Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on January 31, 2020

in Budget Issues, Current Affairs, Debt and Deficits, Health, Politics, Seen and Unseen, Trade

Samuel Gregg responds to those who criticize his wise warnings against industrial policy. A slice:

The very fact, however, that a country’s comparative advantages are constantly changing is, if anything, yet another reason to be wary about experts who think they can second-guess the workings of markets via some combination of industrial policy and tariffs. Such reservations are neither an instance of “market fundamentalism” nor a reflection of excessive abstraction. Rather they flow from the deep realism about the human condition that is central to critiques of economic nationalism. For one thing, it is simply beyond the ability of any one ostensibly apolitical technocrat, team of experts, or government department to absorb all the information that they would need to design the optimal industrial policy for a sector of the economy—let alone an entire national economy such as Japan attempted between 1949 and 2001.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is rightly dismayed – but not surprised – by the ill-consequences of Trump’s tariffs punitive taxes on Americans who buy imports.

Scott Sumner is unimpressed with the reasons given for why we Americans should be so fearful of Huawei that we defer to the U.S. government to obstruct our trade with the Chinese.

Vincent Geloso writes on the economics of pandemics and quarantines.

Chris Edwards offers eight lessons on infrastructure policy.

Steven Greenhut rightly bemoans Trump’s fiscal incontinence.

George Will identifies utility in a futile presidential impeachment trial.

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