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Art Carden correctly identifies tariffs as sanctions that governments impose on their own citizens. A slice:

Tariffs on foreign goods are “sanctions” on American consumers. Their crime? Not wanting to pay as much as domestic producers want.

Paul Sracic explains that “protectionism won’t save U.S. Steel’s jobs.” A slice:

It might be useful for the United Steel Workers to recall that the mills that closed in Youngstown were all union shops. History teaches that while unions can improve wages and working conditions for those working in the mills, they can’t make the mills economically sustainable. Cleveland-Cliffs announced it would close its unionized tinplate mill in Weirton, W.Va., this month. While the company blamed foreign competitors, the bipartisan International Trade Commission unanimously rejected the claim that imports were damaging Cleveland-Cliffs.

Even if the U.S. adopts tariffs and other countermeasures to raise the price of foreign steel, the older plants that formed the core of the old U.S. Steel will face increased competition from greener domestic rivals. A lack of investment and innovation destroyed steel jobs in the 1970s and ’80s. Politicians and others who oppose Nippon Steel’s purchase of U.S. Steel risk taking us down this road once again. Ironically, they are doing so in the name of the very working-class voters who will feel the brunt of the economic pain should these mills close.

Say, Arnold Kling writes insightfully about the market for bureaucrats.

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal warns of “a global wealth tax.” Two slices:

In our new socialist age, the demand to tax and redistribute income is insatiable. The latest brainstorm arrives in a proposal by four countries in the G-20 group of nations to impose a 2% wealth tax on the world’s billionaires. Don’t think this couldn’t happen.


As you might expect, this would principally be a tax raid on Americans, who are the most numerous billionaires. It would also be taxation without representation, since it would be a body of global elites attempting to impose a tax without having passed Congress.

Hans Bader’s letter in today’s Wall Street Journal is excellent:

The editorial board is right to criticize a California legislative committee’s passage of reparations proposals that could cost taxpayers a huge amount of money (“Slavery Reparations in California?” April 24). Paying race-based reparations to blacks is unconstitutional. Under Supreme Court precedent, racial handouts are allowed only as a remedy for recent systemic discrimination by the unit of government providing the handout.

California wasn’t a slave state, and it hasn’t engaged in recent systemic discrimination against blacks, so reparations aren’t warranted under court rulings such as Coral Construction Co. v. King County (1991). Discrimination that occurred decades ago isn’t a reason for racial preferences under court rulings like Hammon v. Barry (1987), which rejected affirmative action as a remedy for discrimination that occurred 18 years earlier.

Moreover, the racial wealth gap isn’t due to segregation or government discrimination. Racial wealth gaps exist even in countries like Malaysia and Uganda, where the ethnic group with less wealth is politically dominant and received racial preferences from the government. So the racial wealth gap isn’t a reason for reparations.

Hans Bader
Arlington, Va.

GMU Econ alumn Dominic Pino puts an important question to today’s campus occupiers.

Vance Ginn is correct about Vermont’s perpetually angry socialist senator: “Sanders’s 4-Day Week Will Kill Flexible Jobs.”

Market competition!