HOLDEN — Americans never asked for free trade. We never complained about the cost of our cellphones and TVs. We never marched in the streets demanding more cheap stuff.

We had no idea that free trade agreements would eviscerate American manufacturing, outsource millions of good jobs, replace family businesses with big box behemoths and turn Americans into a nation of consumers, not makers. No wonder these free trade monsters are negotiated in secret and passed without amendments. Nope. They weren’t our idea. They were done to us, for our own good.

The American people never asked Congress to deregulate banking. Remember the Great Recession of 2008? It wasn’t our fault. We didn’t think up deregulating banks.

And finally, Americans never asked Congress to quadruple immigration. According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigrants and their children have added 81 million people to the U.S. population. Some immigration is good. But this number? Did we tell Congress: “Send more people! Please, help us! We’re too homogenous for our own good”? No, we never said those things.

So there it is, the globalist’s trifecta: the plan to build a borderless world based on the free flow of goods, people and capital. The globalist’s trifecta was sold to Congress by economists, academics and cheap-labor business lobbies as a plan to “make the economy grow.” And it did! Our gross national product has doubled since 1986.

But as economists are fond of saying: There are winners and losers. Bankers and investors – the 1 percent – grew obscenely rich. But wages for working Americans stagnated, good jobs vaporized, the middle class shrank and our infrastructure is crumbling from the weight of so many people.

The winners have done a masterful job of framing political discourse, convincing the leadership of both parties that America requires an incessant infusion of foreign labor.

Even in Maine, the globalist trifecta is shaping our political debates.

Example: Maine is shrinking. We need more people.

But the wages employers offer aren’t competitive. Our kids don’t stay, and millions of tourists who love Maine don’t settle here because they have better-paying jobs elsewhere.

The solution? We’re told that Maine needs immigrants to “make the economy grow.” And we’re told it over and over. See editorials in the Portland Press Herald and its sister papers, the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. And what makes immigrants special? Employers don’t have to compete with each other to attract these workers, as long as they convince Congress to continue expanding immigration.

And that’s why the Partnership for the New American Economy is feeding data to gullible journalists and shaping editorials all over America, including Maine, about the need to expand immigration, what they call “comprehensive reform.”

What is the Partnership? It’s a coalition of billionaires, corporate CEOs and their politicians. Their membership includes the CEOs of Facebook, AOL, Marriott, Hewlett-Packard, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Xerox and Morgan Stanley. Get the picture? The 1 percent on steroids.

As the richest and most privileged people in America, they know how to tell the story their way. Their website is a masterful ode to immigration, full of “facts” without links, and industry-funded “studies,” but nothing about costs or labor impacts.

Maine editorial writers frequently cite data from the Partnership website to support the “Maine needs immigrants” bandwagon. They’ve drunk the trifecta Kool-Aid. If the American Petroleum Institute produced “studies” proving that global warming didn’t exist, most journalists would be suspicious. But Maine editors largely swallowed the Partnership’s data and their “studies” on immigration without a blink. And like one big echo chamber, they nod their heads in perfect agreement, as though they were repeating an obvious truth.

Big Money isn’t satisfied with outsourcing good jobs, or storing huge profits in foreign banks to avoid taxes. They also want to reduce American wages and force all of us, immigrant and native-born, to compete against each other. Big Money sticks together. They don’t plan to compete with each other. And the 81 million already here is not enough for them. They want more. And more.

Yes, Maine faces a demographic transition. We need to think about it. But let’s think for ourselves. If employers want the benefits of doing business in America, access to our consumer markets and our infrastructure, then they need to offer livable wages. Unless they’re deprived of foreign workers, they won’t.