The trade deficit and class struggle

The U.$. trade deficit should be an unlikely place to look for class struggle. However, as uncanny as the united $tates is in its racism and national chauvinism, it is even more uncanny in its parasitism. The U.$. trade deficit is larger than dividends paid out of profits — thereby proving Amerikan parasitism all by its lonesome self.

Ordinarily one would expect that if a country traded in deficit a long time with other countries, the problem would eventually even out. Hence, the topic should be boring; notso for Amerikan parasitism.

According to the Economic Report of the President in 2008, net dividends paid out by corporations were $601.4 billion in 2005.(1) Meanwhile, the trade deficit was over $700 billion.

That means that the goods and services provided by foreigners to Amerikans more than created the entire margin of corporate dividends — all in exchange for a piece of paper called the dollar.

Those of more Marxist bent will find it interesting that corporate profits in 2006 in manufacturing were $293.4 billion and that’s counting cash kept on hand in addition to money to be sent out for dividends. In contrast, the trade deficit was $758.5 billion in 2006. So once again the surplus obtained just by the willingness of non-Amerikans to take dollars more than covered all manufacturing profits. So much for a story of exploitation of Amerikan workers.

The United $tates has had a trade deficit every year since 1976. In recent years, those deficits are not small considerations.

One can take one’s pick of how much parasitism is going on. We can also compare the trade deficit with the Pentagon. In 2006, the Pentagon budget was $534.5 billion.(2) So in other words, the 2006 trade deficit provided Amerikans with enough goods and services to fund the entire Pentagon operation and then some.

The trade deficit is not something we can blame on Keynes.(3) Nor does MIM want to come off as favoring a gold standard. When money was gold and not paper, the gold would have flowed out of a place doing consistent importing and then the gold would have run out — end of story. The advent of paper money coincided with the advent of imperialism as the last stage of capitalism, the decadent phase. Paper money was an improvement, but it also allowed the creation of humungous parasitism.

Amerikan blindness to this parasitism is across-the-board. Whether Nobel-prize winning economists, hard-core Trotskyists or social-democrats — the entirety of U.$. academia and politics is wrong. The facts of the trade deficit alone prove that MIM is correct. We know the racist international wage structure and discrimination profits are too difficult for our chauvinists to handle. What accounts for their blindness to trade deficits staring them in the face? Surely economists know that this trade deficit means Amerikans are getting something real for nothing. Yet they keep quiet so as not to rock the patriotic boat. They lack internationalism: their judgment cannot be trusted and they’ve proved that year after year in struggle with MIM.

Some MIM critics are in the category of “hard-as-rock-only-dumber.” The rest are too chauvinist or racist to start their academic or political work on the fact that Amerikans are exploiters. There are no profits to account for from their activity. Instead we have worker identity politics, female identity politics and so on –all with the wrong premise of widespread exploitation in Amerika.

That is why the national bourgeoisie of the oppressed nations is a more likely place to find progressive class struggle than inside the United $tates. The national bourgeoisie is more likely aware of trade deficit numbers and has a more objective sense of proportion than any Amerikans — a depressing truth about bourgeoisification. Everywhere an Amerikan bourgeois looks, he sees only other Amerikan members of the exploiter class. Yet, by religion, nationality or even just friendship and family ties, the bourgeoisie in the Third World is more likely to have contact with exploited people, and whether it likes it or not, the national bourgeoisie often has the job of representing the exploited in negotiations with the Western imperialists.

It is up to the national bourgeoisie of the non-Amerikans to decide whether they are going to go on providing the U.$. margin of corporate dividends or the Pentagon’s budget just because they idolize the dollar.

For more MIM documents on how there is no exploited “working class” in the united $tates read the 1987 and 1997 documents and MIM Theory #1.



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