Last night economist Alan Tonelson was on the John Batchelor Show to discuss how America's membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) has greatly harmed American trade interests -- and as consequence set up the USA for the 2008 economic crash that spread around the world, which was blamed, wrongly, on 'bad paper.'
Prepare yourself for shocks as you listen to Tonelson if you have bought the argument that the United States controls the WTO and uses it to further its export regime. The truth is just the opposite, and the truth is why Donald Trump wants the United States out of the WTO.
There would be some urgency for this, given that the same trade-driven debts that underlaid the last economic crash have been building up again to an alarming level.
Why, then, any rational person would ask, have the Powers That Be in the USA been such strong defenders of WTO if it's so harmful to American economic interests -- and indeed the interests of international stability?
Part of the answer is that WTO membership locks the United States into an import regime, which is very profitable for certain segments of business and finance. The other part is that the WTO, which was conceived as impartial and nonpolitical, is anything but. It is a cash cow for every political faction and business lobbying group in WTO member countries.
That is why the World Trade Organization became one of the props of the strange 'shadow governments' that have appeared in many nations around the world -- a problem of modern democracies that anti-globalists invariably blame on central banks and big international banks.
It's more complicated than that, as Alan Tonelson, and Donald Trump, well know.
Do Bernie Sanders supporters understand all this? If they do, I can't see how any of them would agree to vote for Hillary Clinton just for the sake of the Democratic Party because she would never take the USA out of the WTO. (Sanders, for his part, hightailed it from the Democratic Party after endorsing Clinton for president.)
But the biggest question is whether Republicans understand all this. Mr Trump has to do a better job of explaining himself at some point before voting day.
Here is the podcast for Tonelson's discussion; it starts at the 11:20 minute mark. And here is the link to Tonelson's well-named website, RealityChek.com.