Sunday, February 13, 2005
I was over at Lynne Keisling's "knowledge problem" a little bit earlier, and she was talking about how the sugar industry is begining to attack Splenda. She brings up the issue of how the government provides a high level of protection for the American sugar industry. Now, I live in Louisiana, where fewer than 50 families dominate the sugar industry. Every few years, when a senate seat is available or a governorship is up for election, the Democrat in the election usually brings out a bombshell towards the end of the campaign saying that the Republicans are trying to destroy the Louisiana sugar industry via outsourcing. This tactic has been proven reliable and has brought us some of the most savy politicians in key areas in our state and federal governments, such as Senator Mary Landrieu and Governor Kathleen Blanco.
How is it that a group of 50 families have such a buying power in this state? It all goes back 400 years to a group of politically brilliant men living in France. They saw an opportunity in America, and more specifically the area that is now Louisiana. Each of these men built very strong families in North America, and these families have gone on unobstructed through today. A very large threat to these families, one that could bring down these local aristocrats is the possibility of deregulation of foreign sugar. This would be a huge benefit to the American people, as well as other foreign nations.
One of the common misconceptions is that wealth is finite, and politicians (especially democrats) have manipulated this misconception to make the American public believe that outsourcing is a scourge on the nation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let us take, for example, Hewlett-Packard, outsourcing hardware manufacturing to, say, India. The quality of the product has not diminished because of the lack of American hands, and HP stockholders and employees benefit from the lower costs of these laborers (many of whome live in the United States). These laborers in India benifit the most, though. Although the ammount they make is relatively small in comparison to American standards, the mere fact that these people now have a way to make money while not working for the Indian aristocracy. Those wealthy families are much like our Sugar Cartell, controlling the market through government protectionism.
So now more and more indians are working, for an American company, acruing wealth. This wealth is largely returned back to the US. These families must eat, and now they can afford American goods, some of the best in the world. After a few years, they may want a computer (an american computer, yet built by their own hands). Recently, Microsoft has begun developing a version of Windows for developing nations (all of these developing nations are ones that we outsource jobs to).
Nearly all of the money we outsource does make it back to the United States. We help out developing nations, and they help us out. Now, compare this to foreign aid packages, giving billions of dollars to develping nations for free. What is the chance that this money will be returned to us? Well, foreign aid has proven to not trickle down, but instead stay with the very powerful officials within those countries, thus increasing the ammount of control they can have over that nation. It would be great to outsource sugar, to bring down the aristocracy. These people need to stop buying my government, and who doesn't want a 20 cent candy bar?