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View Diary: On Trade, A Stark Difference Between Edwards And Obama (198 comments)

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  •  Oh, and... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I know that the issue is more complicated than I'm making it. And that Tasini correctly points out the significant non-monetary costs involved.

    Still, just would like to see Dems take a more global, populist approach (ironically, given Edwards' position!) on free trade.


    by OutOfManyOne on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:58:19 PM PST

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    •  It is the global populist approach (8+ / 0-)

      Populist is in direct contradiction to corporatist. So-called "free trade" is about corporate rights, not what i would call progressive populism. And that's why Edwards is right.

      •  Free trade isn't just about corporate rights (0+ / 0-)

        It's about maximizing economic conditions.

        Deadweight loss is a pretty good analogy, imo. Though it's great for companies, it's bad for consumers.

        Minimizing deadweight loss should be a goal of economies. It's inherently good for everybody, and it creates (or anyway allows) greater aggregate production capability.

        Same with free trade

        Free trade creates lower prices for goods (good for everybody). It increases choice for companies (a good thing TO A DEGREE :), which in turn lowers prices. It frees up workers to that productivity spreads to other fields, increasing an economy's dynamicism and flexibility (also a good thing).

        The problem with free trade is that it leads quickly and easily to abuse of workers, abuse of capital ownership (and lack thereof), infringement of human rights, living conditions etc etc.

        We all know the ugly crap free trade can result in.

        But that's where education and correct (restrictive!) legislative controls come in. None of that ugly stuff is preventable except through law and enforcement of law. Free markets, by nature, tend toward abuse of everyone who isn't a corporate owner.

        However, too often, I see arguments like the one above that conflate legislative / economic control problems with the results of a (too) free market.

        Free trade, if done poorly -- too few/impotent/unenforced legislative controls -- increases corporate rights at the expense of consumers and workers.

        But free trade, if done RIGHT -- alongside aggressive trust-busting, low(est) barriers to entry, steep tax scale, etc -- is best for everybody.


        by OutOfManyOne on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06:45:07 PM PST

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