"Capitalism will never fail because Socialism will always bail it out."
- Nathra Nader
The Economic Populist
Hundreds of years ago the Incas would sacrifice virgins to appease their Volcano God.
The Gods and methods of sacrifice may have changed, but the tradition remains.
Like the Incas of old, we find ourselves helpless against forces we do not understand. The foundations of our economy shake and falter in terrifying ways.
In o The High Priests of Economics tell us that "globalization cannot be stopped," just like the wrath of the Volcano God. We've been told that there is no alternative to neoliberal globalization other than utter ruin.
The High Priests tells us that the destruction wrought by "Globalization is good" and should be embraced, and those that denounce multinational corporations are not just wrong, but dangerously wrong.
There is no shortage of politicians and media outlets who will tell you that free trade agreements are a "win-win" proposition, and that they will always create more jobs than they will destroy.
Yet history shows otherwise.ur desperation for answers we turn to High Priests of Economics who tell us these evils have befallen us because of our sins. We must sacrifice the innocent to the Volcano God or it will destroy us all.
The High Priests of Economics never explain exactly how these sacrifices will fix the economy, nor do they mention that the sins in question might be their own. Yet we still rush to offer up our children's futures through unpayable debts while never considering that there might be better alternatives.
A good example is NAFTA. Despite predictions that NAFTA would create 170,000 American jobs in just the first two years, Congress set up the NAFTA-TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) program for displaced workers. Between 1994 and the end of 2002, 525,094 specific U.S. workers were certified for assitance under this program. Because the program only applied to certain industries, only a small fraction of the total job losses were covered by this program.
And it wasn't just the wages of Americans that fell. The wages of manufacturing workers in Mexico have done nothing but go down in relative terms. In 1993, Mexican hourly compensation costs for production workers in manufacturing were 14.5% of those for their counterparts in the United States. By 2001 they had fallen to 11.5% of U.S. costs.
This shouldn't surprise anyone. David Ricardo, legendary economist and free-trade proponent, explained how this dynamic worked nearly two centuries ago.