Topic category: Government/Politics
Why Bush was right about the ports
Dubai Ports World, being a state-owned company based out of the United Arab Emirates, isn't my idea of free market enterprise, but the intervention to block the port deal is also not my idea of free market enterprise. Reversing the ports deal will bring with it economic consequences. I believe the arguments against the deal have been rooted more in a dislike for Bush personally than in a genuine concern for national security.
If President Bush's insistence on allowing the UAE company to operate the ports is an example of his misfeasance, then why would we be any better off having the U.S. government - which Bush is the chief executive of - control the ports? For that matter, why would any other firm or company that the Bush administration allows to run the ports be any more trustworthy? Distrusting Bush in one instance, but not in the other, sounds like duplicitious grandstanding, in a cheap effort to score political points.
Worse yet, the ethnocentric opposition to DP World has came from many of the same people who protest racially profiling Arabs at the airport. If it is wrong to racially profile Arabs at the airport, then why do it anywhere else? Opposing the ports deal because the company is owned by Arabs is nothing other than racial profiling. There is no paradox in allowing an Arab-owned company to control the ports while simultaneously having a war on terror. No matter what your views are on the war on terror, President Bush has never conflated it with a war on Arabs.
The economic consequences of preventing foreign-owned companies from having an interest in the ports could be disastrous. As I have explained in previous commentaries, the U.S. government has inflated us into a trade deficit. The DP World ports deal goes with the territory of having such a huge imbalance of trade. That foreigners are willing to exchange goods for American dollars is a positive thing, which we should be thankful for. Foreigners have American cash, and we have very little to export. If foreigners are proscribed from exchanging dollars for land and other assets, then why should they wish to exchange goods for dollars? Reversing the ports deal sends an ominous signal to oil-rich parts of the world, and, as lawmakers implement protectionist policies against commerce with foreign nations, this could lead to a run on the dollar.
Sadly, as President Bush is right on this issue, the bipartisan consensus stands in opposition. It is breathtaking, given there are so many other things - such as the PATRIOT Act - that lawmakers could challenge the White House on, but don't.
Biography - Mark Anderson
Mark served honorably for four years on active duty in the Marine Corps infantry, and was a Libertarian endorsed candidate for a municipal office in 2002. He re-enlisted in the ARNG in 2006 because he was depressed/at times SI without the military. He has held the NFA Series 3 license (futures and futures options broker) which he did a voluntary withdrawal on because he couldn't in good conscience sell managed futures since firms would do better to hire an in-house trader to trade a proprietary account with a discount broker, which he outlined in his well-written withdrawal request. Since the year 2000, he has spent much of his free time reading the great minds of the Austrian School of economics, such as Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, et al.