Citing the work of my Mercatus Center colleagues Adam Thierer and Andrea O’Sullivan, James Pethokoukis continues his valiant effort to expose the fallacies and dangers that lurk in today’s efforts by conservatives to have government censor on-line platforms . Here’s his concluding paragraph:
The big question: Do we really want a group of political appointees getting more involved in regulating internet speech? As former FTC Commissioner Joushua Wright tweeted  about a bill from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would have the agency certify social media companies as bias free if they wanted to keep their Section 230 shield: “ . . . the bill quite literally injects a board of bureaucrats into millions of decisions about internet content. This is central planning. Full stop.”
It was through [U.S. Secretary of State Cordell] Hull’s efforts, backed by centuries of economic thought and a near consensus in the profession since the 19th century, that the United States led the world towards ever freer trade. It’s been this way for 85 years, beginning in 1934 and continuing through 2018 when the trade wars began. In all these years, hardly anyone imagined that it could go the other way. And yet presently, after nearly a century of experience, that precedent is rapidly swirling down the drain.
Mr. Trump’s tariffs and tariff threats have added to uncertainty and hence less investment. The president doesn’t like to acknowledge that a tariff is a tax — and like most tax increases is damaging. Much as he may wish that the Chinese and others “pay” the tariff, the reality is, over the longer run, it will be the U.S. consumer that will pay most of the tariff.
In the short run, countries, particularly those with many state-controlled industries, may choose to absorb the tariff; but in the long run, it is almost always passed along to the buyers. Even when a tariff is repealed, sellers in commodity oligopolistic industries may find they can continue to charge the higher price for the commodity for some period of time as though the tariff was never abolished.