In the past I have toyed with the idea that the United States should concentrate on producing more of its own stuff and relying less on imports, thus making use of our abundant resources and land surface while providing increased employment opportunities to our own people.
While I still think that I also have to acknowledge that in reality world trade is as old as the Bible and of course is mentioned in one way or the other in various parts of the Christian holy book.
And world trade is what kept our original 13 colonies going and what gives us our goodies and wealth today.
I mention this because I continue to wonder what Great Britain or the United Kingdom (UK) as it is known is going to end up doing or suffering from in its seemingly misguided move to pull out of the European Union.
If I am describing it right, some populists came along and convinced enough of the electorate there that they were losing their rights and identity to the EU government in Brussels.
So in a referendum just over half of the voters there called for the UK to drop out of the EU.
But then the law of unintended consequences came into view. It could have disastrous effects on businesses in the UK who trade in the EU and world-wide. And in Scotland, where there is already a movement to become independent from the UK, Britain exiting the EU, “Brexit” as the move is called, might be the last straw, for the EU is more popular in Scotland.
And just when it seemed “the troubles” (the long and bloody conflict) were a thing of the distant pass between Ireland and Northern Ireland aligned with the UK, Brexit threatens to throw the open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland into chaos because the independent nation of Ireland would still be part of the European Union but Northern Ireland, part of the UK, would not.
And this ties in with the idea of U.S. President Donald Trump wanting to pull out of world trade agreements and renegotiate in a my way or the highway fashion.
He has put forth the idea that the U.S. gets cheated. So his solution is to throw a monkey wrench into the machinery.
Seems to me if we get cheated we should concentrate on making sure that does not happen any longer but not throw out the baby with the bath water.
We know that China steals our intellectual property and goes after military secrets and technology in their trading activity. Yeah, we need to deal with that. But we also want to sell soybeans and pork to them and buy all their electronic goods.
And there is a lot more than all that. I’m just saying we are all interconnected and benefit from each other. We just have to stand up for our rights.
Also there is the problem of where do trade agreements stop and one-world government start or when do trade agreements start robbing us of our sovereignty?
I think that is the key, that is what led to the Brexit fiasco in the UK. They are still in limbo over there with their parliament unable to agree on how to leave the union without committing economic suicide.
Meanwhile in the U.S. Trump may or may have not made some headway in his self-instigated trade war with the world but it seems to me it has all been unnecessary and has done as much or more damage than good. Time will tell on that.
Again, we just need to stand up for our rights. We don’t need to cut off our nose to spite our face. We certainly don’t need to sully our world reputation by basically telling everyone else to go to hell, accusing them of cheating us.
We might have to push our weight around a little but by using gentle persuasion. And if that does not work — well we just politely say no.
Loss of sovereignty and national identity to me are not a good thing. I have read that very phenomenon shows signs of weakening somewhat the European Union. But the EU was developed as an outgrowth of two devastating world wars fought in the 20th Century, much of the fighting and loss of life and property on European soil. Wars invariably have the competition for resources at their heart.
We need good relations between nations for peace and prosperity. We also need to preserve our own identities and look out for our own people. That is human nature.
No man is an island, though, and no nation is either. If it tries to be or is forced to be by its leader’s malfeasance, it becomes like North Korea or Venezuela. Both nations have abundant resources and yet their people starve.