Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is Blinder Blind or Just Plain Clever?

Alan Blinder, an economist at Princeton University, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, has gained great recent fame by obliquely criticizing “free trade” and globalization.


In fact by seemingly challenging one of the bedrocks of economic theory, Professor Blinder has found himself in demand by the Celebes and embittered “out-of-office” politicians. I say “seemingly” since Professor Blinder never offers an alternative to the fundamental free market enterprise. He simply identifies the losers to globalization such as the less educated, the poor and the inflexible. The news media then perform the nasty and untenable task of saying that free trade must be replaced by fair trade.


Note that Professor Blinder never takes this last step. However, he never objects to the misuse of his diatribes regarding the negative outcomes of globalization. So why is Blinder serving the interests of liberals, the news media and Democrats? He has made a very clever move supporting Democrats running for office. If Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama is elevated to the Presidency, they will surely appoint Professor Blinder to fill one of the many public positions available to economists that are malleable, or as he might state it, flexible.

Ernie Goss

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