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« Madison Park murder | Main | More trade »

Nov 10, 2006


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chip atkinson

I wonder if this area of politics is even noticed by voters. I don't disagree with its importance, but I think of a defining issue as one that carries political capital.

Ed Cone

Voters don't necessarily think about it in macro, NYT columnist terms...but they damn sure notice that their jobs have gone to China and they aren't keeping up with a supposedly robust economy. See the post above this one for a more grassroots version of the same idea.

John Burns

Notice how no matter what happens, Friedman believes it verifies his thesis?


Gosh....wonder who was in control when all this started? Maybe we should look backwards to the late 90's.... What years did textiles die in America?

My personal opinion....government should stay clear of free enterprise and let the planet Earth become flatter with regard to commerce.

I do believe that China should recognize intellectual property rights and should be penalized if they continue to ignore this one area.


"I do believe that China should recognize intellectual property rights and should be penalized if they continue to ignore this one area."

It sure helps them "to compete for white-collar and blue-collar jobs once reserved for the developed world" when they ignore things like that, doesn't it?

Regarding this:

"Will they use it as an excuse to avoid doing the hard things, because it’s all just China’s fault, or as an excuse to rally the country.......to make the kind of comprehensive changes in health care, portability of pensions, entitlements and lifelong learning to give America’s middle class the best tools possible to thrive?"

...I think Friedman's off base, for a number of reasons.

Ed Cone

Textiles left the American South for the same reason they came here from New England more than a century ago -- the industry is the spearpoint of industrializaiton and follows low labor costs. The decline of the industry in this region was inevitable, given any semblance of free global trade, and in terms of employment owes as much to technology as to offshore manufacturing.



I hear you. What are some examples that do not follow low labor costs?

Do you have an opinion as to what the US should have done, be doing or needs to do?



How we deal with globalization is the biggest economic issue we face. It's a defining issue not only for Democrats. My hope is that people on both sides of the aisle listen to and heed what our current Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, has to say on the issue.

Ed Cone

Meb, labor costs might matter less when they are a lower proportion of total cost, and matter more when the jobs are relatively low-skill and easily transferable. In a global economy, though, continuous innovation and improvement are probably necessary to maintain a business -- and even then particular jobs may not be safe, as shown by the example of technology in textiles.


My two cents---Let the world evolve and free enterprise will work.

The transistion is already fairly far along. Let it run it's course.

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