Surprise! “Free Trade Agreements” Damage the American Economy

By James Matthew Wilson for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC

Devon, PA.  Paul Craig Roberts reports at The American Conservative the shocking news that a Nobel-prizing-winning economist associated with the Council on Foreign Relations has demonstrated the deleterious effects of “globalizing” “Free Trade” agreements on the American economy:

To find a Nobel prize-winner documenting the high cost of globalism to developed economies is extraordinary. For the Council on Foreign Relations to publish it suggests that the Establishment, or some part of it, suspects that its hubris has run away with its fortunes, and that different thinking is needed to restore the US economy.

We must be in a bad way if such persons (the CFR, et al.) are willing at last to admit the relevance of evidence so plain to nearly every American outside the beltway and uncontaminated by the coasts.  But the greater significance of Roberts’ essay is the empirical study that occasions it: numbers confirm the anecdotes, and the local instances of disappearing manufacturing jobs are documented as part of a macro-level trend.

With Republicans agitating to sell the country down the river to yet another set of “trading partners” (a relationship in which the amity is entirely one-sided), a move to which the Obama White House perfectly amenable (once the losers in the deal who are members of unions have received their compensatory kick-back, of course), we can look forward to a few more sprays of Pam to grease the slide into bankruptcy, unemployment, and the disappearance of what is left of the American middle class.  Not that these agreements will lead to South Korea, Panama, or Columbia’s feasting on our fruits: the real beneficiaries live here, in America, and you might even say they do business here, if you can all managing the off-shoring of the foundation and core of our economy “business” rather than pillaging.

If only a nation’s entire economy could consist of nurse practitioners putting bandaids on the thumbs of displaced workers, who have worked up some serious callouses sitting on the couch all week, flipping channels on their foreign-made flat screen!

I dream of the day when the Establishment might actually listen to someone like Tom Pauken, and we might see an American VAT function to the benefit of American manufacturing and the rebalancing of our exports with our imports.  If the Council on Foreign Relations will allow the truth to be spoken, anything is possible.

Read the whole report here.

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