Paul Krugman is a mixed-economy economist. He's for regulated capitalism with a splash of welfare state. His heart leans in the right direction relative to the vast majority of laissez faire advocates.

In his recent op-ed, Paul pretty much says that lower skilled and lower educated Americans are hurting because the U.S. is obtaining more and more of its goods from third-world nations where wages are a couple of dollars a day, if that.

Here's the article: "Trouble With Trade," by Paul Krugman. The New York Times. December 28, 2007.

No article can cover it all, but Paul is wrong that the better educated people aren't starting to hurt too by the importation of workers from especially India. Paul also doesn't mention that the wages in those third-world nations are worse than slave wages in most cases and that the markup on the goods is astronomical thereby allowing the middlemen and women to gouge at both ends.

The trouble with trade includes all the occupation safety and health problems, all the environmental damage, the global warming increased by long-distance shipping, and on and on and on.

Of course, no article by a leading mixed-economy economist is going to go by unaddressed by the invisible hand.

Here's a good example: "Perspective on Trade," by Don Boudreaux. Cafe Hayek.. December 29, 2007.

Now, Paul is negatively criticized for not being an orthodox libertarian capitalist whose position is that capitalist economics automatically finally finds the best path of least resistance to material prosperity. It's akin to necessity and greed being the twin mother's of invention and salvation. What it does is completely hate and therefore ignore the result of unbridled cooperation rather than competition. For these people, the military and police exist to stop anyone becoming successful via cooperation, egalitarianism, community property, and all things unselfish. Their law is "Be Selfish or Else!"

The trouble with trade is that it stymies giving and sharing. Trade is for profiting off your siblings. Giving and sharing is for benefiting them instead. Which do you think is the righteous spirit? Which do you think can best run the house, which is what the economist is supposed to know how to do? To the libertarian capitalists, systemic unemployment is just a law of economics. Actually, it's only a law if you're hardhearted, which means it's a falsehood. The real law of economics is softheartedness.


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • Eric Kebschull

      In what world does a man behind a desk at Princeton have the laws of the market and their true values? Oh do too! Shocking to accuse capitalism as cruel and harsh when the reality is the meddlers of the market cause the systematic unemployment of the poor and disenfranchised with rules and regulations that ultimately do the opposite of what they intend (see minimum wage laws, etc).

      You make a false assumption that capitalism is pure greed and profit...that no virtues of volunteerism and charity can come from a world of trading. One needs only to look into the mirror to see the systematic unemployment and uncharitable world you see today for its cause. True freedom implies the ability to profit TO MAKE A LIVING, where the secondary results of one's labor results in the good nature of charity at their church or synagogue or mosque on their day of worship. Spiritual charity certainly cannot exist if the persons donating have little to no disposable income to give away. The same exact thing can be said about the numerous charities and organizations in this country that exist in this capitalist market you deem uncaring....yet they have helped more people than the government could ever possibly dream of.

      How does capitalism help others you might still ask (and deny)? Free choice. Free choice is what makes people voluntarily virtuous. Free choice is what creates terrific charities and organizations that have helped those in need. Free choice is how one takes another's voluntary transaction of donation of money or TIME AND EFFORT (point made later) to create a successful business of helping others. Free choice always succeeds; forced taxation of programs does who handles another's money that HAS to come to them with no repercussions of a bad decision.

      You mistake the nature of profiting as inheritrity evil or having no good results....evidence shows you are gravely mistaken. The flaw in this reasoning is assuming trade is merely for if all trade is with money. Money is not a source of pure profit nor wealth in general; it is merely a means to conduct trade. True trade is the exchange of goods and services to meet human wants and needs. So when a person volunteers at a Soup Kitchen 3 times a week....that still is a part of the economic parameters of the market. A more complex example is the ceo of a nonprofit who organizes a chain of restaurants who only charge voluntary donations for meals, as well as employ those in need for an hour or two for a free meal and pay. These are fine examples of good-natured people who find a way to help and employ those in need. A true free market would create jobs from the bottom-up and employ those low skilled workers looking for which they can eventually make a pay they see as desirable.

      Hopefully you now see the error of this article. For America, even when ruined by moral goody-twoshoes' backfired policies, can still amaze us of the rags to riches stories. CEO of decent sized companies have come from mere bank tellers or grill workers into business moguls....and i guarantee many of them have not forgot where they started and pass on their experiences to those who seek the same dream.

      • When I re-read my post and then read your comment, I'm left thinking that you either missed or ignored most of what I wrote. If I didn't feel that way, I'd take the time to address your many misconceptions regarding my economics.

        Anyway, be aware that your starting place for understanding me and what I've written is Jesus's teachings as written in the canonical Gospels. If you write at me as if that's not where I start, then you're wasting everyone's time, yours included.

        Christianity is not a coercive government. It allows for free will. It doesn't force people into either Hell or Heaven.

        Capitalism, of any stripe, is inferior to the spirit of Christ and by a long, long way. You advocate for the supremacy of the "free market" under mammon. I advocate for Christianity. Never the twain shall meet.

        There's no mammon or capitalism in Heaven, and that, Heaven, is what I pray to come to Earth. You pray for what you want for society, and I'll pray for what I want.

        Your way is not the best! It's inferior to authentic Christianity. You should reconsider, turn, and repent of your philosophy/economics.