Here is a chart of the S&P 500 for the final 15-years (1980-1994) of America’s sordid, protectionist past. NAFTA went into effect on January 1, 1995. Click chart to enlarge:
The S&P 500 went up four-fold during that dark era. I shudder to think of how we selfish Americans hogged all of that economic growth to ourselves. Isn’t it time that we made a formal apology to the world? You know, like apologizing for slavery, or dropping H-bombs.
On this Thanksgiving Day, make sure to say a little prayer for all the great Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian advocates of “free trade” who are valiantly protecting us from suffering a relapse into the horrors of protectionism.
Here is the “Free Trade Era” chart of the S&P 500:
Isn’t that better? A nice egalitarian, sideways chart that proudly proclaims America’s economic sacrifice on behalf of the global economy. It’s a beautiful thing, is it not?
(Note: The second chart does run up nicely for the first five years. But the task of exporting millions of jobs doesn’t just happen overnight, right? A lot of infrastructure had to be built up in Mexico and Asia before our manufacturing base could be relocated. But we got it done in record time. The USA is can-do nation.)