Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on October 11, 2016

in Economics, Immigration, Politics, Trade

Caroline Baum exposes Donald Trump’s cluelessness about trade.  A slice:

Trade with other countries allows consumers to choose among a wide variety of high-quality goods at the lowest possible price. Trump ignores the effect of tariffs, which would raise the price consumers pay for finished goods and the price producers pay for the crude and intermediate materials used in finished goods. Besides, tariffs are most harmful to the poor, who spend most of their income on consumption goods.

Speaking of Trump’s many economic errors, GMU Econ alum Ben Powell unveils some of Trump’s misunderstandings of immigration.

Also from Ben is this nice op-ed on the benefits of free trade – benefits to which both Trump and H. Clinton seem blind.  A slice:

The increase in manufacturing jobs in the middle of the 20th century was only possible because the increase in agricultural productivity freed people from the farm while still enabling us to fill our bellies. Similarly, increases in manufacturing productivity allow our economy to create more valuable services jobs.

Unfortunately, as a Bloomberg poll indicated early this year, 65 percent of Americans believe the government should restrict trade even more and that this would protect American jobs. Unless we improve economic literacy, demagogues from both major political parties will continue to pander to people’s prejudices.

My Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold demonstrates why Charles Murray’s case for stopping the immigration of low-skilled workers to America is deeply flawed.  A slice:

What’s remarkable is the lack of consideration of all the negative knock-on effects from Murray’s drastic proposal. Someone who is solidly in the upper middle class, such as Murray, may have no problem paying the higher price for chicken under his low-skilled immigration ban, but the higher prices will fall hard on the budgets of the low-income workers Murray claims to be defending. Chicken producers in the United States will be squeezed from both ends, from falling consumption and revenue on one side and higher labor costs on the other. Like other labor-intensive industries, chicken processing will shrink, resulting in fewer employment opportunities for immigrant and native workers alike.

Richard Rahn explains the heavy price of political hypocrisy.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David Henderson summarizes the contributions of the 2016 Nobel laureates in economics.

George Will lays into Trump hard, honestly, eloquently, and with complete justification.  A slice:

Trump is a marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences. Consider Mike Pence, a favorite of what Republicans devoutly praise as America’s “faith community.” Some of its representatives, their crucifixes glittering in the television lights, are still earnestly explaining the urgency of giving to Trump, who agreed that his daughter is “a piece of ass,” the task of improving America’s coarsened culture.

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