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Hillary, Barrack And McCain On Global Trade. The Reality Beats The Rhetoric.

Posted in Recommended Reading

Craig Maginness at the Going Global Blog has an extremely thoughtful post up analyzing the global trade positions of Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barrack Obama, entitled, “Presidential Primary Edition — The Candidates, the Parties and Their Positions on Global Trade.” His somewhat upbeat conclusion:

Fortunately, each of the 3 remaining serious candidates seem to be bright worldly people. I have to believe that whatever they may say in the nominating process to appeal to their party’s extremes, when faced with the responsibility of leading the free world, they will recognize the benefits to the US of being fully engaged in international commerce and global competition.

Check it out.

  • max jones

    You’re definitely an optimist Dan, or maybe I am definitely a pessimist. And in which case, I certainly hope that you will be proven right and that I will be proven wrong.
    The only one of the three who discusses issues (and even the evil and foxy fox channel curve balls thrown at him about whether he had sex last week with his pastor or not) (or perhaps gay muslims never do those sorts of things) and all which are of course things that also are completely irrelevant to how he later might or might not govern….
    ….the only one of the three candidates (and you called them “serious candidates” and I think that’s pretty charitable of you) who discusses issues based on actual “reasoned arguments and facts” and without ever decoupling them from basic realities, while also thinking on his feet right then and there…. is Obama….(which is why now almost everyone seems at least to say he is “authentic” even if they themselves “authentically” don’t like anything he thinks or says or stands for). That is, at least he’s not a B.S. artist and generally says what he means and means what he says.
    And that’s something one has got to “give him credit for” whether one likes his arguments and facts and positions or whatever else he plans to do or whether one hates it. But at least he’s pretty much stuck to being a straight-shooter and to actually answering those questions that whomsoever might be putting to him.
    Mrs. Clinton is instead an accomplished liar, an opportunist and a “me, myself and I’ type. And also thinks we are all turkeys ready to gobble gobble up whatever crap she throws at us. (including about her 150 years of executive experience)
    Finally Mr. Mc Cain has had the exceptionally good fortune of spending five years in the Hanoi Hilton (10 times better than Harvard and maybe even MIT) and is therefore someone who at the personal level definitely has learned more than his share and can be trusted.
    (whether people also want to make him into a “hero” or not I wouldn’t know though I am not quite sure why having the unbelievably bad luck of spending 5 years in a Vietnamese slammer would make one a hero) (and Mr. Mandela had pent 27, and definitely proved he could be trusted to deliver at least five times as much and in infinitely more difficult circumstances)…(and remember the days when “we” used to cal the ANC terrorists?)
    What I really like about Obama is that he reminds me a bit of Albert Einstein. (even though he may not be quite as smart) (but he’s certainly a heck of a lot more intelligent than the other two even if Mrs. Clinton is sometimes a bit more clever)
    When Einstein once was asked by a reporter right after he had come up with the Special Theory of Relativity in 1905 …..”Dr. Einstein what do you think about the fact that 100 scientists have signed an open letter to the Royal Society saying that your theory is wrong?….To which good old Al said (thinking on his feet just like Obama): “If but one of them were right it would be sufficient”.
    Now I do know that politics ain’t physics, but somehow I think Obama is a bit like Albert and Hillary and Mc Cain are a bit like the 100 other scientists…. (i.e. 100 pseudo-scientific types (in political and economic matters and related garb) and also grand ignoramuses who just can’t see that we’ve got to move forward from Newtonian Mechanics, old paradigms and business as usual…..and that the ends do not justify the means …..but rather that “the medium is the message”…..(and so long also live Marshal Mc Luhan)

  • max jones

    Hi Dan….I just noticed that the “happy optimist” above was not you but Craig Maginness of the “Going Global Blog” (And anyone operating a blog with that name deserves all the credit he can get) and so my apologies to whichever one of you most would have liked to claim ownership of the quote above …..or to both. In any case it doesn’t change what I said…. right or wrong as Albert Einstein might have been. (though special relativity IS still around!) (regards)

  • http://exinglobal.typepad.com/ Craig Maginness

    Dan:
    Thanks for picking up the reference to this post. When I wrote it two months ago, I was much more optimistic about the accuracy of the conclusion. As the Democratic race has worn on, I have become increasingly distressed by the hostility to free trade emobodied in the rhetoric of both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama. If they are being sincere, it bodes ill for America’s international economic policy under either one as president. If they are not being sincere, then the pandering is reaching a level which bodes ill on many other fronts, and in Mr. Obama’s case particularly detracts greatly from what is perhaps his most significant source of appeal.
    I guess the best I can say at this point is that while I am beginning to fear that I am wrong, I hope that I am right.
    Craig

  • Tony

    Max,
    Obama doesn’t have a principled position – in his infamous San Francisco comments he ridiculed anti-free trade people, while bashing NAFTA in his public campaign. He’s just another politician, who will try anything to get elected.

  • http://slinginghash.blogspot.com/ Flo

    Thanks for drawing some more attention to the issue. I’ve been annoyed at the candidates avoidance of substantive topics, like this one.
    I want to agree with Craig’s upbeat conclusion, mostly because I like to think that the remaining candidates are moderate on the topic, like myself. Free trade is a fine ideal, but the reality is that the US needs protectionist policies in order to compete in some areas, and to sustain the existence of the middle class.

  • http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/2008/05/the_us_candidat.html What About Clients?

    The U.S. candidates and global trade.

    Thanks to China Law Blog, we picked up on this still timely February 28 piece by Craig Maginness at Going Global entitled “Presidential Primary Edition–The Candidates, the Parties and Their Positions on Global Trade”. Excerpt: [John McCain] seems to b…

  • max jones

    With respect to the matter of either “free trade” or “locked-up-in-some-sort-of-a- prison-trade”.
    Where does truly “free trade” actually exist, I would ask? And “free trade” for whom? And with what other “freedoms” associated right along with it (e.g. the freedom to rip-off assorted other people) other than the freedom to buy and sell goods and services on half way fair terms of trade? (i.e. trade)
    Maybe it exists on Mars but not here on Earth. Not to mention the important difference between “free trade” and “fair trade”.
    Every time you sit down to have a cup of coffee at Starbucks and pay three dollars or more for something called a “Latte” (which by the way means milk and not coffee in Italian and that most Italians who like their coffee made just right would probably simply flush down the toilet) the starving Ethiopian bean-picking farmer who can’t send his kids to school and looks like he’s got HIV AIDS even if he doesn’t, gets one cent out of that. (if he or she is lucky).
    The other 299 cents go to the rest of the supply and value chain. (to Starbucks itself, to the mall who rented it the store space where the customers have parked their fannies as they all log onto their Macs and enter My Space….. and to the coffee traders that Starbucks may be dealing with, and etc. etc.)
    I know that capitalism won’t work if people don’t make a profit but how about some small measure of proportion and some decency as well? Even if the return on those things on the capital markets only accrues over the very very long term, if at all. It’s called Corporate Social Responsibility and there is now plenty of money also to be made in advising folks about how to do it, or in how best to pretend to do it.
    And I disagree with Tony above that Obama is “just another politician”. Of course he IS indeed a politician because if he weren’t a politician he wouldn’t be running for President and couldn’t even begin to hope to do so successfully. Does anyone know very many heart surgeons or civil engineers or factory workers or hamburger flippers at Mc Donald’s who are running for Prez.?
    But “there are politicians and there are politicians”. And I do know that Obama is of course also NOT Nelson Mandela but would you compare Nelson Mandela to Hu Jin Tao? (both are politicians)
    However I would tend to agree that he has not thought through 100% each and all of his specific positions on absolutely every conceivable issue in full depth and in a manner that safely and honestly can be articulated in every imaginable context. I know I haven’t done that with respect to even those insignificant issues that concern my own personal life.
    But (perhaps mistakenly) (though based on what I have seen) I DO trust him to think on his feet and to get good advice if and when he’ll need it. He seems honest and he seems genuinely to want to change things. (whether he’ll later be successful in doing it or not is a different matter, but at least he seems to want to try)
    And I think everyone also will agree that NO President runs the government alone. Which is also why I worry about Mc Cain whom I tend to like as a person. Who will be the people most likely to be giving him policy advice and who are his friends in the wings and who are those to whom he owes? And I feel the same about Hillary, although in her case the guy most likely to be giving her advice is going to be her husband. Someone who would do much better to just stay out to pasture and give lectures for money at this point.
    Obama comes across to me as someone who more or less tells the truth as he sees it. (which is all one can expect). Whereas the other two often look to me like they don’t even believe themselves what they are saying to the rest of us. And Obama also has raised most of his money by small contributions off of the Internet. Which to me seems like a good thing because it makes it less likely that he “owes” anybody.
    Moreover even if I were to like Mc Cain so much as to want to vote for him I still would want to punish the Republicans anyway just for the disaster and lies of the past eight years. Not to mention the fact that I also think George Bush stole the first election.
    QED

  • Erica Steele

    I have been watching Mr. Maginness for quite some time. My question for him is he thinking about going into politics anytime soon? If so, I think he would make this world a better place to live in!