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Why do we not get out of the WTO if it is destroying our nation?   I have been doing a...

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hurst07 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted March 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM via web

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Why do we not get out of the WTO if it is destroying our nation?

 

I have been doing a little bit of research on my own trying to figure out why American production is to a minimal now and I even asked my American Federal Government teacher; all I have come up with is the World Trade Organization. Free trade is horrible for our economy and it only benefits the extremely rich it seems like. My question is, why do we not get out of the WTO if it is destroying our nation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 6, 2013 at 7:46 PM (Answer #1)

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The main reason why we do not get out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is that essentially no economists agree that it is ruining our country.  Essentially all economists argue that free trade is good for every country in the world.

Without free trade, it may be true that some jobs would come back to the United States.  There are two problems with that.  First, all the American workers who took those jobs would get much higher pay than people in other countries.  This would mean that the price of goods would go up.  American consumers would be able to buy fewer things and our standard of living would decrease.  Second, the kinds of jobs that go overseas are generally low-paid and require relatively few skills.  We do not want American workers (who are generally better educated and have more potential) to waste their skills and potential doing things like sewing shirts together.  It is better to have the less-skilled and less valuable work done elsewhere.

So, what is wrong with America?  First, we have to realize that the country is not ruined.  We have one of the highest levels of GDP per capita in the world.  Our overall economy is still the biggest in the world.  Our unemployment rate is up from where it once was, but it is by no means high even when compared to many rich countries.

To the extent that something is wrong with the US, it is that we may be losing our edge in innovation.  We may also be losing some economic confidence as our government continues to fail to enact decent budget policies that would stabilize things like Medicare costs.  What is needed is not protectionism.  It is better education and perhaps better government policies in terms of taxes and budgeting.

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hurst07 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted March 14, 2013 at 7:08 PM (Answer #2)

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Without free trade, it may be true that some jobs would come back to the United States. ... American workers who took those jobs would get much higher pay than people in other countries. ... We do not want American workers (who are generally better educated and have more potential) to waste their skills and potential doing things like sewing shirts together.

Are you saying Americans have more potential because we are more educated? What allows us to be more educated as workers and people than anybody else? There are about 25,000,000 people without jobs -- wasting all their skills -- in the United States whom I'm sure would gladly take low-skill jobs. Of course, people with advanced, higher-degree educations wouldn't be working these kind of jobs. I understand everything would be more expensive because all American workers are paid more and many are protected by unions, but what if we got rid of the income tax and got out of the WTO so we could put a tax on imported goods again. If we make the foriegn products just a bit more costly than the American products, then it would still give our government the same amount of money it takes out of our paychecks, if countries continued to send imports for us. At the same time, wouldn't we have a better unemployment rate due to more open jobs in America?

All of these are just ideas, ideas that may or may not work in the real world.

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