Deirdre McCloskey reviews Quinn Slobodian’s book, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. (I pick one very tiny nit: the reader of this review might come away unaware that James Buchanan regarded the problem of how to bound the market within a liberal legal order as central.)
The tariff decisions, which may soon be extended to automobiles, signal a fundamental shift in national economic policy away from competitive markets and straight toward crony capitalism. By intervening directly to prop up two industries with very narrow geographic bases — in regions Trump will need to carry should he run for re-election in 2020 — the White House has openly demonstrated its willingness to use the levers of federal policy to support interests that serve its own personal and partisan political interests.
Here’s Pierre Lemieux on predicting trade wars. A slice, here speaking of “the gerontocrats who govern us (whatever their political affiliations)”:
If changing one’s opinions may be feasible in old age, changing one’s emotions is certainly difficult. And protectionism is based on emotions or, at best, on unexamined value judgments. I am keeping my mind open, but I think they will understand free trade when pigs fly.