Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Is Free Trade Good?
A response to a letter to the editor in the Oregonian today: It has been 40 years since international trade was profitable for the United States. Repeated trade deficits have been in the papers and on the news for my entire life. America holds $16 Trillion in consumer and governmental debt on a GDP of only $13.5 trillion. Suzanne Bonamici gets that- John Wilkins does not. He repeats David Ricardo's Comparative Advantage theory- that while America could make everything we need right here in the United States, it's better to import cheaper goods from elsewhere. That mathematical model may be sound- but it has not matched reality in 40 years, and because of it we have a permanent 10% unemployment rate, invasive species ruining our waterways and farmland, and greater debt. I would much rather have a Tesla Motors factory here, and have Intel make my cell phone from the atom chip up to the Meego operating system, than continue to live with the problems of International Trade. Restrict trade down to just intellectual property, and stop wasting energy to ship matter internationally.