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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:20 AM ET, 10/25/2011

The Empire Strikes Out

Here’s why this is unlikely to work out for us.

Globalization=global labor markets. I think we’ve seen now what global labor markets mean. MAYBE we can be smarter than all the other people in the world and THEN they’ll pay us more. Yeah, maybe. The upside? We WILL get lower prices, that much is true. At least it’s supposed to be true. And in the aggregate, people will be better off, if you live in the aggregate. The definition of aggregate is a mixture of coarse sand and pebbles. We as individuals may eke out some meager net gains at the margin, and you can hope for that(!), but in this brave new world, just remember that “there will be winners and, well, you know what.” Sand and pebbles for them.

Here’s the other problem. This great global trading system is propped up and patrolled by the armed forces of who? That’s right! Of us! We R Empire! But we forgot the traditional way that the empire thing works. Remember? The Empire TAXES THE EMPIREES! Right again! That used to be the whole point! That’s how an Empire profits from the enforcement costs of running everything. D’oh! Again, “there will be winners and well, you know what.”

By  |  07:20 AM ET, 10/25/2011

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