Oxford Institute press 2006.
|Paul Streitz has written a very
valuable book of under 200 pages that explains how America's first Treasury Secretary,
Alexander Hamilton planned an economic system that would provide opportunities for all
Americans and encourage American national development. He explicitly wanted to avoid the
formation of a disconnected elite of the British colonial or southern slave owning type.
Move on to the new millennium, and the author shows beyond doubt that America is now the unfortunate host to a new elite who enjoy wealth and power beyond the imagination of British colonials or Southern planters.
They are loosely described as "special interests" (i.e. not the interests of the 95% of other Americans) and have erected a series of complex barriers to protect their power and wealth. These include direct political contributions (money for laws), political revolving door directorships, neo-conservative think tanks and university departments and the media repeating neo-liberal free trade dogma and engaging in ferocious culture war attacks on any form of patriotism while promoting all forms of identity politics.
Streitz interestingly doesn't take political sides, he doesn't believe in big government tax and welfare or trade unions, seeming to agree with what Ayn Rand actually said about the dangers of Communism/Socialism, while at the same time he emphasises the need for GOOD government but not NO government, of the kind more or less advocated by Milton Friedman and supported by Reagan inspired free market activists. He sees the climax of this thinking under the Clinton administration with the repeal of Glass-Steagall (top)
|(giving Wall St access to main
street bank deposits) and the passing of NAFTA (an invitation to move whole sectors of
industry to Mexico).
The author provides a very
complete look at the "Comparative Advantage" argument for Free Trade and shows
beyond doubt that 1) the offshoring of whole industries is harmful to the U.S., 2) off
shored industrial jobs are not replaced by higher paying service jobs 3) anything that can
be done by a computer can also be off shored i.e. high skilled service jobs 4) offshoring
generates unemployment, trade deficits and budget deficits that become debt which is just
dumped onto the 95% of onshore U.S. taxpayers.