How come all the jobs aren’t in Mississippi?

17 03 2008

Oponents of globalisation often argue that globalisation and free trade drive manufacturing jobs from wealthy countries with high wages to poor counries with low wages. They call it the “race to the bottom”. While such simplistic arguments are very appealing, they are very easy to disprove. For example, Tim Warstall asks NAFTA-bashers a brilliant question:

How come all the jobs aren’t in Mississippi? For that state has had free trade with all of the others for some 140 years, since the end of the unpleasantness between the States. And it has also, for all that time, had the lowest wages in the country. So if jobs really do all get sucked to where wages are lowest, why are not all manufacturing jobs, even all of Manhattan’s jobs, being done in the rural counties of Mississippi? 

The man has a very good point…

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