Monday, November 09, 2009

Protectionist Leanings

No declarations of trade war yet (imported Chinese tires and pipes notwithstanding), but the tenor and tone of commentary concerning trade is becoming more ominous. This new meme collides nicely with the "official statistics are political instruments" one in this article.

American workers lose their jobs when carburetors they once made are imported instead. The federal data notices the decline in employment but fails to revalue the carburetors or even pinpoint that they are foreign-made. Because it seems as if $100 carburetors are being produced but fewer workers are needed to do so, productivity falsely rises — in the national statistics.

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