I Blame Mattel

From the WSJ:

By a nearly two-to-one margin, Republican voters believe free trade is
bad for the U.S. economy, a shift in opinion that mirrors Democratic
views and suggests trade deals could face high hurdles under a new

Mattel screwed up the design, specification, and their quality control responsibilities which resulted in a series of toy recalls.  Eager to save face and push the blame onto others, management eagerly spun the story as a general failing of Chinese production, rather than their own personal screw-up.


  1. Greg:

    Yeah, Republicans have been sliding steadily left for many years now.

    Mattel really put its foot in its mouth with that one. Many of us were really ready to believe what they said though, since the Chinese don't exactly have a sterling reputation for credibility.

  2. Zach:

    Does nobody remember Ferris Bueller's Day Off?

    "In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the ... Anyone? Anyone? ... the Great Depression, passed the ... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered? ... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression."

  3. Mesa Econoguy:

    The survey questions, as usual (in “journalism surveys”), were highly biased:

    But as you can see, there is a clear bias in the manner of phrasing the questions. You’re not agreeing that foreign trade is good or bad, but that it’s good or bad because… And respondents are more likely to be familiar with one of the offered consequences of trade. Certainly, the issue of “potentially unsafe products” is fresh on our minds, thus respondents are basically escorted to that answer.

    I would not expect this kind of sloppiness from the WSJ either, personally knowing some of the staff.