Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on August 30, 2018

in Inequality, Legal Issues, Politics, Taxes, Trade

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy understandably cannot understand why Trump believes that NAFTA has bad connotations. A slice:

NAFTA had a positive impact on the U.S. economy. Writing about the risk of withdrawing from the 1994 agreement in The Wall Street Journal a few months ago, Matthew Slaughter, dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, wrote, “In a new report canvassing dozens of academic and policy studies, I find that the U.S. gross domestic product is now 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent larger than it would be without Nafta, a yearly boost of about $50 billion.”

And Caroline Baum is understandably exasperated by Trump’s utter ignorance of trade.

Doug McCullough sees through Trump’s absurd national-security ruse for tariffs.

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan explains why politicians dodge questions. A slice:

Politics is theater – a gigantic effort to please ears and warm hearts.  Asking hard questions is rarely a sincere effort to acquire information; pseudo-answers to such questions aren’t a sincere effort to provide information.  If you think this is all benign, think again.  Reality itself poses many hard questions; they’re called “trade-offs.”  And the typical politician would rather dodge them than deal with them.

Phil Magness makes a strong case that confiscatory taxation does reduce inequality.

A world of LBJs

George Will has some additional questions for Brett Kavanaugh. A slice:

All campaign-finance laws have two things in common: They are supposedly written to prevent, among other things, the “appearance” of corruption. And they are written by incumbent legislators. Is there an appearance of corruption in incumbents tinkering with the rules that regulate the political competition in which their careers are at stake?

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