Trump’s Proposed Wall and Tax Are Folly

After “The White House … floated the idea of imposing a 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico to pay for a wall at the southern U.S. border” in January, I went on record about the idea at FEE.org. Learn Liberty also posted the piece. A slice:

[Y]es, immigrants do take some jobs that people born in America might otherwise hold. But that does not mean fewer jobs for the American born. Why not? Because as long as people have unsatisfied needs and wants – that is, forever – there is work to do. People, the ultimate resource, discover new ways to satisfy unsatisfied wants, and they put themselves and others to work in doing so. Immigration and trade don’t reduce the total number of jobs, they just change the kind of work done.

As for the wall itself, have we no better use for the tons of concrete and steel, the miles of roadway and electrical wire, and the years of human time and effort it would take to build, maintain, and monitor it? We would be dumping precious resources in the desert in order to deny ourselves the ultimate resource. It’s stupefying.

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