Ed Driscoll

STANDING ATHWART THE 21st CENTURY,

STANDING ATHWART THE 21st CENTURY, YELLING STOP: Along similar lines to comments by Jonah Goldberg and Radley Balko, Charles Krauthammer writes on “how times have changed”:

We now know that the secret to curing hunger and poverty is capitalism and free trade. We have seen that demonstrated irrefutably in East Asia, which has experienced the greatest alleviation of poverty in the history of man. In half a century, places like Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea have gone from subsistence to First World status. And now free markets and free trade are lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty in India and China.

And what has been the Democratic reaction to the prospect of fulfilling Humphrey’s (and their party’s) great dream? Fear and loathing. Democrats today thunder against the scourge of “outsourcing” — American firms giving (what would otherwise be American) jobs to Indians and Chinese and other menacing foreigners.

The anti-outsourcing vogue is part of a larger assault on free trade, which until recently — meaning the Clinton administration — Democrats had supported. Remember Al Gore’s televised debate with Ross Perot, in which Gore demolished Perot’s anti-free-trade arguments? Which makes the recent Democratic assault on free trade so jarring, never more so than when John Edwards and John Kerry competed with each other before Super Tuesday to see who was against more trade agreements with more Third World countries.

Krauthammer adds, “Democrats have given up the mantle of tribune of the world’s poor — precisely at a time when we have finally figured out how really to rescue them”.