Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Econ Folly 101

A nice professor from Hillsdale College writes this:

...Protests, income inequality, technological advancement, populism, artistic mourning. Sound familiar? It should. The forces that were at work well over a century ago are again at play in our current social, cultural, and political moment....

He refers to the 1890's or so, when Wm. Jennings Bryan lost the race for President.

....Today, Americans who need to staple things are better off with the new, China-made plastic Swinglines – just as Americans in the 1890s were better off with lightbulbs than with gas lamps. Sure, the new staplers may only last half as long, but if they are more than 50 percent cheaper, we get more staples per dollar. And the aggregate impact of changes like this on the American economy, and on American income, are positive. Even workers are better off — albeit living in Mexico and China rather than in America....

He wrote that with a straight face, I guess.  Think of it!!  We can fill more landfills with junk because goods are no longer repair-able, and that aggregate of wealth that moved to Mexico and China--well, your chest should swell with pride as you move out of your foreclosed home, because you gave up your 'privilege' for somebody in a land far away.  What the "carriage-makers v. automobiles" people forget to mention are two relevant facts:  1)  a lot of carriage-makers wound up making automobile bodies, and 2) the jobs remained in the USA

Hillsdale College is justifiably proud of its emphasis on the US Constitution.  But I cannot lay my finger on that passage in the Constitution which mandates Mexican or Chinese jobs.  Hmmmm.

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