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Globalization Has Undermined America's Working Class

Globalization Has Undermined America's Working Class
The BriefGet Up To Speed

Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. But in the United States, jobs are disappearing. From construction zones to clerical offices to coal mines, the American working class is losing ground. Is globalization to blame? Did the push toward global integration leave our most vulnerable populations behind, making them the losers of this grand experiment? Or is globalization being used as a scapegoat for a wider range of failed public policies and unprecedented advances in technology? 



“In simple terms, globalization is the process by which people and goods move easily across borders. Principally, it's an economic concept – the integration of markets, trade and investments with few barriers to slow the flow of products and services between nations.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Alex Gray

“The U.S. working class—defined for this analysis as participants in the labor force with less than a four-year college degree—is more diverse than ever and growing more so."

Monday, December 11, 2017
Alex Rowell

“Eight-in-ten adults say increased outsourcing of jobs to other countries hurts American workers, and roughly the same share (77%) say having more foreign-made products sold in the U.S. has been harmful.”

Thursday, October 6, 2016
Pew Research Center

A current look at economically distressed or ‘at risk’ communities in the United States.

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Kenan Fikri & John Lettieri

The ten best (and ten worst) cities to pursue the American Dream.

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Derek Thompson
For the Motion

“American wages were high in the 1960s and 1970s because of steady demand for unionized labor in Detroit and Allentown. Automation and globalization have destroyed many of those jobs, and the process is likely to continue.”

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Edward L. Glaeser

“In the United States, the big losers from the current wave of globalization have been working- and middle-class people.”


Thursday, May 19, 2016
Daniel Altman

“Blaming technology is a common refrain from economists who hate the thought that globalization is not the world’s unambiguous salvation.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Steven Rattner

“Their [the working class’s] wages have basically been falling or plateauing for 35 years, and their job stability has declined. The China shock was just another kick in the teeth for a group that had been in decline for a long, long time.”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Zeeshan Aleem

“The ‘deep causes’ of the increase in white deaths, the economists argue in their paper, are the globalisation and automation that since the 1970s have hit working-class white Americans particularly hard.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Shawn Donnan
Against the Motion

“Trade protections and legislated wage supports will not only fail to protect the vulnerable; they will also inflict broader economic harm.”

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Milton Ezrati

“Adopting a relentless zero-sum approach to globalization would not just be harmful to the US economy but also have real and significant negative consequences for US workers.”

Friday, April 1, 2016
theodore H. Moran and Lindsay Oldenski

“Increasing absolute mobility will require us to boost economic growth through lower corporate income taxes, deregulation, deficit reduction, higher-skilled immigration, and revived entrepreneurship. The mistaken belief that living standards are falling will lead us to embrace counterproductive policies that will perversely reduce absolute mobility rates.”

Monday, May 15, 2017
Scott Winship

“Despite what the rhetoric would have us believe, global manufacturing is trending in a positive direction for the U.S. Factory jobs are on the rise here, and many of these new jobs are coming back to North America from China, which is struggling to maintain its manufacturing capacity.”

Monday, March 14, 2016
Jeffrey Rothfeder

“Given the United States’ generally low levels of tariffs on goods, a number of TPP countries already have access to the US market, and the TPP will be of little consequence for US manufacturing employment.”

Monday, March 16, 2015
Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs

“Donald J. Trump told workers … that he would bring back their jobs by clamping down on trade, offshoring and immigration. But economists say the bigger threat to their jobs has been something else: automation.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Claire Cain Miller

“Our poor, the rich world poor, are only relatively poor by our standards, they're both absolutely and relatively rich by global and historical standards.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Tim Worstall
President Trump's Tariffs

“Tariffs of 25% on cars and car parts, as Mr Trump apparently wants, would be disastrous for Canada’s and Mexico’s car industries, though American buyers of cars and parts would suffer too.”

Saturday, June 2, 2018
The Economist

“A number of U.S. metals companies are dismayed by the administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs and are pushing back against them ahead of the summit.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Emre Peker, Paul Vieira & Bojan Pancevski

“Economists Joseph Francois and Laura Baughman estimated last month that the tariffs would increase employment in the U.S. steel and aluminum industries by more than 26,000 jobs but also lead to the loss of 495,000 other jobs throughout the rest of the American economy.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Richard Lardner
Offshoring & Outsourcing

“There are both moral and economic implications of offshoring and outsourcing, but they are distinct."

Friday, July 28, 2017
Jonathan Webb

“Drawing on new and existing research focused on job movement and potential displacement in the U.S., the researchers indicated as many as 25 percent of American jobs could be offshored in the years ahead, at risk of replacement by foreign competition.”

Monday, July 17, 2017
Andrew Soergel

“The old math no longer applies when it comes to where multinationals choose to open shop.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Ben W. Heineman Jr.
Backlash to Globalization

“In short, the anti-globalization drive that is spreading across the Western world may be coming at exactly the wrong time — too late to do much to save the working-class jobs that were lost, but early enough to risk damaging the ability of rich nations to sell advanced goods and services to the rapidly expanding global middle class.”

Friday, March 23, 2018
Neil Irwin

“People in the rich countries would either have to accept lower wages to compete, or lose their jobs. But no matter what, the goods they formerly produced would now be imported, and be even cheaper.”

Friday, July 14, 2017
Nikil Saval