Tuesday, February 26, 2008

For Democrats, No Idea Is Too Good To Bash

Back before she faced a challenger on her left, Hillary Clinton bragged about the success of free trade under her husband, Bill Clinton. But today, with Barack Obama taking the Democratic Party back to the halcyon days of McGovern and Mondale, she's all about hatin' the NAFTA, too.

The Natural Truth, as virtually every economist in the world will tell you, is that free trade makes more people more wealthy, and it has been a boon to the US economy.

Rich Lowry from National Review offers a few basic facts about NAFTA in his most recent column:

Since 1993, the U.S. economy has grown by 54 percent. The jobless rate has dropped from 6.9 percent in 1993 to 4.9 percent today. Manufacturing output has increased by 63 percent. Canada and Mexico are our first- and second-largest export markets, and U.S. merchandise exports to them have increased at a slightly faster clip than exports to the rest of the world.

A Canadian journalist also tries to help Barack Obama with his math:

Over the past 10 years, average real compensation paid to American workers has gone up by 22 per cent, according to a Washington-based policy think-tank called the Cato Institute. It also estimates trade accounts for only about three per cent of dislocated workers, far less than technology and other domestic factors. While 3.3 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last 10 years, there has been a net gain of 11.6 million jobs in better paying sectors.

And the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has said the combination of income gains and tariff reductions has provided the average American family with additional income of up to $930 a year.

And we're going to get RID of NAFTA? That's change, all right. From better to worse.