Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reasons I'm a Democrat: fair trade

I keep listing reasons I'm a Democrat because a close reading of this blog will show a very indepedent streak. A large percentage of what I believe is advocated by Republicans and other organized groups. But ultimately I am a yellow dog Democrat, and will occasionally tell you why.

I believe in trade laws that build up America and the rest of the world, rather than free trade that is pernicious and creates a spiral downward for wages and living standards. Fair trade has a cost in our society. We will have to pay more for goods made under the proper conditions that if they are made very cheaply in foreign lands. But that lesser standard of living is the right thing to do in the short term and for the future. Ultimately, if we require other countries to improve their working environments, stop child labor laws, and have minimum standards that make sense for their situation then it is also an investment in their future. They can create more goods and services we would want. We need to think long term about encouraging education, healthy society, and strong moral values through our trade policy. So even though I'm not totally onboard with Unions and all of the rules we have here in the U.S., on balance we need to demand fair trade rules abroad.

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