July 4, 2016

GIVE THE PEOPLE THE DUMB AND DUMBER TICKET:

Bernie Sanders's Case Against Free Trade Is More Ignorant Than Donald Trump's (Jonathan Chait, 7/01/16, New York)

The argument for restricting this trade rests on protecting the interests of the working class in rich countries at the expense of the global poor who are taking their jobs. In an interview last summer, Ezra Klein pushed Sanders into more or less conceding that his trade plans would look out for American workers at the expense of poor workers overseas. "I think what we need to be doing as a global economy is making sure that people in poor countries have decent-paying jobs, have education, have health care, have nutrition for their people," Sanders replied, when asked how he would balance the two. "That is a moral responsibility, but you don't do that, as some would suggest, by lowering the standard of American workers, which has already gone down very significantly."

In his op-ed today, Sanders does not make the straightforward case that American trade policy should look out for American workers first and the rest of the world second. Instead, he argues that global trade is making the entire world poorer:

[I]t's not just the British who are suffering. That increasingly globalized economy, established and maintained by the world's economic elite, is failing people everywhere. Incredibly, the wealthiest 62 people on this planet own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world's population -- around 3.6 billion people. The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the whole of the bottom 99 percent. The very, very rich enjoy unimaginable luxury while billions of people endure abject poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care, education, housing and drinking water.

This is just wrong. The global rate of deep poverty is falling rapidly. Last year it dropped to below 10 percent for the first time in human history.
 
The gains among the global poor can be traced directly to increased trade. 

Posted by at July 4, 2016 6:06 PM

  

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