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October 27, 2006
Blogger Roundtable On The Economy

Once again this week, I was pleased to join Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine and its Hit & Run blog and Judd Legum of Think Progress for another Internet chat rountable hosted by the AP's Otis Hart. This time we debated the economy and its import to the upcoming elections. Here's a taste of the conversation:

asap: How do you balance the notion of free trade with the plight of American workers and the state of the environment?

Edward Morrissey: I don't know that I see a "plight" when unemployment is 4.6% and private industry compensation grows faster than the rate of inflation ...

Edward Morrissey: Free markets find more efficient use of resources, which tends to degrade the environment less, although not perfectly, obviously. Post-communist Eastern Europe is a great example of that.

Nick Gillespie: for starters, the state of the american environment has never been better. in every city, air quality is markedly better than it was 30 years ago. same for water, etc. the only thing worse is traffic congestion in many places.

Nick Gillespie: i think it's also clear that overall free trade benefits all workers (who are also consumers). most studies show that firms that outsourced jobs ended up growing their american work forces. they compete better and grow.

Judd Legum: BTW Nick. The reason the environment is better than ever is because of landmark legislation like the Clean Air Act.

Nick Gillespie: that's part of it, true. but it's also technology and wealth. wealthier people buy cleaner environments.

This may have been my favorite of the four chats we have finished so far -- we'll do one more next week, and that will bring us to the election. It's been tremendous fun, and that's because Nick, Judd, and Otis have been great partners in this enterprise. The debate has been civil, informative, and fact-based, qualities that often go missing in this silly season.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 27, 2006 5:19 AM

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