With friends like Jerome R. Corsi, the American free-enterprise system is in more trouble than we feared.
Corsi should be on the right side of the battle to defend economic freedom. Before the 2008 election, he wrote a popular book with a great title, The Obama Nation, warning that Barack Obama was not the man we needed in the White House. But in his latest book, America for Sale: Fighting the New World Order, Surviving a Global Depression, and Preserving USA Sovereignty, he sounds a lot more like Obama than like Ronald Reagan, the former president he professes to admire.
While Corsi takes passing shots at government spending and climate-change legislation, his real target is “free trade,” “globalism,” and international agreements such as NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. The villains in his book are trade agreements, trade deficits, growing Chinese foreign-currency reserves, and oil imports, all of which threaten to undermine the U.S. dollar, American independence, and the middle class. Orchestrating our decline is a cast of characters from around the globe, both familiar and obscure, working in public and in secret.
Boosted by a friendly Fox News interview with Sean Hannity in October, the book has been selling reasonably well. The people buying it are presumably the same conservative-leaning folks who opposed Obama’s election and are now fueling the Tea Party movement. Libertarians and conservatives who value free markets and limited government, however, should keep their distance from this bestselling prophet.
Coming from an author who claims to be a friend of free enterprise, and who earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard in 1972, the book is striking in its economic ignorance. It would fail an economics course at a community college. It repeats just about every anti-trade clich