Harold nails it here: “A great deal for international lawyers and investors — two groups of embattled U.S. proletarians who clearly needed our government’s help. “
So what gives with the American people? Don’t they realize, as my colleague Charles Krauthammer argued last week, “that free trade is advantageous to both sides”?
The sides to which Krauthammer referred, of course, are nations. But perhaps those who’ve experienced such free-trade consequences as factory closings and lower-paying jobs are thinking about two entirely different sides — capital and labor. Trade promoters cite David Ricardo’s 200-year-old assessments of trade’s benefits to nations, but skeptics can mine a rich vein of mainstream economics that demonstrates how trade deals can, and frequently do, benefit major investors at workers’ expense.
As a letter to The Post noted this week, future Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson wrote in 1955 that, under free trade, “national product would go up, but the relative and absolute share of labor might go down.” More pointedly still, another Nobel laureate, Bertil Ohlin, showed that as a…
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