Is Mike Huckabee a free-market conservative?

Mike Huckabee has just compared free trade to the most common form of sex between homosexual men.

Mike Huckabee, the latest GOP candidate to announce a presidential bid, warned of dire consequences if Congress fast-tracks a new trade agreement.

If the deal is passed without proper scrutiny, the Arkansas Republican told MSNBC, workers might “take it in the backside.” Huckabee said, “I’d like to think the U.S. government would stand up for the U.S. workers rather than let them take it in the backside and somehow just have to tough it out.”

He told the crowd that he opposed trade agreements that push wages “lower than the Dead Sea”

Fast Track authority would give the president the power to negotiate a trade deal that could not be amended by Congress, only voted up or down.  Now, there are legitimate reasons for a conservative to oppose Fast Track authority.  As Mark Levin has noted, Fast Track authority could be used to push a trade accord that could slip in provisions related to global warming or amnesty for illegal aliens.

But that's not the problem that Huckabee says he has with Fast Track authority.  His problem is that free trade will lower wages.  He shows a fundamental ignorance of basic economics.

So let's go back to my first-year economics class: if you have two economies, both of which manufacture and both grow cotton, but one economy manufactures more efficiently and one grows cotton more efficiently, free trade will enable one to manufacture more (and grow less cotton) while the other will devote more resources to growing cotton but manufacture less.  Jobs will be lost on both sides, but on the whole, both countries will gain jobs, and consumers will benefit with lower prices.

Remember what it was like when we had no choice but to buy American-made cars?  They were very expensive and poorly made.  The consumer suffered.  But after the market was opened up (in terms of both imports and foreign companies opening plants here in America), choices and prices for consumers improved.  Overpriced unskilled union jobs were lost in Detroit (yay!), but many more jobs were gained in places like Tennessee and Kentucky.

But Mike Huckabee is so protectionist that he likens free trade to anal rape.  Mike Huckabee either is ignorant of basic economics or doesn't believe in it.  He doesn't seem like a free-market conservative to me.

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