Tuesday, March 09, 2004


"Toyota is the best thing that ever happened to GM," has long been a glib assessment of the benefits of trade. Now Consumer Reports finds that new U.S. autos are in fact better than the imports. Quality has been imported -- as has been the durability of an industry and its jobs.

The perils of international job outsourcing are now the subject of widespread handwringing. The benefits of trade have been derided by the likes of Lou Dobbs as relics of from the age of David Ricardo and Adam Smith. Buicks that are better than BMWs, however, is no abstraction. It may even be invoked against all the demagogery.