Sorry for not keeping my promise to follow up the original reader platform post with some debate posts in a timely manner.
Rather than open this up to a free-for-all, I’d like to start with a specific topic for which we had a pretty wide span of opinions and policy, but is perhaps more pressing even than the typical topics of argument here: trade. To summarize:
- Steve advocates free trade with restrictions used as a tool to punish human rights offenders. NorthernLite feels similarly, with added emphasis on environmental enforcement, while shcb seems to favor no restrictions at all, allowing business to set its own agenda.
- JAYSON wants a return to a strong American manufacturing base by cutting the agreements and incentives that drive globalization. Knarlyknight takes a less harsh stance, but additionally favors tight enforcement of safety standards for imported goods.
Here are a couple starter question for the candidates:
Steve, NorthernLite, and shcb, are you concerned that transnational corporations may be often be pursuing business strategies that optimize their profits at the expense of nation-specific interests, as typified by America’s drift toward a service/consumer economy and widening economic gap?
JAYSON and Knarlyknight, strong economic ties between nations may the be the most effective base on which to build lasting good diplomatic relations; wouldn’t a more nationalistic US economic policy further isolate the US on the world stage, and embolden competing economic unions in the EU and Asia?