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A new study suggests Americans will support trade, but only as long as it benefits the United States.

This has been the way that Americans operate for about as long as trade existed. Realistically though, other nations probably feel the same way; trade should occur only if it benefits them. According to economists, people act rationally, and rationality dictates looking for opportunities that benefits the person.

Participants in the survey showed little concern for foreign workers if their well-being came at the expense of even one American’s.


It’s interesting because in some cases American well-being comes at the expense of foreigners’.

When countries make trade agreements they attempt to come up with one with mutual benefits. The trick is the amount of benefit allocated to each participant. While considering the relativity of cost and benefit is more practical for all participants of trade, nations look at cost and benefit in terms of their own, because at the end of the day, the trade has to work for their own people, otherwise why enact it?

It is sadly selfish, but that is how the system inherently operates. A nation will not realistically give up the chance for a better agreement for its people to benefit another unless they come to a negotiating point where benefit still outweighs cost.

Source: Most Americans would eliminate 1,000 foreign jobs to protect one U.S. worker

One thought on “Most Americans would eliminate 1,000 foreign jobs to protect one U.S. worker

  1. In a way, I feel that this argument is unfair. If I was a corporation and I could get 1000 children to do the work of 1 American, (meaning, I could pay 1000 children the equivalent pay as I would need to pay 1 American) I should be allowed to do that?

    “Oh, but hiring children is wrong, you say!”

    “But we’re talking about free trade here! Plus, I’m giving work to children who might otherwise starve!”

    OK, so maybe your moral compass won’t allow me hiring children, fine.!

    But the same holds for hiring people in countries that are not democracies, like China.

    Is it truly right to allow corporations to not hire Americans, but instead hire people in dictatorship countries so that the corporations can save on costs?

    What happens when the people try to rise up and demand higher wages in that country? Oh, that’s right, they get thrown in jail, or worse, killed. But at least the corporations get to save costs and make more profits.

    There is a reason why Americans cost more money than people in countries run by dictators. It’s because of the standard of living Americans have. It’s because of the laws protecting the working conditions of Americans. It’s because of the social programs that protect the poor, and so in. It’s because of regulations limiting pollution, dangerous chemicals, etc.

    Is it right to allow corporation to bypass all of that just so that they can hire people cheaper from countries that don’t offer any of those safeguards?

    And where do all those extra corporate profits go? Not to the people, that’s for sure.

    So the argument for or against free trade is actually an argument for or against regulations designed to protect workers.

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