Thomas Sowell calls on economists to combat public ignorance. In the article he highlights various much believed fallacies, including the lately much repeated lamentations on the evils of globalization. Here's a quote (italics added):
Sometimes the fallacies are based on something as simple as a failure to define terms accurately. Everyone has heard the claim that a high-wage country like the U.S. loses jobs to low-wage countries when there is free trade. When the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect a decade ago, there were dire predictions of "a giant sucking sound" as American jobs were drawn away, to Mexico especially.
In reality, the number of jobs in the U.S. increased by millions after Nafta went into effect, and the unemployment rate fell to low levels not seen in years. Behind the radically wrong predictions was a simple confusion between wage rates and labor costs.
Those who complain loudly about how many jobs have been "exported" to other countries because of international free trade totally ignore the jobs that have been imported to the American economy because of that same free trade. Siemens alone employs tens of thousands of American, workers and Toyota has already produced its 10 millionth car in the U.S. Management guru Peter Drucker has said that this country imports far more jobs than it exports and no one has contradicted him. Indeed, those who are loudest in denouncing the exporting of jobs totally ignore the importing of jobs.
[Via Mises Economics Blog]