It is not as if progress cannot happen in a state controlled protectionist system, and be competitive with a free market system. However, the author’s assertions that free trade is superior to protectionism generally is a convincing argument overall.
To move from national politics to a more global perspective, it is also important to understand the role of labor in other countries in contrast to its role in the US, and Roberts concentrates mostly on a global workforce. For example, the role of labor unions in Europe is more totalized than it is in the United States. In the U.S., unions represent exact and specific parts of industries and call for more benefits and worker’s rights to be brokered with individual companies. In Europe, unions represent the entire industry because their groups are put together and are more powerful. They call for less specific issues, since they are representing an entire industry in Europe, though. More sweeping changes are possible this way, but the changes are less specifically geared to the immediate concerns of workers in a certain segment of the industry. In terms of labor participation in management, this was unheard-of many years ago, but is becoming more common both in the U.S. and internationally. Employees are more frequently being included in the decision-making process and communication is growing between employees and managers, despite political setbacks and setbacks in the US involving union membership and union density. “The real choice is between a dynamic world and a static world---a world of encouraging people to dream and acquire the skills to make those dreams come true and a world of encouraging people to be content with what they have and to dream less” (Roberts, 2000). The argument for and against international economics is basically a reflection of bigger argument about theoretical issues of protectionism and free trade, which was mentioned above.
In this international argument,