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Take the Back Seat: On Chinese Consumerism

The American system (economic) vs. neoliberalism

I think it would be helpful if Americans had a clue about their own economic history before they try to tell the world how to run their own economies. We grew our independent economy behind a wall of tariffs, and foreign trade was a secondary consideration. The US has followed a protectionist economic policy for most of our history. Alexander Hamilton's "Report On Manufactures" supplied the basic arguments forp rotectionism. After the demise of the Federalist Party, Henry Clay and the Whig Party took up the banner and carried it, until that party was spit over the issue of slavery. Northern Whigs helped form the Republican Party, and one could say the last Whig in the White Houses was William McKinley. Lincoln was formerly a whig who greatly admired Henry Clay.

I do not criticize the Chinese for protectionism, but they need to concentrate their efforts on developing an independent internal market behind a wall of tariffs. They do not want to be dependent on foreign trade. They need to develop a consumer-driven economy supported by the wages of ordinary Chinese. Higher wages support a consumer-driven economy.

NeoLiberalism comes from a group of nineteenth-century economists in England. Collectively, they have been described as Social Darwinists, which means they brought Darwin's "survival of the fittest" concept from nature into economics and governance. (They would not have survived in nature)

Wikipedia has a number of good articles on these subjects with bibliographies for more in-depth reading. Look under American System (Economic), Neoliberalism, Social Darwinism, American Liberalism, the Progressive Era, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, William McKinley, Fordism, and Henry Ford's My Life and Work.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Dec 13 2010 - 4:08pm

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