Economics vs. Populism
By Arnold Kling
In this essay, I argue that economists face an uphill battle in dealing with populist beliefs about international trade, entitlements, and consumption versus saving.
In my view, international trade is only one aspect of the overall phenomenon of Progress and Displacement. Technological change is rapid and inevitable. It means that the employment base is constantly shifting, with some skills made obsolete while other skills become relevant. This wide river of technological change will not be dammed up by tossing in a few trade barriers. For example, it appears that the infamous steel tariffs of the Bush Administration probably cost more jobs in steel-using manufacturing firms than they saved in the steel industry itself.
For Discussion. What other popular beliefs about economic policy would be disputed by most trained economists?