From the “Letters to the Editor” section of the Christian Science Monitor, some frightening arguments that the US should turn away from free trade and globalization. A closed economy–or partially closed one–is one thing that kept the Great Depression around for so long. Many people know this–but the arguments are so easy to buy into–blaming other countries for the US’s own problems.
And I have some British friends who are happily blaming the US for their problems.
It is true that much of the developed world has seen the loss of traditional industries and many people have had to train for new kinds of work, exactly what free trade brings about. It is also true that free trade should be thanked for many years of prosperity for some, and ending extreme poverty for many others.
I have some sympathy for arguments that we do not need to increase production and income levels, only redistribute what we already have. Seems to me that free trade is doing a pretty good job of exactly that–creating manufacturing jobs and income for people who need it most.
The most frightening arguments for closing markets seem to come from nationalistic perspectives–a simplistic bravado.