Originally Posted by M_Six
And if you keep widening the gap between rich and poor and go on shrinking the middle class, you end up with an 18th century France type of situation where the wealthy have it all and the vast majority haven't got money to live, let alone prosper.
Yes, that is bad. Problem is, that train has already left the station, due to globalization.
Once a businessman sees he can made a widget in China for 1/10 what it costs here, it's REALLY hard, if not impossible to put that genie back in the bottle. So now, your employer eyes you, and thinks how many people in India can do that job, and, assuming your job doesnt get outsourced entirely, you end up with a person being asked to shoulder more weight than before, for less pay, and they cant take time off, and end up, in some cases, having to make the choice between 1 more child vs. financial solvency.
You can only control your own national rules, so even if you got 100% of congress gleefully rowing in the same direction for the best interest of the country, there's nothing they can do to force China or India to level the playing field by paying people a better wage, or forcing factories to install expensive pollution controls, etc.
You can try installing tariffs or things so that the end price of a Chinese-made widget becomes the same as US made, but the increasing globalization and modernization of emerging markets means that America is not the only big market that matters any more. Fact: GM sold more cars in China than it did in the USA in 2010. This aint 1980 anymore, you cant say "jump thru these hoops or we'll stop buying your product", cause they'll just say screw you and sell elsewhere. You could block all imports, force everything to be made local, but then the price would rise, and more people couldnt afford it. iPads would be thousands of dollars each if they were not made in Chinese sweatshops that are so bad the workers kill themselves on a regular basis.
Bottom line is, people gotta realize we cant go back, things will not be the same as they used to be. Not a happy message, but it's the truth. If you punish people by doing business here, they'll take it elsewhere, and make even more profit. It's never been easier to do so.
If you open a tunnel between 2 bodies of water, things will reach equilibrium. If your standard of living is much higher than theirs, then it's gonna suck for you, cause Joe Average in USA will drop down a LOT and Joe Average in China will rise up, and they'll end up the same. Policies which ignore that unfortunate reality will hurt us all.