[EconTalk] Kimberly Clausing on Open and the Progressive Case for Free Trade

Kimberly Clausing on Open and the Progressive Case for Free Trade

30/12/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: https://podplayer.net/?id=91371143
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/Clausingfreetrade.mp3

Economist and author Kimberly Clausing of Reed College talks about her book Open with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Clausing, a self-described progressive, argues that the United States should continue to embrace free trade but she argues for other interventions to soften the impact of trade on workers and communities.

Listen Date: mid February 2020


  • From the blurb, I thought that the show would be about how the progressive case for free trade is that it lifts the third world out of poverty. And so I was a little disappointed when what I got was more “Progressives can’t ignore the maths, and should acknowledge the unseen benefits instead of trying to protect the losers with tariffs.”
  • Beyond that, there was some interesting stuff about making the Earned Income Tax Credit less conditional.
  • But the most interesting thing was seeing revenue neutral carbon taxes being touted as a palliative for free trade losers as well.
  • But beyond that, it was a bit of a Macro 101 episode. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I can always do with a macroeconomics refresher.
  • Another point which I wish this or another episode could focus more on: about how economists just palm off the politically unpalatable with “Well that’s politics and beyond my pay grade.” and how that isn’t very useful. Which I feel is something DMC would try to address.
  • Is EconComm twitter much less sophisticated than SciComm twitter? Or if not sophisticated, more prone to attracting cranks / trolls / zealots?


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