On the radio a couple of hours ago I heard a short clip of part of the testimony delivered today by Iowa governor Terry Branstad to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Branstad is Trump’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to China, and he testified today as part of his quest for confirmation to that post.
I searched on line for a transcript of these proceedings. I cannot find one (yet). But, if my memory can be trusted, what I heard on the radio is yet further evidence that Americans are sorely in need of learning ECON 101. Branstad boasted about how he would work to increase American exports; he also dutifully said that he would do all that he can to stop “unfair” Chinese subsidization of its exports to America (and particularly of Chinese-made steel).
(This on-line report of the hearings comes closest to reporting what I heard on the radio.)
There you have it, folks. A candidate for a top position in the U.S. government proudly promises both to increase, at Americans’ expense, the supply of goods available to foreigners, and to decrease the supply of goods available to Americans. Branstad, like the typical politician today who successfully surfs into high office on the swollen waves of the public’s economic ignorance, commits to help us Americans by artificially increasing the scarcity of goods and services available to us.
The economic idiocy of it all would be laughable were people such as Branstad not serious and in possession of state power.
(Lest someone think me to be picking on the economic ignorance now displayed on Trump’s watch, please, please know that if you do a careful search of this blog – and of other of my writings – I have been complaining about such ignorance for many years, and doing so regardless of which party is ascendant in the White House, in the Congress, or at the local farmers’ market.)