Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I'm not advocating "rule by expert," but it seems that people in positions of power and influence ought to have some idea of the implications of their decisions. The number of politicians who seem incapable of grasping fairly basic economic concepts is frightening. And the more we see from Senator Obama, the more the prospect of an Obama Presidency is very concerning. Here, Willem Buiter and Anne Sibert examine one of his economic proposals, generously calling it "reactionary, populist, xenophobic and just plain silly."
Senator Barack Obama’s campaign has been long on slogans and mood music but short on concrete proposals and policies. However, on 2 Aug 2007, along with Senators Dick Durbin and Sherrod Brown and Representative Jan Schakowsky, Obama introduced the yet unpassed Patriot Employer Act...If the Patriot Employer Act proposal is anything to go by, we are in trouble if Obama wins.
The Patriot Employer Act seeks to transfer wealth from the truly downtrodden of the world to a limited number of favoured US workers: mainly those in once dominant manufacturing industries that have lost their global competitive edge. It is breathtaking hypocrisy to object to the often appalling conditions of work and employment in developing countries and emerging markets, including sweatshops and child labour, while at the same time trying to prevent the operation of the normal and effective mechanisms for remedying these deplorable circumstances: foreign direct investment, outsourcing, off-shoring and all other manifestations of free trade.

It's a good piece. One wonders how Senator Obama would react to the criticisms. One suspects that he won't ever be challenged with them, not by the US media anyway.

Which seems a legitimate segue to this "it's funny because it's true" SNL skit...

(H/T to Professor Mankiw for the article link.)

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