Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

The Blame-Mexico-First crowd

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on April 3, 2007

Today’s NYT features an interesting article about recent job cuts at Circuit City. Unfortunately, the otherwise sensible coverage was marred by this gratuitous paragraph (emphasis mine):

In recent months, there has been a price war over flat-panel televisions that’s an excellent case study of the benefits and drawbacks of globalization. The price cuts have made the televisions, which are manufactured in Asia and Mexico, affordable to many more families, but have also squeezed Circuit City’s margins.

Excuse me, but what about this suggests that globalization was responsible for the layoffs at Circuit City? If anything, the fact that the TVs were manufactured cheaply should increase their margins, all else being equal. The thin margins weren’t due to some evil Mexicans or Chinese; they were due to good ol’ domestic retail competition, mostly from Walmart. I could understand if Circuit City were owned by some evil Emirate or something, but as it stands, blaming these job losses on free trade is just stupid. I expect this sort of poorly-thought out anti-trade slish in The Nation, but not in the Times.

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