Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dubai, Red China, the Elites: GOP Problems

This editorial begins in the usual fashion, regarding the idiocy surrounding the Dubai Decision:

For a political junkie, the Dubai ports debacle has been a bit like the movie “Pulp Fiction”—just one freaky story inside another, unfolding at a rapid pace and leading to an unexpected ending that made no darn sense and yet was really quite satisfying emotionally. I give it two thumbs way up.

But the author has something a bit larger in mind:

One was how eagerly the disciples of “free” trade took to attacking the conservative base as a bunch of xenophobic ignoramuses storming the harmless castle Globalstein with torches and pitchforks. That sort of animosity couldn’t be over just one relatively minor business deal for Dubai. I’m sensing that the Beltway Boys and the Wall Street Wonks have been entertaining some animosity against Main Street and the Heartland for some time.

That, Mr. Johnson, is because the animosity has been going both ways for quite some time. the first sign of hesitation or reluctance to indulge further on mom and pop’s part, the free trade faithful turned on them with epithets and disdain. According to some pinstriped pundits, the most open nation on earth, at the most internationalist time in its history, is suddenly and dismissively labeled “xenophobic,” “isolationist,” “protectionist,” “nativist,” “racist” and “ignorant” of the fact that world is global, or some such insight.

And in the following 'graphs, Johnson pins the tail firmly on the donkeys:

This minor uprising was about a general feeling that, whatever merits free trade, open borders, and corporate globalism may have financially, they are often not good for the nation in many ways that fail to be accounted for in the theoretical models of economists. Free trade fails to take account of cultural consequences, and it places no value on concepts such as national loyalty. To the value-free traders, labor is simply a commodity, and people are interchangeable parts. And they are entirely correct—economically speaking. A widget is a widget, and the cheaper you can get them made, the better.

The emotion surrounding the ports deal, and illegal immigration, and outsourcing, and homeland security and a dozen other aspects of breakneck international economic integration is no longer simply a quiet misgiving. It is rapidly being formed into a single coherent message from average citizens to those in power—both on the right and on the left- that see it as their job to make sure the “inevitable” rise of a single world economic entity actually happens. People are saying, “Stop!

It is not Xenophobia. It is Xenonausea. People are sick of having the whole world shoved down their throats at once and being told it tastes like ice cream....They are sick of pressing “1” for English. They are sick of being at war with foreign terrorists and simultaneously being economically and demographically bound more tightly to the nations producing these terrorists. They are sick of being told that the world is global or flat or smaller or at their doorstep or all coming for dinner on Tuesday....They are sick of being told that human beings are interchangeable parts, that the nation-state is passé, that there are some jobs that Americans just won’t do, that there are some contracts that Americans just won’t bid, and that any cost that cannot be measured in money cannot be very important.

One could add that we are sick of buying home appliances that don't work after two years; sick of KNOWING that there are no options in most of these purchases; sick and tired of knowing that "outsourced goods" may be dangerously out-of-specification (see, for example, Delphi's Mexican auto brakes problem...)

And now, the Chinese are "monitoring" incoming shipments for nuclear emissions.


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