An Open Letter to Rick Manning

by Don Boudreaux on May 18, 2017

in Crony Capitalism, Trade

Mr. Rick Manning, President
Americans for Limited Government

Mr. Manning:

In another blast e-mail today from your ironically named organization, you demand that Americans “urge President Trump to enforce NAFTA and stop Mexican sugar dumping”.  Never mind that your call to “enforce NAFTA” sits uneasily with your and Mr. Trump’s express hostility to NAFTA.  Instead, answer this question: Why do you suppose that any American in his or her right mind would demand an end to low-cost – even ‘dumped’ – sugar from Mexico?

Do you believe that we American consumers are happy to pay the additional $3,000,000,000 annually that Uncle Sam’s protectionist sugar policies cost us – and that we can’t bear the thought of Mexican imports lowering our cost of food and drink?  Or are you under the illusion that we Americans are so enchanted by all the cronyism going down in Washington that we grieve at the prospect of long-privileged and rent-fattened U.S. sugar growers losing any of their space at the Potomac’s feeding trough?  Or do you reckon that we Americans judge that the jobs and profits artificially protected in America’s sugar-producing industry are somehow superior to the jobs and profits thereby artificially destroyed in other American industries, especially candy-making and food processing?*

Or are you simply under the misapprehension that we Americans think that we spend our money better when the state prods and punitively taxes us than when it leaves us free to spend our money as each of us sees fit?

Whatever your reason, I urge you to mind your own business and to stop begging Uncle Sam to stick his officious fingers further into the affairs of peaceful people.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

* See generally Jim Bovard.

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