incredibly stupid and banal editorial. It’s not really the content, which is your basic brutalist capitalism. It’s the tone. It is so condescending: workers, why are you complaining the “economy” is bigger, so what, if you’ve been discarded.
The point of the editorial is that free trade is good, because it makes the economy bigger and richer. Unsaid, of course is the problem of what happens to the discarded machine (read worker). Also ignored is the race to the bottom: lead in toys anyone (because of course, government regulation hinders free trade)? But the plutocrats get richer, and so we should all a happy.
What really gets me about the economist worldview is how simplistic it is. The world can all be broken down to mathematical formula. That may be true, but the laws upon which the economists are basing their formulas are not true. People are not rational, people do not always act in their best interest, people are not machines and need to survive when they’re not being used. Gravity is a law, rationality is wishful thinking. There is a difference.
Now this author didn’t talk about his loathing for government programs, government regulation, although the editorial is celebration of free trade, his mocking of workers looking for job retraining from the government leads one to believe that he is an ultimate free trader. However, oftentimes these people are among the first to call for government bailouts for banks, investment houses, brokerage firms, etc., because “we can’t let the economy fail.” (see Alan Greenspan over the past few weeks). Also these people seem to neglect other government functions that allow them their free trade. The largest part of the United States budget is the military. How do you think that we get our oil, paying for it in a free exchange? I laugh. It’s the threat of the Army.
Sorry I’m so angry that this has turned into more of a screed against this idiot than I would’ve liked. Later when I’ve calmed down, we can talk a little bit more about how bereft economics is. Economics wants to be a science. But economists don’t have any idea what science is. I guess that’s why they’re wrong about the big picture all the time. Perhaps their little formulas will answer the miniscule questions, but the world is far more complex and people are far more complex than that formulas allow.
In addition, people are not machines. People are human beings, people need to be treated with respect they deserve respect. When jobs are scarce. The question is not an economic question. The question is a community question, how can we keep this tribe this community together.
We’ve seen over the past decades with the free traders can give us. Jobs to China. Low quality and low safety of the merchandise. The rich get richer and the rest of us are one missed paycheck from oblivion.
The world is not a formula. It’s a living thing with billions of living people. It is communities. Yes, we should want to become as much as we can be, but it is not as much as is possible. It is as much as is possible, while retaining our humanity.