Transcript: Thom Hartmann homeostatic economy (why buy goods made in USA?) rant. 24 January 2008

Thom argues that national economies should be self-sustaining.

Thom Hartmann Homeostatic economy (why buy goods made in USA?) rant, 24 January 2008

The reason is fairly simple. Labor and manufacturing are, they're essential pieces of a homeostatic economy. It has to do with homeostasis. Homeostasis is a fancy word out of biology that means self-sustaining; something that can continue on. Your body is homeostatic as long as you're still alive. A system that works. And what is happening is instead of economies, and ideally local economies, where you can buy local food and locally made toys and locally made clothes and locally made houses and locally made, you know, things like that. From local to county to state to federal, ideally at the very largest level of individual community, which is a nation

A nation should be homeostatic; it should be in balance.

So a nation should say, "OK, if we need to bring in things from outside, then we need to make sure that we're sending out things from inside that balance that out. If we're going to bring in educated labor, we need to be sending out educated labor.

If we're going to be bringing in raw materials, we need to be sending out raw materials... so this is called the balance of trade, for example.

And our balance of trade is just totally up. What has happened is, as a consequence of this 26 years of insane policies, where' they've said, "let's let the so-called free market decide". And the free market, frankly, is a euphemism for let's let transnational corporations who do not have our best interests at heart; their only interest is profit; it's legally required. And I am not an opponent of profit, and I'm not an anti-capitalist. In fact, I am a capitalist. I've started a number of businesses. I'm invested in businesses. But when you say that that is who is going to make the rules of how an individual nation runs or how nations relate to each other, you've got a big problem.

So what's happening now is that our educated labor force increasingly is coming from India, where they speak English and there's a school, a college, an inexpensive college in every corner.

Our cheap labor is increasingly being externalized to China, to Viet Nam, to other countries, and there are other countries behind them, waiting in line to go next. Right now the Chinese are starting to make big deals in Africa, to build factories in Africa, you know.

And so, on it goes, and our natural resources. I mean, we're buying our resource, our primary natural resource being oil, our fuel. And this, by the way, it was 1974 when the United States hit peak oil, when we stopped being oil independent, a relatively recent thing.

We're bringing in oil, we're sending out dollars. We're bringing in cheap goods, we're sending out dollars. We're bringing in labor, we're sending out dollars. And the result of this is that we're left with nothing. We've hollowed out our economy. We have sent our labor overseas, we have insourced our educated, there's nothing left. There's nothing left but a "would you like fries with that?" economy. And that's not a way that a country can survive; any country. And that's why every country in the world should be looking at becoming homeostatic; becoming an organism that is self-sustaining. And then you figure out what it is that you want to trade with other countries, and do it in a strategic way that helps the country. So, that's my rant.

Coronavirus Crash: Worse Than Great Depression?

Thom plus logo The coronavirus crash has turned the fact that we don't make anything in America anymore from a topic for philosophical and political debate into a crisis in our hospitals causing people to die and endangering our frontline health care workers.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine