Tags: Sieff | Obama | President | economy

Martin Sieff: Obama Is a 'C-Minus President, at Best' as US in Shambles

By    |   Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:04 AM EDT

President Barack Obama is barely passing when it comes to managing the economy and ensuring the country remains competitive in global trade arenas, says Martin Sieff, author and chief global analyst at The Globalist research center.

Like those before him, Obama isn't doing enough to protect local industries from foreign competition as well as develop more energy resources at home.

"C-minus at best, probably a D-plus. It isn't as bad as it could have been but the economy is still in shambles," Sieff tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

Story continues below video.

"There is no effective government protection for domestic industry to revive yet against unfair foreign competition. We have a wonderful potential energy revival from horizontal drilling, fracking, which the government is trying to smother on spurious environmental grounds."

Protectionism, often a dirty word in many circles, should actually take priority, according to Sieff, author of "That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman's Flat World Myths Are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs."

Editor’s note: To order ‘That Should Still Be Us' at a great price — Click Here Now.

The United States needs to resist the temptation to allow foreigners to undercut traditional manufacturing sectors while focusing on developing high-tech sector alone.

"Here is the key factor: For 800 years in modern history, any society that has protected its national manufacturers has prospered, become wealthy and become powerful. Any nation that gives up its protection to its native companies, to its manufacturers, to its industries, quickly becomes bankrupt," Sieff says.

"American industry was protected for 100 years, from Abraham Lincoln to Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was Richard Nixon who scrapped it for the Republicans, and it was John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson for the Democrats. Protectionism is a traditional Republican value and conservative value and it's being lost."

Successful economies exercise some degree of protectionism while the U.S. doesn't.

China, for example, keeps its currency artificially cheap, which gives it an export advantage.

"A key economic policy should be, first of all, to make sure the Chinese cannot have 30 to 40 percent advantage with an undervalued currency that continues to allow them to flood the United States with their manufacturing," Sieff says.

"It's catastrophic for American jobs creation. Even Wal-Mart has to finally recognize that their sales are bound to fall if nobody can anymore afford to buy them."

Turning to energy, Sieff points out the United States needs to work with the resources that it has under the ground like coal and spend less time pumping billions of dollars developing alternative energy sources, which don't meet the needs of the country anyway.

Inputs needed to develop alternative energy come from abroad as well.

"It's making us more dependent on China, because if you want more wind turbines and other high-tech, clean energy sources, you have to get rare earth, the 17 extremely rare elements and China currently produces 95 percent of them," Sieff says.

Not only would tapping fossil fuels save the country money, it would benefit regional economies as well.

"The average annual output of a single coal mine, a medium-sized mine and not even a big coal mine, in West Virginia or Kentucky is the equivalent of 75 percent of the total clean energy production of the entire United States every year," Sieff says.

"So-called clean energy is the road to ruin. Real clean energy is using natural gas."

Editor’s note: To order ‘That Should Still Be Us' at a great price — Click Here Now.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:04 AM
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