They will know less, though, about international trade and its value to American consumers, producers and economic health. In this, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama call to mind what the 19th-century House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed said of his foes: "They never open their...
Sadly it is impossible to speak rationally about foreign trade during an election, but it is quite possible to change the incentives that cause the problem in the first place. Romney promises to do so. Our current account deficit is caused by too little saving and too much spending and can be reversed. However the impact of trade on the rate of decline in marginal industries can be slowed down by deregulation and rational tax policy. Romney has said he will address both as priorities. Obama will do neither so that decline and stagnation will continue under Obama. Trade may then be an important source for demagoguery and accelerating special interest gifts and will help us decline even faster.
A national political campaign can be a good vehicle for educating the citizenry about vital issues -- whether fiscal balance requires tax increases, say, or the pros and cons of health care reform. By Election Day, Americans who have been paying attention will know more about such matters than they did when the race began.
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