Why shouldn't we tax (or cost-adjust) imports from China?

I think the problem is people who have a lot kids can’t afford them, and people who have 0 kids have no problem affording to have more kids.


May a thousand Little Emperors bloom from their lonely mothers’ wombs.

Ok, we’ve gone far afield of the original discussion. This has very little do with my original point, which was not about who or who should not be having children based on their incomes.

The US has problems 95% because the US has been collectively making terrible decisions for the last 40+ years and doing a bad running its economy, not because China is annoying.

They were a minor annoyance. Gore has a lot to answer for in this area.

Only if you’re in the top 30% or so. In aggregate, everyone else has had stagnant or declining wages.

What is the Y axis in that graph supposed to represent? As in the units. 100 what?

The y-axis represents the change in the share of national income as a percentage of 1979 levels.

Jesus, what a waste.

Thank you.

Jason, sinfony didn’t say wages have gone up. He said standard of living has gone up. That’s not the same thing. Standard of living is far less easily quantified (or qualified for that matter; it’s such a vague concept).

I’m sure Jason is aware of this, but a graph plotting standard of living would show trend lines increasing for all classes. That wouldn’t have the emotional impact desired so we will go with the one posted instead.

The rich suck; the poor are getting screwed… carry on…

Also, unless I’m confused, that graph doesn’t even show wages going down for lower classes, but rather their share of national income decreasing. Their share of national income can go down while their wages still go up. I do rate the possibility of my being confused pretty high, though.

Yes, I do believe you’re right that the graph does show that possibility, but then i think everyone knows this isn’t the case.

Haven’t we seen a few income over time (adjusted by inflation) charts on QT3 showing income remaining stagnant, if not outright going down?

Are you suggesting that it is possible to lie… excuse me, mislead by using statistics and graphs? Are you suggesting that Jason would do such a thing?

For what it’s worth, you are absolutely correct. It is possible that wages for a certain class can rise while their share of the whole decreases. Jason’s graph was completely meaningless and misleading as a counterpoint to your claim.

Having a bunch of cheap crap from China does not equal a higher standard of living.

So all the econ majors agree tariffs are bad mmkay…what else can be done?
The current situation is unsustainable.

Why were past fathers able to easily provide a very nice standard of living with one income?

You’ll first have to demonstrate that they actually did. This reeks of nostalgic bullshit.

That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Jacking up tariff on China might work, but is far more likely to lead to a tradewar and ultimately a major global economic disaster.

From Wikipedia:

At first, the tariff seemed to be a success. According to historian Robert Sobel, “Factory payrolls, construction contracts, and industrial production all increased sharply.” However, larger economic problems loomed in the guise of weak banks. When the Creditanstalt of Austria failed in 1931, the global deficiencies of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff became apparent.[14]

U.S. imports decreased 66% from US$4.4 billion (1929) to US$1.5 billion (1933), and exports decreased 61% from US$5.4 billion to US$2.1 billion, both decreases much more than the 50% decrease of the GDP.

Jacking up tariff on China might work, but is far more likely to lead to a tradewar and ultimately a major global economic disaster.

This is total horseshit. The tariff did not cause those drops or significantly contribute to the worldwide Great Depression.

On wages, for a substantial number of people their real-dollar hourly wages have actually decreased since the 1970s. For example, here’s median income since WW2 - note that median male income flatlines from the 1970s on. If you dig into the numbers, what’s going on is that for men, 1) hours are significantly up and 2) hourly wages are somewhat down, for women hours are way, way up (as to be expected, they’re actually in the workforce now) and wages up. Then if you dig in further, the inside that graph the bottom 60% or so have gotten nothing, while the bottom 10% got completely hammered, while the rich have made out like bandits.

We’ve discussed this a good dozen times before, so I’m not sure why this is news.

Well excuse me, it was the first thing I could find.

If you’re arguing that Smoot-Hawley did not cause the great depression, sure no argument, the great depression started before Smoot-Hawley. If you’re arguing that Smoot-Hawley did not make things worse, then I strongly disagree.

Encylopedia Brittanica:

Smoot-Hawley contributed to the early loss of confidence on Wall Street and signaled U.S. isolationism. By raising the average tariff by some 20 percent, it also prompted retaliation from foreign governments, and many overseas banks began to fail. (Because the legislation set both specific and ad valorem tariff rates [i.e., rates based on the value of the product], determining the precise percentage increase in tariff levels is difficult and a subject of debate among economists.) Within two years some two dozen countries adopted similar “beggar-thy-neighbour” duties, making worse an already beleaguered world economy and reducing global trade. U.S. imports from and exports to Europe fell by some two-thirds between 1929 and 1932, while overall global trade declined by similar levels in the four years that the legislation was in effect.

US State Department:

[W]hile the tariff might not have caused the Depression, it certainly did not make it any better. It provoked a storm of foreign retaliatory measures and came to stand as a symbol of the “beggar-thy-neighbor” policies (policies designed to improve one’s own lot at the expense of that of others) of the 1930s. Such policies contributed to a drastic decline in international trade. For example, U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934. More generally, Smoot-Hawley did nothing to foster trust and cooperation among nations in either the political or economic realm during a perilous era in international relations.

We are already in a recession. Starting a trade war with China is likely to make things worse.

Right, because other countries put tarriffs on American products as retaliation.

What, exactly, does China import from the US? Food? As if they’re going to surtax that.

China is the fourth largest importer of us goods. I don’t know what exactly those goods are, but I’d be surprised if it was all food.