March 17, 2016
Trump and Sanders have whipped up a lot of popular support by opposing “free trade” agreements.
But it’s not just politics and populist sentiment … mainstream economists are starting to reconsider their blind adherence to the dogma that more globalization and bigger free trade agreement are always good.
UC Berkeley Economics professor Robert Reich – Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor – wrote last month:
Suppose that by enacting a particular law we’d increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. But almost all that growth would go to the richest 1 percent.
The rest of us could buy some products cheaper than before. But those gains would be offset by losses of jobs and wages.
This is pretty much what “free trade” has brought us over the last two decades.
I used to believe in trade agreements. That was before the wages of most Americans stagnated and a relative few at the top captured just about all the economic gains.
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