Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama vs. Clinton on Free Trade

I will continue to do my best to keep politics largely absent from this blog, but I cannot help but think that one of the most important questions voters should be asking themselves is where the various candidates stand on the free trade vs. protectionism spectrum.

Of course this is not an easy subject to pin down, as speeches in Ohio tend to bring out the type of posturing and rhetoric that politicians may not believe is in the long-term interest of the country as a whole.

The reason I am posting about this subject, apart from the fact that I think it is a critical one, is that I have yet to see an in-depth analysis of the free trade credentials of Barack Obama pitted against those of Hillary Clinton. Until yesterday, that is. Greg Mankiw, a blogger extrodinare who teaches economics at Harvard to pay for his blogging habit, called to my attention a Financial Times article by Jagdish Bhagwati whose title, Obama’s Free Trade Credentials Top Clinton’s, give you a sense of where Bhagwati comes down on that question. Bhagwati cites five reason why Obama is a better free trade candidate and points to economic advisor Austan Goolsbee as one of the keys to that conclusion. For more on Goolsbee, I recommend a January 31 interview with Doug Krizner and a more detailed evaluation of Obama’s advisors in an April 2007 article from the Wall Street Journal: Seeking Clues to Obamanomics.


Caveat B said...

It doesn't matter which candidate has excellent economic advisors, if the candidate doesn't listen to the advice.


markshriv said...

Clinton and Obama are both Communists, they are both fully dedicated to the "one world" agenda and they are both "agents of change" for the NWO. They are both fully aboard the free trade bandwagon. A true protectionist would be unelectable.

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