Saturday, November 5, 2016

Some Questions for Mr Trump

From Greg Mankiw:
I see you recently opened up a golf course in Scotland. I presume that part of your business plan is for some Americans to take vacations to play there. But this raises some thorny questions.

You complain constantly about American firms moving jobs overseas. But couldn't you have opened up your golf course here in the United States?  Wouldn't that have created jobs for American caddies and groundskeepers?  Should we be concerned when Americans import golfing services from your foreign course? Would you as President slap a tariff on American tourists traveling to your course, as you have proposed for goods coming from China?  Do you think such a tax would Make American Golfing Great Again?


  1. What a stupid comment and comparison. Americans travel everywhere so why not spend their money at an American golf course?

  2. I get the point, but I don't think it will hold. Trump could just say he built the course mostly for the people of Scotland to buy memberships to, and my guess is that is likely.

  3. Spoken like someone who teaches at Harvard.

  4. This is just nonsense from Mankiw. From what I've seen damn near all economists rail against Trump for his tariff threats, and they are correct strictly from an economists point of view. Tariffs are, in fact, a tax on our own people increasing the cost of stuff we buy. But they did not hear or understand Trump saying “the tariffs will never be levied because the other nations will bend.” It seems impossible for many economists to comprehend where Trump, “The Art of the Deal,” is coming from. Tariffs sure enough hurt our people, but they hurt our trading partners, too. A foreign supplier knows damn well if tariffs are applied, prices go up, and sales go down & that foreign supplier doesn't get a damn thing for it – it's not like him raising prices so at least he gets more from the remaining sales – he just loses.

    Both sides benefit from trade or they'd be none. Both sides lose on impediments to trade. The Art of the Deal is: “Let's both maximize our benefit from our trade.” China, for example, does restrain our imports & are not as open to our products & services as we are to theirs. (Note: I have an idea Trump is wrong about China's money manipulation or at least it's nowhere near the problem Trump claims).

    In any event, Mankiw, et al, are nuts to ignore the POSSIBILITY of Trump negotiating better trade deals than we have, that China might, under threat of tariffs, be inclined to open it's markets more for our goods & services. China already received its comeuppance over rare earths with which it had a virtual world monopoly & then tried to abuse it by requiring products needing rare earths to be made in China as they intended to quit exporting rare earths. The world needs rare earths & when China went to far, 2 new Western plants were built supplying rare earths, which are not all that rare.

  5. "It's bad except when El Trumpo does it!"

    That is, in a nutshell, what the other commentators posted above.

  6. Another dumb argument against renegotiating trade deals that give trading partners *regulatory advantage* over American businesses as opposed to natural comparative advantage.

    Libertarians by and large have been very bad this election cycle.