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Against trade wars as class wars




A new study dispels the myth that “trade wars are class wars,” and, in doing so, reminds us of the social harmony and interdependency that free trade helps to provide.

Debates between free-traders and protectionists routinely devolve into competing variations of class warfare – each claiming the cause of the “common man” against a wealthy and entrenched elite.

Whereas protectionists argue that trade liberalization primarily benefits the rich, displacing disproportionate numbers of working-class employees, free-traders rush to the defense of working-class consumers, whose pocketbooks are undoubtedly harmed by tariffs and restrictions.

“The D.C. trade debate often devolves into a typical (and admittedly boring) ‘jobs versus consumables’ choice, with advocates for each side predictably sticking to their preferred positions,” writes Scott Lincicome of the Cato Institute. “As usual, however, this framing is far too simplistic.”



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  1. Dan, with respect to social welfare programs, it’s where the national GOP should move.
    The future of the GOP is culturally conservative and fiscally liberal.
    With the 10-year Treasury at 1.21%, it’s political malpractice to call for entitlement “reform”, as clueless “GOPers” like Romney have done.