Category Archives: Free-trade

An Entertaining Way to Learn About Contemporary US Capitalism

I have discovered a very good way to learn about a topic is to read about something related – the topic serves as a foundation or is always in the background. For example, a good way to learn about the rise of the Nazis in the inter-war period in Germany is to read about something else that happened in Germany during the same time period. I had this experience with Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts. A consistent day-by-day… Continue Reading ››

Quick ? for Mr. Trump based on his speech

Mr. Trump rightly noted that any healthcare reform, to be effective: it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government. I like this principle.  But this leads to a natural follow-on question.  If it is good for Americans to be able to buy the health care plan they want, not what the government wants for them (and their cronies), why not allow Americans to buy whatever goods and services they want from whomever… Continue Reading ››

Trumpian Trade Trouble: A Clash with Economic Reality

As I’ve shared before, I am excited by some of Mr. Trump’s economic agenda, and his executive orders even this week on regulation are a great first step toward unleashing the American economy.  When I consider our budget issues going forward, the best way to enable any other necessary change is for faster economic growth.  Yet what he gives with one hand, Mr. Trump threatens with the other in his views on trade. Mr. Trump prefers businessmen to economists, which might… Continue Reading ››

An Exile in Trumplandia and The Road to Serfdom

Illiberal. That one word, expresses my primary fear about President Donald J Trump. Yesterday I posted An Exile in Trumplandia Discovers Twitter which I hope partially illustrates our president’s response to some of the institutional pushback he is seeing. When I use the word “liberal”, I am not using the word to mean government control, as “liberal” has come to mean in typical usage in the political arena in the United States. My usage of the word liberal indicates a belief that the… Continue Reading ››

The Trump(et) Sounds

Well, Donald Trump is now officially our president.  He delivered an interesting and a bit controversial inaugural speech yesterday, which I would like to try my hand at analyzing.  Before I do, may I mention others’ comments on it.  George Will called it “a most dreadful inaugural address” (National Review Online, January 21, 2017) and for reasons I will touch on.  The editors of NRO were less hard line, summarizing it this way: “Trump’s inaugural address was successful in expressing… Continue Reading ››

Trump’s Trumps

A new controversy–well, not really new, just renewed–has now taken the stage regarding President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition.  This one concerns the “flavor” of his cabinet choices, taken collectively.  The media and Democrats are trying to figure out (1) what they tell us about Trump and (2) what the supporter–stakeholders think about the choices.  Those are interesting questions.  I am not sure they can be answered adequately at this point, but let’s at least explore them. First, do the choices made… Continue Reading ››

Talking Trade – I, Woollen Coat

During the campaign, president-elect Trump was occasionally Narcissistic, evidenced political Inexperience, was sometimes Thin-skinned, and often Short tempered (NITS). However, his acceptance speech sought “… to bind the wounds of division”. Since the election he has had a long meeting with President Obama and has been conferring with members of the Republican Party. Donald J. Trump has been acting presidential. As Thomas Sowell said, “Donald Trump is a wild card. We don’t know whether he was play-acting when he carried on like… Continue Reading ››

“If we don’t buy this apartment, we’ll miss the chance to get rich.”

Mr. Trump blames bad trade deals as helping the Chinese profit at the U.S.’s expense.  Undoubtedly we could have better trade deals, if we made them one-page long rather than the monstrosities that Washington normally cooks up.  Nevertheless, I remain convinced that on balance free trade agreements are beneficial, leading to higher standards of living than we would otherwise have had.  I assert that our economic problems are primarily located in Washington DC, not in Beijing or Mexico City. When… Continue Reading ››

Immigration Policy and the Influence of Immigrants on a Society

Do immigrants import their economic (and political) destiny?  And is there any correlation between a past (in some nation) that is anti-market, undemocratic, untrusting and the present state of the nations to which they have migrated in sufficient numbers?  That first sentence is the title of an article in Evonomics: The Next Evolution of Economics, by Garett Jones of the Mercatus Center.  The questions above have been debated in various ways recently and they probably underlay at least some of… Continue Reading ››

The Great Enrichment and Inequality

I have been reading the third in a trilogy of books by Deidre McCloskey on economic history and economic thought, but each one having a powerful point of application for our economy and our well-being today.  The trilogy is massive, running to about 2,000 pages in three volumes.  This third volume is Bourgeois Equality (University of Chicago, 2016).  As the title implies a big part of the book addresses, directly and indirectly, the issue of inequality or it opposite, equality. … Continue Reading ››