Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Link Between Trade and Marriage

The issues of trade and globalization of our economy are often discussed during election years, but these discussions usually omit a very important part of this subject: the impact of free trade on marriage. Sadly, the policy called free trade has done tremendous damage to marriage, as I explain in my new book, Who Killed the American Family? For most of our history, the nuclear family (that is, a married mother and father living in one household with their own children), was widespread and highly respected. Even if they started from humble backgrounds, men could expect to find well-paying jobs in manufacturing or other industries that would propel them into the middle class. The expectation of a job that paid enough to support a fulltime homemaker was a lifestyle within reach of most Americans.

That is no longer the case. Globalization helped kill the American Dream, and with it, the American family. By pushing the United States into free trade agreements with poor countries in faraway corners of the world, globalists made American workers compete with very low-paid foreign workers. The high U.S. corporate tax rate also encouraged companies to look overseas for labor, and manufacturing jobs disappeared in America. From 2001 to 2011, we lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs every month, and working-class earnings plunged from the high we knew in the 1970s.

With good jobs harder to come by, the American Dream became harder to achieve. Men no longer earned enough to permit their wives to stay at home, and more women moved out to a minimum-wage job instead of staying by the cradle. Free trade failed American families, and it also failed to fulfill the promise of opening up markets for U.S. exports. The next time you hear a politician talking up free trade, remember what we have given up.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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