Free trade is bankrupting U.S.
When free-trade legislation first came up, I wrote a few letters to the editor voicing my opinion that the idea would bankrupt the United States in the long run. Well, I told you so.
What we wanted was access to foreign markets for our products, which at the time consisted mostly of grains, heavy equipment and aircraft. If you were in these industries, you were thrilled to death. What happened was that our industries had new access to overseas cheap labor, which entailed closing our plants and letting workers go.
Contrary to what we have been told, we can get back to where we were before “free trade” was enacted. But it won’t be easy.
Instead of taxing the rich, let their wealth get us back on the path to recovery. If they start investing in companies that have fallen on hard times and install managers who really know how to build up companies, their taxes should be lowered.
People will make fun of my idea. But just wait a few more years and all of our manufacturing facilities will be in the hands of our Chinese friends, and a lot of these companies will be moving to China.
There is a disturbing trend of government interference with religion.
In one U.S. Supreme Court case, the government’s solicitor general argued that churches had no more rights than labor unions or social clubs. The government’s National Labor Relations Board decided to regulate labor relations at Catholic colleges by separating religion teachers from others. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ rules for national health care included ordering religious-based colleges, hospitals and social service agencies to include sterilizations, contraceptives and other services the Catholic Church views as morally evil.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, which help women and children trapped in sexual exploitation, were ordered by HHS to provide a full range of reproductive services or lose federal assistance. HHS also eliminated a rule that lets doctors “conscientiously object” from presenting abortion as a medical alternative if it would violate their religion.
The Washington, D.C., City Council requires foster care and adoption agencies to include placing children with same-sex couples, a violation of church teaching. Catholic Charities then had to close its 80-year-old foster care program in the district.
This pattern will only get worse if people don’t stand up against it.
Religion in the United States is becoming like a prisoner in solitary confinement who is free to exercise, but only within a 6-by-10 cell.
The attack upon the Affordable Care Act by the Catholic bishops is much more complex than the bishops have recognized. The attack is presented as a matter of religious freedom, but it is not. The bishops are attempting to impose their religiously held view upon non-Catholics. Consider the following:
• Catholic hospitals, though they do have a religious aspect, are not religious institutions. There are many non-Catholic nurses in Catholic hospitals, but there are no non-Catholic nuns in Catholic convents. Thus the Catholic Church is engaged in both sectarian and secular activities. The rights of its secular employees need to be protected by law.
• Family planning has been recognized as a major contributor to the health of women at least since the Title X Family Planning Program was created under President Nixon in 1970. Thus, preventing family planning can harm women.
• Far from being immoral, contraception is always morally legitimate; in many cases, it is morally preferred.
• It is also relevant that the American Catholic hierarchy is an authoritarian organization existing in a democratic society. The majority of lay Catholics use contraception, and if the issue were put to a vote, the bishops would surely lose.
Yes, the issue is complicated. But it is also quite clear that the bishops are confused.
GERALD H. PASKE
Life of Hypo Crite
Imagine this: Congressman Hypo Crite opens his e-mail on his laptop, which is chock-full of Japanese-made computer parts. To his horror, he sees that the U.S. Olympic team is wearing Chinese-made uniforms. Furious, he looks at his Swiss watch to check the time. He picks up his partially made-in-China iPhone and calls to schedule a press conference.
He then calls his pilot. “I need to fly to Washington, D.C., immediately,” he said. “Fuel up my now China-owned Hawker Beechcraft Baron G58.”
The congressman puts on his Ralph Lauren suit, slips on his Versaces and Ray-Bans, and has his driver take him to the airport in his Mercedes. While on the plane, he watches some foreign movies on his Japanese-made Blu-ray player. It’s going to be a long flight from Cancun, Mexico.