Our first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton (to whom I am related by marriage), was our greatest economic thinker at the time of our founding. He was a darling of Washington, having fought with him during the Revolution. He was also a leading attorney. Although America only had about five corporations after the Revolution, Hamilton was also the leading corporate attorney. This is what gave him valuable insight. In 1791 he proposed his 11 Point Economic plan to put us on the road to becoming an industrial powerhouse.

There were actually two leading thoughts on what the American economy should become. Thomas Jefferson was the main proponent of America remaining an agricultural nation. It was his belief that a true republic should remain agricultural. Hamilton, on the other hand, realized America could never properly defend herself against empires such as England. America would need to produce her own raw materials into (durable) goods for export. Rather than receive a few pennies for exported cotton, we should produce our own cloth and shirts for export, receiving dollars instead pennies. Previously, England had forbid the production of cotton and other raw materials needed to employ their own factory workers.

The plan Hamilton proposed (see below) included protective tariffs, which were needed to protect American manufacturing jobs. This worked extremely well for nearly 200 years until President Reagan removed the tariffs and changed the tax code so American manufacturing could move to communist China. America began the slide toward debtor nation with this "outsourcing" of jobs that paid a good salary. Not surprisingly, China learned all our previous lessons well, adopting Hamilton's 11 Points.

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