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Pinko Redux

Cafe patron Phil Purcell asks that I repost this Cafe entry from November 2009.

Here’s a letter that I sent yesterday to Fred Hochberg, President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States — an agency charged with helping American firms export more:

Dear Mr. Hochberg:

My e-mail today brought a proud announcement from CG/LA Infrastructure LLC that you’ll speak at one of that company’s up-coming events.  In the announcement, you’re quoted as saying that the “Ex-Im Bank is dedicated to supporting US companies and workers.”  I have some questions for you.

Why are jobs in export industries better than jobs in non-export industries?

How can a government institution, such as the Ex-Im Bank, create jobs and increase outputs in export industries without taking resources away from other, non-export sectors – and, hence, without reducing jobs and outputs in those sectors?

How would you feel about, say, a Pink-Nonpink Bank – a government institution whose mission is to support industries that produce pink goods (such as grapefruit and women’s panties) for the purpose of creating jobs in, and increasing the output of, pink industries?  Would such a “bank” strengthen America’s economy?  Would you, as head of such a “bank,” count all the jobs you promote in pink industries, and all the extra pink output you make possible, as being net gains for the American economy?

Donald J. Boudreaux


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