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Finances, freedom and Main Street USA

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By U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer

During the Cold War, most Americans would be alarmed if they discovered their everyday purchases and government-backed retirement funds were financing the Soviet’s military, its strategic initiatives, and even providing employment opportunities. Unfortunately, most policymakers in Washington, D.C. and business leaders across the country fail to apply this same logic when thinking about the Chinese Communist Party.

The United States and the USSR raced to achieve world dominance for four decades. Much like the CCP today, the USSR denied their citizens fundamental human rights, silenced free speech, dismantled civil society, and crushed any opposition. 

In Soviet Russia, political dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities, and anyone who disagreed with the government were often sent to labor camps. Sound familiar? Fast forward to present day, the CCP is committing genocide against the Uyghur people, arresting opposition leaders, and controlling every aspect of its citizens' daily lives. The USSR and the CCP tactics are not that different, and neither is the CCP's quest to overthrow the United States as a leader on the world stage.

If you ask me, it is just as absurd today to send our resources, investments, and technology to Communist China as it was during the height of the first Cold War. You might be asking yourself, what is wrong with trade? It has to be good for the U.S. economy, right? In theory, yes, but not when we outsource good-paying jobs, inevitably stimulating the economy of an adversary seeking to neutralize us on the world stage. 

Every dollar we send to Communist China in time builds a larger and stronger Chinese military, all resources that should be invested in the American people, economy, and financial infrastructure. 

The more goods we purchase from Communist China equals fewer jobs in our communities, fewer opportunities for small businesses and fewer resources being invested into Main Street America. 

While it may be convenient to have cheap goods at just the click of a button, we need to weigh the costs against offshoring our manufacturing and supply chains. Is 2-day shipping for a shirt that costs $3 dollars less really worth it?

With each day that passes, China inches closer to waging war on Taiwan. Being thousands of miles away, surely you won’t feel the impact a foreign war has on the economy, right? Wrong. Not only is America unprepared for the catastrophic economic impact of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan but it would present a drastically more intense challenge given how deeply our counties’ economies are integrated. 

Not only would two-day shipping for your favorite cheap shirt be a faint memory, but so would many other parts of our daily lives. That is why, Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and I introduced a bipartisan bill that would require the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to develop an economic plan mitigating the economic fallout from potential Chinese military aggression towards Taiwan. 

The advisory committee, whose members would include key federal financial regulatory agencies, capital market participants, and policy makers would be tasked with identifying areas of risk to the financial markets and banking system and developing solutions to deal with their impact.

Like you, the thought of losing our land, freedom, and financial security to Communist China sounds like a nightmare. As a nation there is no time like the present to modernize lessons learned from the first Cold War to tackle the challenges presented by the looming threat of the CCP. I’m sure we will thank ourselves later.

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••• Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.

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