Friday, November 28, 2008

Drew Carey on free trade and innovation

When good economies go bad, otherwise intelligent people sometimes advocate stupid policies -- like protectionism. When the Great Depression set in, Congress pushed through a tariff bill, better known as Smoot-Hawley, inspiring a round of beggar-thy-neighbor trade policies that impoverished people at home and abroad. This was only one of a series of economic policies adopted during the 1930s that turned a nasty down-turn into a catastrophe that spanned longer than a decade, but it was an important blow against prosperity and common sense.

Since bad times seem to be here again, it's once again become popular to advocate the construction of an economic barrier around the United States. Free trade and innovation are out, protectionism and make-work jobs are in. Swimming against the tide in the following video from ReasonTV, Drew Carey makes the case for free trade and real jobs.

But remember, politicians are largely insulated against the consequences of their own policies. As a result, they usually advocate not what is smart, but what is popular. If foreigner-bashing becomes, once again, a national sport, expect free trade to go by the wayside -- along with jobs and income.



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