And : "Free trade agreements are licenses to engage in what used to be called "Labor Racketeering" Give the 6 month notice. Likewise notify the wto that we are out the door " Jolly Roger, in a comment to SleepinJeezus' blog today, "The failure of a thirty year experiment."
It's intuitively convincing, but in my particular case, FWIW supported by observations from the 20 years of my career which I spent in international business, usually living abroad, that John Maynard and Jolly Roger, are right.
In Keynes' case the quote was not a casual comment, assuming he ever made one, but, in testimony to a Depression Parliament, his formal renunciation of a position he'd brilliantly defended for 30 years. Then followed by his Finlay Lecture in Dublin.
Even if there is a respectable argument that free trade might benefit the world as a whole, that argument contains an unspoken qualilfier "of course things will be worse for the US, sorry about that, but it'll be great for Bangalore."
Uniquely, this country's spread over an entire continent and importantly over all the climate zones that matter (Canada's big too, but doesn't grow avacados), which means that if the rest of the Earth ceased trading with us tomorrow we could maintain our standard of living. And of course, that is not in prospect. Behind our tariff wall we could consider exceptions if we found we could not exist without, say, coconuts.
Future economically literate historians will shake their heads in wonderment that we chose to deprive ourselves of this privileged position by requiring a pattern maker in Utica to compete with the output of the most recent reservoir of starving workers located by the Free Market .
And spare me, Tom Friedman, the illusory prospect we can live by wits alone. Ultimately the ideas come from where things are made. It'll take a while but the rest of the world will have no more need for our management consultants than it does now for our call center operators.
The thing about tariffs is-they do the trick.