Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quote (and read) of the day

Vox underlines the folly of the "free trade" argument:
The prosperity that North and others claim free trade has brought the USA is nothing but a mirage and is the simple result of Americans borrowing to buy those foreign goods and services with money they will have to pay back from a smaller industrial base competing against much more serious competitors than they faced 50 years ago.

The case for free trade was always logically flawed, but it simply cannot survive the incorporation of debt into the equation, as the historical statistics clearly demonstrate the intrinsic falsity that was always apparent to the sufficiently careful economic analyst. Free trade has not made the USA more wealthy, any more than buying giant houses with no-money down mortgages during the housing boom made those individuals who bought them rich. 
And the post's first comment nails my main problem with this concept:  unless the societies in question have identical standards, it's folly to let them compete head-on.  Goods produced in countries with lax environmental controls and slave-like labor conditions (i.e. China) will naturally be cheaper than those produced under the standards we have decided are important here at home.  Putting the two on a level playing field is simply stupid.

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