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Mercantilist Superstitions Die Hard

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Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

After listing ways in which the Export-Import Bank wastes U.S. taxpayer dollars, causes some American firms to over-produce, and artificially raises costs for other American firms – all without increasing net employment in America – you nevertheless conclude that the Ex-Im Bank should be reauthorized because “Everyone else does it” (“Impasse over the Ex-Im [2],” April 9).

Say what?

Other governments do indeed distort their economies by doling out corporate welfare of the very sort that the Ex-Im Bank has distortingly doled out to American corporations for decades.  But the deformities that other governments inflict on their economies in no way argue for Uncle Sam to continue deforming the American economy in like fashion.  Given the truths expressed in the first five paragraphs of your editorial, the American economy’s growth and dynamism will only increase if we stop, ASAP, participating in this global orgy of national immolation.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030