Tuesday, January 23, 2007

George Will almost gets it, as does Barney Frank

George Will had an interesting article where he describes Barney Frank, a lefty liberal Will would otherwise bitterly oppose, as being smart and shrewd:

(Frank) thinks he discerns cultural contradictions of conservatism: Some conservative policies — free trade and tax and other policies that (he thinks) widen income inequalities — undermine support for other conservative policies. When capitalism's "creative destruction," intensified by globalization, churns the labor market and deepens the insecurities of millions of families, conservatives should not be surprised by the collapse of public support for free trade and an immigration policy adequate to the economy's needs.

That is why, in spite of an economy that has been doing phenomenally well for the last few years (especially when you take the burdens of high oil prices and the global threat of terrorism into account), so many Americans are STILL edgy and anxious about financial matters. Sure unemployment is low, but changing jobs every few years and no longer having pensions and a certain career path IS very stressful.

Moreover, I have to admit much as I often loathe Barney Frank, when it comes to foreign trade policy, Barney Frank DOES have a point:

Frank's solution, "fair trade," is to use the threat of denying access to the American market to force less developed countries to adopt "minimal standards of civility," meaning more expansive — more American — labor rights and environmental protections. This is an economic version of George W. Bush's foreign policy. Bush's Wilsonian goal is "ending tyranny in our world." Frank's trade policy is "Wilsonianism without weapons."

Why DOESN'T the Bush Administration approach trade with potential adversaries like Red China the way it approaches military action against nations like Iran, anyway?

However, in his choice of words, George Will indicates that he clearly doesn't get it either.

An immigration policy "adequate to the country's needs"???

You mean one that imports an underclass of people who overwhelm the public hospitals and schools, lower the wages for the native born people who are just trying to get by in construction and service sectors, and bleed us dry in welfare payments, George?

Just so you can have a cheap labor force to remodel your estate, cut your grass and dig out your new swimming pool, George?

No comments: