Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump as Scam Artist



A Don Boudreaux letter to the Wall Street Journal:
You describe Trump’s proposed scheme to artificially inflate U.S. trade-deficit figures as an attempt to “deceive” (“A Trump Statistical Trade Trick,” Feb. 21).  Exactly.  Counting goods shipped to other countries through the U.S. as U.S. imports but not as U.S. exports is simply fraudulent.

If the Trump administration gets away with this swindle, don’t be surprised to see it used for other purposes – especially, to further Trump’s goal of stoking Americans’ fears of immigrants.  The same logic that allegedly justifies what you correctly call “single-entry trade bookkeeping” would justify counting all non-Americans who come to the U.S. – even those who come only to visit – as ‘immigrants arriving in the U.S.,’ yet none who return to their home countries counted as ‘immigrants leaving the U.S.’  If this method of measuring immigration flows sounds Orwellian, it is – but it is no more so than is Trump’s proposed new method for measuring trade flows.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek

RW note: Trump is nothing but a major league street hustler and he will try to get away with whatever he can to achieve whatever his goals are. In this case to bizarrely further justify limiting trade.

2 comments:

  1. ─ Trump is nothing but a major league street hustler and he will try to get away with whatever he can to achieve whatever his goals are. In this case to bizarrely further justify limiting trade. ─

    If you think what El Señor Presidente Trumpo does or say is bizarre, you should get a load of his defenders. Yesterday I was watching Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News, and only because what I though he was never going to do, happened. He invited an actual libertarian - Alex Nowrasteh - to debate El Trumpo's new immigration policies. The fist question Tucker asked is who should set the limit on how many immigrants are allowed into the country. Alex gave the CORRECT answer: The Market. Then Tucker became UNHINGED. He accused libertarians of deferring too much to the market or showing total reverence towards the market, even saying that for him, the market is not a "religion" (!) That reminded me instantly of how leftists argue against free market economics, accusing those who espouse it of lifting the Market to god-like status, a complete and clumsy strawman.

    Things just went downhill from there. Alex stood his ground, very poised, while Tucker was pulling 'facts' out of the crack of his behind which could perfectly be used to argue against having CHILDREN if he was being sincere about what he was implying ("They consume the fruits of this society!" he shouted).

    Trumpistas are becoming crazier before our very eyes, Robert. This is NOT good.

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  2. Which raises the question: what are Trump's goals?

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