Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hillary's Magic Wand

My friend's support for Clinton encouraged me visit her site and poke around. While scanning the endless and all-too-familiar prattle of empty promises, I discovered a rather strange campaign promise of "ensuring our trade laws work for all Americans"

I don't think the former first lady realizes what a tall order that is. Freer trade will harm some farmers, steel workers, and other competitors of foreign imports. Protectionist policies will harm all other Americans. In competition, there must be losers.

Mrs. Clinton's efforts to retrain them does not make the issue disappear. If they wanted to be retrained, they would have quit long ago. If all that was stopping them was the $440 million she wants to send to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, then now the taxpayers are the losers.

Granted, it's not impossible for everyone to come out ahead in this match up. But given the uncertainty of finding a new job and constant calls for less trade, I wouldn't place money on this alleged Pareto improvement fulfilling its promise.

3 comments:

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Hillary's promise of "Trade Laws that work for ALL Americans" is a reflection of something called the "Lake Wobegon Syndrome" (from Garrison Keillor's community where "ALL the children are above average".)
In order to get a great price on an iPod made in China, U.S. producers of the same iPod will temporarily suffer losses. But the gain for the larger group is always greater than the losses of the smaller group. Otherwise, there would be no change.
There must be winners and losers in order to have progress. Otherwise, government would wind up paying for crops we don't need, all to prevent a few farmers from "losing".
Wait a minute....that's what we're doing now. Never mind.

Jenny said...

It wouldn't be a proper election without impossible campaign promises! ;)

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Yeah, but she could be more creative with the lies, couldn't she? Heck, she had 8 years of practice.