Thinking Point #8: A Modest Proposal

In 2010, US imports totaled just under $2 trillion. A 2% tariff on imports would generate about $40 billion in revenue. That would be sufficient to give each of the 13.3 million unemployed Americans a $1500 worker retraining grant. Make companies pay in a reasonable amount (say $10,000) for every American job they move overseas and even more money becomes available.

If 100% of the tariff were passed on to consumers, that would add ten cents to the cost of a $5 t-shirt, or $500 to the cost of a $25,000 car (about the same as the ‘destination charge’).

The point is not to seriously impede trade, but to add a tiny bit of economic friction at the country’s borders, to the benefit of American companies and workers. Of course, none of the people with the power to make this happen have any interest in such things, so don’t hold your breath.

Comments are closed.