Sunday, October 21st

All this talk lately about tariffs and trade wars is leaving me a little confused.

Is protected trade better for our economy than free trade? I seem to recall a lesson in economics class once that explained it.

“In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the ... Anyone? Anyone? ... the Great Depression, passed the ... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered? ... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression.”

Yes, former presidential speech writer Ben Stein’s appearance in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” tried to explain to his sleepy class the disastrous effects of one particular tariff.

The debate between fair trade or regulated trade with tariffs is as old as our nation.