March 06, 2002

Postrel Pounces: Virginia Postrel has

Postrel Pounces: Virginia Postrel has a series of excellent posts and links thwacking Bush's dreadful decision to prevent the newly democratic countries of Central Europe from selling us their steel (she didn't emphasize the latter half of that sentence, but that's the "anti-dumping" thanks we're giving to our anti-commie pals in Poland, the Czech Republic and elsewhere). Dubya has clearly cottoned on to the notion that history/God has foisted upon him the humbling duty of fighting terrorism. Fair enough, though the religious stuff is starting to creep me out. Here's my question: besides nuclear war & all, what are the most devastating potential after-effects of Sept. 11? I would say the erection of trade barriers ranks among them. In a time of recession, war, tightening borders and a thriving anti-globalization movement, it is not hard to imagine anti-trade sentiment spilling out from the Buchanan/Nader margins into the mainstream. Bush has the raw power and alleged moral certitude to avoid this kind of embarrassing, short-sighted bullshit, but he chose not to. Slashing trade barriers in the G-8 countries is the single fastest way for poor & desperate countries to become rich & hopeful, period. Why do they hate us? Maybe it's because, from time to time, we're full of shit, and abuse our dominant global position for short-term political gain. That's not the stuff of "chosen ones," George – that's positively Clintonian. Remember, globalization was all the rage in 1910, too...

Go read Postrel. It is sharp and fearless writing.

Posted by at March 6, 2002 09:52 PM
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