Why Free Trade Isn’t

A very timely piece about how it was the moneyed elites who sold American manufacturing jobs overseas because they alone, the elite, made huge profits from it. The hollowing out of American manufacturing happened as surely as the collapse of nail making in the Solomon Islands. A long term social goal can be the elevation of every worker in the world to the same, decent standard of living as those in Western countries. Until that happens, tariff protection is the only thing standing between the Americans and loss of their jobs, and between those poor third world employees and rampant exploitation by the economic elite.

Skating Under The Ice

I lived for eight years in the Solomon Islands, 1985 to 1991 and 2007 to 2009. The Solomons are a nation of about three hundred islands just south of the Equator. The only thing most Americans have heard of there is Guadalcanal, because it was an island that was the site of World War II battles.

solomon-islandsThe Solomon Islands are in the upper right corner, and Australia at the lower left. The Solomons is the least urbanized of the Pacific island nations. The population is around a half million. The capital city, Honiara, is about sixty thousand. The second largest city is about seven thousand … and it drops quickly from there. The Solomons is very poor, being classed by the UN as an “LDC”, a Least Developed Country.

It’s also a curious country for another reason. When I first moved there I was running a rural development agency working with village people…

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