Thursday, February 21, 2008
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Grading the candidates on trade
The Cato Institute has a new handy-dandy website: "Free Trade, Free Markets: Rating the Congress," in which you can grade members of Congress on their attitudes towards trade barriers and trade subsidies.
Just for kicks, I figured it would be worth seeing how the presidential candidates stack up:
Hillary Clinton: interventionist (votes in favor of barriers and subsidies);[So where's your Obama love now?--ed. This would seem difficult to rebut. The only caveat on Obama's score is that the support of subsidies is based on a whopping two votes -- so we're talking small sample size.
Otherwise, Ohio and Pennsylvania should love both the Democratic candidates.
UPDATE: Thanks to the anonymus commenter who linked to Lael Brainard's January 2008 Brookings brief that compares the major candidates on trade. There's not much difference at all between the two analyses.
Some of the characterizations seem misleading to me. For example, I would definitely like to see produce labeled with where it came from, and I don't see such as a restriction of free trade, but rather of providing the free market with information.posted by: Anon on 02.21.08 at 02:11 PM [permalink]
For a less partisan approach:
Clinton and Obama both seem to like the idea of government controlling every aspect of people's lives. Why would trade be any different?posted by: Justin (NC) on 02.21.08 at 02:11 PM [permalink]
For example, I would definitely like to see produce labeled with where it came from, and I don't see such as a restriction of free trade, but rather of providing the free market with information.
Now, thats a bad attitude right there. We'll tell you what you need to know -- lest you make irrational decisions like not buying perfectly healthy GMO products. We are only saving you from yourself and from injecting your irrational preferences in our Well Functioning Market.posted by: Mitchell Young on 02.21.08 at 02:11 PM [permalink]
There's a good point, if only via illustration by example. How do you keep informational regulation from being captured by propagandists bent on inciting moral panics? Such as enviro-luddites bent on capturing USDA regulatory authority in aid of this or that crusade against the evils of agribusiness.posted by: Mitch H. on 02.21.08 at 02:11 PM [permalink]
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