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Republican Shocker: Free Trade's Not So Good After All
CNBC ^ | 10-4-07 | John Harwood

Posted on 10/04/2007 7:07:18 AM PDT by SJackson

I've seen a lot of opinion polling, but my jaw dropped when I saw this result from our special NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll of Republicans in advance of next week's presidential candidate debate sponsored by CNBC, MSNBC and the WSJ. By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is bad for the U.S. economy, a shift in opinion that mirrors Democratic views and suggests trade deals could face high hurdles under a new president.

Six in 10 Republicans in the poll agreed with a statement that free trade has been bad for the U.S. and said they would agree with a Republican candidate who favored tougher regulations to limit foreign imports. That represents a challenge for Republican candidates who generally echo Mr. Bush’s calls for continued trade expansion, and reflects a substantial shift in sentiment from eight years ago.

"It’s a lot harder to sell the free-trade message to Republicans," said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducts the Journal/NBC poll with Democratic counterpart Peter Hart.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: china; duncanhunter; freetrade; nafta; trade
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1 posted on 10/04/2007 7:07:21 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Why is this happening? With voters provoked for years by such figures as Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot, "there’s been a steady erosion in Republican support for free trade," former Rep. Vin Weber, now an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, told me yesterday.

Humor alert.

2 posted on 10/04/2007 7:12:29 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: SJackson

“By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is bad for the U.S. economy, a shift in opinion that mirrors Democratic views and suggests trade deals could face high hurdles under a new president. “

Just an other example of why I say the beast will be our next president.

This poll clearly didn’t include a lot of freepers.


3 posted on 10/04/2007 7:13:09 AM PDT by brownsfan (America has "jumped the shark")
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To: SJackson

We wont have to worry about that either way if Canada, Mexico and the USA become the “North American Union”.

We will have those trans continental toll “Corridors” and a common monetary unit and everything will be just fine.


4 posted on 10/04/2007 7:13:36 AM PDT by Dudoight
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To: SJackson
According to the Economist Goolsbee:

"60 to 70 percent of the economy faces virtually no international competition." America's 18.5 million government employees have little to fear from free trade; neither do auto mechanics, dentists and many others."

He also notes:

"that all imports are only 16.7 percent of the U.S. economy and imports from China are a small portion of all imports. Those from China amount to 2.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Mexico, he says, is genuinely stressed by China, whose exported products "overlap" with nearly two-thirds of Mexico's. China's exports overlap with 5 percent to 10 percent of America's economy.
5 posted on 10/04/2007 7:13:47 AM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Liberals want equality of outcome not equality of opportunity.)
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To: SJackson
Good, so called “free trade” is really just off shoring our manufacturing base to low wage, unregulated nations and then importing the products. Not at all good for our middle/working classes.
6 posted on 10/04/2007 7:18:46 AM PDT by jpsb
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To: SJackson
Six in 10 Republicans in the poll agreed with a statement that free trade has been bad for the U.S. and said they would agree with a Republican candidate who favored tougher regulations to limit foreign imports.

Perhaps Duncan Hunter's views would be of interest to 6 in 10 Republicans.

7 posted on 10/04/2007 7:20:22 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: SJackson

Free trade came to mean that the US would by and large open its markets while most of Asia did not.


8 posted on 10/04/2007 7:21:06 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: SJackson
Why is this happening?

Because people, some of them Republicans, have no understanding of economics.

9 posted on 10/04/2007 7:22:29 AM PDT by xjcsa (Hillary Clinton is nothing more than Karl Marx with huge calves.)
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To: jpsb
Not at all good for our middle/working classes.

Because our middle/working classes don't benefit from inexpensive imports. Got it.

10 posted on 10/04/2007 7:22:57 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Ignorance of the laws of economics is no excuse.)
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To: Mikey_1962

>> America’s 18.5 million government employees have little to fear from free trade; neither do auto mechanics, dentists

This maroon is an economist???

Building a vibrant economy on government employment, car repair, and dentistry is (shall we say) quite a challenge.


11 posted on 10/04/2007 7:22:59 AM PDT by Nervous Tick
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To: brownsfan

Why do you assume that freepers wouldn’t be involved in such a poll? Free trade is killing this nation. Fair trade could work but what is now passed off as free trade is a poison to this Democratic Republic.


12 posted on 10/04/2007 7:25:32 AM PDT by em2vn
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To: Nervous Tick

http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/austan.goolsbee/website/

Goolsbee graduated from Yale and earned his doctorate from MIT before coming to the University of Chicago’s business school, which gave to public life a giant of conservatism, George Shultz. The university’s economics department has been adorned by the likes of Milton Friedman, George Stigler and Gary Becker, each a Nobel laureate, each a conservative by virtue of his inclination to expect more utility from markets than from government interventions therein.


13 posted on 10/04/2007 7:26:27 AM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Liberals want equality of outcome not equality of opportunity.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

I’d rather buy a more expensive quality American made product than a cheap chicom made piece of crap that I have to replace every 6 months to a year when it breaks.

I remember when electric fans were made in the US, heck my dad still has some from back in the 60’s that still work. The cheap chinese made ones now die after about a year.


14 posted on 10/04/2007 7:26:41 AM PDT by hawkboy (Duncan Hunter '08!)
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To: Nervous Tick
Building a vibrant economy on government employment, car repair, and dentistry is (shall we say) quite a challenge.

Cuba have managed two out of three, and they have the best healthcare in the world.

15 posted on 10/04/2007 7:26:57 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: ClearCase_guy
Exactly!

The "free trade" snake oil salesmen were NEVER talking about the "fair trade" espoused by Ronald Reagan!

Free trade has meant we buy cheap goods from you while you can price our goods out of reach for your citizens or refuse them altogether.

That ugly reality has resulted in closed factories, shuttered up store fronts on Main Street and large big box stores selling cheap goods from third world countries using slave labor or worse yet, poisoned dog and cat foods, toys containing high lead contents that we don't allow our manufacturers to use but mostly government regulations that strangle our manufacturing base while we make our enemies rich enough to be building up their military to challenge our military superiority one day.

16 posted on 10/04/2007 7:27:04 AM PDT by zerosix
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To: Last Dakotan

>> Free trade came to mean that the US would by and large open its markets while most of Asia did not.

You got it.

Overall, I’m an open-markets proponent, but they really have to be open... on BOTH sides.

One-sided “free markets” are just another case of “Dudley DoRight” (aka Uncle Sam) bending over in naive good faith, so the world to have their way with us.


17 posted on 10/04/2007 7:27:11 AM PDT by Nervous Tick
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To: SJackson

I don’t know why this dude is shocked. Maybe he has polls over several years for comparison, but NAFTA was opposed by almost two-thirds of Americans. But “trade” is a misnomer for what is actually happening because all these nations we have agreements with have few products to sell us. We’re simply trading American jobs and production facilities for cheap labor and lax regulation where products will be produced and shipped to the US. Our trade deficit is fast approaching a trillion dollars annually.

Maybe the American people are contemplating this “trade” philosophy where the only value is the cheapest production cost.


18 posted on 10/04/2007 7:27:24 AM PDT by Will88
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To: SJackson
It's disturbing to me that so many otherwise liberty-loving conservatives are keen on the idea that the government should control who I can buy and sell with.

As with most subject, it is ignorance which spawns fear. Too many do not understand the laws of economics, so they fear them instead. What makes prices go up and down is a mystery to them, so it's treated like voodoo.

Every, and I mean every, voter should carefully read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell. This would go a long way toward shining the light of truth and reason on the subject of economics in voters' minds. Once the mechanisms of fixed economic reality are clearly understood, free trade is no longer the hideous monster it once appeared to be.

19 posted on 10/04/2007 7:29:21 AM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: facedown
Why is this happening? With voters provoked for years by such figures as Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot, "there’s been a steady erosion in Republican support for free trade," former Rep. Vin Weber, now an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, told me yesterday....Humor alert.

Determining what Republicans think by consulting non-Republicans. There's a lot of that going around.

20 posted on 10/04/2007 7:29:37 AM PDT by SJackson (isolationism never was, never will be acceptable response to[expansionist] tyrannical governments)
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To: SJackson

Free trade is not the issue, fair trade is, as Duncan Hunter likes to point out.


21 posted on 10/04/2007 7:32:28 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner ("Si vis pacem para bellum")
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To: Will88
Our trade deficit is fast approaching a trillion dollars annually.

Do I have a horrible "trade deficit" with the grocery store because I spend hundreds of dollars there every month without them buying a single thing from me?

The term "trade deficit" is deceptive, because it's not a deficit at all, any more than my fiscal relationship with the grocery store is.

22 posted on 10/04/2007 7:33:25 AM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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bump


23 posted on 10/04/2007 7:33:47 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: SJackson
Six in 10 Republicans in the poll agreed with a statement that free trade has been bad for the U.S. and said they would agree with a Republican candidate who favored tougher regulations to limit foreign imports.

Those who think foreign imports are so bad should simply stop buying them. They can buy only American-made goods—or do without.

Instead, they would have the government tell people what they may or may not buy.

24 posted on 10/04/2007 7:33:52 AM PDT by Logophile
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To: SJackson

It goes without saying that most Americans(Republicans included) don’t know a darn thing about economics. You don’t need a poll to tell you that. Haven’t you heard? “Those evil underhanded furriners are taking our jobs and destroying our manufacturing base.” Of course unemployment is low, our manufacturing output is higher than ever, and our GDP is monstrous, but that’s just silly economics.

We’ve all been through this right here literally thousands of times. Free traders can explain the benefits, post the numbers, and a month later the same exact posters will be back posting the same protectionist/socialist nonsense. It’s like the socialized medicine argument, all of the emotion is on one side of the equation and you have to argue uphill everytime it comes up.


25 posted on 10/04/2007 7:38:09 AM PDT by Blackyce (President Jacques Chirac: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.")
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To: SJackson; pissant; Ultra Sonic; Calpernia

Hmmmmmm. now what presidential candidate is MOST inline with this American Majority opinion....

Maybeeeeeeeeeeee....

DUNCAN HUNTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


26 posted on 10/04/2007 7:39:30 AM PDT by GulfBreeze (Support America? Then support Duncan Hunter.)
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To: em2vn

“Why do you assume that freepers wouldn’t be involved in such a poll?”

Because I’ve been here long enough to know that many, (most?), freepers believe in free trade as if it were a religion. Of course they want all their way. They want American protection for global endeavors.

I agree with you, fair trade is good, free trade, not so much.


27 posted on 10/04/2007 7:39:31 AM PDT by brownsfan (America has "jumped the shark")
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To: Nervous Tick

There are three categories:

1) those who benefit from free-trade;
2) those who are harmed by free-trade; and,
3) those who are essentially insulated from free-trade.

Don’t confuse category three (i.e., government workers and the service economy) with category one.

In category one are financial services, the info-tech industries, high-wage manufacturing (aircraft, industrial vehicles and equipment), agriculture, and our nation’s leading hospitals and universities. These are our sectors that sell goods and services to foreignors.

Another comment: I don’t know why this poll focuses on free-trade. Lower taxes, social securitiy privatization, education vouchers, medical savings accounts, and I can go on, in other words, support for the entire traditional Republican economic program is down.

Today, “conservative” means little more than being for war and against immigration.

Oh, and today, Republicans are losing elections.

I hope you guys are happy with socialism after Hillary is President and the Democrats have 60 votes in the U.S. Senate.


28 posted on 10/04/2007 7:40:50 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: xjcsa

I would submit to you that a lot of people who aren’t investors have been looking at their paycheck and realizing that all the airy-fairy promises of the economists about wage growth haven’t come true, and that what the Little General (Perot) said about wages did come true.

“Free trade” and WTO/GATT has resulted in bogus regulations of the EU being pushed down on American businesses, lawsuits filed in punitive actions against American companies while European violators go scot-free. Look no further than the crap being brought against Boeing and Microsoft, two of our largest exporters, even now.

The American people gave it a fair shot, free trade hasn’t produced what the proponents promised, fair shot is over. Economists need to either shut up or lose their jobs. Because when most Americans are wrong at work, they suffer some penalty.

Economists, however, are like government weather forecasters: they can be consistently wrong and they keep their jobs. That should change.


29 posted on 10/04/2007 7:41:30 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: Blackyce

Go to any Rust Belt city and you’ll be proven dead wrong.

Cities built upon manufacturing economies are dead. And you say that’s a good thing?


30 posted on 10/04/2007 7:41:38 AM PDT by jmyrlefuller (The Associated Press: The most dangerous news organization in America.[TM])
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The actual question.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ-POLL-20071003.pdf

10. Now I a going to read you two statements about foreign trade, please tell me which statement comes closer to your point of view.

Statement A: Foreign trade has been good for the U.S. economy, because demand for U.S. products abroad has resulted in economic growth and jobs for Americans here at home and provided more choices for consumers.

Statement B: Foreign trade has been bad for the U.S. economy, because imports from abroad have reduced demand for American-made goods, cost jobs here at home, and produced potentially unsafe products.

Statement A 32%

Statement B 59%

Some of both 6%

Neither 1%

Not sure 2%

31 posted on 10/04/2007 7:42:11 AM PDT by SJackson (isolationism never was, never will be acceptable response to[expansionist] tyrannical governments)
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To: TChris

“As with most subject, it is ignorance which spawns fear. Too many do not understand the laws of economics, so they fear them instead. What makes prices go up and down is a mystery to them, so it’s treated like voodoo.”

What drivel. I well understand “the laws of economics” except I think most would call them principles and theories. They’re hardly laws. You might consider the possibility that more Americans are becoming aware that we don’t have free trade, that particularly Asian nations intentionally keep their markets mostly closed while taking full advantage of the more open US markets. It’s been so for decades and they have no intention of changing. Many call it the “Asian model” for growth, and most nations follow it, which explains our ever expanding trade deficit.

But this entire so-called free trade based mostly on notions of comparative advantage assumes that the only value to be considered is the lowest production cost. Maybe that’s your only value, but not for a majority of Americans.

And we don’t have free trade with these agreements which require thousands of pages of description. Many industries are still protected in the US and Europe and most are still protected in other parts of the world.


32 posted on 10/04/2007 7:42:54 AM PDT by Will88
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To: xjcsa

right - is it “free trade” when both countries don’t import freely from one another with no penalty??

Can anyone convince me that this manipulation within the oil industry is “free trade?”

Is it “free trade” when so-called trade partners do not, and have no intention of honoring their part of the agreement, while the US keeps it?

Because the US has the largest and strongest economy in the world, the world feels it can rip off the US without any consequences - and do - and have throughout our lifetime.


33 posted on 10/04/2007 7:43:31 AM PDT by elpadre
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To: hawkboy
I’d rather buy a more expensive quality American made product than a cheap chicom made piece of crap that I have to replace every 6 months to a year when it breaks.

And you are free to do so.

34 posted on 10/04/2007 7:44:29 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Ignorance of the laws of economics is no excuse.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

“Because our middle/working classes don’t benefit from inexpensive imports. Got it.”

Well, I’d say they don’t benefit from imports that lack quality control.
I’d also say that if your $12/hr manufacturing job left for China, and you are now working for $8/hr in the service sector, the cheap goods don’t offset the loss.


35 posted on 10/04/2007 7:44:34 AM PDT by brownsfan (America has "jumped the shark")
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To: GulfBreeze; Ultra Sonic 007

I think you meant to Ping Ultrasonic007, not ultrasonic. Unless they are evil twins.


36 posted on 10/04/2007 7:45:06 AM PDT by pissant (Duncan Hunter: Warrior, Statesman, Conservative)
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To: Mikey_1962

Goolsby is way off the mark. Many jobs formerly handled by government workers ARE indeed being outsourced out of country.

One Small Example: Hundreds of County Clerks are sending original documents, copies and microfilm/fische oversees to be imaged onto CD/DVD. This is a task that could be handled with American companies or in-house staff.


37 posted on 10/04/2007 7:46:24 AM PDT by GulfBreeze (Support America? Then support Duncan Hunter.)
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To: Last Dakotan

Right— that’s my problem with it. FREE trade may be good, but what we have is the US following all the “rules” and everyone else not.


38 posted on 10/04/2007 7:46:44 AM PDT by I_like_good_things_too
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To: Last Dakotan

Right— that’s my problem with it. FREE trade may be good, but what we have is the US following all the “rules” and everyone else not.


39 posted on 10/04/2007 7:46:47 AM PDT by I_like_good_things_too
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To: Last Dakotan

Right— that’s my problem with it. FREE trade may be good, but what we have is the US following all the “rules” and everyone else not.


40 posted on 10/04/2007 7:46:52 AM PDT by I_like_good_things_too
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To: SJackson

Free trade would be great if there really was a level and fair playing field.

The problem is that in the US the American consumer has the money. His apatite for foreign made products and services are un-satisfyable, but abroad you’re dealing with consumers with lower disposable incomes in most the world; people who can’t afford expensive high end products. Then you have the nature of the American market, which is highly deregulated in areas that are in fact state run in many places; a deregulated airline, banking, even many city services etc. The “hands off” approach of our government is in stark contrast to others, who play games with pinning currencies, impose import restrictions based on bogus environmental, health, and other reasons, or who have hidden taxes on imports etc.; you don’t see these games being played by our government like elsewhere. Finally you have a very world open heterogeneous society that has no real preferences for US made products; the American consumer will buy what brings him the greatest bang for the buck at Wal-Mart or at a car dealership may that be a Hyundai or a TV made in China, while abroad you’ll see much more loyalty to nationally produced products.

The US has a sound infrastructure; we have a highly skilled labor force and indeed in some areas are number one in skill sets (IT, biomedicine, aerospace). We have a low tax burden, productivity is among the highest, labor laws are generally favorable to business, and the US has a culture that is Judeo-Christian (ethics/time sensitive etc.), yet we loose out in trade because it is frankly impossible to overcome the obstacles placed in front of US business abroad all awhile Americans want to continue to consume foreign made products. The Boeing-Airbus issue is a classic example of this. You have American private airlines buying an Airbus because they see a good deal and greater profit margins for them if they buy the Airbus, yet a Boeing product that beats out the Airbus product in Europe gets passed over because the state run airlines will buy the state built airplane, no matter what. Like the boarder and greater immigration issue in this country, trade and the problems associated with it are not new. Trade is generally positive and a win-win situation like immigration if done correctly. However, like the illegal immigration issue, where our government has failed the people and nation, the trade issues we face today are largely because of administrations past and present that do nothing to correct a large problem that is not pretty to fix, so the answer is to ignore it, like the illegal alien problems facing us.


41 posted on 10/04/2007 7:47:06 AM PDT by Red6 (Come and take it.)
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To: zerosix
That ugly reality has resulted in closed factories, shuttered up store fronts on Main Street and large big box stores selling cheap goods from third world countries

Also 4.6% unemployment and a $13.5 trillion GDP.

42 posted on 10/04/2007 7:47:16 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Ignorance of the laws of economics is no excuse.)
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To: TChris

“Do I have a horrible “trade deficit” with the grocery store because I spend hundreds of dollars there every month without them buying a single thing from me?”

You forgot to credit Milton Friedman for that silly quote.


43 posted on 10/04/2007 7:47:37 AM PDT by Will88
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To: Toddsterpatriot

In phony “services.”


44 posted on 10/04/2007 7:48:54 AM PDT by jmyrlefuller (The Associated Press: The most dangerous news organization in America.[TM])
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To: zerosix

Do you mean that we have 25% unemployment, people in bread lines everywhere, falling housing prices, and tent cities? I understand, you are talking about Michigan with the protectionist and monopolist unions.

Dynamic economies with less regulated trade are a bumpy ride. On balance, however, less regulated trade makes everyone wealthier in the long run. You do raise a good point about military power. Less regulated trade has enriched China, enabling them to pour money into military spending. As long as China does not make war on us or others, I do not see a problem if they want modernize their armed forces.

I agree that we should enact policies that make us more competitive by reducing wasteful regulations, lowering corporate taxes, enacting market driven energy policies, retioinalizing litigation policies, and so on. Unfortunately, we seem to be heading in the opposite direction of competitiveness if the dims grab control in 2008. Less regulated trade with anti competitive policies is a very bad combination.


45 posted on 10/04/2007 7:50:18 AM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: SJackson
Free trade IS good. What we have now is NOT free trade, but one sided crap deals that outsource our production capacity and hamstring new businesses access to markets.

The DOW looks great, if you are a multi-National. Looks like arse if you are a small player trying to gain market share or a middle income worker trying to find a job.

46 posted on 10/04/2007 7:51:39 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (What would a free man do?)
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To: Mikey_1962

>> Goolsbee graduated from Yale &etc

Yes, the man has impeccable credentials. And lots of em.

I recall that Anita Hill also had the Yale pedigree. But when she opened her mouth, she said things about Justice Thomas that I didn’t (and don’t) believe.

I don’t believe Goolsbee either. I don’t believe you can point to the unproductive class (government workers) and the service class (auto repairmen, dentists) and draw meaningful conclusions about whether or not trade policy is good or bad for the economy. That’s just a dumb argument, IMO.

I make my own mind up, free of the need to agree with him just because he has lots of degrees from places where other smart people have lots of degrees.


47 posted on 10/04/2007 7:52:45 AM PDT by Nervous Tick
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To: jpsb
“free trade” is really just off shoring

Off shoring and dumping. The effects of which are being covered up with massive debt because in reality the majority of Americans cannot truly afford the lifestyle they live.

48 posted on 10/04/2007 7:52:52 AM PDT by Realism (Some believe that the facts-of-life are open to debate.....)
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To: NVDave
and that what the Little General (Perot) said about wages did come true.

What did Perot say about wages?

The American people gave it a fair shot, free trade hasn’t produced what the proponents promised

Which promises did not work out?

49 posted on 10/04/2007 7:52:59 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Ignorance of the laws of economics is no excuse.)
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To: Redmen4ever

Your categories are not mutually exclusive. They are more like Venn diagrams, because everyone falls into category one. There may be some people that are also in category two, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t also reap benefits from free trade, too.


50 posted on 10/04/2007 7:53:39 AM PDT by Publius Valerius
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