Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both maintain that foreign competition and unfair trade practices hurt the U.S. Yet the problems of many American workers come not from the global market, but from poor training. The success of Germany, which faces competition from developing countries, shows that well-trained workers can thrive amid pressure from abroad.
The different outcomes that American and German workers experience provide an important lesson: Cutting the U.S. off from the global economy isn’t an effective way to fight income inequality. Political candidates may rile up their base with anti-trade speeches, but moving Americans toward practical job-market training could actually make a difference.
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