The Corner

Your Government at Work — the Brownsville Loophole

We are entering a period where the federal government is going to take a much more active role in managing trade. The book An Extraordinary Time by Marc Levinson, which came out at the end of last year and chronicles the fall of economic growth after the golden post-World War II era, has some amazing material in it about the presumption of economic experts and planners in the mid-20th century. I’m not suggesting the Trump administration will take us back to this absurdity, but this passage is a useful reminder of how insane things can get when the government decides it knows exactly how much of a product we should import, in this case oil (forgive my amateur photography):