Thursday, May 08, 2008

Panderer Population Explodes.

It's not just on oil prices that politicians are pandering, free trade is also coming in for a battering. Strangely enough despite the USA's image as being a right wing nation support for free trade has always been much lower than in the UK.

Despite this it seems that both Obama and Clinton believe in free trade, Obama believes it is one of the things that bitter small town like to attack whilst they cling to their guns and Hillary Clinton never opposed trade whilst her husband was signing NAFTA. In fact a belief in free trade is a core belief for the Clintons as Mark Steyn once put it:
With hindsight, Clinton had two bedrock convictions: he believed oral sex didn't qualify as adultery and he believed in free trade.
Hillary only agrees with Bill on one of those points I should add.

Obama's proposal is to offer:
a “Patriot Employers” plan that would lower corporate taxes for companies that did not ship jobs overseas. …Mr Obama’s plan would lower the corporate tax rate for companies that met criteria including maintaining their headquarters in the US, maintaining or increasing their US workforce relative to their overseas workforce, holding a neutral position in union drives among their employees and providing decent healthcare
Right, aside from being unworkable shouldn't he also be demanding that foreign companies stop creating jobs in the US if he wants to be consistent? In fairness there is one exception to the list of countries that Obama wants to stop the United States trading with, Cuba.

Hillary on the other hand.... oh hang on, she's toast now so there's no need to consider her pandering at all.


JuliaM said...

"Hillary on the other hand.... oh hang on, she's toast now.."

Oh, not quite. It isn't over until the wiry lady sings...

She has plenty of damage left in her - for her own party.

TDK said...

Strangely enough despite the USA's image as being a right wing nation support for free trade has always been much lower than in the UK.

I don't think right-left divisions are much indication of free trade support. The Corn Laws were created by a Tory government. When Peel (a Tory) abolished them it caused a realignment in British politics. Free traders in both Tory and Whigs regrouping as the Liberals. Mercantilists forming the Conservative Party under Disraeli.

Socialists of the day thought repeal marked the culmination of the struggle between the rising Capitalist class and the traditional landowners. Marx wrote But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.

Thus the Liberal left (ie. many on the right today) was ideologically in favour of free trade. The Socialist left was in favour as a means to progress the inevitable triumph of socialism; whilst the right (ie the landowning classes) were against free trade.

I don't think the positions have really changed. The EU is a protectionist racket. Those on the right who oppose the EU are freetraders. Those who like the EU are mercantilists. Interventionists are inherently anti-free trade. They no longer believe in the end of Capitalism but they imagine that benign philosopher kings can control it from the centre.

TDK said...

Erm -- wrong link

This is the right one. Not that I think it worth quoting, but the left has always had an ambiguous relationship with protectionism.

Ross said...

TDK that is a good point. Although I think Marx only viewed free trade as a necessary step on the way to communism.