"WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration decided Friday that it will impose a quota on sock imports from China -- the latest round of an increasingly bitter trade dispute with Beijing -- showing a willingness to protect American workers ahead of the election.
Trade has become a hot issue on the campaign trail with President Bush, an unrepentant free trader, accusing his Democratic opponent John Kerry of being an "economic isolationist." Mr. Kerry has countered that Mr. Bush has not done enough to protect American workers from unfair foreign competition."
Besides being amused that we might have a sock shortage or that the price of socks might go up (which really effects me because I wear two pairs of socks at a time), I'm TOTALLY confused. Admittedly, the only thing I remember about our trade policy was the steel tariff--and I extrapolated out of that that Bush was the protectionist. Am I wrong here? I know I've heard Kerry bash outsourcing, but I just assumed that Bush was protection minded as Kerry was. If Bush is the free trader, then that's one more point for Bush in my book. Free trade is good. Outsourcing is good. We all benefit in the long run when things get done more cheaply. We can't offord to "protect" American jobs. We need to make America more competitive and make people want to buy American products. If you don't buy American, don't complain when we have to ship jobs oversees. If you don't drive a GM car, don't blame us for closing plants, because if we don't close them, the whole company goes under and lots more people lose their jobs. Its that simple. I think everyone should be forced to take an economics course so that people understand how capitalism and free trade works.
Its just like the flu shot. First, EVERYONE wants it. Then everyone wants it for FREE. On top of that, then they want to be able to SUE the drug companies if you get sick from it, which is a stated risk. And on top of that, people want MORE life saving drugs to hit the market. Someone explain to me how this is supposed to work without tanking the entire publically traded healthcare sector, dragging down all of our retirement money. It just doesn't add up and neither does protectionism.