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Mark Perry

Mark Perry

Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

Articles by Mark Perry

To maximize economic growth we should encourage job destruction and not job protection and ‘jobism’ – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
To maximize economic growth we should encourage job destruction and not job protection and ‘jobism’
In a 1992 WSJ op-ed (“Help the Economy: Destroy Some Jobs”) featured previously on CD here and here, economist Richard McKenzie criticized the misguided obsession with what he referred to as “jobism” — the modern public-policy philosophy that mistakenly focuses on of the number of jobs as being the “key measure of a country’s economic success or failure.” It’s an excellent and overlooked view of the economy and labor market, and worth reposting again.
Here are some a key excerpt of Professor McKenzie’s op-ed (emphasis added):
Economic progress and job destruction go hand in hand. Jobs are destroyed when a better mousetrap or computer program is developed or when work is made obsolete by

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Pew Research Center quiz: How well can you tell factual from opinion statements? – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
Pew Research Center quiz: How well can you tell factual from opinion statements?
From the Pew Research Center:
Can you tell the difference between factual and opinion news statements?
In today’s fast-paced and complex information environment, news consumers must make rapid-fire judgments about how to internalize news-related statements – statements that often come in snippets and through pathways that provide little context. A new Pew Research Center survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults examines a basic step in that process: whether members of the public can recognize news as factual – something that’s capable of being proved or disproved by objective evidence – or as an opinion that reflects the beliefs and values of whoever expressed it.
You can test your ability to classify 10 news

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Table of the Day: Master’s degrees for Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 31% master’s degree gap for men! – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
Table of the Day: Master’s degrees for Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 31% master’s degree gap for men!

Following my post yesterday for bachelor’s degrees by field and gender in 2016, the table above shows the number of master’s degrees by major field of study and gender for the Class of 2016, ranked by the female share of each field (based on recently released Department of Education data here). A few observations:
1. Overall, women earned 59.2% of all master’s degrees in 2016, which means there were 145 women graduating from graduate school with a master’s degree that year for every 100 men. It also reflects a whopping 31% gender master’s degree gap for men, who earned only 320,234 master’s degrees in 2016 compared to 464,925 degrees earned by women (320,234 /

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Table of the Day: Bachelor’s degrees for the Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 25.6% degree gap for men! – Publications – AEI

3 days ago

AEI
Table of the Day: Bachelor’s degrees for the Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 25.6% degree gap for men!

The table above shows the number of bachelor’s degrees by major field of study and gender for the College Class of 2016, ranked by the female share of each field (based on recently released Department of Education data here). A few observations:
1. Overall, women earned 57.34% of all bachelor’s degrees in 2016, which means there were 134 women graduating from college that year for every 100 men. It also reflects a whopping 25.6% gender college degree gap for men, who earned only 816,912 bachelor’s degrees in 2016 compared to 1,098,173 degrees earned women.
2. Although data are not yet available for bachelor’s degrees by field and gender in 2017, the Department

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The US Drug War started 47 years ago tomorrow. Some commentary from Milton Friedman on that failed and shameful war – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
The US Drug War started 47 years ago tomorrow. Some commentary from Milton Friedman on that failed and shameful war

Tomorrow (June 17) marks the 47th anniversary of America’s War on Drugs Otherwise Peaceful Americans Who Voluntarily Choose To Ingest or Sell Intoxicants Currently Proscribed by the Government, Which Will Put Users or Sellers in Cages if Caught. To bring awareness to this immoral, failed, costly, and shameful war on the American people, here’s some commentary below from Nobel economist Milton Friedman.
In 1991 Nobel economist Milton Friedman (pictured above giving a talk at AEI, exact year unknown) was interviewed by Emmy Award-winning drug reporter Randy Paige on “America’s Drug Forum,” a national public affairs talk show that appeared on public television stations. In

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NYT gender bias: Small math test gap favoring boys is emphasized while much larger reading test gap favoring girls is downplayed – Publications – AEI

7 days ago

AEI
NYT gender bias: Small math test gap favoring boys is emphasized while much larger reading test gap favoring girls is downplayed

The chart above (with the red ellipses added) is from the New York Times article “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts” and is based on 260 million standardized reading and math test scores for third through eighth graders in nearly every district in the country. Here’s the story’s lead:

In much of the country, the stereotype that boys do better than girls at math isn’t true – on average, they perform about the same, at least through eighth grade. But there’s a notable exception.
In school districts that are mostly rich, white and suburban, boys are much more likely to outperform girls in math, according to a new study

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The shocking and sickening story behind Richard Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’ that targeted blacks and anti-war activists – Publications – AEI

7 days ago

AEI
The shocking and sickening story behind Richard Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’ that targeted blacks and anti-war activists

This Sunday, June 17 will mark the 48th anniversary of a shameful day in US history — it’s when President Richard Nixon’s declared what has been the US government’s longest and costliest war — the epic failure known as the War on Drugs. At a press conference on that day in 1971, Nixon identified drug abuse as “public enemy number one in the United States” and launched a failed, costly and inhumane federal war on Americans that continues to today. Early the following year, Nixon created the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE) in January 1972 to wage a government war on otherwise peaceful and innocent Americans who voluntarily chose to ingest plants, weeds, and

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Many large US firms sell, hire and invest more overseas than in US and they have to think globally, not domestically, to survive – Publications – AEI

8 days ago

AEI
Many large US firms sell, hire and invest more overseas than in US and they have to think globally, not domestically, to survive

The table above (click to enlarge) is based on financial data included in the World Investment Report 2017, a report produced annually by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and just released with data for 2017. Table 19 of the UNCTAD report lists the world’s top 100 non-financial “Multinational Enterprises” ranked by foreign assets in 2017, and the table above features the 20 multi-national corporations (MNCs) in that group that are headquartered in the US. Displayed above are: a) foreign assets, b) foreign sales, and c) foreign employees, both alone and most importantly as shares of the global totals for those three items for

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Tuesday evening links – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
Tuesday evening links

1. Chart of the Day (above) is based on recently released data from the Department of Education that includes college degrees for the 2016-2017 academic year and shows that women have earned more than 57% of bachelor’s degrees for the last 18 years starting in 2000. Further, women have earned a majority of bachelor’s degrees for the last 36 years starting in 1982. Not shown here, but women previously earned a majority of associate’s degrees starting in 1978 and a majority of master’s degrees starting in 1981. By 2006, women earned a majority of doctoral degrees and the “takeover” of higher education by women was complete for degrees at all levels! But instead of declaring “victory” and moving on, many women are still claiming “victim status” in higher education

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31 years ago today Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ‘tear down’ the Berlin Wall – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
31 years ago today Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ‘tear down’ the Berlin Wall
On this day (June 12) President Ronald Reagan gave what is probably his most famous and influential speech — the “Berlin Wall speech” — at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany on June 12, 1987. It was in this speech (at about 12:00 in the video below) that Reagan made his famous and history-changing demand “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” That statement and speech helped changed the course of history, and there’s even an entire Wikipedia entry for Reagan’s famous phrase “Tear Down This Wall!”
According to the Wikipedia entry, “The speech was also a source of considerable controversy within the Reagan administration itself, with several senior staffers and aides

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Camile Paglia’s anticipatory response to Suzanna Walters’ anti-male bigotry: ‘It’s a man’s world and it always will be’ – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
Camile Paglia’s anticipatory response to Suzanna Walters’ anti-male bigotry: ‘It’s a man’s world and it always will be’
In the Sunday Washington Post, Northeastern University professor Suzanna Walters wrote what must be one of the most hate-filled, sexist, bigoted op-eds in the history of the paper that universally condemned all men on the planet (including apparently all gay men, black men, Muslim men, trans men, etc.). The diatribe was titled “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” with the answer being, according to Prof. Walters, “we can,” or in her words “We have every right to hate you.” But by “we” Prof. Walters apparently means “I” — since her op-ed has been almost universally condemned by everybody including most liberals and feminists, and supported by almost no one (see the nearly 3,000

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The best sentence I read today…. – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
The best sentence I read today….
…. is from Elisha Maldonado, a member of the New York Post’s editorial board and a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, writing in the Wall Street Journal — “Anthony Bourdain vs. the Social-Justice Warriors: The celebrity chef scoffed at the notion of opposing ‘cultural appropriation’“:
Perhaps the idea of “cultural appropriation” is itself an example of cultural imperialism—part of the social-justice warriors’ effort to assert world-wide ideological supremacy.
Here’s more:
When Anthony Bourdain took us to places like Libya and Venezuela and West Virginia, he let the locals shine. His vocation was about more than food. It was about people—understanding their cultures and their lives, lifting them up and making their dishes. The anonymous

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What causes hyperinflation for medical costs in the US? Medical insurance, which is the problem, not the solution – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
What causes hyperinflation for medical costs in the US? Medical insurance, which is the problem, not the solution

The chart above shows the percentage increases between 1983 and 2017 for: a) the CPI for Hospital and Related Services (+727%),  b) the CPI for Medical Care Services (+403%) and the CPI for All Items (146%). Therefore, the price of medical care has increased almost three times more than consumer prices in general and the price of hospital services has increased about five times more than overall inflation over the last 34 years. Except for college tuition and college textbooks, there has been no consumer product, good or service that has increased over time as much as medical care services and and hospital services, to the point that Dr. John Hunt — pediatrician,

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Quotation of the day on the self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left… – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on the self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left…
…. is from Anthony Bourdain’s interview with Reason Magazine in December 2016:
The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.
I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be

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I nominate Suzanna Walters for the most hateful, venomous, vitriolic, and reprehensible op-ed in history of WaPo – Publications – AEI

11 days ago

AEI
I nominate Suzanna Walters for the most hateful, venomous, vitriolic, and reprehensible op-ed in history of WaPo

Update: That didn’t take long, I’ve just been blocked by Prof. Walters, see above. #EndofDiscussionIGuess
I hereby nominate Suzanna Danuta Walters (picture above), professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, for authoring the most hateful, venomous, vitriolic, malicious, misguided, despicable, vindictive, unpersuasive and reprehensible op-ed in the history of the Washington Post, and possibly in the history of modern journalism for a mainstream media publication.  The op-ed is titled “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” and is featured prominently on the main editorial page of today’s (Sunday) Washington Post,

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‘What Money Can’t Buy’ six-episode video series – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
‘What Money Can’t Buy’ six-episode video series

The Institute for New Economic Thinking has posted a six-episode video series: “What Money Can’t Buy.” The video series features Harvard political philosophy professor Michael Sandel (pictured above) who has thought about the intersection of economic motivations with other values as deeply as anyone. At times, Sandel discusses questions with prominent economists (Greg Mankiw, Richard Posner, Joseph Stiglitz, Lawrence H. Summers, and others). But most of the videos are a seminar-style discussion with Sandel and 12 students. The trailer for the series appears above and here are links below to the six episodes in the “What Money Can’t Buy Video Series.”
Episode 1: Sex Sells, But Should It? (Should We Be Able to Discriminate Based on

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In his weekly radio address to the nation in 1985, Reagan explains why protectionism should be called destructionism – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
In his weekly radio address to the nation in 1985, Reagan explains why protectionism should be called destructionism
In the pre-Twitter days of the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan communicated to the American people through his weekly “Radio Addresses to the Nation.” In the weekly address above on August 31, 1985, Reagan explains why he vetoed a bill that would have imposed tariffs and quotas on foreign shoe imports. Here’s Reagan:
The case of shoe imports illustrates why so-called protectionism is almost always self-destructive, doing more harm than good even to those it’s supposed to be helping. Advocates of protectionism often ignore its huge hidden costs that far outweigh any temporary benefits. Protectionism almost always ends up making the protected industry weaker and less able

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If Trump aspires to be Ronald Reagan he should pay close attention to Reagan’s 1988 radio address on free trade… but don’t hold your breath – Publications – AEI

15 days ago

AEI
If Trump aspires to be Ronald Reagan he should pay close attention to Reagan’s 1988 radio address on free trade… but don’t hold your breath
The video above of President Reagan’s radio address towards the end of his second term on November 26, 1988, was just released last fall by the Reagan Library and featured then on CD (linked here). Although Reagan’s comments on trade were made 30 years ago, they are still as fresh and relevant today as in the late 1980s, maybe even more so today in the new era of rising protectionism, nationalism and threats of trade wars. The Protectionist-in-Chief and his team of protectionists should pay close attention to Reagan’s remarks, since they expose many of Team Trump’s faulty ideas on trade. Here are some key excerpts:
Over the past 200 years, not

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The best sentence I read today….. – Publications – AEI

16 days ago

AEI
The best sentence I read today…..
…. is from Steven F. Hayward writing in today’s Wall Street Journal “Climate Change Has Run Its Course“:
The descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality.
The next sentence is good, too:
Climate alarm is like a car alarm—a blaring noise people are tuning out.
And here’s some background:
A good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The “nonbinding” pact declares that climate action must include concern for “gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity” as well as “the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice.’ ”
The best sentence I read today…..
Mark

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Some thoughts on rent-seeking protectionists from more than a century ago…. – Publications – AEI

16 days ago

AEI
Some thoughts on rent-seeking protectionists from more than a century ago….
…. are from Cornell University professor of political economy and finance Frank A. Fetter‘s 1905 textbook The Principles of Economics, With Applications to Practical Problems:
A tariff is immediately favorable to some enterprises and to special classes of workmen. Enterprisers already acquainted with and engaged in a business always may hope to gain by the higher prices immediately following a rise in the tariff rates on their particular products. Though they are granted no enduring monopoly by the protection, they for the time enjoy the advantage of being on the ground and reap the first fruits of the favoring conditions. The enterpriser usually profits when the price of his product suddenly rises.
The burden

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Some thoughts on the benefits of international trade from more than a century ago…. – Publications – AEI

17 days ago

AEI
Some thoughts on the benefits of international trade from more than a century ago….

… are from Cornell University professor of political economy and finance Frank A. Fetter‘s 1905 textbook The Principles of Economics, With Applications to Practical Problems (emphasis added):
International trade is exchange between individuals, and has the same object as other exchange of goods. The term international trade should not be misunderstood as meaning that nations rather than individuals engage in it. International trade differs from domestic trade only in the fact that the parties are citizens of different sovereign states. Exchanges between men in the same village, between those in neighboring villages, and between those in different countries, are prompted by essentially the same economic

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Why Trump’s protectionism is futile – Publications – AEI

19 days ago

AEI
Why Trump’s protectionism is futile
That’s the title of an article in today’s Wall Street Journal featuring an interview with trade economist and Dartmouth economics professor Douglas Irwin, here are some key excerpts:
Mr. Trump may be the first openly protectionist president since Hoover, but what Douglas Irwin finds most frustrating about him is that “he never really defines what a ‘better’ trade deal is. His judgment of trade comes down to the trade balance, which he uses as a sort of ledger, as a businessman would, rather than think more broadly about the national economic impact of trade.” It is impossible for every country to run a trade surplus, but “Trump thinks about trade in these zero-sum terms, about whether there’s profits or losses, and he views exports as good and

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Trump aspires to be Ronald Reagan but his tariff folly echoes of Herbert Hoover – Publications – AEI

20 days ago

AEI
Trump aspires to be Ronald Reagan but his tariff folly echoes of Herbert Hoover
That’s the conclusion of the Wall Street Journal editorial board about the Protectionist-in-Chief’s latest trade folly:
So much for Donald Trump as genius deal-maker. We are supposed to believe his tariff threats are a clever negotiation strategy, but on Thursday he revealed he’s merely an old-fashioned protectionist. His decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Canada and Mexico will hurt the U.S. economy, his own foreign policy and perhaps Republicans in November.
…..
American businesses rely on complex cross-border supply chains that take time and money to change. Most will have to internalize the tariff costs, which will mean raising prices or hiring fewer workers and paying

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All protectionism and theft is bad, there is no ‘protectionism or theft done well’ – Publications – AEI

21 days ago

AEI
All protectionism and theft is bad, there is no ‘protectionism or theft done well’
That’s what we learn from Don Boudreaux’s letter to the Wall Street Journal in response to Greg Ip’s recent Wall Street Journal article (italics mine):
Greg Ip is correct that some protectionist measures are worse than other such measures (“Trump Shows How Not to Be a Protectionist,” May 31). But he is highly misleading when he describes the latter measures as “protectionism done well.” Protectionism, by its nature – and no matter how “well” it is done – is public policy done poorly.
Protectionism artificially decreases material abundance in countries whose governments practice it. Protectionism bestows special, monopoly-like privileges on particular domestic producers at the larger expense of other

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Economic reality: ‘Trump is imposing tariffs on Americans, not Europe’ – Publications – AEI

21 days ago

AEI
Economic reality: ‘Trump is imposing tariffs on Americans, not Europe’
That’s the title of Tim Worstall’s op-ed in the Washington Examiner, here’s the opening:
One of the more distressing and distressingly fundamental misunderstandings of trade economics is the question of who pays tariffs? The people whose pockets become lighter are those inside the tariff “protections” and thus it is they who pay them. It is vital to understand this as we consider Trump’s most recent actions upon those trade tariffs. It is American consumers who will pay them, not foreigners.
This understanding isn’t aided by the manner in which the issue is reported. The Financial Times tells us “US to impose tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico,” The Independent says “US to impose steel tariffs on EU from midnight

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Wednesday evening links – Publications – AEI

22 days ago

AEI
Wednesday evening links

1. Chart of the Day I (above) shows graphically the amazing “life course dynamics of affluence” that summarize the research of Thomas Hirschl and Mark Rank, based on their empirical investigation of individual lifetime income data over a 44-year period for individuals from ages 25 to 60 to see what percentage of the American population would experience different levels of affluence during their lifetimes. The results above are striking and remarkable and were featured before on CD here and here, and totally worthy of a re-post here.
As Washington University professor Mark Rank wrote in a 2015 New York Times article about his research with Thomas Hirschl, “Rather than being a place of static, income-based social tiers, America is a place where a large majority

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Some thoughts from Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural speech for Memorial Day 2018 – Publications – AEI

24 days ago

AEI
Some thoughts from Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural speech for Memorial Day 2018

I featured the video above in a post last year on CD around this time and thought it was worthy of a re-post this year. It’s called “Ronald Reagan: Memorial Day Speech” on YouTube, even though it’s actually from Reagan’s inaugural address on January 20, 1981 and still provides some great thoughts for Memorial Day. Here’s a great quote from Reagan that opens the video above:
If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than

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Quotations of the day on ‘diversity’…… – Publications – AEI

24 days ago

AEI
Quotations of the day on ‘diversity’……
…. are from Thomas Sowell:
If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as ugly as reality seems almost sordid.
……
Despite the fervor with which demographic ‘‘diversity’’ is proclaimed as a prime virtue — without a speck of evidence as to its supposed benefits — diversity of ideas gets no such respect.
……
Nothing so epitomizes the politically correct gullibility of our times as the magic word “diversity.” The wonders of diversity are proclaimed from the media,

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You might be a protectionist…. – Publications – AEI

25 days ago

AEI
You might be a protectionist….
…. if you support government policies that obstruct the ability of Americans to buy imports to protect certain politically-favored domestic industries, even though other domestic industries are thereby denied access to the resources they need to flourish and expand, which guarantees that overall economic growth will be stifled and Americans will be made poorer.
…. if you support government policies that obstruct the ability of Americans to buy imports to protect certain politically-favored domestic industries, even though that is guaranteed to move scarce resources from more-productive uses to less-productive uses, thus stifling overall economic growth in the process and impoverishing Americans.
Inspired by Don Boudreaux’s recent post “Ross Is Wrong Yet

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