Continuing With My Open Letters to the Scarcityist-in-Chief

by Don Boudreaux on September 25, 2018

in Myths and Fallacies, Not from the Onion, Trade

Mr. Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. Trump:

Speaking at the United Nations today you complained that Americans are harmed by China and other countries making their exports to America more abundant. You complained also that Americans are harmed by OPEC countries making their exports to America less abundant.

Which is it? When foreigners arrange for us Americans to have greater access to goods and services are we impoverished or are we enriched? How can it be that we are made poorer both if some foreigners lower the prices of the outputs that they sell to us and if other foreigners raise the prices of the outputs that they sell to us? How do you explain your inconsistency?

You proclaimed about OPEC that “We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices…. We are not going to put up with it – these horrible prices – much longer.”

Do you not see that your fellow Americans can and should issue the same proclamation to you? – you whose tariffs raise prices here in America to horrible levels? – you whose trade policy is the ugly offspring of cronyism and cartoonish economic ignorance? – you whose trade obstructions we ought not put up with much longer?

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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