Why Free Trade Isn't Trade

11/19/2011 11:35 am ET | Updated 3 days ago
  • Ian Fletcher Author, 'Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace It and Why'

The U.S. continues to lurch down the rubble-strewn path of free-trade fantasy economics, signing yet more trade agreements (Panama, Colombia, Korea) when the ones we already have haven't delivered as promised.


One big part of the reason, I think, is that the public has been brainwashed by decades of television and other reportage into thinking that trade and free trade are the same thing. And since everyone who's ever eaten a banana instinctively grasps the value of trade, free trade just follows as a matter of course.

You wouldn't want us to end up like North Korea, would you? Of course not.

That's why I've made this little video pointing out the difference between trade and free trade:

Now, if the public would only begin to grasp the difference between free trade (the chalkboard fantasy) and "free" trade (which we actually have). The game is rigged, folks.

After that, we can move on to the difference between free trade and free trade agreements. These are not the same thing at all, as most of NAFTA and the other treaties concern investments and the right to override laws that interfere with their profitability.