Walter E. Williams

This has more to do with technological innovation than outsourcing. It's a worldwide phenomenon. Since 2000, China has lost 4.5 million manufacturing jobs compared to the loss of 3.1 million in the U.S. Nine of the top 10 manufacturing countries, who produce 75 percent of the world's manufacturing output (the U.S., Japan, Germany, China, Britain, France, Italy, Korea, Canada, and Mexico), have lost manufacturing jobs, Italy being the exception. Because of technological progress, manufacturing output has risen while manufacturing employment has fallen.

I'm one of those whom Pat calls "robotic free-traders." That might be another label for those of us who support peaceable, voluntary exchange, and I plead guilty. Buchanan, like so many others, points to the government subsidies and tariff protections given to businesses in other countries, a practice from which we can't plead complete innocence. Protectionists call for "free trade but fair trade." They call for a "level playing field."

In effect, they're saying that if other governments rip off their citizens with business subsidies and import duties, forcing them to pay higher prices, our government should retaliate by using the same tools to rip off its citizens.

The next time I see Pat, I might ask him what he would do if we both were at sea in a rowboat and I shot a hole in my end of the boat. Would he retaliate by shooting a hole in his end?


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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