A Fate Worse Than Deficits

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Those alarmed by the U.S. trade deficit should be heartened by the latest figures from the Commerce Department: that deficit shrunk by a healthy 5.5 percent in October. According to this Reuters report, analysts (though not the Commerce Department itself) credit October's West Coast port lockout for this salubrious turn of events. Remember how great that was, when Americans couldn't get the products they wanted to buy from overseas? How much it improved the economic outlook for our nation? Perhaps there might, after all, be more important things than lowering mostly meaningless "trade deficit" figures.

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  1. I know that trade deficits are meaningless and you know that trade deficits are meaningless, but try telling that they the guy who can’t even afford Chinese-made Christmas presents because his job moved to Shenzen.

    It’s hard to be a Free Trader when your job just moved to Bangalore.

  2. To listen to guys like John (above), you’d think none of us have jobs, and if we do, we’re all working for poverty wages.

    So who’s spending all this money. Around Milwaukee here, you can’t get a house for under about a quarter mil and they’re not on the market long enough for the sign to get dirty.

    I’m thinkin’ the guy whose job ran off to Bangalore wasn’t paying attention when the handwriting was on the wall.

  3. If your job can be done just as well or better by a poorly educated guy who may be the first generation of his family not to work on a farm, then you should probably try to find a better job.

    Why should we try to force some poor guy who’s trying to get away from subsistance farming suffer just because we don’t want to continually improve our skills and keep abreast of changes in the marketplace?

  4. ‘It’s hard to be a Free Trader when your job just moved to Bangalore.’

    I wasn’t aware losing a job due to foreign competition made you permanently unemployable.

  5. John’s comment reminds me of a debate I had with a co-worker who insisted that if the goverenment didn’t legistlate otherwise the “evil corporations” would leave the nation and take the the jobs with them. I pointed out to him as long as there are people and as long as there are markets there will always be jobs and businesses. Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does economics.

    I didn’t convince him, and he went on a tirad about out “capitalist exploitation.”

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