Should We Help Workers Who Lose Jobs to Imports?

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Donald J Boudreaux

“Since he was 18 years old Joe has toiled in an Ohio steel mill. But now, with him in his late 40s, Joe’s fellow Americans start buying more imported steel and, hence, less American-made steel. This change in trade patterns causes Joe — a good, hard-working, play-by-the-rules, family man — to lose his job. Joe is devastated. How can we help Joe transition to another job or otherwise cope with his job loss? … those of us who support free trade yet who spend no time endorsing (or even pondering) various options for the government to help workers adjust to changing trade patterns are thought to have hearts of ice …. Yet my heart isn’t cold. For at least four reasons, a policy of not giving government assistance to workers who lose jobs to imports is not only economically warranted, it is also ethical.” (11/22/21)