Why we need more trade not less
Since the 1970 wages for the poorest Americans have been flat or slightly negative. The left blames greedy capitalist and the right blames welfare and single families. But they are both wrong, basically pre 1970 US industry did not have to compete with the world so they could increase prices every year and unions could shake them down for increased wages and everyone was happy. Well things have changed Japan makes electronics, China Happy Meal Toys, and Mexico XBOXES.
And this has been great for poor people in America. Walk through the inner city. Wages might be the same as 1970 in real dollars but those dollars by a lot more stuff. Cell phones, cable TV, computers, internet, new clothes so cheap that there in no point in buying used.
But then you read a book like "Nickled and Dimed
" and you get 221 pages of sob story about how being poor is America is horribly unlivable and unjust. But any reading of her actual experienced without her editorial you can come to only one conclusion the cost of housing has become to high for the renting poor to afford.
So you get this paradox of the poor being able to buy anything that is produced by international trade where there is real competition and innovation driving down cost while products without real competition like housing and medical care the prices have continued to increase in the pre 1970's manner and have become to expensive for the poorest.
So when I say we need more trade I am using it as a shorthand to say we need more competing especially in the basic services that the poorest need like education (bankrupting local governments), housing and medical services.
Iraqi "Debt Relief" is a way to buy off France, Russia and Germany
Why are France, Germany and Russia so happy to give debt relief because they could be paid off with as much as 35 cents on the dollar on debts that the new Iraq would never had paid since Saddam debt was odious debt. Expect the anti-Bush rhetoric to lesson as the big three realize they are making out like bandits. Lets hope the Iraqis don't' realize they are being screwed.
More on odious debts
. And here