appointees still not confirmed by the Senate after over a year, any crisis needs to be avoided. With most consumer goods coming from China and 80% of pharmaceuticals coming from India and China it would be a disruption most Americans are not equipped to deal with. Indeed what industry the US still has would come to a grinding halt as parts and vital materials ran out. The USD as legal tender would also be problem with any trading partners we had left would be concerned about being paid.

Across the board rationing of consumer goods ended for the last time in the US 65 years ago. Gas shortages in in the seventies resulted in fist fights and shootings. A rush for Tickle Me Elmo dolls can produce a riot. How dangerous will cold, hungry and unmediated Americans be? Especially when most of them think a Kenyan born Nazi/Communist Muslim Liberal is to blame. I guess we will find out. www.prairie2.com


Anonymous said...

Question. Was this a letter from Dems..or a right wing demand? (Hard to distingish the difference anymore)Clearly, the implications of this could be catrastophic.

prairie2 said...

The letter was mostly signed by Dems in the House but also some Republicans. Ten more have signed on since I wrote this. Also a growing group of Senators have introduced a bill to the same effect.