Operation Saywhut?--you need a scorecard for globalization debate

Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 04:36 PM

Phyliss Schlafly as economic populist?  Immigration rights lawyer as total labor globalization advocate?  New issues cause new alignments and new divisions in the political realm, and globalization appears to be in the midst of such a political realignment as we speak.  

1. Phyliss Schlafly, economic populist

Whether you are a Republican supply-side tax-cutter, a Wall Street deficit hawk of either party, a Silicon Valley techie, or Nancy Pelosi pandering to those who want to boost the minimum wage, you must face the fact that you are marginal in comparison with the elephant in the room, which is globalization.

By many traditional criteria, our economy is doing great. Unemployment, inflation and interest rates are low, the stock market and household wealth are high, and goods are cheaper than ever.

But real wages for many U.S. workers are down over the past five years and have stagnated for others. Business Week now admits that our weak wage growth is driven by competition from cheap labor in Asia and that Congress is virtually powerless to make any significant difference.

2. Immigration lawyer as advocate of open borders for labor mobility

What is not being said is that we need immigrant labor to keep our economy going. Period.

If we really want strict enforcement of our present immigration laws, we must also accept an economy like Russia's: stagnant, stratified, inefficient, anti-entrepreneurial, over-regulated and run by incompetent bureaucrats (like the folks who managed the government response to Hurricane Katrina). By the way - we will also have high unemployment.

Feel free to laugh, cry, go catatonic.....