What do you think Milton Friedman would think of Trump’s tariffs? You think he would approve? You think he wouldn’t have opposed them?
I guess I’m still taking the president at his word, that this is about trade deficits and bringing jobs home, same as his supporters and detractors. Only time will tell if this is some mysterious special political tool that I am incapable of comprehending, like most Trump supporters and detractors, to improve the economy.
Seems appropriate, he discusses steel specifically in the middle of this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv5SiQpG6sg
And this is what the president says right in the beginning (he’s not really a super mysterious bargainer with unknown tactics we can’t understand that will help us all whether we like it or not): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DhagKyvDck
Trump and Friedman are in opposition at least based on the things the president says.
Friedman cites Henry George from “Protection of Free Trade” (1886): “In time of war, we blockade our enemies to prevent them from getting goods from us. In time of peace, we do to ourselves by tariffs what we do to our enemies in time of war”
Henry George: “Free trade consists simply in letting people buy and sell as they want to buy and sell. It is protection that requires force, for it consists in preventing people from doing what they want to do. Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same—to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protection teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war.”