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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.