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Gerald Gayou recounts a fateful decision from the 1970s for the United States government to report what are economically meaningless balance-of-payments numbers. These economically meaningless numbers, however, are ready fuel for the demagoguery of special-interest groups and economically ignorant, power-mad politicians.

Bryan Riley clarifies the true nature and consequences of tariffs punitive taxes on fellow citizens who purchase imports.

Eric Boehm assembles more evidence of Trump’s spectacular ignorance about trade. Oh, and for those who insist that unilateral tariff hikes are an effective means of moving the world toward freer trade, chew on this passage:

As part of the tariff announcement this morning, the White House promised to “pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services, or agricultural products.”

Mark Perry explains the reality and the importance of the U.S. economy being a part of the global economy and not an economy – as Trump & Co. either suppose or wish – apart from the global economy.

Dan Mitchell argues correctly that among the best steps that government can take to help workers is to lower employment taxes.

Bruce Yandle reveals how government policy contributes to natural disasters.

George Will is wisely skeptical of presidential pretensions and war powers.