Princeton economist Alan Blinder, who has often written very good work--I'm a fan, with qualifications, of his book Hard Heads, Soft Hearts and he has two excellent entries, here and here, in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics--has written a bad article. In it, he essentially takes off his economist hat and becomes a pundit--and not a good one.
Blinder is one of the most articulate and clear defenders of free trade. So when I saw that he had written an article critical of Trump, who is awful on trade, I hoped that he would do a good job of taking apart Trump's weak case. He doesn't. He does point out that Trump's trade policies would have bad effects, but he gives no reason for why. Instead, he spends most of the piece talking about how Trump's views are at odds with those of the American public. Even if that's true--and I'm not as convinced as Blinder is about that--so what? What if the American public is wrong on many of these issues? Blinder thinks they're wrong on trade. What else might they be wrong on?
But instead of doing any real economic analysis--and Blinder has shown in the past that he can do so beautifully in a short article--he writes as if he's not even an economist. Here's one of the items that stood out:
Read the rest here.