Globalization and You

Tuesday, the House is expected to vote on HR 3920: The Trade and Globalization act of 2007. Like George Costanza deconstructing the word manure, the innocuous title belies the more sinister aims of the bill. HR 3920 intends to expand the original Trade Adjustment Agreement of 1974 (aimed at helping those in the textile industry with some money and retraining since their jobs went overseas) to include those in the service industry.

The bill would give workers rendered unemployed by free trade and capitalism (approximately a whopping 3% of those that lose their jobs) 2 1/2 years of unemployment benefits and job training. The bill also includes neat provisions for government workers ("Government workers?" yes. Like you, I laughed at this at first, but then began to wonder whether this might really be a prophetic inclusion?) who might lose their jobs in this brave, new globalized world, and extends benefits to workers who lose their job because their spouse gets a new job and they move, or a worker who quits their job to stay home with an ill spouse. With no illness delineations, this could be anything ranging from a migraine to a spontaneous splenectomy.

While the noble ideals the bill tries to embody are quite nice – giving a leg up to those tech support or telemarketers (and we are so very, very sorry to see a telemarketer go) who see their jobs go oversees, there are people who might wish to be spared the bill’s efforts to help "those affected by globalization [to] overcome its challenges and succeed." People in China who use the internet. A Czech student indulging in McDonald’s. A Korean businessman wearing jeans on casual Friday.

Economic freedom benefits everyone, giving untold millions access to ideas, jobs, and goods they could only imagine otherwise.

Hopefully, Congress will take this to heart and pass more useful legislation that does not require more government and more taxes, but instead promotes freedom like the upcoming Peru Free Trade Agreement. If it doesn’t get bogged down in labor and environmental concerns, basic economics dictates we should see cheaper llamas on the market (a huge benefit surprisingly unrecognized in the Heritage article).