Opinion

Letters: Free trade and American jobs

Re "Where the jobs are," Opinion, Jan. 2

Jeff Danziger's piece is a veiled call for protectionism.

He notes that in the last 20 years, the countries around the world that have ditched communism are now producing goods to sell to Americans. He says shipping and communication have become more efficient. He criticizes the government for not protecting American consumers from these foreign products.

Danziger presents two straw-man arguments against the protectionism he advocates. He knocks both down.

But Danzinger avoids mentioning the real arguments against protectionism: the benefits of capitalism and free trade.

Under free trade, the consumer and not the government decides what products to buy. Under free trade, we do not have the corruption of the market caused by lobbying protectionists. Under free trade, we get the benefits of international competition.

Both the consumer and the worker — even if low paid — benefit from free trade.

Robert H. Biggadike

West Covina

Without a ripple of hope for the new year, Danziger says globalization and the defeat of communism have created a monstrous labor surplus with dismal employment prospects for America's struggling youth.

Maybe so, but why is it that among many modern industrialized nations, this is largely an American problem? The others are just as globally engaged as us, yet they're living an American dream that we have lost.

Perhaps it's time to the cast aside supply-side economics, tax polices favoring the wealthy over wage earners, deregulation and false prosperity based on credit expansion. Maybe we need to lift all boats by embracing the economic policies that once gave us the golden Eisenhower-Kennedy era of prosperity.

Eugene Mullaly

San Diego

The U.S. is full of manufacturing jobs, but they're being filled by robots.

We keep hearing that there are hundreds of thousands of unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. that remain so because would-be workers don't understand basic upper-elementary mathematics like fractions and decimals. Even in China those "low wage" manufacturing jobs are being taken over by robots.

Danziger's 1980s thinking ignores 21st Century reality.

Walter W. Matera

Lakewood

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