Free trade is not everything its cracked up to be. Evergreen Solar emerged in the last three years as the third-largest maker of solar panels in the United States. In setting up in 2008, it was aided by at least $43 million in assistance from the government of Massachusetts. The New York Times reports-
But now the company is closing its main American factory, laying off the 800 workers by the end of March and shifting production to a joint venture with a Chinese company in central China.
The company cited a greater level of Chinese government assistance as a key factor in the decision to move. The Chinese government does indeed offer various incentives to environmentally accented manufacturing. American trade officials are concerned that these subsidies, when applied to export items, violate free trade agreements. Of course they do.
Lets look though at the broader picture. While Western companies struggle to operate in a climate of ever increasing red tape, health and safety compliance and environmental pre-conditions, and are forced to pay high prices for components and raw materials and electricity and fuel, (as a result of fraudulent climate change taxes) the Chinese manufacturers flourish in a virtually non-regulated environment with low wages for employees, cheap fuel and electricity, and massive government assistance. They can sell solar panels for example, for about half the price of Evergreen and still make a good profit.
At the root of the West’s manufacturing and production decline is one poisonous word- COMPLIANCE. There are probably more people employed in the compliance industry now than there are actually producing something.
Worse, here we have the American taxpayer forking out $43 million to a firm to develop its product, and once it is developed, in only three short years, that firm shoots through to China. Where is the taxpayer’s return on their $43 million? China gains the technology. America loses it. China gains employment. America loses it. American companies cannot sell their product because the Chinese product is 50% cheaper. China gains sales revenue. America loses it. America tries to sell its product according to free trade agreements, but the agreements are undercut by Chinese chicanery. So the agreements are worthless. In fact only serving to further worsen the US’s position.
Commercial suicide. But the Western leaders apparently have very few problems with the whole situation. What are they? Completely clueless? Blind Freddie could see there’s only one eventual outcome to this scenario and its the bankruptcy of the US and probably most of the West, and correspondingly, the global economic dominance of Communist China.
There are two forces at play here. The political groups who purposefully seek the demise of the west are sabotaging its industrial capacity. The politicians who should be aware of what is happening, and seeing the big picture, and reacting in ways that turn things to America and the West’s advantage, are apparently stricken with mental and physical paralysis. We must not only compete with China, we must defeat China. Yet our politicians whistle while the West burns.
In the end this is all down to mixing business with Government. We are too deeply enmeshed right now, but the idea that politicians and bureaucrats should seek trade deals and negotiate trade agreements and pick winners and subsidise certain industries with taxpayer money is bullshit. Its a scenario just rife with opportunities for corruption and gangsterism. If we ever recover from our present parlous position, we should in future leave it entirely to business people. Keep the politicians out of it, and then the concept of free trade might become workable. Right now, its a deceit ridden corrupt and cronyist farce that is killing the West.
Oh, and we need to get rid of the compliance industry too. Like yesterday.