Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on February 6, 2017

in Books, History, Immigration, Legal Issues, Man of System, Myths and Fallacies, Trade, War

James Pethokoukis – highlighting some of the mammoth economic ignorance and vile nativism of Trump and his top advisors – explains that Trump’s proposed restrictions on immigration are likely to be massively costly for Americans.

Kevin Grier is rightly appalled at the scope of discretionary power held by the U.S. president – and appalled also by the U.S. Congress’s spineless complicity in the process that has led to this sorry and dangerous state of affairs.

Mark Perry adds his clear voice to those who argue correctly that jobs are a cost of expanding economic output, not a benefit of any such expansion.  (In most cases, of course, this cost is worth paying.  But a cost worth paying is nevertheless a cost.  The truth remains that to use some productive resource to produce more of output X means that that productive resource is not available, when it is producing X, to produce other outputs.)

From the just-released new edition of Econ Journal Watch is this fine essay by Alberto Mingardi on classical liberalism in Italy.

Arnold Kling reviews the new book – Escape from Democracy: The Role of Experts and the Public in Economic Policy – by my colleague David Levy and his long-time co-author, Sandy Peart.  A slice:

I am more concerned with the Shaman problem. Given a choice between an economist who claims to have a low-cost solution to a problem and an economist who says that no such solution exists, the political process will choose the economist who promises a cure.

If the protectionist logic of Trump and his economically ignorant team of top advisors were correct, this Russian family should have been among the wealthiest families ever to exist.  Alas, it was not so.  (HT Gayle Thomas)

Ed Krayewski explains that Trump’s awfulness – and, make no mistake, it is plenty awful – supplies no cause to white-wash U.S. foreign policy.

Douglas French is correct that Trump is incorrect about trade.

Damon Root considers Trump’s assault on the U.S. judicial system.  Here’s Damon’s conclusion:

Back in April 2012, most conservatives were outraged when President Barack Obama saw fit to give a press conference in which he lectured the Supreme Court about why it would be “judicial activism” for the Court to strike down Obamacare on constitutional grounds. Those conservatives were right to be outraged. The Supreme Court was then in the midst of its Obamacare deliberations and the president was clearly trying to influence the outcome of the case by throwing some executive weight around.

The same conservatives who were outraged by Obama’s actions then should be outraged by Trump’s actions now. Trump, just like Obama before him, is seeking to undermine the independence of the judicial branch because it threatens to rule against him. Judge Robart is not a “so-called judge.” He was duly nominated by a U.S. president and duly confirmed by a Senate vote of 99-0. Trump may not like it, but as president he is constitutionally bound to obey federal court orders.

It remains to be seen how Trump will react when he loses in higher court.



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