Free Trade: Who is it Good For? – Learn Liberty

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Who does free trade help? Who does it hurt? And does it destroy jobs? Prof. Deirdre McCloskey breaks it down for you.
Learn More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEbdg…

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LEARN MORE:
Explaining the Protectionist Instinct (blog post): Professor Don Boudreaux argues that fear of free trade is actually a fear of solving scarcity. http://www.learnliberty.org/blog/expl…
Free Trade Brings Abundance — Protectionism Brings Scarcity (blog post): Frank Hollenbeck explains why free trade is good for America http://www.learnliberty.org/blog/free…
Make Progress, Not Work – Econ Chronicles – Learn Liberty: Professor Bryan Caplan argues that we shouldn’t judge the economy on the number of jobs there are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEbdg…

TRANSCRIPT:
Deirdre M.:
You can’t get a better deal than, more or less, free trade. That’s where we’ve moved. I mean, after the war every country was protectionist. There were no free trade countries. Even the old free trade company Britain had long since 30 years before become a protectionist country.
Since then, we’ve been moving steadily towards free trade and it’s been very good for the poor of the world. This idea that the poor made worse off by free trade is just lunacy.

Dave Rubin:
Interesting.

Deirdre M.:
It’s a wage per what you can get with the wage is the key point. What you can get with a wage has steadily increased even though you’ve heard people say, “Oh, things are getting worse.” No, they’re not.

Dave Rubin:
Yeah.

Deirdre M.:
The sky is not falling. Manufacturing jobs in the United States peaked in 1977. They’ve been going down ever since. Why? Is it because of China, Mexico? Not much. That’s maybe 10% of the loss jobs. The jobs are being lost either to other Americans moving to California or Texas, especially in Texas, or to automation. Just as you said the store, the bricks-and-mortar store for Amazon has no people in it.

Dave Rubin:
Yeah.

Deirdre M.:
Well, that’s what’s happening and that’s a good thing not a bad thing. The purpose of the economy is not to make jobs. Jobs are infinite. We can make construction workers use teaspoons instead of shovels and that will make for more jobs.

Dave Rubin:
Right.

Deirdre M.:
The purpose of an economy is to get more goods and services, so that we have the leisure to pursue our hobbies and to educate ourselves. Suppose we just cut off foreign trade entirely. I know that’s not his proposal, but suppose we just walled off the United States. Well then, every American would be poor, every single American.

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