Fields: Americans Should Sail Under US Flag

Guest Columnist

Three cheers for the American merchant seamen who took back the American-registered Maersk Alabama from Somali pirates.

Hopefully the U. S. Navy will secure the release of the ship’s captain who, at this writing,  is still held by the pirate scum.
The key point is that this is a ship with an American registry and a well-trained crew of Americans.

 It is not a ship owned by Americans who registered it in Liberia or Panama to avoid paying taxes or complying with environmental standards.  Or avoiding American labor laws which lets them to hire untrained foreigners to work for chump change. 
Nevertheless, these ex-pat corporations want the U.S. taxpayer to bear the cost of our Navy protecting them from Somali pirates.  This brings up a piece I wrote about Americans who take their business overseas but expect the U.S. to rescue them if they get in trouble.  It’s here.

Chevron, you want to register your tankers in The Bahamas?  Fine.

But when Captain Jack and the Jolly Roger is in your face, don’t phone Washington.  Call Nassau. 

Or we could save your butt and impose maritime law which says the rescuer gets 1/3 of the value of the ship and its cargo. Or you could reregister your ships such as the Bahamian-registered Altair Voyager [previously named—and I am not kidding—The Condoleezza Rice] in the United States. 
 The Somali pirate plague is a crisis.  The Chinese character for “crisis is a combination of the characters for “danger and “opportunity. 
 We have an “opportunity to remind the American owners of tankers, cargo ships and cruise lines what it means to be an American.  Once the word gets back to the pirates that we won’t pick up a finger to help these ships there will be land office business to reregister them under an American flag.
Does it mean that paying Americans union wages will raise the price of a seven-day Caribbean cruise?  I suppose so.

 But, then again, the Emancipation Proclamation probably raised the price of cotton. 


2 Responses to “Fields: Americans Should Sail Under US Flag”

  1. S. Only says:

    Well said Sam—I agree.

  2. Death and Taxes says:

    This is a “choose your poison” situation. Either you register abroad and get pilfered by pirates or at home where Uncle Sam robs you blind