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Obama, Romney miss the elephant in the room -- Charles Campbell nails it in today's Baltimore Sun
Howard Richman, 8/14/2012

In an op ed in today's Baltimore Sun, retired Gulf Oil executive Charles Campbell nails it (Obama, Romney miss the elephant in the room: The cause of our economic woes is faulty trade policy, but the presidential candidates offer no solutions). He begins:

The unemployment rate has been stuck above 8 percent for months. President Barack Obama continues to blame the moribund economy on President George W. Bush while claiming that he has created 4.5 million jobs. Republican challenger Mitt Romney announces that he will create 12 million jobs in his first term. The president has proven that he has no solutions for our sick economy, and Mr. Romney's promises are ludicrous.

Neither ever discusses the root cause of our current economic distress — our policy of signing free trade agreements with the third world as well as the Asian powers who practice mercantilism. After November we will find ourselves exactly where we are today with the existing failed strategy or a new, useless policy unless there is a drastic change in our foreign trade practices.

It is not as though the problems with our trade policy are a sudden revelation. The economic miracles of Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong were built on the backs of highly skilled but unemployed U.S. manufacturing employees starting in the 1970s and accelerating through the 1990s.

In 50 years, China moved from Confucianism to communism to mercantilism....

Unfortunately, Washington is ignoring the truth. The United States is mired in the perpetual depression that comes to trade deficit countries. And yet, neither party is advocating anything that would help America's trade position.

Campbell's entire commentary is full of understanding and wisdom. You can read it at:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-economy-election-20120813,0,3572399.story

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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]

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  • [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....

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  • 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]