Yet although Mercantilism was seen off in the 18th and 19th centuries by Smith, Ricardo and their inheritors, John Bright and Richard Cobden, it is making a comeback on both sides of the pond — and has certainly found a powerful proponent in the White House. Neo-mercantilist noises are also growing as we gear up to our EU departure; with many arguing against the unilateral abolition of tariffs and other barriers for precisely the same reasons as the mercantilists – for the sake of protecting producers and special interest groups.
Derek Scissors writes wisely about Beijing’s alleged currency manipulation . (HT Roger Ream) A slice:
A China devaluation threat stems from the idea it would cost American jobs. But such fear is misguided. In January 1994, China devalued the yuan a staggering 50 percent and the American job market soared . From mid-2005 to mid-2008, the yuan rose 18 percent against the dollar and our job market weakened.
The main reason for this is China’s currency does not matter  compared to our own policies. The second reason is China’s currency does not work the way normal currencies work. For both reasons, there won’t be a devaluation. There’s little reason to believe it would hurt the United States and plenty of reason to believe it will hurt China.
Gary Chartier reviews the new book – The Captured Economy – by Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles . A slice from Gary’s excellent review:
When Lindsey and Teles write about the ugly consequences of special privileges, they are powerfully persuasive. They are less so when they propose solutions.
If I were applying for a faculty position at the University of California at San Diego, I would boast that I spend lots of time promoting so-called “diversity” by arguing against minimum-wage legislation – legislation that inflicts disproportionate harm on low-skilled minority workers . (I add here that UCSD’s new requirement makes it the sort of place at which I most certainly do not want to work.)