Saturday, April 12, 2008


Free Trade

I've got an honest question for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: do you either of you believe in free trade? It has been absolutely hilarious to see Senator Clinton run from her husband's NAFTA legacy. Or Barack Obama and the Canadian controversy.. or Clinton and Penn in Colombia.

There is very little doubt in my mind that people in the Rust Belt have been hurt by free trade... at the same time, does anyone actually believe these people weren't already on the downturn before free trade? I mean lets be honest, its been called the rust belt for a reason. The place has been rusting since the early 70's, if not before. Jobs have been going overseas, but more than that, companies overseas have learned to produce goods better than we have. Sure, trade deals have sped up the outsourcing process and driven down wages. But, this would have happened anyway... just in slower motion. No, I don't believe any presidential candidate will win a contest in this country arguing that the free market has the magical answers. Only a true economist could believe it. But the idea that these blue collar jobs will be magically in American for forever is a joke. We are just delaying the inevitable.

The point I'm trying to make is that we need to put away our tools that we use with our hands and take out the tool we use with our mind (to butcher the lines from Primary Colors). We need to go back to school. WE need to spend on education. We need to invest in our college system. To make people in the Rust Belt believe their jobs are coming back is a joke. Sure, some may come back... for a little while. But at the end of the day, we need to catch up to the times.

Its easy to pander to the folks in Penn, Ohio, and Michigan (they are the states I believe will determine this election).

Its harder to tell the truth.

*This post was directed at the Rust Belt in particular... manufacturing jobs in the US still remains strong.
** I'll get on McCain... don't you worry.

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