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Tyler Cowen: Trump’s Disastrous Pledge to Keep Jobs in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 8:17
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(Before It's News)

As we’ve said before – there will be wins and losses with Trump.

(From Bloomberg)

One of Donald Trump’s most consistent campaign promises has been to prevent U.S. businesses from moving good jobs to Mexico — whether through taxes, jawboning, or more drastic means, such as an outright prohibition. Economists might regard this as a misguided form of protectionism, but in fact, it’s worse than that: If instituted, it could prove a major step toward imposing capital controls on the American economy and politicizing many business decisions…

…Perhaps most importantly, a policy limiting the ability of American companies to move funds outside of the U.S. would create a dangerous new set of government powers. Imagine giving an administration the potential to rule whether a given transfer of funds would endanger job creation or job maintenance in the United States. That’s not exactly an objective standard, and so every capital transfer decision would be subject to the arbitrary diktats of politicians and bureaucrats. It’s not hard to imagine a Trump administration using such regulations to reward supportive businesses and to punish opponents. Even in the absence of explicit favoritism, companies wouldn’t know the rules of the game in advance, and they would be reluctant to speak out in ways that anger the powers that be.

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