Gov­ern­ment won’t fix fac­to­ries

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - GE­ORGE F. STEEG Po­tomac Falls, Vir­ginia

What Stephen Moore and his fel­low econ­o­mists — most of whom have never worked on or man­aged a fac­tory pro­duc­tion line — don’t un­der­stand is that fill­ing empty U.S. fac­to­ries with idled U.S. fac­tory work­ers will raise prices for prod­ucts made in the United States (“The threat of tar­iffs may work,” Web, Sept. 2).

What has emp­tied U.S. fac­to­ries, idled their work­ers and per­haps even started the U.S. drug-death epi­demic is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the cost of touch la­bor in the U.S. and third­world coun­tries.

For Mex­ico, Pres­i­dent Trump’s tar­get U.S. fac­tory wage of $16 an hour is much more than four times the wage of the Mex­i­can fac­tory worker. Four times is the di­rect cost. Much more is the cost of ben­e­fits, such as health care and pen­sions, that U.S. work­ers re­ceive.

The U.S. con­sumer faces a choice. Ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for empty fac­to­ries, idle work­ers and pos­si­bly the drug-in­duced deaths of some work­ers who can’t find jobs, or pay a lit­tle more for prod­ucts made in the United States.

We all know that if the gov­ern­ment steps in to “solve” th­ese prob­lems, we’ll end up with even less money in our wal­lets while the prob­lems get worse.

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