How Bad Policy Happens (video)

So, a group, say, a union or an industry that is comprised of, say, 100,000 Americans decides that they’ll prosper if they can convince Uncle Sam to tax the foreign imports of the good(s) they produce here at home. In essence, stealing the benefits of international trade from the remaining 324,375,211 American consumers.

Investopedia says the following about tariffs:

Governments may impose tariffs to raise revenue or to protect domestic industries from foreign competition, since consumers will generally purchase foreign-produced goods when they are cheaper. While consumers are not legally prohibited from purchasing foreign-produced goods, tariffs make those goods more expensive, which gives consumers an incentive to buy domestically produced goods that seem competitively priced or less expensive by comparison. Tariffs can make domestic industries less efficient, since they aren’t subject to global competition. Tariffs can also lead to trade wars as exporting countries reciprocate with their own tariffs on imported goods. Groups such as the World Trade Organization exist to combat the use of egregious tariffs.

Allow me to tweak that just a bit:

Governments Politicians may impose tariffs to raise revenue or to protect domestic industries from foreign competition, to literally steal resources from the consumer at large and distribute the spoils to their supporters. In promoting such thievery, the politician and his/her cronies exploit average Americans’ fears and misconceptions and actually convince them that they are acting on their behalf.

While consumers are not legally prohibited from purchasing foreign-produced goods, tariffs make those goods more expensive, which gives consumers an incentive to buy domestically produced goods that seem competitively priced or less expensive by comparison. Tariffs can make domestic industries less efficient, since they aren’t subject to global competition. Tariffs can also lead to trade wars as exporting countries reciprocate with their own tariffs on imported goods abuse their own consumers in the same manner. 

So how is it that we allow such things to happen?


This excellent video tells the story:

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