Can there be anything more meaningless than the resolutions that local governments throughout our great land churn out on a daily basis? Most of them are feel-good thank you notes to worthy citizens, non-profits, retiring employees, and fresh-faced schoolchildren. Few of us object to such gestures (other than a certain curmudgeonly taxophobe who once served on the county commission).
But there’s another category of resolution, especially those adopted by partisan bodies such as the present commission. Here’s an excerpt from one such resolution, whooped through the commission yesterday by the five Republicans who serve on that body.
“El Paso County understands the negative impact that current U.S. trade policy has on the citizens of El Paso County and further understands the importance of protecting the economic and business climates in El Paso County by working to protect these economic climates from destructive federal practices.” The resolution also claims that these policies resulted in massive job losses “by way of employment reductions in El Paso County between 2001 and January of 2009, including the loss of 7,200 information technology jobs and 12,600 manufacturing jobs.”
“The Board of County Commissioners call on federal policy makers to:
- Support policies that promote American interests by requiring full reciprocity, fairness and transparency in all U.S. trade agreements.
- Support actions to combat the illegal, mercantilist practice of prolonger [sic] currency misalignment.
- Support the elimination of tax disadvantages, which undermine the competitiveness of U.S. producers both at home and abroad or which discourage investment in America.
- Support the aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws to halt illegal trade activities such as dumping, subsidies and intellectual property theft, and call for goods sold here to meet U.S. food and product safety standards.
- Support the research, development and production of domestic fuel sources to reduce U.S. reliance on importer energy.”
Well. That’s fine, I guess, but how do these policies differ from those currently in effect? And just what are the commissioners calling for, anyway?
Translated, it sounds a lot like an election-year campaign message. Is the economy in bad shape? Blame trade, tax, and tariff policies! The exodus of manufacturing jobs from Colorado Springs to Asia has nothing to do with comparative advantage, nothing to do with the extraordinary competence of our Chinese and Indian rivals, nothing to do with our own feckless desire to have our cake and eat it too-it’s all someone else’s fault!
The Chinese cheat! They rig their currency, they steal our ideas, they copy our innovative products and they dump defective products on our pitiful, trusting country! And besides, if we could just develop all of those massive energy sources that are right out there waiting to be developed, we’d be right on our way to energy independence!
Subtext: elect Republicans and everything will be just fine!
Nothing the matter with campaigning, but I’d suggest that our elected representatives stick to governing during business hours, and campaign on their own time. And I know that you’ll all be dismayed by this, but I really don’t look to the BoCC for thoughtful and sophisticated analyses of U.S. trade policies.
Like most Americans, I trust ‘The Onion’ on such matters.