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TPP supporters planning to postpone vote
Howard Richman, 11/30/2015

According to DTN Washington Insider, supporters of TPP are planning to postpone the vote, which could have taken place as early as January. This could mean that TPP would go down to defeat if the vote were to be taken before the elections. Here's a selection:...


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Time to End the “Free Trade” Ideology and Substitute “Balanced Trade” Economics Instead
Raymond Richman, 11/23/2015

In his essayThe Consequences of Neglecting Manufacturing(4/20/15), Robert E. Scott of the Economics Policy Institute, compares trade in goods exports, goods imports, and the ratio of imports to exports for the United States and its top three international competitors, China, Germany, and Japan in the year. The smallness of the ratio of imports to exports, the more likely the country is restricting imports and subsidizing exports, a practice called mercantilism. He writes, “Overall, the United States had a trade deficit of $67.4 billion in [the] top 30 exporting industries. The top 30 exporting industries in those other countries had sizeable trade surpluses that ranged from $223.2 billion in Japan to $285.3 billion in Germany to $647.7 billion in China.” The trade deficits the U.S. has been experiencing for the past two decades has caused the displacement of millions of U.S. workers in manufacturing and has contributed to the weakness of the U.S. economy and caused the U.S. becoming the world’s leading debtor nation.

Here are the facts as Scott details them.

Without exception, the top 30 export industries in China, Japan, and Germany were all manufacturing industries. Six of the top 30 U.S. export industries were primary commodity exporters including grains, seeds, and nuts. This commodities sector was responsible for a trade surplus of $69.7 billion. The United States also had a trade surplus in aircraft and parts (two sectors) of $76.2 billion. However, these surpluses were more than offset by trade deficits in two other sectors, motor vehicles and parts, with a trade deficit of $117.2 billion, and electronics, with a trade deficit of $110.2 billion, both important U.S. manufacturing industries. ...


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What's actually in the Trans Pacific Partnership -- we were published today on the American Thinker website
Howard Richman, 11/20/2015

We began:

On November 5, the White House released the text of the 5,544 page Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that President Obama had just finished negotiating under the FastTrack authority that Congress gave him. That trade pact can no longer be amended. The up-or-down votes in the House and Senate will take place as early as January 2016.

So what’s in the TPP? Here’s a quick summary:

  1. A legislative body superior to Congress
  2. A vehicle to pass Obama’s climate change treaty
  3. Increased legal immigration
  4. Reduced patent protection for U.S. pharmaceuticals
  5. Quotas on U.S. agricultural exports
  6. Increased currency manipulation
  7. Reduced U.S. power

That’s the summary. Here are the details.

To read the rest, go to:



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Cracks in the Left-Right Political Alignment
Jesse Richman, 11/13/2015

The current political division is (roughly) between those who favor socially conservative and small government policies, and those who favor socially liberal and large government policies.  An alternative alignment would pit those who see globalization as a threat to be confronted through national solidarity, and those who see globalization as an opportunity for inter-cultural and inter-economic collaboration...


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A Summary of Modern Economic History
Howard Richman,

After Spain discovered the New World and started to ship lots of gold back from it, it became the most powerful country in the world. It could pay for new weapons with gold. It could pay for new ships with gold. It could outfit military expeditions with gold. So the other countries of Europe decided that they wanted to get Spain's gold and in the 16th and 17th centuries they invented mercantilism, the strategy of maximizing exports and minimizing imports in order to obtain Spanish gold....


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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]