By Ian Duncan
It would seem as though at first glance linking Friday’s dismal jobs report to the People’s Republic of China would scream “outsourcing”, “higher tariffs”, or for some “Bain Capital”. For this economist, however, those international tools from antiquity in this modern globalized market mean only higher prices on U.S. shelves, and less purchasing power for the struggling middle class. If we really want to begin moving U.S. jobs back from China, we have to face what we don’t like about China head on- and face the PRC with more creativity and boldness and less fear and ignorance.
The first unorthodox step is a compromise on capital flow. If we restrict U.S. firms from bringing back financial capital back into the united states, how can we expect them to posses the agency to bring back human capital (in the form of jobs)? Yes we do restrict them- through significantly steeper taxation than, say, Swiss banks and yes it is significant- over US $50 billion for Apple alone. If we allowed firms like Apple to repatriate their profits at a one-time 0% tax rate with the comprise that they would move manufacturing out of China and back into the United States, it would create tens of thousands of high paying jobs in the private sector.
The second step no one is discussing is a free trade agreement with the African Union, something that should have happened a long time ago. Our discussed competitor, China, already is emerging Africa’s largest trading partner, extending them long lines of credit in exchange for the continent’s vast resources. What’s worse, African countries like Ghana back China’s unjust initiatives within the United Nations, counterproductive to international growth and peace. If the United States steps up to the plate and agrees to the free flow of finances and goods between here and Africa, both would prosper. Manufacturing would move out of China and begin to take root in places like Tanzania and Angola. Prices on U.S. commodities like gasoline would also likely drop, benefiting individuals and small businesses. African democracies would be strengthened and the regime in Beijing would be weakened.
It’s imperative that we leave our children with a sustainable planet, but after that pressing need is the desire for a strong and vibrant economy and a world where a free nation, founded in liberty and dedicated to justice, can rise above a Communist country that muzzles the voice of free expression and murders, without consent, the illegal second child directly after birth. With some common sense, creativity, and bipartisanship we can create jobs, strengthen our economy long term, and weaken the Chinese regime all at once with several minor public policy initiatives. Before you buy the upcoming iPhone 5 ask “Where was this made?” and “What responsibilities do I have to the people that made this?” and “Why couldn’t this be made in the United States?”
Ian Duncan is a Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at email@example.com