Friday, March 30, 2007

250-year consensus on the benefits of trade

Donald Luskin today in National Review Online highlights the long consensus on the benefits of trade. All economists know the data make the case overwhelming - everyone can benefit from trade. Today’s best-selling college economics textbook, Macroeconomics by Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw, enshrines among the “ten principles of economics” the axiom that “Trade Can Make Everyone Better Off.” But now there are bold economists questioning the case. They just happen to be working for Democrat politicians who are "concerned" about American jobs being lost. While we have 4.5% unemployment, notice? Luskin has fun contrasting how the deniers of the benefits of trade are treated compared to anyone who questions the discovery 10 years ago of global warming caused by humans. But it's not fun at all.
Would Clinton and Obama have been “electrified” if Blinder had estimated that global warming will go away over the next decade or two? It’s doubtful.
A case in point: Last October, liberal senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to the CEO of Exxon Mobil urging him — one might say bullying him — to cut off his company’s funding of a “small cadre of global climate change skeptics,” to cease its “dangerous support of the ‘deniers.’” But when it comes to free trade, the liberals now in control of Congress are only too happy to support the deniers, whether or not they have Alan Blinder’s credentials. The hypocrisy is undeniable. To wit, when best-selling author Michael Crichton — who, as a trained doctor, at least has a background in science — questioned global warming while testifying before a Republican-chaired Senate committee, leftist bloggers dismissed him as an “egomaniacal ‘novelist.’”
Good work, Luskin.

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