In financial news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average flits up and down like a butterfly on meth as investors try to figure out what President Trump’s mood is at any given minute regarding the Trade War with China, which is caused by China unfairly forcing U.S. consumers to buy low-cost Chinese-made electronics instead of traditional American brands such as Philco. The president’s main strategy in fighting this war is to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, which means U.S. consumers have to pay more for them. Take THAT, China!

This is from Dave Barry, “Dave Barry’s Year in Review: 2019 was an ‘eventful’–bad–year,” Miami Herald, December 26, 2019. Barry’s year in review is always my favorite of his pieces and this one measures up. I recommend reading the whole thing because it builds. One joke softens you up and then the next one is that much funnier. I think the econometricians and statisticians call this “autocorrelation.”

Barry is economically quite literate. He spoke at the Cato Institute’s 40th anniversary celebration in May 2017. Sometimes people who are good comedians on paper don’t do as well orally. P.J. O’Rourke is an example. But Barry was great. By the way, in a more serious part of his talk, he credited Sheldon Richman for making him into a libertarian in the early 1970s when they were both cub reporters for newspapers in neighboring small towns in Pennsylvania.