Friday, March 16, 2018

Paul Krugman Answers Good Questions About Trump Trade Policy

Paul Krugman was awarded his Nobel Prize in economics for his work on international trade.  He explains why Trump's tariffs cannot bring back lost manufacturing jobs in steel and aluminum without creating job loss in industries that are heavy users of those metals.  His major concern about Trump's presidency is that we will lose our position of leadership in the world.  His article ends on that note.  Trump's trade policies were designed to win elections in the rust belt.  That worked in 2016.  It may not work in 2018 and in 2020.  The Republican loss in the Pennsylvania district that Trump won by 20% in 2016 suggests that many Americans have lost faith in his ideas.

David Brooks argues that Trump is morally bankrupt and he concludes his critique of Trump's takeover of the Republican Party with a conclusion similar to Krugman's critique of Trump's trade policies.  Our international and national leadership is being sacrificed for short term political gain.  David Brooks and Paul Krugman come from very different political worlds.  Brooks has been a Republican intellectual for most of his life, and Krugman wrote a book about why he is a liberal. They both agree that Trump's presidency has been a disaster and that he is the greatest threat to our well being.  Trump's management of his White House staff has also been a failure.  He appointed unqualified candidates to key positions, and the replacements that he is considering must pass his loyalty above all other considerations.  It will not be easy for him to find qualified candidates for top positions after the way that he fired Secretary of State via a tweet. Trump has also decided to fire his National Security Advisor and his EPA chief is campaigning to replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

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