When I think Tim Duy I think Fed Watch. I most definitely don't think this:
I have been puzzling over this from Paul Krugman:
Donald Trump won the electoral college at least in part by promising to bring coal jobs back to Appalachia and manufacturing jobs back to the Rust Belt. Neither promise can be honored – for the most part we’re talking about jobs lost, not to unfair foreign competition, but to technological change. But a funny thing happens when people like me try to point that out...Is that the right narrative? I am no longer comfortable with this line:
…for the most part we’re talking about jobs lost, not to unfair foreign competition, but to technological change.Try to place that line in context with this from Noah Smith:
Then, in the 1990s and 2000s, the U.S opened its markets to Chinese goods, first with Most Favored Nation trading status, and then by supporting China's accession to the WTO. The resulting competition from cheap Chinese goods contributed to vast inequality in the United States, reversing many of the employment gains of the 1990s and holding down U.S. wages...Was this “fair” trade? I think not.
Wow! What a great opening! Listen to what Tim Duy said:
I am no longer comfortable with this line
Those are the words of a man who is able to change his mind, and can admit it when he does. I'm gonna start reading this guy more.
As an alternative to the uncomfortable line, Duy writes:
Let me suggest this narrative: Sometime during the Clinton Administration, it was decided that an economically strong China was good for both the globe and the U.S. Fair enough. To enable that outcome, U.S. policy deliberately sacrificed manufacturing workers...
Yes, technological change is happening. But the impact, and the costs, were certainly accelerated by U.S. policy.
Sounds like an honest, thoughtful blogger. And I remember the Clinton-era decision about favoring "an economically strong China". I don't remember it like a decision, really. It was more like suddenly one day we have always been friends with Eastasia.
But I have to go back to the Krugmanism that bothers Tim Duy. Did we lose jobs by technology? Or was it unfair foreign competition? Those are the only choices we're offered. That makes me want to retch.
Answer me one question: What is the biggest economic problem, in the Arthurian view?
You got it: Debt... Finance... Monetary imbalance... These are all the right answer.
Now answer one more: What does the excessive cost of finance have to do with our trade imbalance and the loss of US jobs?
Oh, but this is a question that answers itself. What does the excessive cost of finance have to do with the competitiveness of US exports? Did you figure it out yet? I bet you did.