Free trade petition

by on March 20, 2009 at 6:45 pm in Economics | Permalink

From the Atlas Foundation, I do not usually sign petitions but in this case I made an exception.  They are looking for other economist signers and there are instructions at the link.  Please consider helping them out.

Addendum: Related only by topic, here is a very interesting post on shrinking global trade.  Very scary.

1 Harkins March 20, 2009 at 6:53 pm

A petitition for free trade from the Economist’s Union? Please.

2 lark March 20, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Should I sign this petition?

As a way to express solidarity with all those economists who have been in the forefront of programs to support American workers in the face of globalization pressures? You know the drill: wage insurance, portable benefits, re-training.

Sure! I know you guys care about us, the little guy, and that’s why you advocate for globalization’s losers as well as winners.

NOT.

Sign this petition? No way!

3 kebko March 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm

That must be an incorrect link in the related story because it wasn’t very interesting, and it wasn’t about shrinking trade, except for simply proposing that what goes up must come down. Even if trade decreases, wouldn’t it be just as well if the drop in production fell more on foreign producers? Then the dislocations of the recession wouldn’t fall as hard on Americans, we wouldn’t tend to blame imports for the losses as much, and people wouldn’t insist on the government passing a bunch of hastily drawn nonsense (although the horse is already out of the barn on that one, I suppose.)
And, the speculation on the article just seems to be that if it has gone up a lot, it has to go back down. Shouldn’t we expect significant secular growth in trade with emerging economies & decreasing communications costs? The amount of electronic data storage produced has also skyrocketed in the past 8 years. Are we due for a data storage bust?

4 q March 20, 2009 at 8:07 pm

“I know you guys care about us, the little guy, and that’s why you advocate for globalization’s losers as well as winners.”
Globalization clearly creates more winners than losers. Whether or not losers should be given some of the surplus is beside the question. Also, the little guys have been the winners, not the losers.

5 kebko March 20, 2009 at 8:13 pm

That must be an incorrect link in the related story because it wasn’t very interesting, and it wasn’t about shrinking trade, except for simply proposing that what goes up must come down. Even if trade decreases, wouldn’t it be just as well if the drop in production fell more on foreign producers? Then the dislocations of the recession wouldn’t fall as hard on Americans, we wouldn’t tend to blame imports for the losses as much, and people wouldn’t insist on the government passing a bunch of hastily drawn nonsense (although the horse is already out of the barn on that one, I suppose.)
And, the speculation on the article just seems to be that if it has gone up a lot, it has to go back down. Shouldn’t we expect significant secular growth in trade with emerging economies & decreasing communications costs? The amount of electronic data storage produced has also skyrocketed in the past 8 years. Are we due for a data storage bust?

6 kebko March 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I hope that having a quadruple post that is a little bit snarky signals credibility.

7 Manuel March 21, 2009 at 7:07 am

If you want to become really scared about global trade -and the infrastructure that sustains it- do a little bit of research on the shipping sector (focus on the container and dry bulk; oil tankers are also doing awful but the declines in the other two sectors are far higher)

8 save_the_rustbelt March 21, 2009 at 9:33 am

I’m still waiting for the end of tenure and the resulting free trade in professors.

I’ve had some terrific profs from India, Korea, China, etc.

Perhaps we can bring down the high cost of a college education.

9 Michael Bishop March 21, 2009 at 11:30 am

Why not sign petitions one agrees with?

10 Mick March 21, 2009 at 7:54 pm


I’m still waiting for the end of tenure and the resulting free trade in professors.

Professors are National Treasure and tenure is an issue of National Security.
Got to keep it.

11 Steve Sailer March 22, 2009 at 4:50 am

“Send the cheap goods, but don’t send the cheap labor, even when a million jobs pay so little no US citizen will do them…?

And why don’t those jobs pay enough that no US citizen will do them? Somehow, I suspect that supply and demand is involved …

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