30 December 2019


Donald Trump's tariffs on various imports, instead of boosting the economy, caused job loses and higher prices, according to a study by the Federal Reserve released last week (details here). This should surprise no one who took even a basic economics course in high school or college.

Tariffs have a long history of being inflationary and hampering economic growth, particularly in the long term. That's why many first world countries largely moved away from them during the last century.

Indeed, part of the reason the Great Depression in the 1930s was so long and so severe was because the imploding economy was further burdened by new tariffs.

Trump alternatively brags that he went to Wharton and also that he never read the assigned texts and rarely attended classes. It's no wonder he seems entirely clueless about how tariffs are bad policy.

But it also demonstrates how the Republican Party — which strongly opposed tariffs up until 2016 — so blindly follow Trump, cheering on the very policies they vehemently opposed only three years ago.

Trump likes to portray himself as an economic genius, but in reality he's an economic charlatan. On that note, Steven Piersanti wrote an excellent piece at Raw Story yesterday (link here) with the title "Trump runs the country just like he ran his bankrupted businesses: The national debt is skyrocketing while economic growth is lagging."

The economy may seem strong now. But anyone who has weathered past recessions will know that prosperity can be very deceiving. An apparently strong economy can suddenly flatline within a matter of weeks, as was seen in the final year of the George W. Bush presidency.

When that happens to Trump's economy, who will he try to blame? Because, surely, he'll never admit he was wrong.

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