The Korus Free Trade Agreement Sparks Youth Protests over Income Inequality and Youth Unemployment

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 27th, 2011

Week in Review

Another free trade agreement for America.  And more young voters angry about income inequality and youth unemployment this free trade treaty will create (see Don’t shed a tear posted 11/23/2011 on The Economist).

They could have pushed Korus through several weeks ago, but continuing concerns among voters over income inequality and youth unemployment have seen the political pendulum making an unusually pronounced leftward swing. With parliamentary elections due in April, many GNP members fear losing their seats.

“Angry” young voters are thought to have punished the GNP in October’s Seoul mayoral by-election, selecting the independent Park Won-soon ahead of Na Kyung-won, the ruling party’s candidate. The ratification of Korus without the support of opposition parties could cause further subsidence of the GNP’s ratings in opinion polls. At the time of writing, a group of several thousand anti-FTA protesters was gathered in Yeouido, outside the parliament building.

Interestingly though, it’s the Korean youth who are angry.  Who are worried they are going to lose jobs to those American sweatshops.  And those slave union wages.

Of course, this is what you would expect the American Left would be saying.  And the American youth.  Who point to free-trade agreements as domestic job killers.  So if both sides of a free-trade agreement claim that the agreement will kill domestic jobs one has to be somewhat suspect of such a dubious claim.  Both sides can’t be losers.  For there would be no reason to enter into an agreement.  So if both sides are affected the same, and both sides can’t be losers, then both sides must be winners.  Simply by the lack of options.

So why do the youth complain on both sides of a free trade agreement?  Because free trade stimulates economic activity.  And creates jobs.  Which is apparently something the youth in both countries don’t want.


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