370 Economists Make the Case Against Trump

'He promotes magical thinking and conspiracy theories'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2016 12:04 AM CDT
Donald Trump poses for photos above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1995.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
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(Newser) – Putting Donald Trump in charge of the world's biggest economy would be a "dangerous" and "destructive" move and would endanger America's prosperity, hundreds of prominent economists warn in an open letter released Tuesday. The 370 economists, including eight Nobel laureates, did not endorse Hillary Clinton in the letter but strongly recommended not voting for Trump, reports the Wall Street Journal, which describes the letter "as less partisan or ideological than such quadrennial exercises." Among the economists' concerns:

  • "He has misled voters in states like Ohio and Michigan by asserting that the renegotiation of NAFTA or the imposition of tariffs on China would substantially increase employment in manufacturing."

  • "He has misled the public by asserting that US manufacturing has declined. The location and product composition of manufacturing has changed, but the level of output has more than doubled in the US since the 1980s."
  • "He uses immigration as a red herring to mislead voters about issues of economic importance, such as the stagnation of wages for households with low levels of education."
  • "His statements reveal a deep ignorance of economics and an inability to listen to credible experts."
  • "He promotes magical thinking and conspiracy theories over sober assessments of feasible economic policy options."
Trump adviser Peter Navarro tells the Journal that since economists were wrong about the impact of deals like NAFTA, they have no right to criticize Trump's position on them. "You shouldn’t believe economists or Nobel Prize winners on trade," he says. (In September, 306 economists released a statement arguing that Clinton's policies would not deliver the "agenda of economic freedom" that they believe America needs.)

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