Last week, President Obama named William Daley as White House Chief of Staff and Gene Sperling as the chief White House economic adviser. Last fall, he named Austan Goolsbee as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. These appointments are significant in part because all three men share a strong commitment to free trade: Daley was instrumental in the passage of NAFTA; Sperling, yet another Goldman Sachs alumnus given significant responsibility in economic matters, was involved in getting China to join the WTO; and Goolsbee was the one who reassured the Canadians that Obama's anti-NAFTA comments at campaign stops in the industrial Midwest represented empty campaign rhetoric, nothing more. Goolsbee was of course right, as shown by these appointments.
What these appointments also show is the iron grip the ideology of globalism now has on the elites in both parties. As Paul Craig Roberts has long shown through his detailed examination of government employment figures, America is no longer creating jobs in sectors subject to foreign competition. Indeed, last year American corporations created more jobs outside the United States than in this country. Yet it has not dawned on our political elites that maybe there is a problem with trying to revive an economy by encouraging consumer spending when what consumers go out and buy is no longer made in the United States.
Or maybe it has dawned on them and they just don't care. After all, the economic elites who are funding both parties generally don't care. Steve Sailer recently highlighted an article by Chrystia Freeland in the Atlantic on "The Rise of the New Global Elite." Writes Freeland: "today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind." Freeland also notes that the sense of belonging to a global elite class "helps explain why many of America’s other business elites appear so removed from the continuing travails of the U.S. workforce and economy: the global 'nation' in which they increasingly live and work is doing fine—indeed, it’s thriving." Quite a change from the patriotic businessmen who helped make the American economy the envy of the world.
None of this is new. Christopher Lasch wrote about it in The Revolt of the Elites and Pat Buchanan ran several campaigns emphasizing the threat globalism posed to the American nation and the American economy. Sadly, Lasch and Buchanan were ignored. If America is going to survive, those warning us of the perils of globalism can be ignored no longer.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.