Was it a free lunch for the 6 million who lost manufacturing jobs in the last decade when 50,000 U.S. factories disappeared? Has it been a free lunch for the American worker who has not seen a pay raise in four decades?
And what of the nation?
For decades, America has been de-industrializing, with manufacturing shrinking as a share of gross domestic product to 11 percent, from over 30 percent in 1950. Not since before the Civil War have we been so dependent on foreign goods for the necessities of our national life, including the national defense. Our independence is a thing of yesterday.
This was the predicted and inevitable fruit of globalization.
Is this good for America?
Perhaps if one is a believing globalist. Then, whatever the result of globalization, whoever the winners and losers, that is what is best, for a globalized world is the best of all worlds.
This, of course, is not patriotism talking, or the voice of wisdom born of experience. It is a recitation from the globalist catchism.
When the history of American decline is written, the historians will zero in on a choice the nation made, when the interests of Middle America collided with those of Corporate America.
Decades ago, America's great companies, having saturated the U.S. market, wanted to go out and capture the world's markets.
Free to move production out of the U.S.A., they wanted to be able to bring their products back to the United States, duty-free. Make them there; sell them here. And if the U.S. companies were to be allowed to produce and to sell in foreign countries, those countries wanted the right to dump their goods in the U.S.A.
And here is where the national interest and the interests of Corporate America diverged. Here is where what was good for the boardroom elite collided with what was best for Middle America.
And this conflict could not be reconciled. The party had to choose. And the party chose K Street over Main Street.
Free trade, the Kennedy Round of trade negotiations, the Uruguay Round, the Doha Round, NAFTA, GATT, the WTO -- what they all produced is a Magna Carta of the transnational corporation, which looks longingly to the end of nation-states and the arrival of world government.
Did the Republican songbirds of globalization not understand this?