AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

Subscribe to the blog

Discussion: (19 comments)

  1. Regarding #3… well, now the union janitors know how the union coal miners and union coal-fired power plant workers feel. But by all means, keep pulling that “D” lever because… um… because… hmm.

  2. “Thieves are targeting walnut farmers whose crops have seen a significant increase in value in recent years, going from 60 cents to $2 a pound.”

    Why do Americans now pay $2 a pound for walnuts that used to cost 60 cents a pound?

    Free trade causes American consumers to pay more for the domestic consumption of exported goods. This is an offset to lower price of imported goods that free traders choose to ignore. In the case of walnuts China and India are buying more. Another example of Americans getting the short end of free trade.

    1. Yeah but normally we would just plant more trees and the problem would go away in a few years – but on California central valley farmers lost a large percentage of their water supply 50% I believe and are having to let but trees die. The water loss is a dubious effort to save a fish which doesn’t need saving. There is a peripheral canal solution to get water from another river – but the environmentalists oppose that tooth and nail as well. So you can thank goodness Eco nuts for a.good portion of that increase as well. Note that the goal wasn’t to just save a fish the goal was to destroy an industry and bring our technological levels back to the 1800s.

    2. As a producer, you’d rather have more consumers, through free trade, and sell walnuts for $2 than $0.60. So, you can raise output, to raise income, and increase employment.

      As a consumer, you’d rather have more competition, through free trade, and buy, for example, microwaves for $60 than $200. So, you have more income to buy other goods, e.g. walnuts.

    3. Givemefreedom

      The level of economic ignorance you two continue to show is really quite astonishing. Wow, why do we allow the exporting of walnuts!!! Let Americans eat the walnuts not foreigners!!! What we have is ours and should be used for our benefit only!!! If we allow trade with other countries then Americans get screwed over!!! Really quite amazing.

      Aside from the kinda important issue that the walnuts in question are not public property but are owned privately and why should the rest of us have a say in what someone else can do with their private property, your arguments don’t seem to go far enough. Why use the political boundary of the US? Why not use California as your boundary? Why should Californian allow walnuts to be exported out of the state? Imagine how cheap walnuts would be in California if exporting was not allowed?

      But why stop there? Why not use Counties as your boundaries? Why don’t the counties in California that produce the walnuts ban exports? I would think walnuts in those counties might be the cheapest in the world!!

      Hey this is great, we now have counties in California where walnuts are the cheapest in the world!! But using your economic logic surely we can do better than that? Why not use the farm’s boundaries? Why not ban farmers from exporting walnuts off their property? I would think that walnuts would be basically going for free within the farm boundaries!!! And we have done it, economic utopia! Free walnuts for everyone who lives on the farm!!! Fantastic!!

      You two should get the Noble prize for that bit of economic theory. Wow, just astonishing!

      1. We should probably stop exporting beef, and oranges as well, and i think we export 40% of the worlds corn. We should stop with that as well. And we still export computer parts and airplanes, and even some cars – nyet nyet nyet, keep it all home and price will go

        UP!

        Why up? Well at first it will go down, but after a few years, farmers who will no longer be able to produce oranges at the low prices will leave the field. The crops will get smaller, there will be fewer inefficiencies due to large scale growing – and of course investments in large scale processing will have to be recouped on a smaller scale.

        And then if you consider the total wealth of the nation – that goes down as well. First as the crop lessens than folks will lose jobs and be able to spend less. and secondly we lose an opportunity. If you have an orange to sell and the guy down the street will pay you a buck for it, and the guy in China will pay $1 million dollars for it, if you sell it to the Chinese person, we now added 999,999 to the US economy which folks here will spend and actually use in buying other Chinese goods that they value more.

      2. I thought of a quicker easier explanation.

        Why do you work for someone else? Shouldn’t you keep all your skills at home so you can have the lowest cost for those skills in your household?

        Of course in my household there is an incredible surplus of computer science skills so I sell them outside my household. The wife doesn’t complain that the cost of IT and computer services has gone up at home, because the income I bring in from the foreign household (the business) allows me to get other things – so my small increase in cost for one item at home, provides a lot more goods and services for my family that we can actually use.

  3. What nonsense. Learn some economics so you can stop embarrassing yourself.

    1. The above advise was for James.

  4. Benjamin Cole

    sure, let’s privatize the USPS. And stop subsidizing rural delivery too, the reason the USPS has trouble making money is unprofitable routes.

    While we are at it, let’s stop subsiding rural power, rural water systems, rural highways, rural railroads, rural airports, rural telephone service, and rural crops, and ethanol. And no more subsidized wind-power farms!

    Of course, Rural America would empty out, and its Soviet-style socialized economy with it. Then we can have a privately operated grasslands and buffalo-hunting preserve through much of Middle America.

    1. Well USPS is pretty inefficient in Urban areas as well. Why do we need one post office per zip code anyway? And Post office doesn’t serve every rural route any more either. Many folks have to drive 20 miles to the next town to pick up the mail.

      As for the other services – you would be surprised how many folks get on on their own.

    2. And stop subsidizing rural delivery too

      Non-cluster-box mail delivery is also subsidized. It costs less to deliver to a single cluster-box that contains dozens of individual mail boxes that can be loaded all in one stop.

      While we are at it, let’s stop subsiding rural power

      Rural high-speed-internet service is also subsidized.

      And no more subsidized wind-power farms!

      It’s been pointed out that removing the rural electrical-service subsidy you mentioned would be a boon to the wind turbine industry, since rural folks would install their own — with their own money — by the millions.

      1. Probably not great for windmills. Thinking folk will have diesel delivered and use that to power a generator. Wind is just too flaky.

        As for your other notions – post office has cut back on rural delivery. And even in suburbs with new homes force all the mailboxes to be on one side of the street – with an easement on other peoples property. Surprised more folks don’t get killed running across the street to get mail.

        1. Instead of forcing the mailboxes to be on one side of the street, customers should simply be charged what it actually costs to deliver their mail — plus the profit margin, of course.

          1. Or better yet, allow competition so people could choose the delivery service and type of delivery they prefer.

            UPS and FedEx already outperform the USPS where allowed to compete head to head. Why not also allow direct competition for first class?

  5. I would be interested in hearing counter-arguments to the article referenced in #8. Shale oil: Bubble or opportunity?

    1. That debate has been played out here many times I think most people avoid it any more. Answer is – use it when you got it. If it turns out not to last as long – at least we have had a good 5 years – and then some other field will be developed with the new technology.

  6. morganovich

    regarding the usps ipo, have you seen their financials?

    who in their right mind would buy stock in a company that loses money in a terrible industry with 2 fearsome competitors for the profitable part of the business and a set of union contracts and pension obligations that make it all but impossible for it to be profitable?

    usps still exists only because it has a monopoly on letters granted by the federal government.

    absent that, it would dry up and blow away.

    there is no possible way it could IPO without first going through bankruptcy to get out from under the unions. to have an actual legal monopoly and still be able to lose money hand over fist is truly an accomplishment.

    1. morganovich

      Thanks for the morning laugh. Just trying to imagine a private USPS prevents maintaining a straight face.

      Announcer: “And USPS is down 3 1/4 this morning on low volume…”

Comments are closed.

Sort By:

Refine Content:

Scholar

Additional Keywords:

Refine Results

or to save searches.

Open
Refine Content