Obama's Economic Xenophobia

Read this post from Kerry. A taste:

Yes, yes, I realize that we aren’t supposed to listen when the Obama campaign depicts economic engagement as un-American. That’s just smoke and mirrors for some nice folks in Michigan; the rest of us are supposed to shove our fingers in our ears, dream of container ships, and wait for Austan Goolsbee to fix the whole thing later. The problem with this approach is that every time Barack Obama says something intelligent about trade, some guy in Ohio plugs his own ears and waits for Obama to stop pandering to globe-trotting pansies too weak to build their own vehicles or churn their own butter. The only thing I know about Obama is that he is less scary than the other guy.

If we don’t strategically edit politicans’ strategic statements to conveniently fit the image we’d like to have of them, then we’ve simply got to conclude that Barack Obama is a dangerous xenophobic economic illiterate who doesn’t grasp the first thing about the role of international economic exchange in creating wealth and preserving peace. “Borrowing from China to pay Saudi Arabia?” Disgusting. Likewise McCain’s Pickensism that “We’re sending billions to countries that don’t like us very much.” And I guess because both Obama and McCain talk constantly about “energy independence” as if it is not a totally moronic idea completely in defiance of elementary economic logic, the TV pundits feel that is incumbent upon them not to point this out. Or maybe they don’t know that. We can only hope that neither candidate really believes it. But, in that case, we are left to tremble at the dangerous illiteracy of the American voter, which has pushed otherwise honorable men to such crescendos of vicious nonsense.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center