Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday Quick Hits

Here's some more light reading to get you ready for the weekend:
  • Cato's Sallie James is back banging her TAA drum again (fortunately for us); this time, she exposes the "flawed logic" behind certain misguided arguments in support of TAA.  James actually raises some of the same arguments that I raised in my comments to this post (but to much better effect, as usual).  Meanwhile, the GOP appears to be stiffening in the face of the Obama administration's TAA demands.
  • David Harsanyi beautifully explains why "Buy American" is inherently un-American.  Here's my favorite part: "Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman once explained in his book 'Pop Internationalism' that if he could stress one thing to students, it would be that 'international trade is not about competition, it is about mutually beneficial exchange.' Wasserman Schultz is bright, so she must know all about the counterproductive history of protectionism. Then again, when she says 'Buy American,' maybe she just means 'Buy Union' — buy union because taxpayers subsidize GM and it pays workers and they subsidize unions that subsidize the right candidates. A mutually beneficial exchange."
  • Jonah Goldberg quickly explains why E.J. Dionne's liberal fantasies about copying Chinese and European industrial policy are anything but "innovative."
  • Utterly unsurprising news of the day: the government subsidizes consumption of Chevy Volts, and people - this time, car dealers - end up gaming the system.  Shocking, I know.
  • After five grueling months of not-trying-at-all, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announces that the administration's vague-and-not-very-bold corporate tax reform "plan" is on indefinite hold.  Meanwhile, "Executives from major U.S. businesses told lawmakers Thursday that they would be willing to give up major tax breaks in exchange for a lower top corporate tax rate." Great timing as usual, Mr. Secretary (and the USA still has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world - sweet).
  • More swine at the trough - this time, textile congressmen are "worried" about the imaginary textile section of a thus-far-imaginary FTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Somewhere, the ghost of Mancur Olson is nodding with approval.
That's all for tonight.  Go Mavs!

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