Last night Kim and I went and saw Coldplay down in Connecticutt. They were quite good, although went pretty overboard with a political message about free trade. Chris had “Make Trade Fair” written on the side of his piano, and also on his left hand, so you could read it when they showed a camera shot of him playing. It was ridiculous. They even put up a maketradefair.com sign projected on the back wall of the auditorium. Now I’m all in favor of free trade, and I know some aspects of it are advocated on the fair trade website (dropping agrigculture subsidies, for example) but honestly, I don’t want my entertainers preaching to me. Thanks to the war issue, I’ll probably never see another George Clooney movie again (well, the war issue plus Solaris). Hey Hollywood, please do me a favor and shut up.
It’s amazing that some people are against free trade. In addition to making goods cheaper throughout America, it also provides much-needed jobs for people in other countries, and, in the process, frees Americans up to work in “better” industries, such as the technology sector.
Additionally, when certain claimed “sweatshops” are shut down, many of the workers that had worked there must turn to other professions, such as prostitution to support their families. Give me no bathroom breaks each day over prostution anyday.
I agree 100%. A book worth reading that talks about this is Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom. There is also a substantial impact (almost always negative) on the value of the US dollar when we try to hinder free trade.