The Economic Illiteracy of Tariff Man (Reblog)

It might be a little “aged” but it would apply no matter who’s name you put in.

This piece from D.J. Mitchell was spot on. I think that many Appalachian Americans among me love the emotional ploys, but fail to understand that protectionism (and its associated tomfoolery) does little to make real economic impact.

All you do is help a small group of people and give emotional lip service for the ignorant with open ears.


Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have said really foolish things, but Donald Trump may have set a new record for economic illiteracy with this tweet.

….I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2018

This tweet contains an astounding collection of inaccurate and offensive statements.

Here my corrective commentary.

I’ll briefly elaborate, starting at the top left and going clockwise.

The bottom line is that Trump is playing with fire. Indeed, what’s happening in financial markets is a very worrisome sign that he’s putting the economy at risk.

To be sure, I don’t think all of the volatility on Wall Street can be blamed on Trump’s protectionist policies and statement (the Federal Reserve should be blamed for creating a fragile market with easy-money policies). But a trade war could be the trigger that leads to the next recession.

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1 Response to The Economic Illiteracy of Tariff Man (Reblog)

  1. Third World countries often put massive tariffs on imports. They claim it’s to protect local industries but it’s mainly to fund ever more bloated bureaucracies and to line their pockets. They’ll put tariffs on products they can’t even produce in the local climate like maple syrup or olives. Who is that meant to help?
    The main effect is that things are more expensive for poor people. I remember seeing a thin blanket in Eritrea going for $200. A fly swat for $15.


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