The Face of ‘Economic Patriotism’: Preventing American Jobs because Wages Come from Foreigners

So, as we all now know, Obama’s new catchphrase is “economic patriotism.” It seems aimed at Romney. As the NPR blog mentioned: Romney was attacked at the Democrat National Convention for the sin (!?) of investing in other countries.

The new slogan is being used to include a lot of promises.  For example, Obama promises, “I’m not fighting to create Republican jobs, or Democratic jobs; I’m fighting to create American jobs.”

But it also seems to mean fighting to prevent job creation. Almost at the same time that Obama began using the phrase, news came out that he was going to prohibit a company from investing in a wind farm.

What? The President of the United States will not permit an investment in green energy? How can that happen?

The problem was that the company investing in a wind farm in Oregon was owned by foreigners. Ralls Corp is a Chinese company. Obama claimed that the fact that the wind farm was near a US Naval Base was some kind of potential security threat.

This is not a credible claim. The Asian press sees it for what it is: protectionism. The Renewing America blog at the Council on Foreign Relations (not a group I often agree with) states the obvious: “Obama Slapdown on Chinese Wind Deal Sends Wrong Message.” It points out that this is the first time in twenty-two years a president has taken such a drastic step, and that the reasons given to justify the action simply don’t hold up. From what we know, it seems that Ralls has been given a taste of just how arbitrary and capricious US government bureaucracies can be. Perhaps we are making them feel at home, but it makes the US look like the global hypocrite.

And there could be serious consequences for US jobs if this sort of behavior continues. “U.S. affiliates of Chinese-owned companies had 27,000 employees in 2011, up from just 10,000 five years ago. If the current pace continues, Chinese investment would likely create 200,000 to 400,000 U.S. jobs by 2020.”

Those jobs aren’t Democrat jobs or Republican jobs; they are American jobs.

Is Obama going to jeopardize that for the sake of a slogan? Does he think only the government is supposed to create jobs? This story is a prime example of how the government can only destroy jobs by interfering in the economy.

Even the NPR blog seems to realize that “economic patriotism” raises problems.

“Money flows across international borders now more than ever. Indeed, the ability of money to readily move to safe havens and get the best returns increasingly defines the global economy.

“Given that reality, if U.S. companies and investors choose to invest money abroad or have operations overseas, are such companies and investors betraying American interests because they’re not necessarily creating jobs for middle-class Americans?

“If Apple Inc. makes its products overseas, and BMW and Honda make their products for American consumers in the U.S., does that make those foreign companies more economically patriotic than Apple?”

No central authority knows how to allocate all the world’s resources—not even “the chosen one.” US investors sometimes go overseas and investors from other countries sometimes invest in the US. Obstructing foreign investors means stopping new American jobs from being created.

Stopping the creation of American jobs is not economic patriotism.