Dam, This thread even has all kinds of graphs and stuff now
My comments and frustration was not aimed at farmers(unlike those greedy Union folks), but the system that encourages the price spikes I have seen. Wheter it is the result of corn crops grown for ethanol in place of corn grown for human consumption and corn oil that raised prices or commodities speculators, the result is a hefty price hike to the consumer. I remember when I could afford lamb chops, years ago they were raised right here! Now at over $14 dollars a pound I can't afford the tasteless shoe leather lamb imported and it doesn't make sense. That's how I tied the chinese apple juice to corn crops and "lamb". we have fertile soil, fields to graze on and hardworking farmers, but we are still forced to buy substandard and expensive imported products.
Boo Hoo so there importing chinese apple juice to the U S, well your exporting Navel Oranges from a place called California to Australia and flooding our markets and our farms are finding in hard to compete.
There's no problem with global trade. Oranges, lamb, Chevrolets and Toyotas or whatever. It helps everyone, and everyone gains access to stuff that they otherwise wouldn't be able to get.
The problem is that almost anything taken to an extreme is a bad thing. In the case of trade, the balance of imports v. exports is slanted so dramatically that we are decimating entire industries. Job loss and no growth hugely affects the government revenue stream. Every dollar we aren't making isn't getting taxed. At this point, it's a huge loss. You get to make up the difference on April 15.
Historically, factors such as influence and military strength on the world scale are directly related to economic strength. It is utterly naive - or perhaps arrogant - to think that the position of the United States can be maintained if we lose our economic leadership. Yet virtually all economic analysts agree that China's economy will soon overtake ours.
Lest we forget, it was economics that defeated the Soviets and Eastern Block in the cold war. Not a shot was fired. They made a massive mistake and tried to go head-to-head with a much stronger economc power- the United States - in a spending competition on primarily weaponry. Reagan used our economy to fund an escalation in the arms race that buried them. While standing in soup lines in Moscow, Soviets saw live feeds of US weapons that looked like science fiction. So, they spent themselves into the ground and in the end they couldn't compete. They didn't give up. They went broke. It wasn't without pain here, though... it put a large burden on our economy and hurt us all.
China is doing it smarter. They are using our greed and insatiable appetite for copious amounts of cheap stuff to promote their economic growth. In the meanwhile, US government is broke. They are borrowing huge sums to meet their expenses. Many states are in similar dire straits. China (let us not forget, Red China) ALREADY has tremendous economic control as they are financing the US government debt.
If (when) China stops buying those debt instruments, the US government will be tremendously weaker. Who's going to step up to fund the party? The Brits? The French? Canada? None of them have, relatively, two nickels to rub together. Japan? Yeah, right.
So, just to focus on one point - how are we going to maintain our military? Well, your taxes are going to go up. Which will hurt the economy more, in a vicious circle. Soon tax increases won't be enough. Red China will have done what the Soviets were unable to do. With our help, the help of US "industry" and the utter stupidity and short-sightedness of the government.
Keep in mind that the United States became a dominant world power AFTER WWII. We did it because we built an infrastructure that provided high levels of education. And massive industrial power on a scale that dwarfed anything that came before. The groundwork for all this was done in the first have of the 20th century. Sadly, we've allowed people (US finance and business leaders) that are after the short term buck to essentially sell that industry for pennies on the dollar to China so that we can clutter our lives with lots of useless crap from WalMart. Those pennies on the dollar are enough to make those few people very wealthy. Heck of a deal.
We've been the world leader for 65 years. Today, the economic trends say we're in decline. After so many of our fathers and grandfathers put so much into building this country. How sad. One of the shortest empires in history.