Jan Ting, 10/7/2011 [Archive]

Blame Wall Street, Not China, for Job Losses

Blame Wall Street, Not China, for Job Losses

By Jan Ting

As the recession continues, the hunt for a scapegoat intensifies.No one in Washington wants to hold Wall Street accountable for its mega-profits from unregulated credit default swaps, packaged subprime liar loans, and incompetent credit ratings.Despite the resulting housing, banking and market collapse, and continuing foreclosure crisis, it's still business, profits, and bonuses as usual on Wall Street.None of those who got super-rich from the bubble economy is in prison or handcuffs.

With the 2012 national elections on the horizon, politicians want to position themselves as doing something about the lack of jobs resulting from the economic recession.Because of political gridlock, they are unable to agree on a jobs bill or anything else.But they have to do something, or at least make voters think they're doing something.

So this week the U.S. Senate voted 79-19 to move forward legislation the senators hope will result in tariffs on Chinese imports to punish China for keeping its currency artificially depressed, or in other words for charging the U.S. too few dollars in exchange for goods imported from China.

Why is the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act a bad and potentially dangerous policy for the U.S.?Let me count the ways:

1. At best it will raise costs to U.S. consumers, not only for Chinese imports, but also for other products that become competitive in the market burdened with import tariffs.

2. It won't cause China to change its monetary policy of maintaining a stable currency, which is central to its economic development strategy.China has experienced rapid monetary inflation in the past, and never wants to risk its recurrence again.

3. It won't create U.S. jobs.At best it may accelerate the shift of some jobs from China to other countries like India, Vietnam, and Malaysia with growing ability to manufacture at low cost to worldwide quality standards.

4. U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports will invite Chinese retaliation, not only against U.S. exports, but also in many other areas where the U.S. depends on Chinese cooperation, like combating the piracy of U.S. intellectual property, and trying to negotiate controls on North Korea's nuclear weapons.

5. At worst, a new tariff statute may set off a trade war which triggers a worldwide economic depression, as the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff act did prior to the Great Depression.A worldwide depression causes people to lose faith in democracy and turn to authoritarian leaders and political parties, and that leads to international conflict and war.

If our politicians were honest, they would tell unemployed voters that their jobs were lost as the result of greed and fraud on Wall Street, which caused the continuing economic recession.And they would tell them that because of automation, new technology, and new competition from China and other developing economies, many of those jobs are never coming back regardless of what we do.

Future job growth in the U.S. will depend on constant innovation, to produce new things faster, with higher quality, and more efficiently than can be done in other countries.There's no logical reason why U.S. workers should be paid more, or have a higher living standard, than workers in China, India, or any other country, unless we can supply the world with a constant stream of new innovations that can't be produced as efficiently anywhere else.

To do that we need trained and educated workers who understand science, technology, and engineering.Our politicians should be discussing how to train and educate that work force for America's long-term benefit, rather than setting off a trade war in an effort to get themselves re-elected.

-----

©Copyright 2011 Jan Ting, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Jan Ting is a Professor of Law at Temple University's Beasley School of Law and a former Assistant Commissioner for Refugees, Asylum and Parole, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice. Jan can be reached at janting@temple.edu.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.




Download Jan Ting's color photo - Download Jan Ting's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Jan Ting's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

View From Wall Street
By: Pat Bagley

September 27, 2011

View From Wall Street
By: Pat Bagley

September 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street
By: John Darkow

September 30, 2011

 Lib  Occupy Wall Street
By: Bob Englehart

October 5, 2011

 Lib  Occupy Wall Street
By: Bob Englehart

October 5, 2011

Buy American
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
September 15, 2011

Buy American COLOR
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
September 15, 2011

Wall Street revolt COLOR
By: Hajo de Reijger

October 3, 2011

Wall Street revolt
By: Hajo de Reijger

October 3, 2011
 

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]