First let me draw a distinction between "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith in 1776 and the "The
Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx in the mid-1800s.
How do those to books pertain to today? Well simply put, both make predictions. For example:
The Wealth of Nations
predicts that if every nation produces a specialized good, such as coal, iron, steel, industrial products, ships and so
forth. Every nation is dependent upon others, and they inter-trade for what they don't have with what they do have, and this system increases
over-all the entire wealth of all the nations involved in this system.
The Communist Manifesto
predicts that capitalist nations will devour themselves in wars leading the way to worker's revolutions that will
engulf the world and lead to the next global change. This is because Marx's main point was not that Communism was "right" but that historically
human civilization goes through periods of revolutions re-establishing itself each time. Example used by Marx is his admiration for the burgoisie
over-throwing the "first estate" in France, this was the middle-classes's revolution against the upper-class. He figured the subsiquent revolution
as a result of the Industrialization of the world would be the "working class" over-throwing the burgoisie in a "socialist revolution".
The distingushing characteristics between these two predictions if you can not already tell is, that Adam Smith's prediction was true, and Karl
Marx's was false.
Karl Marx's predictions were proven false early after his death, which led Lenin to revise Marx's predictions, which were subsiquently proven false
with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Lenin to try an perpetuate his predictions created the Communist International (In case you ever wonder what the Nazi-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact was
all about) which later became the "Communist Information Agency" which actively tried to undermine the Capitalist nations of the world. So next
time you think "anti-war protestors" or "Democrats" just realize that they were actually funded in large parts by the Communist Information Agency
through subsidiaries, much as Al Qaeda is funded today by subsidiaries, thus hiding the true nature of things.
*Forgive this tangent, it's important but not pertaining to the title and over all objective of the thread, back to the subject*
Now that an important book [Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations] in modern global economics has been given some "context", I can now draw a
distinction to how does this pertain to WW2, and of all things, today's jobs leaving America?
First I'll discuss WW2, rather I'll simply quote from a book that explains it excellently.
A second domestic-level cause of the war was the economic collapse. The Great Depression was systemic in the sense that it affected all
countries and grew out of the inability of the major capitalist states to establish effective international economic coordination to deal with
imbalances in transnational trade and finacial flows....
...The third domestic cause [of WW2] was the U.S. policy of isolationism. [Also called protectionism in regards to economy] The United States came
out of World War I with the world's strongest economy, but it refused to fully accept the responsibilities of that position. In the 1930s, the Great
Depression increased internal preoccupation and significantly deepened isolationism....
"Understanding International Conflicts" by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Let me put those two paragraphs together.
Basically the first paragraph and the second go hand in hand, while the second is concerning with the political implications of the isolationism
movement after WWI, I believe it is the book "The Commanding Heights" that connects the concerns of protectionism.
*On the side* Today I was watching "The Beltway Boys" and they were discussing the running differences of two candidates in some southern state
where the Republican was arguing against the idea of "protectionism". *End on the side*
What protectionism is in a nut-shell is expressed by the "Smoot-Holly Act" which was a liberal (not politically liberal, this concept of liberalism
is too broad and beyond this small thread) policy that made Germany "Self-Dependent". Sounds like a good thing, wrong, it meant that no one would
trade with Germany. This was before WW2.
The Smoot-Holly Act protected the American economy by not purchasing other nation's goods. Example, not purchasing German industrial products. This
in turn caused Germany to lose export and thus income and thus they could not meet the demands of the Versailles Treaty causing economic collapse.
Later the Smoot-Holly Act would help cause the Great Depression which ruined the world for a decade in the west, and far longer in the third world.
This "protectionism" caused the rise of Hitler by creating the political and revolutionary hot-bed from a super-inflationary Germany.
After WW2, the victors decide to try something different than what they had done after WWI. The victors is really an over-statement as Britain was
financially bankrupt. France's empire was falling apart. And both nations could not really afford to do anything. America decided it would learn
from its mistakes of protectionism and instead help build the economies of Europe and trade with them.
This obviously did little to our economy early on, but as the idea of economic stability through economic-interdependence (Adam Smith's prediction)
proved to be more true, it grew into today's World Trade Organization and the Free Trade movements and so forth.
Today for instance Japan builds cars in Mexico so that they are not taxed on import.
The consequence is America is losing jobs in the lower-tech sectors such as the steel industry.
Many here probably are proponents unknowinly of protectionism.
We are after all losing jobs, so by damn it we should do something about it.
Protectionism is the stupid means of solving this problem. By securing our economic power in one area, we ruin the economic growth that is available
to other trading partners, thus collapsing their economies, once that happens there is revolutions and civil wars, we lose our trading partners and
thus our economy collapses.
This was proven before WW2, and WW2 was in part a result of it.
The answer is in a more free-trade environment, where America secures its place in the highest tech branches of economies. We are the only nation
capable of truly producing a massive economy of higher tech.
So as steel-workers lose their jobs they should be compensated with education to work in another sector, and so on.
For me, the new "specialized" sector for America would be manned-space flight.
I'm sure others disagree or have better ideas, but if we help Americans cope with the changes in jobs, then rather than losing jobs we are simply
changing our work-force.
Create a job in the aero-space industry for every job lost in the steel industry, one in the alternate-fuels industry for every job lost in the
computer industry and so on.
This way we do not cause the economic instability of the post-WWI and pre-WWII time period, and we also reduce the risks of war since nations who go
to war more-so now would be going to war with a nation that produces their goods.
Take for example a war between China and America.
It does seem likely, we're a free nation they are a totalitarian nation, but they produce all our junk, clothes and purses and all that crap that
makes our lives comfortable.
And in turn we produce their machinery and food. Most importantly their food, I was surprized to learn that China is the world's largest importer of
rice and that rice comes from of all places, California.
So as you can see, the concept of economic inter-dependence proposed by Adam Smith (a name you probably never heard) has out-lasted Marx, has proven
right, and has reduced the chances of war between the "Great Powers" contrary to what protectionism did between 1919 and 1939.