Instead of “trade wars,” let’s call them what they really are: economic suicide bombings.
DBx: Indeed so.
Like physical bombings, the economic suicide bombings that are tariffs and other trade restrictions create particular jobs by destroying real wealth. Those who then resupply the wealth that is destroyed applaud the suicide bombings, and tirelessly repeat ancient, absurd dogmas to justify the bombings. But unlike physical bombings, the victims of economic suicide bombings are largely unseen and, hence, ignored.
The people – and they are many – who cling to the dogma of protectionism do so as a matter of faith. This dogma cannot withstand the scrutiny of reason or be justified by any competent observation of reality. Yet the uncivilized and destructive religion of protectionism nevertheless flourishes, no doubt in no small part because the narrow interests of a relatively small but politically powerful cabal of producers are served by the public taking to be true all the mysticism of protectionism and its alleged miracles.
Whether or not Jesus miraculously created abundance out of the scarcity of five loaves and two fish I will not here say. I am, however, quite confident that when the likes of Donald Trump, Peter Navarro, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and Sherrod Brown promise to perform a similar miracle – that is, to create abundance out of artificially contrived scarcity – they are either delusional about their own powers or are cynically playing their congregations for fools.