Bush Speech:  Florida's Economy is Grrreat!

July 31, 2006



Today President Bush gave a speech about the economy in Miami, Florida.  It was yet another formula speech with the standard boilerplate inserts. 


He spoke in glowing terms about how well the economy is doing in South Florida because of the Port of Miami.  Why wouldn’t they be doing well?   It helps to be ‘connected’ and there is nobody better ‘connected’ than Jeb Bush.  


Excerpts from his speech:


“From these docks, ships loaded with cargo deliver products all around the world carrying that label "Made in the USA."    I’d be curious to know what products “Made in the USA” are being shipped because products “Made in the USA” are very hard to find.  Perhaps he was referring to the crates that ship Florida produce.  More likely though, they are shipping weapons because war is America’s biggest export at the moment. 

Nelson Gonzalez and a partner started a business in their garage 10 years ago with $10,000 capital.  First year revenues were $87,000 building “high-performance, custom-designed personal computers”.  Their revenues last year were $192 million so Bush says.   This is a standard ‘prop’ in all of Bush’s speeches on the economy.  Implicit - immigrant makes good on the American Dream.   [I hope the FBI was listening because this business sounds more like a money laundering operation.  The market for custom-designed, high-performance computers is not that large and secondly there isn’t that kind of money in it.  Why do I say that?  Because in every town in this country there are people who can build custom, high-performance machines.  It’s not a specialized or unique business.]


“And here's another way that we can help the entrepreneurial spirit flourish and help make sure south Florida remains a vibrant part of our national economy, and that is to open up markets for trade. I'm worried about protectionist tendencies in the United States, people saying, well, we don't want to -- really want to compete. Let's just kind of throw up some walls and barriers so people can't sell products into the United States. Such policies will damage the Port of Miami; such policies are short-sighted, as far as I'm concerned.”   [Our trade deficit is over $750 billion dollars a year and it increases every year.  The trade deficit is the amount of credit buying from foreign ‘competitors’.   In effect, they are buying America because we don’t produce enough goods for export to pay for the imported goods.   The foreign ‘competitors’ are in reality expatriated American corporations that moved offshore to take advantage of the WTO rigged trading system that favors third world countries and multinational corporations over American domestic businesses.] 


“America is home to 5 percent of the world's population. That means 95 percent of the world's population are potential customers. The port is known as "The Gateway of the Americas" for a reason, because international trade is one of the key reasons why Miami prospers. I don't know if the folks realize that because of trade -- in other words, the ability to move products overseas -- 120,000 jobs here in this part of the world are supported by trade. “  [The 95% of the world who might be potential customers - aren’t potential customers because corporations operating in countries without labor laws turn people into slaves.  They can’t afford the products that are produced.  The products produced by multinational slave labor are imported to the U.S. to purchase on credit - because we don’t have the hard currency to pay for them.   Best case in point is Mexico, the people who work in the Maquiladoras   - and soon the American people will be in the same boat. 


“I believe trade leads to opportunity, trade leads to jobs, trade means this port will remain vibrant. And so good policy from our government perspective must be to continue to working up -- working to open up markets for U.S. products, and say to people around the world, you treat us the way we treat you. In other words, trade must be a two-way street. We must work to open up markets, but at the same time, we must say to foreign nations, as we open our markets to your goods, you open your markets to our goods. The United States can compete with anybody anywhere so long as the rules are fair.”  [American businesses and the American people have been slow to realize that ‘opening markets’ means that government officials have agreed to sacrifice sectors of the U.S. economy as loss leaders in exchange for the multinationals being given the right to set up business in the foreign country.  In effect, if you are a small manufacturer in America - they sacrifice your business for the benefit of the multinationals.  The multinationals use the cheap (slave) labor in the foreign country to produce products for export back into this country so it’s a lose-lose for America and a WinBig-WinBig for the multinational corporations. 


“Congress passed NAFTA, and as a result, Florida's exports to Mexico tripled. Two years ago, we passed a free trade agreement with Chile. Florida exports to that country have jumped by 40 percent. Now, when you hear me say, Florida's exports, that means exports of products made in the United States leaving ports like Miami which creates jobs. Exports means work. Exports means vitality at our ports. 

Last year we passed CAFTA. I want to thank the members of Congress who supported me on that important agreement. This port handles nearly one-half of all American exports to Central America. And as CAFTA takes hold, we can envision more products passing from the United States to Central America through the Port of Miami.”

[Doesn’t it just warm your heart that Florida is doing so well under the international agreements that are driving the majority of the rest of the people in this country into poverty?]   

Reminder - there is a video press conference of the AFL-CIO and USBIC 2006 Trade Summit on AmericanEconomicAlert

“Now, one of the most promising ways to open up new markets for our worker and businesses is the Doha Round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization. See, these talks are important talks. They have a chance to break down trade barriers around the world. They have a chance to expand the flow of commerce, which is what we want. They have a chance to create new jobs and economic growth not only here, but elsewhere. And they have a chance to help lift millions of people out of poverty around the world. These are important negotiations taking place. And our government is strongly committed to a successful outcome of the Doha Round.” 

New Study Shows WTO’s Doha Round “Development Package” Proposal Would Leave Many Poor Countries Worse Off

 “The problem is, is that some others aren't committed. Recent discussions broke down. In order to make sure that they don't break down permanently, I asked Trade Representative Susan Schwab to continue to work with her counterparts, to continue to discuss ways for the United States to be flexible, particularly on agricultural subsidies, and for our counterparts to be flexible when it comes to achieving fairness when it comes to trade.

We'll do everything we can to get Doha back on track. That's what the people in this port, who rely upon the export of goods, must understand. We understand how important exportation is to the Port of Miami. We understand how important trade is for the economy of the United States. And so Susan Schwab now has been in Brazil recently, and will continue talking with other trade ministers. Completing the Doha Round is going to demand tough choices. We're willing to make those choices. And others nations should, as well. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jump-start global trade and create opportunities around the world.”

[Somehow I just don’t see that selling other people’s businesses is a tough choice.  I’d like to sell GE and pocket the profits… how about you?  Is there somebody’s business that you’d like to sell?] 


The USTR is going all out this time - offering up the U.S. agriculture sector as the loss leader in the Doha Round.  American farmers are struggling now (see the video above - Farmers Union speaker).   Next year the U.S. will become a net importer of food - not an exporter.  USTR is offering to cut all subsidies to U.S. farmers and allow tariff free commodity imports. This should finish off American agriculture. ]


UN Millennium Campaign - global redistribution of wealth - equal poverty for all the world’s people:  “Bank President Paul Wolfowitz sent a letter to the G8 +5 leaders -- Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa -- urging them to reach agreement on the Doha round trade talks at the St. Petersburg meeting. "With time running out, our collective efforts can make the difference. We can work to lift millions from poverty, boost developing country income, improve global market access and reduce taxpayer and consumer costs for all -- or allow the whole effort to collapse, with harm to everyone," Wolfowitz said.


[Now to the portion of the speech devoted to replacing Americans in the labor market.]

In order to make sure this country continues to remain strong we must also ensure that America welcomes new immigrants, people who add to our prosperity. See, we can be a nation of law and a welcoming nation at the same time, and we don't have to choose.”

[Bush doesn’t believe in being a nation of laws - or if he does - it’s just that the laws don’t apply to him To him, the Constitution is just a piece of paper.]


“We must be logical about the approach we take to immigration. Of course, we want to enforce our borders. The Coast Guard works hard to enforce our borders. We got hardworking people on the Mexican border working hard to enforce our borders. And we'll provide more Border Patrol agents. And we'll provide new technologies to help those working hard. But in order to enforce the border, we have got to recognize that people are sneaking in here to work; the best way to enforce the border is to have a rational way for people who are doing jobs Americans aren't doing to come to this country on a temporary basis so they can realize their dreams. We need a guest worker program as part of a comprehensive reform.”

So magnanimous of Bush to want to make the dreams of corporations and foreigners come true by allowing them to import the foreigners to take American jobs - thereby crushing the dreams of Americans who want jobs.  Remember New Orleans - the Katrina victims? 


"It's hard for an employer to know whether someone's here legally, or not."  [I don’t know many people who can’t identify illegal aliens at 20 paces.  They are usually short and they speak Spanish fluently and English poorly - if at all].  


"Amnesty is not the right approach. But neither is trying to remove the 10 million or 11 million people who've been here illegally. Deportation is not going to work. What must work is a rational middle ground that says, you can pay a fine, you can learn English, you can prove you've been a lawful citizen, and then you can get in the citizenship line -- but at the back of the line, not the front of the line."  [I thought he wanted to be logical - at least that's what he said.  Logic problem: illegal aliens are not lawful people otherwise they wouldn’t be called ILLEGAL aliens.  I think we should give deportation a try.   It would put a lot of Americans to work doing something to help their country and their fellow Americans.  A happy American is a productive American.  We can do it. Let’s export illegal aliens.]


Wrapping up…   TERROR, TERROR, TERROR   We are at war.  Boogey man will get you… you need me to protect you.  And … more money for the Florida economy and Coast Guard ‘border patrol’. 


"And one of the most important parts of securing our country is securing our ports. Port security is one of the top priorities of our government. Since September the 11th, we've provided $700 million in grants to enhance physical security at our ports, and the Port of Miami received about $25 million of those grants. We understand the important the Coast Guard plays to port security. And so we've increased funding for the Coast Guard by almost $2.9 billion." (Applause.)


And I’m going to keep this commentary for his next speech on the economy.  Boilerplate for Boilerplate.