Should-Read: Kevin Drum: Who’s Afraid of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Should-Read: Remember–I was a soft TPP skeptic: I thought the IP protections and dispute resolution provisions were more likely than not to be unwise for the world (although probably profitable for the United States, and very profitable for the U.S. overclass.

Kevin Drum has a “shorter Brad DeLong”:

Kevin Drum: Who’s Afraid of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?: “The responsibility of trade deals for the decline of manufacturing in the US has become practically holy writ over the past year…

…Is this legit? Over at Vox, Brad DeLong says no. Period. However, his post is 8,000 words long, and ominously, over at his own site he says that it does “only a third of what I wanted to do.” Clearly, then, we need a shorter Brad DeLong. Here it is:

Cursor and Who s Afraid of the Trans Pacific Partnership Mother Jones

Very roughly speaking, DeLong’s argument is this: everyone agrees that Germany is the poster child for an advanced economy with a great manufacturing policy. And yet, their manufacturing employment has steadily declined for the past half century too, just like ours. So if this has happened to Germany, there’s not much of a case for suggesting that the US has done anything especially wrong over the past 50 years. We’ve simply evolved from a (relatively) poor manufacturing nation into a (relatively) rich services and technology nation. This has nothing much to do with trade policy, either. It’s just what rich countries do. What’s more, it’s a decidedly good thing overall, even if it does affect a smallish number of people badly.

Now, you should click the link and read all 8,000 words if you want to understand the details…

January 25, 2017


Brad DeLong
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