Barry Eichengreen: Manufacturing Doesn't Matter (Much) (Any More)
Sagebrush BBQ

Max Sawicky Objects to a Paragraph in the Club for Growth's Petition

Max Sawicky doesn't like this:

MaxSpeak, You Listen!: MAKE THAT 1,027 OF
: And it says this:

In 1930, Congress passed and President Hoover signed into law the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. At the time, this protectionist measure was vigorously opposed by 1,028 of the nation's top economists. They rightly predicted the tariffs would devastate the economy. And, in fact, the country subsequently plunged into the Great Depression...

I could see why the eminent economist Grover Glenn Norquist would adhere to this opinion, since he has proved it in his vast production of scientific papers, monographs, books, and Parade Magazine articles. Of the rest, it's a bit of a puzzle...

I stubbornly resist China-bashing, and these protectionist bills strike me as first-order China bashing, to be stubbornly resisted.

But I also agree with Max that this Club for Growth petition is bad juju: the word describing the effects of Hawley-Smoot on the economy should be "damage," not "devastate." And the Great Depression would have come whether or not Hoover vetoed Hawley-Smoot--it was a third-order problem in the early 1930s. That paragraph Max quotes shouldn't be there: opposition to protectionism is a good thing, and good things do not have to be supported with lies.

I presume that few of the economists who signed the Club for Growth knew that the paragraph above would be put in BIG PRINT above their names. But they should have known something would go wrong: it's not like the Club for Growth doesn't have a history, after all.