The ‘Ex-Im Is a Win-Win’ Myth Exploded, in Five Minutes

The great Frederic Bastiat once wrote:

There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: The bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.

I think this line applies to lawmakers too. Too often, lawmakers focus on the visible consequences or beneficiaries of a government program program and they ignore the unseen consequences and victims. Take the Ex-Im Bank.

Over the past few months, I’ve often made the case that the fight over the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank is one between the visible, powerful, and vocal beneficiaries of the program and its unseen and often silent victims. Now, thanks to my colleague at the Mercatus Center Matthew Mitchell, lawmakers won’t have to ignore these victims: He’s produced a short and wonderfully clear video on the topic. In five minutes, Mitchell does a great job showing why the Ex-Im Bank isn’t a “win win” for the United States:

Lawmakers can only continue the “Ex-Im is a win-win” charade if they listen to the testimony of Bastiat’s ”bad economists.” I testify on that same issue back in June and my testimony is here

Veronique de Rugy — Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More