Economists and policymakers out of touch with what people value and why

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The American Rejection of Globalization

new survey conducted by American Compass in partnership with YouGov reveals a yawning disconnect between elite opinion and public sentiment regarding globalization. While economists and policymakers concentrated in a few coastal enclaves tend to emphasize the benefits of free trade and global integration, average Americans are much more skeptical, believing the nation as a whole has suffered.

The survey’s key findings include:

  • Americans have broadly negative views of globalization and trade with China, but not because they feel personally aggrieved. 
    • By a 41% to 28% margin, Americans said that they have personally benefited rather than suffered from America’s embrace of globalization and China.
    • Yet at the same time, by a 47% to 33% margin, they said that the nation has suffered rather than benefited.
  • Americans are more skeptical of globalization broadly than of China in particular. Asked about their personal situation, Americans across classes and regions were more likely to say they had suffered from the embrace of globalization than from the embrace of China.
  • Asked whether policymakers should focus more on “helping struggling areas recover” from job loss or “helping people move to opportunity” where new jobs are created, Americans choose helping struggling areas by more than two-to-one.
  • Alongside 42% of Americans who say, “manufacturing is important to a healthy, growing, innovative economy,” 25% say, “manufacturing jobs are good jobs that support communities,” and 16% say, “manufacturing is important for our national security.”
  • By nearly two-to-one, Americans say they would rather pay higher prices to strengthen American manufacturing than pay higher prices to combat climate change. 86% of Republicans and 66% of Independents prefer strengthening manufacturing, as do 65% of lower-class Democrats; other Democrats prefer combating climate change.

Click here to read the full survey report.

Read the Survey
The American Rejection of Globalization

While many economists continue to insist that globalization has benefited the United States, the American people do not agree.