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I was one. So was Bill Clinton. But we were too lax, too hopeful.
Anyone who has studied economics beyond econ 101 knows exactly why global capitalism (free trade) cannot work in today's world. David Ricardo pointed it out in 1817, even though he argued for free trade. He argued that (counter to Adam Smith's position) countries with comparative advantages would both benefit from free trade. However, his primary assumption was that both Countries would be at full employment. Economists have used Ricardo's argument in support for free trade ever since. They ignore the full employment assumption because in the long term, economies are assumed to always resume to full employment. However, with massive unemployment in China and India that will last for decades if not centuries, Ricardo himself would have to admit that the Country that can produce the cheapest (that with comparative advantage) will win. The US will lose, and China and India will overtake us. It is inevitable. We're simply out-manned.
OMG!!! A Nationalist amongst our midst. You know, this is how the Nationalist Party started in Germany in the 1930's. Tired of getting beat up by others and denigrated, Germany turned inward and blamed 'foreigners' for their problems. After a little purging of some populations they didn't like, the Germany Nationalism (or Nazi-ism for those of you from Rio Linda) was born. In spite of this writer's attempts to point out boogey-men in the world of free trade, she fails to point out the car she drives is from Japan, the shoes she's wearing are from Israel, the shirt is from Indonesia, and the furniture in her house from Sweden. And...the gas in her car came from oil in Saudi Arabia and Brazil. Other than that...Buchanan was right...we need to shut down the borders!!!
What business needs is not NO playing field but a LEVEL playing field. One that put two US companies AND import companies on the same basis, taxes & regulations that is.
Fascinating article,and it is obviously too far outside the ideological blinders of free market dogmatists and libertarians to even begin to make an impact. History teachs that unfettered private power is at least as bad as unfettered public power, and often times worse, because the tyrant is closer to, and more knowledgeable of, the victims of that tyranny. And, even Adam Smith did NOT support unfettered private power in allthings - he STRONGLY supported government control of transportation, education, and so on, and supported laws designed to protect the rights of workers while opposing the organization of property owners as necessarily being to the detriment of society in general. He also supported the concept of living wages, and thought that station in life was more a matter of being in the right place at the right time than of personal effort primarily. And don't take my word for all that, read The Wealth off Nations - Smith would be more comfortable as a Democrat than a Republican or most certainly a libertarian.
"[Clinton] did nothing to slow the auto industry's disastrous detour from low-mileage vehicles to gas-guzzling SUVs".. How on the Green Earth is it the President's responsibility to watch and be responsible for the marketing policies of the US auto industry?... And who said we didn't know jobs would go overseas in a world economy? By 1990, every employer who could was already sending them overseas to pay lower labor costs (and high wages, btw). Just because the righties were wandering around in their half-a free-market daze and the conservatives were lost in their we'll all be one big market with peace money-based euphoria, what was left of the left was shouting that the jobs would go overseas, the US would lose market share, the wealth would imbalance, and we would be so in debt by the time we woke up to what happened we would be at each others' throats.
To say that this end result was unforeseen is, well, pollyanish. Remove the remaining blinkers, take a good look at who the wealthiest people on this planet are, and realize that, for a few thousand people, countries mean nothing, and the USA is a market/resource just like the UAE or UK. In short - we're THEIR Third World, something to be tossed away when it no longer yields the requisite profit or is capable of defending their interests.
What is a "free market liberal" other than a conflict of terms.
No one on the planet is arguing for a free market independent of any government role. Yet, there are a bunch of folks that continue to suggest that we are either in and have been in a totally unfettered free market or that conservatives or Republicans want to take us there. Neither is true. Everything is on a continuum, from anarchy to fascism…and nowhere on that continuum is there a successful free market without government enforcing the basic rights associated with property and the law of contracts. Smart regulation and investment can create more wealth for more people. Dumb regulation, crony capitalism and special interest spending create less wealth for more people. We have been living on the dumb end of the continuum for a very long time.
Blodgett does a good job of describing a problem but offers no solution. No one is in control of world governments so international regulation is not the answer. One nation cannot withdraw from the world economy so that is not the answer. We compete in a world economy and are learning to live with it. More efficiency in the US economy is the only alternative and business has done an excellent job. More government control and regulation only limits US business.
Ms Blodgett, if you are reading this, please read the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman." I believe it will open your eyes a bit.
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