They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. About certain things, however, any knowledge at all is dangerous and potentially fatal. One such piece of purported knowledge pertains to the size distribution of income and wealth. This knowledge serves no good purpose; it is wholly unnecessary for defensible government policy or action. It serves only as fuel for economic misunderstanding and demagoguery. It feeds envy and provokes public mischief. If such knowledge were completely unknown, no decent project would be harmed, and a multitude of destructive policies and actions would be rendered more difficult to initiate or carry out.
What is not disputable is that the broader the U.S. government’s definition of unfair trade practices, the more complaints it will receive from American companies seeking to reduce or eliminate foreign competition. Moreover, the weaker the legal standards to “prove” unfair trade practices on the part of foreign competitors, the more American companies will focus on increasing profits by pleading for tariffs and other trade actions, rather than by innovating and improving efficiency.