Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stiff Duties on Solar Panels...

The U.S. government has just slapped stiff import duties on Chinese-made solar panels and solar cells.  This is the kind of thing that just makes me crazy – an action that is clearly against the national self-interest, an action that raises prices for American citizens.  Why would we do such a thing?  Because it's very popular politically, that's why.  It allows a politician (Obama) to claim that he is protecting American jobs from those hateful, marauding Chineses faux entrepreneurs who want to push prices so low that it's unfair to American manufacturers.  American manufacturers stuck with the costs of unions, labor costs near the global top, chained down with regulations that inhibit innovation, and just plain beat by eager Chinese entrepreneurs.

Import duties never work to protect American industry.

Import duties always hurt consumers, both directly and indirectly (from the ensuing trade wars).

And yet we keep trying them.

How long can a nation of idiots survive, anyway?

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