The phrase "natural experiment" is a term of art used in the field of economics. It basically means holding up a hypothetical economic model to real world experience as a means of validating or invalidating a particular model's predictions. Even a casual look at such a practice suggests the inherent weakness of potentially drawing undue conclusions from rather anecdotal evidence. Nonetheless, the power and utility of some "natural experiments" can be very strong and reliable. A good rule of thumb is to impute greater soundness to the larger and more generalized natural or real world experiences.
So, now that we have accumulated literally decades of experience under a system of open and unregulated trade with every hell hole labor abuser and environmental despoiler on the planet, what can we say has been produced? A pernicious and persistent decline of working and living standards for the vast majority of the American population. Repeated cycles of recession, followed by a truly oxymoronicly termed "jobless" recovery, which has excavated an unemployment canyon, the walls of which most of us have no hope of ever scaling.
Generations have already been laid low, and more are heading down. Much of this, mind you, was the handiwork of false liberals like Bill Clinton and others who found it easier to capitulate to the powerful interests, than to actually insist on seeking development of the third world through a more moral and humane way, while safeguarding our own hard-won standards here at home.
More on the failure of these false liberals and our collective tragedy in the next post.