Jagdish Bhagwati is a very smart man and he does the Lord’s work when it comes to economic policy. I have a great deal of admiration for him, but I just cannot understand why he thinks that card-check legislation would be a good idea. The rationale Bhagwati employs is that if we strengthen unions, we will make them less likely to lash out in populist form against trade liberalization. In response, Greg Mankiw has the perfect retort:
An alternative view is that unions are among the most anti-trade institutions out there, so strengthening them will advance the push for trade restrictions.
It is not too late for Bhagwati to reconsider his stance on this issue. I hope that he does.