Saturday, January 31, 2009


"Even as the White House tried to defuse the controversy, support remained strong, even within the administration, for a bill passed this week by the U.S. House of Representatives that bans the use of foreign iron and steel in projects funded by the package.

I don't view that as some of the pure free traders view it, as a harbinger of protectionism. I don't buy that at all," Vice-President Joe Biden told CNBC on Thursday. "So I think it's legitimate to have some portions of Buy American in it."

No sir, restrictions on trade are not protectionism. Clearly. Article.

POSTSCRIPT: Brad DeLong bumps Menzie Chinn off the top of the podium in the "most distinguished CV to post here contest", according to the IDEAS rank score - barring anonymous comments - so I'll take a minute to respond. No, I have not read anything by Donald Luskin. But the minute any party starts throwing ad hominems around in any economic debate, stimulus or otherwise, the discussion can get passed off as a bunch of ivory tower eggheads (well, if Luskin was an academic, but you get my point) having a turf war, as opposed to a highly relevant debate. This is what bothers me about Krugman, e.g. when he pointed out to Fama that savings are endogenously determined last week - you can do it without personally insulting the guy.

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