The Return of Mercantilism in the West

Excuse my oversimplifications, but from my observations the ideologies of many of the political powers in both Britain and the USA seem to be proposing Neo-Mercantile policies. The crux of the arguments seem to be that foreign trade agreements have crippled domestic job growth and contributed to stagnating wages. The irony is that these groups are acting as capitalist advocates, despite the fact that they are trying to use a economic policy that was outmoded in the 18th century. From a historical standpoint, do you agree that mass production, the introduction of interchangeable parts, the assembly line and the economic change from employing skilled craftsmen to unskilled labor played a major if factor in eliminating Mercantilism in the late 18th century? You've stated that one of the struggles with capitalism is that globalization has resulted in the outsourcing of the factors of production, which has crippled the economies of the countries who were the strongest proponents of both. The Brexit and the widespread opposition to NAFTA seem to indicate a desire to counter the aforementioned outsourcing by tariffs on international production and domestic imports. Despite the historical drawbacks wouldn't it be simpler to implement socialist philosophies into a country following Mercantilism rather than Capitalism?

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  • published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-08-17 23:51:44 -0400


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