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Free trade always takes a beating during the 'silly season' of presidential elections

To The Daily Sun,

It is "silly season" in America again. The four top presidential candidates all say they oppose free trade. This proves one of two things. They are all either dumb as bricks or they're talking out of both sides of their mouths in hopes of winning an election.

Every recent president in the past half century has supported free international trade, including Barack Obama, the most liberal president in 70 years. Democrat Bill Clinton enacted NAFTA the largest trade deal in decades. Who stood next to Bill cheering NAFTA? Hillary Clinton. Who has been for free international trade the last 25 years until the day she announced her candidacy? Hillary Clinton. It is no wonder two out of three voters say Hillary isn't trustworthy. Many believe her to be a wholesale liar. The FBI sure suspects she is.

Free trade built this country into what it is today which is the strongest most powerful prosperous country on earth. One has to look no further than Greece to see where isolationism on trade leads.

Almost always provoked by ultra-high labor rates caused from unions. High wages tied to low productivity of the workforce kill international competitiveness harming the ability to sell products on global markets.

NAFTA has boosted GDP by 10 percent higher than it would be without it. The wages of jobs tied to trade are considerably higher than those that are not. In a country starving for high-paying jobs, the one certain path to them is expanded international trade. Trade agreements like NAFTA and the TPP eliminate thousands of tariffs U.S. goods face when entering other countries. Free trade improves our ability to ship even more product and products while creating millions more jobs that pay well above average wages.

Free trade always feels the brunt of "silly time." It's getting an extra dose of "silly" this year. Getting elected while running in the Democratic Party means paying homage and ransom to the gate keepers at the union hall. Even Republicans hoping to snatch some of those voters tip their hat to the union presence. Unions hate free trade so that always makes "silly time" a sort of pinochle contest of which of the three shells hides the peanut.

The best logic to counter "silly time" is this. Consider, in 1965 almost every car made and driven in America came form Michigan. Detroit was the epicenter of car production in America. Detroit made hybrids even then, half the car was junk, the other half was crap. Based on UAW workmanship, the Detroit product self-destructed the day of your last car payment. All while Detroit and the UAW enjoyed some of the highest wages, best pensions and best benefits of any workers in America with a workload that never stopped from built-in, intentional, obsolesce. Customers would be back every 36 months. They had no choice.

International trade agreements changed that. Freer trade brought consumers choice. It removed the "hammerlock" the United Auto Workers Union and Detroit had on the American automobile consumer. By the mid-1970s it was clear Japanese cars offered far better value for less money. It wasn't long after Toyota and Honda flooded the market with high-quality cars at better prices. Cars that lasted far longer than three years. That was soon followed by German and Swiss cars with quality Detroit could only dream of.

Free trade had indeed freed the American car buyer. They got much more for their car dollar with much better quality, in good part because those cars were and are produced at lower, non-union wage rates. It helps you see why unions and Democrats hate free trade. They hate it on steroids at "silly time" while they try to buy election outcomes that stop the Toyotas and Hondas of the world from getting their products in. They want their hammerlock back.

Is that what you want? We go back to the 1960s when Detroit and the UAW sold you a car that fell apart in three years, and you had no alternative but to buy another one from them. Are you that "silly?"

Tony Boutin

  • Category: Letters
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If private library can raise $30k in 13 days, they were deceptive

To The Daily Sun,

It would seem that the recent events surrounding the Gilmanton Year Round Library have finally slipped from soap opera level hyperbole into the depths of absurdity.

In yet another seemingly biased front page article, titled: "GYRL fights to stay open" (March 22), it was reported that the GYRL had already raised $30,000.

Let's put that into perspective: The GYRL secures $30,000 from "sources unknown" in 13 days (since they lost the vote on March) 8 and that's considered a fight to stay open? Seams like a walk in the park to me. Thirteen days ... $30,000? I believe there are many in Gilmanton who would really like to know exactly where these monies are coming from.

Also, the deceptively, seemingly evasive disclosure that the GYRL trustees may consider gifting the library to the town flies in the face of the fact, believed by many, that the initiative of the original founders (those who truly still have influential control) did not build the GYRL library for the town ... but for themselves. So there is as much chance, then, that the library is gifted to the town as there is for any of us to grow wings and fly off to parts unknown. It's simply a statement designed to distract those in Gilmanton from the GYRL's real purpose, which is to manipulate a now friendly Board of Selectmen into a long-term contract. And possibly again behind the backs of the voters, as they attempted before, when past Selectman Guarino was compelled to intercede on the voters' behalf.

Worse though, while being forced to play out this year's "myth of closure" scenario, the GYRL has carelessly overlooked the fact that they have deliberately and unnecessarily stressed out and misled the very people who support them. The GYRL's Facebook page testifies to this. It's actually disturbing to read.

Knowing they had the means and resources to stay open, they allowed their faithful to believe they were closing — definitely closing. Yet it was not only tears and sadness expressed in so many Facebook entries but also streams of divisive and negative comments, targeting those who apposed town funding and also even our own municipal town library, further driving a wedge of contention deeper and deeper into our community. Go to any town library's Facebook page in the state of New Hampshire — any town — and see if you can read anything as oppressively manipulative, contentious and hostile as the GYRL's page.
I've searched. You'll find nothing. And as I've said, it's disturbing.

If the GYRL, then, can raise $30,000 in 13 days, it certainly demonstrates to me that they are more than capable of fulfilling what they have come to conveniently refer to as "only a goal," but many believe to be a pledge, to raise an endowment to operate their private librar y. . . and leave Gilmanton's already stressed-out tax dollars alone while putting an end to this ugly division.

Al Blake

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