Friday, October 28, 2016

If Trump Loses the Election Could He Become An Agent for Employees?

Don Boudreaux sends a letter to a correspondent:
Mr. Bill Sieta
Mr. Sieta:
Objecting to my criticisms of Trump’s trade policies, you write that you “look forward to President Trump getting tough with China, demanding it buy much more of our exports, AND stop exporting so much to us.”
I’ve a suggestion.  If (as is likely) Trump loses the election, hire him to be your employment agent so that he can at least do for you what he’ll be unable to do for the country.  Agent Trump will get tough with your employer, demanding that your employer work you much harder, AND stop paying so much to you.
If you believe that such ‘tough’ bargaining by Agent Trump would enrich you and your family, please continue to applaud Trump’s proposed trade policies, for a Pres. Trump would do for all Americans exactly what Agent Trump would do for you and your family.  But if you understand that such ‘tough’ bargaining by Agent Trump would make you and your family poorer, please consider rethinking your support for Trump’s policies.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
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


  1. This doesn't jibe with Boudreaux's statement yesterday that "Exporting for Americans is worthwhile only because it supplies us with the means to purchase imports, either currently or in the future."

    If exporting for the Chinese is worthwhile only because it supplies them the means to purchase imports, then why isn't Mr. Sieta correct in insisting that the Chinese purchase more goods from the USA?

    Would Mr. Boudreaux lobby for students to enroll in another economic professor's course? No, he'd prefer students take his course. Nothing wrong with Americans wanting the Chinese to purchase more American products.

    If I sell liquor to a bar, is it not mutually beneficial for me to also patron that bar?

    1. The Chinese do buy more from the US than people would have you believe though. Some of the money they get from the US they invest in the US rather than buy goods.

      If you sell booze to a bar and then use that money to give the bar a loan or buy a portion of it rather than patron the bar, don't they still benefit?