Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
My husband just sent me this link, describing why free trade is not only morally wrong, but bad for America:
DM thinks we should not apply a different set of standards to exchanges involving international trade than we do to those that are purely domestic. I agree! What I think he overlooks is that in fact we do encumber domestic exchanges with a lot of restrictions, and in some cases even outright prohibitions. […] The point is that restrictions do exist in domestic exchanges as well. Individuals are never completely free to sign certain contracts.
The reasons that we routinely restrict and regulate domestic exchanges are manifold. Sometimes we do so to uphold deeply held norms and values (as with anti-slavery laws). Sometimes we want to redress bargaining imbalances (as with a lot of labor legislation). Sometimes we worry about informational shortcomings (as with health and safety standards). When we try to disassociate international trade from such concerns, we in fact create a double standard: it is not OK for me to displace American workers by employing child labor at home, but it becomes OK for me to do the same by employing child labor abroad.
Right on. That is just the perfect explanation of why fair but open trade, not free trade, is the correct course of action.
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