Stupid is as Stupid Does
"The Fair Trade Challenge to Embedded Liberalism"
Sean Ehrlich, International Studies Quarterly, December 2010, Pages 1013-1033
Abstract: The embedded liberalism thesis, a major component of the trade policy literature in political science, argues that governments can build support for free trade by compensating economically those hurt by trade, usually with welfare or education policies. This strategy depends, though, on opposition to trade being driven by employment factors, such as job or income loss because of increased competition. The current fair trade movement raises many non-employment criticisms of trade such as concerns about the environment and labor standards but the literature tends to treat these concerns as traditional protectionism in disguise. This article argues, instead, that for many, these concerns are sincere and that this presents a growing challenge to the compromise of embedded liberalism. The article demonstrates this by examining survey data in the United States and showing that those who support fair trade tend to have characteristics that are opposite those who support economic protection.
A clear problem with democracy. Idiots who are racist or homophobic get to decide employment and marriage policy. And idiots who have no idea how an economy works get to regulate the economy. Democracy is overrated.
(Nod to Kevin Lewis)