Caring About the World’s Poor

by Don Boudreaux on July 15, 2009

in Trade

In his column in today’s Washington Post, Harold Meyerson rightly applauds the fact that Robert Rubin is “concerned with the world’s poor.”  But I wonder if Meyerson himself gives a damn about the world’s poor.

In many of his columns Meyerson argues against free trade.  He does so because it obliges high-wage Americans to compete against low-wage foreigners, and thus allegedly puts downward pressure on Americans’ wage rates.  Forget that neither theory nor data support Meyerson’s claim about trade’s effect on high-wage Americans.  If Meyerson himself were truly concerned with the world’s poor, he would unconditionally support free trade – a proven means for raising the wages of low-wage foreign workers.


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