Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Larry Kudlow "Theoretically" Against Tariffs But in Reality He Says He is for Them

Larry Kudlow

The latest comments from President Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, remind one of what Murray Rothbard once wrote about Alan Greenspan:
There is one thing, however, that makes Greenspan unique, and that sets him off from his Establishment buddies. And that is that he is a follower of Ayn Rand, and therefore "philosophically" believes in laissez-faire and even the gold standard. But as the New York Times and other important media hastened to assure us, Alan only believes in laissez-faire "on the high philosophical level." In practice, in the policies he advocates, he is a centrist like everyone else because he is a "pragmatist."

As an alleged "laissez-faire pragmatist," at no time in his prominent twenty-year career in politics has he ever advocated anything that even remotely smacks of laissez-faire, or even any approach toward it. For Greenspan, laissez-faire is not a lodestar, a standard, and a guide by which to set one's course; instead, it is simply a curiosity kept in the closet, totally divorced from his concrete policy conclusions.
Kudlow tells Politico:
I’m opposed to blanket tariffs. And in general, I regard tariffs as a very blunt and difficult instrument. On the other hand, I’ve never been opposed to targeted tariffs, and on China in particular, you can go back and look at Kudlow tapes and TV and God knows what, and I have been a hawk on China for years.

-Robert Wenzel  


  1. Wouldn’t it be great if this whole tariff thing were just a bluff to try to get China to open up, sort of like an economic version of the madman strategy?

    I suspect that in reality it’s mostly just economic ignorance and populist pandering, but at least it’s a nice dream.

    1. Trump is playing four-dimensional chess. Bombing Syria was a way to agitate Iran so there would be grounds to pull out of the JCPOA and thus cause North Korea to pull out of the summit, thereby leading China to have to focus more on North Korea than on tariffs, and completely drawing its focus away from dumping Treasuries, so the state can continue to fund its Middle East wars, such as in Syria. Rinse and repeat.