Man of Steel

If the American Dream was flat-lining, the Trump administration may be acting as a defibrillator. Against furious opposition from within and without, President Trump is taking a step in line with the Republicans who made the GOP America’s Party. “I think there’s been an awful lot of advice,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

By | 2018-03-16T13:41:21+00:00 March 16th, 2018|

Why China Will Fail

This is not a happy time to be an entrepreneur seeking to list your firm on one of China’s stock exchanges. Nor is your situation better if you’re one of the Securities Commission members charged with approving listing applications. Chinese companies aren’t doing very well, and Beijing thinks it’s because the standards on

By | 2018-03-10T14:42:13+00:00 March 10th, 2018|

Tariffs: An Allegory

Suppose you run a company with lots of employees. For a long time, among your employees have been a couple of your nephews. If you’re being honest, they are not your favorite workers. There’s always pressure to raise their wages and they are now up to $25 per hour each, which is more

By | 2018-03-10T14:33:33+00:00 March 10th, 2018|

Tariffs, Trade, and Patriotism

President Trump’s recent decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum in response to what he (and most Americans) view as the routinely unfair trade practices of China and other foreign powers has upset more than a few Beltway apple carts. It has also triggered a lot of heated criticism from the Right—much

By | 2018-03-11T12:07:55+00:00 March 10th, 2018|

Why Trump is Right About Tariffs

In 1988, Donald Trump told Oprah Winfrey that America was being “ripped off” by its trading partners. Nearly 2 million Americans lost their manufacturing jobs between 1979 and 1988 to cheap, government-backed Japanese competitors. Oprah’s audience applauded. Three decades later nothing has changed: America lost 5 million more manufacturing jobs, and Trump is

By | 2018-03-07T11:52:20+00:00 March 6th, 2018|

Thank America’s Debt for China’s Rise

China continues to make bold moves in the direction of fulfilling its ambitions of being the great global power. While China has certainly experienced economic fits—their stock market downturn in 2016 led many observers, including me, to ponder whether China was getting ready to collapse—they remain the country to watch. In fact, if present

By | 2018-02-19T00:07:42+00:00 February 18th, 2018|

Smarter Regs Can Be a ‘Force Multiplier’ for U.S. Research

Several years ago, I participated in a colloquium with a title along the lines of “Advancing Technology: Thinking Outside the Box.” My lecture probably was the most mundane: I proposed that smarter and more risk-based government regulation of products, processes, and technologies would act as what the military call a “force multiplier”—a capability,

By | 2018-02-05T22:25:06+00:00 February 6th, 2018|

In Defense of Monopolies

Economists love words. They have a word for just about everything, and if they don’t then they’ll make one up. Economics is rife with jargon. But there are some words you just can’t say. There are bad words. Dangerous words. Tariff! That’s the big one. No matter the context, tariff is always a

By | 2018-01-24T13:46:01+00:00 January 24th, 2018|