Coronavirus is the Cost of Globalization
Like many conservatives (I think), I tend to swing back and forth when thinking about free trade. Truth be told, I think there are many good arguments for it, some of which I’ve written about before. Adam Smith’s arguments in The Wealth of Nations are particularly thought-provoking. But, the problem with free trade is that it leads to globalization. And the cost of globalization, as we’ve seen, is epidemics like the Chinese flu.
And to me, that’s not worth it. It’s bad enough that we’re trading with China, a country we’re entering into a Cold War with. They need us in the long term, not the other way around. In fact, we’d be far better off with an economically shattered China. Yet for some reason, we’re trading with them and helping them out. That’s absurd.
Furthermore, they’re an authoritarian and evil nation that’s using projects in the Belt and Road Initiative to export its horrible ideas to the rest of the world along with its projects. Why should we allow our wealth and factories to flee to China? They’re just trying to take us down and steal our allies with bribery and cheap products. They use (seemingly) sweetheart financing deals with third world nations and then turn those deals into debt traps. They ship cheap products around the globe and use those to destroy the industries of Western nations. That’s traditionally what people discuss, industrial decline, when they talk about the cost of globalization.
But, in my opinion, and worst of all, it’s not the full story of the cost of globalization. The full story is that, with the degree of globalization we now have, we have to deal with plagues and issues from third-world nations that the civilized world had defeated.
For example, the Chinese are responsible for Coronavirus; it’s a byproduct of communism and exists because they don’t have the same standards as Western nations. China lied and people died all around the world. In fact, the death rate is increasing daily! That’s not because of anything normal, but because they eat bats and their government is too authoritarian to openly share ideas and vital information with the world. America needs to cut them off from the community of nations, not allow them in.
Americans shouldn’t forget after this crisis settles that China is liable for all the economic damage that we’ve experienced and that we only had to experience the negative effects of the Covid plague because of globalization. It was their eating habits and reprehensible government that did this to us. Our citizens have died and our economy has been shattered all because of Chinese malfeasance. We Americans can weather this adversity, as Trump said, but it will be difficult and caused by China.
So, now you can hopefully see the cost of globalization for yourself. Was the cost worth the gain? Was quarantine, millions jobless, and thousands dead worth a slightly cheaper TV? To me, definitely not. Hopefully, you agree.
And if you don’t yet agree that the cost of globalization is not worth whatever benefits we might gain from it, just ask yourself “how high would the cost have to be where it would no longer be worth paying?”
Our factories have fallen into decay and millions of Americans are out of work because of globalization. Instead of living prosperous, middle-class lives, they are working for low-paying jobs, if they’re lucky enough to have one, and often addicted to opiates or other substances. Our shipbuilding base has been decimated; now we can no longer build the ships of war and trade that we would need in a future conflict. Our medicine is made in China. We need rare Earth elements from China. In short, the cost of globalization is a gutted American industrial base and us depending on China for vital goods and resources. Is that not too high a cost to pay for a cheaper piece of plastic?
But that’s not all. The other cost of globalization is plague. Covid isn’t the only disease brought from China to America. There is also the Hong Kong Flue and SARS. Is constant disease and the economic implications of that also not too high a cost to pay?
If you don’t think that either of those two costs of globalization I have described are too high a cost to pay for slightly cheaper consumer goods, then I don’t know what to tell you. I love America. I want it to be strong, self-sufficient, and free from unnecessary pestilence. Without globalization, that is more or less possible. With the cost of globalization, however, it is not. As long as we are suffering those costs, it will be hard for America to succeed. I don’t think getting a new TV for a bit less, or a slightly cheaper pair of sneakers, is at all worth that cost.
Finally, I think we should use this lesson about the cost of globalization as a lesson. Should we continue to trade freely with nations that are similar to ours politically, like Great Britain, Taiwan, South Korea, and Iran? Yes, absolutely. But should we trade with reprehensible and evil nations like China that have used our generosity to hollow out our economy and stab us in the back? Absolutely not. Trading with those nations is certainly not worth it once you realistically examine the cost of globalization.