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Free Trade is a Double Edged Sword.

April 18, 2016

FTA: With the right president it would be good, with the wrong president it would be bad. David Autor, an MIT economist, concluded that US free trade with China lost almost 3 million US jobs in about 12 years, 9 of these years during the Bush administration and 3 during the Obama administration. He writes, “That wouldn’t have been terrible if the American workers who lost their jobs to the Chinese found American jobs in other sectors of the economy.” (Bloomberg Business, April 4, Page 7).

They didn’t.

There are about 5000 community colleges in the United States training American workers in a 100,000 certified occupations. A signed order by president Bush or president Obama for financial assistance for counseling and retraining of these 3 million workers who lost their jobs would have provided certified occupations that the unemployed would love to do because they would fit and choose them and would pay more than the jobs they lost. The cost would be cheap, the economy would benefit, the treasury would save money and the free trade agreement would be praised. What did Bush and Obama do for the 3 million fired workers, especially Obama because many of the unemployed were black Americans who voted for him twice!

Enrolling in a community college, taking an occupational preference test, graduating with a certificate and getting a decent job is not a rocket science, yet neither Obama nor Bush thought of it. If Trump becomes president, do you think he will think of it? I doubt it. The solution is too simple and elegant for presidents to think about. I hope that I am wrong about Trump because I will vote for him as the lesser of 3 evils (Hillary, Sanders and Kasich) in case he is smarter about Trade agreements than Bush or Obama were. My God, life could be so much better with good incomes for minorities, why are we voting for dummy presidents twice? Next time you suffer for 8+8 years without decent and interesting work don’t blame your presidents. They never heard of community colleges! They were too busy hiring Harvard graduates to attend useless committees in Washington! No, no, I’m not cynical.

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