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Saturday, August 20, 2005

the senator from the kkk, dumping and prostitutes

Via Econlog, we see that Senator Byrd has introduced an bill that would award money from tariffs to American businesses that successfully file "anti-dumping" lawsuits against foreign companies. As Arnold Kling notes:
It is easy to see why anti-dumping is, as Mankiw calls it, a "third rail" that no politician wants to touch. Asking a politician to come out against rent-seeking is like asking a prostitute to come out against exchanging money for sex.
International trade is such a depressing subject. The theoretical and empirical case for free trade is virtually unassailable but big business conspires with politicians to ensure that consumers in the U.S. and foreign producers are screwed and this bill will make it even worse. The practical result is that poor people in America and poor people abroad suffer the most to help politically connected businesses here.

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