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North American Isolationism May Be The Only Solution To The Economic Collapse

Updated on March 4, 2009


My regular Hub readers will know that my personal politics are somewhat to the right of Rush Limbaugh and to the left of Benito Mussolini but I'm suspending my own ideology long enough to write this Hub. The profound impact of the current economic crisis is so broad that it is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child on Earth, and this potential "solution" doesn't just cross ideological boundaries, it crushes them to dust.

Yes, I'm aware that this "solution" is only partially in the realm of socio-economic philosophy while the balance of it resides firmly within science fiction fantasy somewhere between Middle Earth and Hogwarts. So? Could Julius Caesar have foreseen the Visigoths? Could Genghis Khan have foreseen that the squabbling over his successor would have stopped the unstoppable Mongols from conquering a wide open Europe? Could the cold, wet Minutemen have foreseen that their winter backwoods assaults would lay the groundwork for a nation that effectively ruled the world for a century? Could Mao Zedong have foreseen that just a couple of decades after his death, China would be the primary capitalistic nation in the world? If history has taught us anything at all, it is that no matter how imaginative you may be, stranger things than you can imagine can always happen.

Having said all that, here is the "solution" in soundbite version:

  1. The Canadian-USA border is erased. The Mexican border is turned into the Berlin Wall. All Military and Homeland Security forces are turned towards defending the continental perimeter.
  2. Immigration is stopped. All visitors and tourists must obtain a visa and place a $50,000 bond, returnable only on their departure.
  3. Based on a retroactive date, all citizens within that border are granted full North American citizenship, no questions asked.
  4. On that same retroactive date, all citizens have title deed to whatever housing unit they resided. The North American government will hold a 50% 30 year mortgage and will enforce monthly payments at a fixed 2.5% annual rate.
  5. A 250% tariff is set on every single imported product with absolutely no exceptions.
  6. The gold reserves of North America are fixed to the common currency. A constitutional amendment forbids any change to this policy for 50 years.
  7. Private banks are closed. Lending centers are set up where investors can pool their available funds. Interest cannot exceed 5% annually for any reason or any purpose.
  8. All current taxes are eliminated. There is a 20% V.A.T. on the purchase of every item, no exceptions.

Each one of these proposals can be expanded upon ad infinitum and could certainly be the subject of individual Hubs if my readers demonstrate their interest in reading them. But the bottom line is simple: An isolationist North America has the manpower, the intellectual capital, the industrial base, and the natural resources to take care of its citizens in a completely stable, sustainable, and successful civilization. We do not need any other nation's products, resources, or anything else. We cannot as a society continue to compete with $1 an hour labor producing goods in unregulated, lawless factories. The entire structure of globalization is completely unsustainable and has to be declared legally dead. This "solution" may be harsh but within lie the seeds for the new North American society.

Yes, it would be different than today's society by a long shot. We might lose some Japanese electronic toys, some Chinese cheap Walmart junk, and some Spanish extra virgin olive oil. We'll survive. In return, we will obtain full employment, stability, equality, and the wonderous satisfaction of knowing what it's like to live within our means!

I'm willing to sign on. Are you?


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    • Sembj profile image


      8 years ago

      In large part the US success story has been because of the successive waves of immigrants who were motivated to work hard and succeed. It seems there is a national or cultural milieu that is "work friendly" or otherwise - certainly the trouble experienced by various European countries attest to different values and expectations. If North America kept immigrants out in the way you suggest, perhaps they would be destroying one of those things that is best about the US rather than the negative you suggest.

      Of course, I could find a lot to disagree with but I do applaud the thought behind the article as well as the excellent writing. Protectionism has long been more favored by the left than the right and there is certainly a lot to be said for stopping or prohibitively taxing many imported manufactured goods that are produced by exploiting people and destroying the environment because they have governments that encourage business rather than human rights.

      An excellent read and hub.

    • terced ojos profile image

      terced ojos 

      9 years ago from

      Money talks everything else walks.

      America is a fascist-democracy. Those Mexican immigrants everyone is so angry about will continue to come across the border because the companies that benefit from their cheap labor pay politicians to look the other way.

      Globalization will continue because people who have a lot more money than you will pay politicians to open our borders to import or export cheap labor to line their own pockets. India, China...any country that has lots of poor people are targets for this "new slavery."

      To say that you are a Capitalist is to say that you believe in slavery. Capitalism apart from slavery does not work. There has to be someone on the bottom to do "something for nothing." Corporations pay politicians to facilitate the exploitation of these people.

      Since you don't have the money nor do you have the masses of Americans outraged to the extent of armed revolt; you will continue to see jobs exported. You will continue to hear politicians who have obviously been bought espouse the so-called good parts of globalization. You will continue to see the "downsizing of America" and the "American Dream."

      Get Rich and Get Out before it's too late.

      Capitalism will always create a loser in order for it to thrive. It's part of the system. Americans will not work for the slave wages the companies want to pay for the work; so they go and get new slaves.

      It's nothing but greed and lust for power.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      We're in a HEAP o' trouble... :(

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      9 years ago

      Saw you mentioned elsewhere, came to read something by you. And while this suggestion won't ever be considered by our government, I hope we do scale back. In fact, we'll have to. It's all so precarious right now...

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      First of all, dude, I don't know where you're from, nor care, but although I am an American patriot and proud of it, I have Canadian citizenship and have not set foot in the USA in many years. As for the debt, just read some of my Obama Hubs and you'll see that I am among the most strident critics of his insane Marxist "spend until the middle class is dead" policies. Yes, America needs a good swift kick in the butt to wake itself up, but I am profoundly ingratiated by the collapse in the President's approval polls. It IS morning in America, and the greatness and wisdom of the American people will triumph again!

    • profile image

      John Jason 

      9 years ago

      Your ideas will never happen, even you know that.

      Therefore, prepare to "taste what your (own Yankee) hands have wrought."

      You owe a fabulous debt, the interest is beyond all your productive capability of ever repaying. So what do you expect to do? Stiff all your worldwide creditors? Had you allowed this dispensation to the suffering 3rd world say...10 years ago...who knows?

      Maybe you would still be up the creek, but you wouldn't be so hated by the rest of the world.

      You have become your own worst nightmare. So go ahead, pull the sheets over your collective guys really need a collective 12 step program to at least awake you from slumbering denial.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      TKIMWRSVC: I do believe that we are thinking around the same lines, but that is because we are not alone in realizing that this chimera of global competition on a level playing field is never going to come true. We have to admit it, as North Americans, that we simply cannot beat nearly 2.5 billion people in China and India who will happily work hard and long for what we consider pocket money. We have to take care of ourselves first and foremost. And I also agree that many North Americans would be glad to see a 20% VAT if all foreign adventurism, intervention, and other interference was eliminated.

      stevenschenck: It truly does boggle the mind as to what constitutes a foreign car. A friend recently decided to buy an All American Compact Car, so he went for a new Chevy Aveo. He was absolutely distraught when I informed him that the car is completely built in South Korea!

    • stevenschenck profile image


      10 years ago from Sacramento California

      Hal and Netters - Because of the death march I vowed years ago not to by Japanese products - I got my new Corvette as the all American statement -Three months into owning it the car died on the freeway and we had to wait three weeks for the part to come from "Mitsubishi" - Doh -

      Most of the parts bolted on my Made In America Vett were made in Japan. Then the vett started dying and at at 50K miles the trans went totally out.

      Now I drive a Toyota built in California....

    • TKIMWRSVC profile image


      10 years ago from United States

      hmmm, much as I hate to admit it, I do not see major flaws in the ideas expressed in this hub. And some things I state in a few of my hubs do and does fit along in there. As left of Barack Obama as I am, as much as I have decried the tendency in the past for Isolationism, I hate to think that your idea has a whole lot of merit. I tend to be able to see the bad in most situations, not the good, not the alternatives, just the flaws. How I think is all. At first a few weeks ago I thought that just making Mexico on up as the United North American Nation would be enough. All the money wired to Mexico fm workers in the US would techinically stay in the nation, would be a good idea. But I can see your idea, personally liking to add Mexico into the crunch. But as PGrundy states, and I have stated, our manufacturing is gutted. The ship building industry for example started to be decimated (chosen word in all the connotations) back while I was on active, so that was at least 15 years ago by the White House back then. So for that one industry, it would be a good 10 years to get back online, add in a few more years for ship building, etc for shipping. Which is why the US leases other nations ships to haul the Hecho En China products to the US. Many of the ships are Liberian in example in registry.

      So yes your idea has merit. I would pay a VAT of 20% if it stayed in the borders, and the other lending rates were at the proposed or better levels.

      Such is dreaming right.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      I always thought it really telling that a lot of the WWII Pacific Theater vets would never even consider buying a Mitsubishi, as it was the Mitsubishi Zeros that formed the backbone of the Japanese Air Force.

    • Netters profile image


      10 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      I agree! My father (a WWII vet and given a Silver Medal) would turn over in his grave if I bought anything other than "Made in the USA".

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      One more point: Isolationism would most likely completely defuse Islamist resentment towards us. They would not have any bones to pick with a non-interventionist North America, and they would have to find their own way out of their regions' messes. As for Israel, they are well armed enough that they can now take care of themselves. This is a survival situation, and drastic decisions have to be made now before it's too late.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      pgrundy: As I've stated in various other Hubs including

      the collapse has already happened. The effects have not yet reached us as there is a natural 6 to 8 month delay, but when it does, it will be utterly devastating.

      China has no reason to attack the USA as it is well aware that we could glass the entire nation within 15 minutes. Their nuclear weaponry doesn't come close to comparing with ours, and besides, would the cancellation of orders from Walmart and Dollar Stores be the trigger for the nuking of entire continents? They can go hawk their junk to Europe and the rest of the world. I agree that right now, American manufacturing is a lost cause and that isolationism, as Draconian as it may seem, may be the only answer to ensure that our way of life gets passed onto future generations. I believe that it is the last chance we have to do so, as if this hemorrhaging continues unabated, we'll be living in caves soon enough.

      stevenschenck: I can see your metaphor to baseball, but the current globalization equation is more like this: We field the winner of the World Series to represent America. They field capable but not championship league players, except that they have six men on each base, eighteen outfielders, and a pitcher who uses a bazooka to fire a ball the size of a marble.

      We lose. No chance.

      We cannot compete against manufacturing if we (like GM) have to pay for medical expenses and legacy costs which atop of wages equal over $75 an hour, when some Chinese car company is building just about the same vehicle while paying its worker $75 a month. That's not an equal playing field. That's a killing field. Unless we can convince American workers that it's worth while to work 12 hour days on an assembly line for a bowl of rice, a pack of cigarettes and a tin shelter, this competition is over.

      We're already energy independent. Within North America lies more than enough conventional energy to take care of our needs for the rest of this century. We don't need the rest of the world and they certainly don't need us.

      The time has come to bid them adieu. And, by the way, since it's come down to a case of it's either us or them, good riddance. :)

    • stevenschenck profile image


      10 years ago from Sacramento California

      Hal - Interesting - While I do not like some of our trade agreements - becoming isolationist is like refusing to let your baseball team play because they might get beaten – America is still the greatest nation on the planet and we will prove it by overcoming the destruction done by Bush and Cheney.

      Making great products that beat out our international competitors will make America Strong again – Innovation – freedom to develop – capitalism – competition.

      Americans must be given the tools to accomplish great things – with greedy banks cutting off lending which keeps capitalism alive we have damaged our core foundation.

      As an example:

      Energy independence technology is sought worldwide, America should be the leader – instead Bush cut all the funding for it and demanded we drill more – if we used our technology skills to beat this problem we could sell the result in every country in the world and improve our GDP.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What strikes me is that your suggestions take as a given that economic collapse is certain and something very radical has to happen and fast. I think you might be right, but it also looks like no way is anyone going to try to implement anything radical until it's way too late.

      The only problem I see is that if we did this, we would likely be attacked at some point by China or possibly the Mideast, or both. China would have reason, and possibly also the ability, to just invade and take. But I don't see how we will rebuild our industrial base without taking a more isolationist position. Right now there is zero reason for anyone to invest in American manufacturing. Unless I'm missing something I don't see much being done to change that. Good hub.


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