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Secretary of Whose Treasury?
Alan Tonelson
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Photo of Alan Tonelson
We at GLOBALIZATION FOLLIES are not entirely convinced that revitalizing China’s economy should be a top priority for retired U.S. leaders, but after all, it’s a free country  (the United States, that is).  So we have no serious complaints about former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s New York Times op-ed article yesterday, which described his current ideas for reversing the PRC’s economic slowdown.

We just wish he had started his help-China efforts after leaving the American taxpayer's employ.  After all, enriching the PRC was such a vital goal for the one-time Goldman Sachs chairman that he pursued it even though China’s growth was largely the beggar-thy-neighbor kind.  And as revenues poured into Beijing’s treasury and the rest of China’s economy, major victims included countless American manufacturers and their employees, who lost earnings, companies, wages, and jobs to the currency manipulation and other predatory economic practices that Paulson helped to coddle.  

Of course, Paulson was hardly the first Treasury chief to enable China’s economic transgressions, (see, e.g., “Rubin, Robert”) and he wasn’t the last (see, e.g., “Geithner, Timothy”).  The position will apparently soon become vacant again.  It’s surely too much to expect a new Treasury Secretary removed from the Wall Street culture of brown-nosing Beijing for crumbs of Chinese financial business and pushing U.S. companies to maximize short-term profits by offshoring to China.  But maybe the Senate could at least demand that the President’s nominee declare on the record that maximizing America’s short- and long-term interests is his or her paramount duty.    


(Source: “How Cities Can Save China,” by Henry M. Paulson Jr., The New York Times, December 4, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/opinion/how-cities-can-save-china.html?pagewanted=all&pagewanted=print)

Alan Tonelson is a Research Fellow at the U.S. Business & Industry Educational Foundation and the author of The Race to the Bottom: Why a Worldwide Worker Surplus and Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards (Westview Press).