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Ned Lamont and the future of Trade
Greg Manciw, an economist at Harvard, runs an intriguing blog on matters economic. He holds his lofty position, at least in part, because of he quit / was pushed from his previous role as Chairman of the President's council of Economic Advisors. This happened after some some heretical thoughts on outsourcing; heretical in the sense that most sane economist's completely agreed with him. (NDN's Rob Shapiro has often notes that this administration doesn't have a serious economist anywhere near the leavers of power so Manciw might not regret his decision much.) Anyway, today Manciw is found musing about what New Lamont's jobs policy tells you about the direction the Democratic party has been taking on trade issues.
This rhetoric scares me. Wages, benefits, and labor and environmental standards are primarily a function of the level of economic development. Complaining about poor countries' low wages and benefits is essentially blaming the poor for being poor.....Demanding "strong standards" can easily become an excuse for imposing trade restrictions, which will only improvish the world's poor even further, as well as denying Americans the benefits of globalization.
Say what you want about Joe Lieberman, but he managed to combine two things that the Democratic party today finds difficult: a strong record on labor issues, with a recognition that open trade benefits the American people. This record makes the task for the mid-terms - and lets put Mr Lamont to one side for moment - clear, but very tough. Democrats must make an issue out of stagnant wages for working people, but not do so in such a way that portray global trade as a pantomime villain. Sadly, not even Tradesport seems able to give these odds.