Three interesting somewhat related things to read:
Chris Cillizza wrote his The Fix column today on John Edwards's "Two Americas" speech and how President Obama could use that populist message in the election.
Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele wrote "Big boost for Chinese steel," published in Sunday's Inquirer. This is well worth reading. It discusses the shift of steel production to China. Steel can be made more cheaply there but there are consequences, as they point out in the case of a California bridge:
That did not take into account the wages lost by steelworkers and ironworkers who otherwise would have been employed on the project. It did not take into account the taxes those workers would have paid - from California income tax to Social Security and unemployment taxes. It did not take into account the multiplier effect, all the related benefits derived across the economy from the daily purchases made by people with jobs. It did not count all the state and local taxes that employed workers pay for schools and highways. Nor did it take into account all the tax revenue that California and local governments had to expend for unemployment, health care, and other costs run up by people who have no jobs.
Something not quite similar but still related, in the political arena, "State for sale," by Jane Mayer in the October 10, New Yorker, discusses North Carolina Republican Art Pope and his influence not only on that state's Republican party but on the state political scene. His use of think tanks, advocacy groups, and direct political contributions is one example of why some people are concerned about the Citizens United decision and campaign finance.