Against trade wars as class wars

Debates between free-traders and protectionists routinely devolve into competing variations of class warfare – each claiming the cause of the “common man” against a wealthy and entrenched elite. Whereas protectionists argue that trade liberalization primarily benefits the rich, displacing disproportionate numbers of working-class employees, free-traders rush to the defense of working-class consumers, whose pocketbooks are undoubtedly harmed by tariffs and restrictions. Continue Reading...

Why capitalism is worth conserving

Amid the waves of populism and protectionism sweeping across the American Right, capitalism has become a favorite target of many prominent conservatives, blamed for the decline of religion, the demise of the family, and the erosion of civil society. Continue Reading...

When cronyism meets ‘creative destruction’

Amid rapid globalization, Americans have faced new pressures when it comes to economic change, leading to abundant prosperity, as well as significant pain and disruption across communities. In search of a villain, populists and progressives routinely blame the expansion of free trade and rise of global conglomerates, arguing that entrenched and moneyed interests are now allowed to run rampant from country to country with little competition or accountability. Continue Reading...

‘American Factory’ manufactures a lemon

(Feb. 12, 2020) Update: American Factory wins an Oscar for best feature documentary. In accepting the award, co-director Julia Reichert told attendees at the awards ceremony, “We believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite.” Continue Reading...

Boris Johnson: ‘Free trade needs a global champion’

In the immediate aftermath of the historic vote for Brexit, many cheered Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, hailing it as a win for freedom, democracy, and subsidiarity. Yet others were quick to claim the move was driven only by populist fear and an inward-looking protectionism. Continue Reading...