It certainly has been a long time since we had an open thread here at the Donk.

The Comment-ocalypse is over (we hope!) and folks think serious discussions are in order. So here you are: discuss.

Or maybe you live in NJ and you’d like to kvetch about the blizzard before Halloween.

Feel free. It’s your open thread. Enjoy!

  • Jim S

    They were nailed worse than our October Surprise from about 15 years ago. That was the only time I’ve seen anything but flurries here in KC in October.

  • Jacob

    Yep. My folks still don’t have power and no one can tell them when it might return.

  • Angela

    Forgive me for not following the earlier threads commenting on weather. After reading about the TPP and APEC, I feel a very strong need to voice my opinion. First, I’m a little miffed that these agreements go down without the American public really knowing any details about what’s in those agreements (referring also to NAFTA here). I know the stats, the Pacific Rim countries represent about 40% of the world population, have growing economies, and at least about 30% of our exports go to the Pacific Rim. Thats great! We need more markets in which we can sell our goods. You know why? Because our domestic market is quickly losing momentum. For a country who once touted slogans on T-shirts, such as “Shop till you Drop”, since US companies have found foreign labor markets helpful to their bottom line (cheap labor) and have been moving operations into other countries, slowly but surely, Americans discretionary income is eroding, thus their buying power is weakening. These migrating companies don’t worry too much about American buying power as much as they used to since they’ve tapped into foreign markets as well. Where once the U.S. market made up a good portion of their revenues, they no longer have to rely on the US as much to sell their goods.

    At first glance, it would seem that the solution would be to find a way to exact punitive tariffs on U.S. companies who manufacture overseas and then bring their finished goods back into U.S. markets to sell. Such a tariff would, as the arguement goes, prevent companies from leaving. But this is not a solution. They would simply find other foreign markets with cheaper tariffs more appealing.

    In my opinion, however, we would also be making a mistake if we assume that the opportunity for free trade in the pacific rim monetarily outweighs any risk of losing more American jobs to foreign labor.

    Since the US market is still one of the strongest markets, we need to do what other countries do, including China, and PROTECT OUR OWN ASSETS. While we export 28-30% of our goods to the pacific rim, competition is still not fair in those foreign markets because those foreign countries cater to their own interests, their own loyalties, their own well-being. The U.S. needs to find a balance between protecting our economy and labor, while at the same time taking advantage of new opportunities. If we increased tariffs on foreign goods, the fear is that foreign countries will reciprocate by putting high tariffs on our goods, and thus making it harder for us to compete. I tend to disagree. We can still compete. We have something in this country that most emerging economies don’t have: Years of marketing expertise, and now with the internet, it is more difficult for foreign countries to limit what we can do with our marketing prowess. I mean c’mon, where else but America can you sell a $2 widget for $25?