February 9th, 2006


Price of Protectionism

Protectionism is a classic "tragedy of the commons." A select group of beneficiaries profit from reduced competition, while the rest of the country pays a higher price. So it's nice to find a study quantifying the damage done by keeping out imports. The Commerce department looked at the impact of sugar import barriers, which raised the commercial sugar price from $0.109/lb (world price) to $0.235/lb (US price). They estimated 10,000 jobs were lost. They pointed to a Life Savers factory getting moved from Michigan to Canada, so there's some specific people who've been hurt by protectionism.

Hopefully this example will help change some minds in the next free trade debate.
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    hopeful hopeful
Browncoat party

Some More people Trying For My Vote

It looks like there's some Democrats trying to get my vote. I'm all for it, I hate having only one tolerable choice on the ballot. If there's lots of competition I might even get to vote for someone instead of against.

By coincidence, this effort is headed by Jane Harman, who was my Congresswoman back when I lived in Los Angeles. The organization is called Secure U.S. Their platform gives me mixed feelings. "Encouraging democracy" and resolving "the unfair burden on the National Guard and Reserves" I'm all for. "Supporting a strong intelligence and aerospace industrial base" is a recipe for shoveling money at contractors without caring if they're producing (granted, I appreciate being kept on the payroll). "Increasing our energy security" usually relies on miracles to solve our problems (I'm including the Presidents approach to it). "Refusing to trade away our civil liberties" doesn't sound like they're going to take a look at the pros and cons of eavesdropping. "Teaching our families how to respond" to terrorist attacks is a great idea. That includes concealed carry permits, right?

I'm hoping this will produce some useful results. New plans would be good. A useful debate over the best way to wage the war would also be good (instead we've been getting arguments over whether there is a war, sigh). At the very least I hope it does better than Democrats for National Security, a similar organization from 2004 that's now just a dead link.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative