China has been slowly sucking America dry through unfair trade. Trump is right to demand that it treat us fairly and I think he’ll win this trade war.
When I graduated from high school, a family friend, recently widowed, sold me her deceased husband’s eight-year-old car for a price I could afford with the money I’d saved over the years from babysitting and summer jobs. I drove that car for the next eight years, during which time I commuted one to two hours a day to college and work, and then, after graduating, drove it halfway across the country and used it while I attended law school in Texas (and worked then too).
The car was an amazing lemon. I got stranded in all sorts of places, from storm ridden freeways to scary neighborhoods to high mountain passes. During my last year in Texas, the heater broke and was stuck permanently in “on” position . . . in Texas . . . during the summer.
When I got my first real job as a lawyer, with a lovely (and completely undeserved, considering my abilities) paycheck, my very first purchase was a new car. I got the very first Acura Integra that rolled off the assembly line. It didn’t have a radio or air conditioning, but neither did my old car. What it did have was splendid reliability. That car lasted me for years and I got rid of it only when I had my first child and traded it in for the ubiquitous mom minivan.
But back to that old car. The problem for me was that, whenever it broke down, I had just enough money to pay for fixing it. But because I kept paying to fix it, I was never able to stockpile enough money to buy a new car that wouldn’t break down. Over the eight years I owned that car, little bit by little bit, I paid my mechanics substantially more than I ultimately paid for my brand new Acura. To put it more graphically, when it came to that darn car, I was chronically hemorrhaging and was only able to blot up the latest blood flow without ever being able to end the bleeding altogether.
My relationship with my old car is a metaphor for America’s trade relationship with China for the past four decades. China has been bleeding us here and bleeding us there. Thus, over the decades, he’s been stealing our intellectual property, cheating on trade deals, using government subsidies to undercut our industries and (much worse) using slave labor to undercut our workers. [Read more…]