Tom Foley just can't understand why PolitiFact would pronounce Russ Feingold's assertion that free trade deals have cost Wisconsin 64,000 jobs to be half true.
Neither can I. I would call it "false" or, were I given that option and inclined to be more charitable, wholly unsubstantiated.
I would direct Tom to Frederic Bastiat who observed that the difference between a good and bad economist is the ability of the former to recognize the unseen.
Feingold's protectionism is the economic equivalent of young earth creationism. Virtually no serious economist buys it. If jobs are moved to where they can be performed more cheaply, the money that is saved does not disappear. We may no longer build typewriters or pay unionized workers premium wages for turning lug nuts, but the difference is invested and new jobs are created. This is true even if other countries engage in protectionist practices.
Looking at the net gain or loss in manufacturing jobs tells us nothing. The new jobs may or may not be manufacturing jobs and, of course, pacts like NAFTA are hardly the only - and probably not the principal - impact on the growth and decline in these jobs. Manufacturing jobs have been declining from well before the passage of NAFTA.
This is the creative destruction that Feingold and his supporters pretend they cannot understand.