Don’t ask me why but I was perusing Lou Dobbs’ book Exporting America, which is just a pile of utter nonsense on trade. An Eco 101 student could easily dissect it, so I do not wish to apply those economic arguments here. Others have done so extensively and admirably. Instead I’d love to focus on this quote:
I don’t think helping consumers save a few cents on trinkets and T-shirts is worth the loss of American jobs.”
Well, at least he expresses that as his opinion rather than as some fact. But let’s think about the implications of the tone of this sentence. In it, Mr. Dobbs is implying that trinkets are worthless trash, and that T-shirts are low-value goods as well. So what Mr. Dobbs is saying is that we should expend energy and resources to make sure Americans can work in jobs that have little value, and produce goods which Mr. Dobbs himself clearly has contempt for. If he were to apply this logic consistently, then Mr. Dobbs ought to demand that trinkets become illegal. That way, American jobs that are worthless could be entirely eliminated, and replaced by the more highly valued jobs which will replace it. After all, if Americans are forbidden from wasting money on trinkets, then they can spent it on goods for which Mr. Dobbs finds it more appropriate to spend money on.