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Caring About the World’s Poor

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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