O Arnold Kling explica em parte porquê que a indústria automóvel norte-americana vê-se em risco de declarar falência:
The market is telling the American auto industry that it has too much capacity. It needs to shrink. A big reason that the auto industry is in trouble financially is that many of its current and past workers have retirement benefits (including medical care) that are defined benefits. That is, the benefits are promised regardless of whether enough money was contributed to provide for them. Under these circumstances, if the industry shrinks, it may not be able to cover the fixed costs represented by those defined benefits. In that case, the market is telling the auto companies to declare bankruptcy, with the proceeds from the sale of the auto plants going to creditors, including pension beneficiaries.
E o Greg Mankiw tem óptima recomendação para o novo presidente americano:
Economic isolationism is not in the national interest. A high point of the Clinton presidency was the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which passed both the House and Senate with a majority of Republicans and a minority of Democrats. Last Tuesday, many people voted for Mr. Obama hoping that he would achieve the kind of economic success that Mr. Clinton enjoyed in the 1990s. The best chance of delivering what they want requires abandoning some positions and pursuing a more moderate, bipartisan course.
E isto tem algum interesse para Portugal e os portugueses? Como Sarah Palin não diria melhor, you betcha - a começar no simples plano do debate de ideias, a acabar nas implicações que a adopção de um caminho mais proteccionista norte-americano terá na economia global enquanto um todo. E nós sabemos o quanto somos afectados pelo clima internacional.