14 July 2011

Thomas Sowell on Foreign Trade

I knew there was a reason I still liked the guy:

The quick fix that got both Democrats and Republicans off the hook with a temporary bipartisan tax compromise, several months ago, leaves investors uncertain as to what the tax rate will be when any money they invest today starts bringing in a return in another two or three or ten years. It is known that there will be taxes but nobody knows what the tax rate will be then.
Some investors can send their investment money to foreign countries, where the tax rate is already known, is often lower than the tax rate in the United States and -- perhaps even more important -- is not some temporary, quick-fix compromise that is going to expire before their investments start earning a return.
Although more foreign investments were coming into the United States, a few years ago, than there were American investments going to foreign countries, today it is just the reverse. American investors are sending more of their money out of the country than foreign investors are sending here.
Since 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal, "the U.S. has lost more than $200 billion in investment capital." They add: "That is the equivalent of about two million jobs that don't exist on these shores and are now located in places like China, Germany and India."
President Obama's rhetoric deplores such "outsourcing," but his administration's policies make outsourcing an ever more attractive alternative to investing in the United States and creating American jobs.

One cannot have free trade, an anti-market domestic trade policy, and a growing domestic economy simultaneously.  One might be able to have two of the three, but there is no way to have all three.  Unfortunately, Obama is trying to have all three, and it’s just not going to work out.

No comments:

Post a Comment