Monday, November 06, 2006

Economics One A - for an Atlanta Columnist

Cynthia Tucker does not like globalization. In a column this morning she comments -

"Meanwhile, a more insidious force — globalization — has eaten away at our economic infrastructure. For 30 years now, global competition has been quietly gaining on us, melting the broad base that lifted so many Americans into the middle class. Steel mills are shuttered; textile plants have disappeared; domestic automakers are in their death throes.

Those lost jobs have not been replaced by work that pays as well or that grants health insurance and pensions. The unemployment rate — a low 4.4 percent — doesn't account for the fact that many of those jobs are at Wal-Mart and McDonald's."

I guess Ms. Tucker has not ventured outside her office in Atlanta to see all of the good benefits coming to Georgia from globalization. She certainly has not looked at any numbers.

After a lot of blather she concludes with "The war on terror is certainly important. But so is the war against economic decline, and we're losing that one." Ms. Tucker please go to Cafe Hayek and get the reading list. Read the books. Then look at the Dow. Understand that the ownership of equities in the last 30 years has increased dramatically. So, indeed, some old industries have declined. Although if you want to look at the auto industry here, don't look at Michigan, which has had a legacy of lousy public policy and some pretty lousy management, but look to South Carolina (are the textile jobs better than the jobs for BMW?), or Tennessee. Finally, she might look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It might be useful for her to bone up on her statistics too. She comments that the median income in the country is $46K - according to the census in 2003 she is about $20,000 low. But when you write like she does, facts do not count.

One of the benefits and one of the costs of a dynamic economy is that things change. But the evidence on globalization is that the changes have been more for the good than for the bad.

1 comment:

rodolfo said...

I bumped into this blowhard you might find interesting: