A comment I left, to this post at Eschaton:
Free-trade economists seem to ignore a very basic rule — supply and demand. If you have a free market in JOBS, in a world with hundreds of millions of unemployed, then NECESSARILY wages must fall to the point where enough people starve off, and the remaining people work for a subsistence-only wage! DUH!
We MUST impose policies that increase wages, not decrease wages. We MUST require tariffs on imports to protect wages here. The POINT of those tariffs is to pressure those countries to PAY THEIR WORKERS MORE SO THEY CAN BUY THINGS WE MAKE, TOO! Otherwise we are NECESSARILY in a “race to the bottom.”
Mexico has been losing jobs to Vietnam. Vietnam is losing jobs to China. Even India is losing jobs to China. And in China you are put in jail if you try to form a union.
Yes, one day things WILL even out — but not in our lifetimes, and not, at this rate, with an INCREASE in the living standards. They will even out at the bottom unless governments intervene with regulations that INCREASE wages.