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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Don't let the facts get in the way, Greg
Outsourcing is the latest manifestation of the forces of free trade and increasing international specialization in production. We are all used to goods being produced abroad and transported here on ships or planes. We are less used to services being produced abroad and being transported here over telephone lines or the Internet. But the basic economic forces are the same.

An open world trading system is generally a positive contribution to economic prosperity. It increases living standards both at home and abroad. That is the reason the President has actively pursued trade agreements to open up markets abroad.

At the same time that we pursue a more open trading system around the world, we have to acknowledge that any economic change, including those that come from trade, can cause painful dislocations for some workers and their families. The goal of policy should be not to stop change but to ease the transition of workers into new, growing industries. The President's initiative to support education at community colleges is one example.

That's from Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Greg Mankiw in an "Ask the White House" chat session yesterday.

Mankiw provides no evidence for his absurd claim that "free trade" increases living standards at home and abroad. Go to Flint and say that. Or Juarez, for that matter. "Free trade" increases the wealth of the wealthy few and increases the poverty of the poor, and is murder on the environment. It's scary to think that this clown wrote one of the most-used college economics textbooks.