Reducing Immigration Will Not Satisfy Trump Voters, and It’s a Bad Idea Anyway

Alex Nowrasteh

Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam’s recent New York Times article laying out a policy response to Trumpism argues, in part, that their preferred immigration policy will help the GOP avoid the likes of a demagogic megalomaniac such as Donald Trump. Unfortunately their policy ideas address neither the symptoms nor the causes, real or imagined, of Trump’s rise.

Wider public opinion does not justify the GOP adopting an anti-immigrant platform or candidate. Gallup has been tracking Americans’ immigration opinions for decades. Currently, 25 percent of Americans want increased immigration, a four-fold increase from the nativist high-water mark in 1993. Those who are happy with the present level of immigration since 1993 are now up 13 percent to 40, or about equal with the percent of people saying this in 1965 when Gallup started tracking. Meanwhile, the percentage of people who want less immigration, Trump’s position, dropped from 65 percent to 34 since 1993.

That 34 percent is increasingly concentrated within the Republican Party, according to Pew polls. Consistent with that partisan divide, a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 56 of American voters agree immigration helps more than it hurts, but only 35 percent of Republicans agree with that statement. A June FiveThirtyEight and SurveyMonkey poll found that agreement with the statement the “number of immigrants who come to the United States each year” should “decrease” is one of the best ways to identify a Republican voter.

An anti-immigration position may help a candidate win a GOP primary, but it is a hindrance once he faces the rest of the electorate.

An anti-immigration position may help a candidate win a GOP primary, but it is a hindrance once he faces the rest of the electorate. Public support for immigration hasn’t surged due to rapid wage growth or an improving economic environment. Shockingly, economic concerns do not drive nativism or even much affect it.

It’s Not About Personal Pocketbooks, But the Economy

Douthat and Salam assumed economic concerns are driving Trump’s popularity. They incorrectly interpreted a recent review of academic work on what drives opinions about immigration, writing that “immigration skepticism seems to be rooted as much in concerns about how quickly immigrants assimilate, whether they rely on welfare programs and whether they compete for American jobs as it is in racial or cultural anxiety.”

This is what the literature review they reference actually says about economic and labor market anxiety driving nativism: “Conclusion 1. As an explanation of mass attitudes toward immigration, the labor market competition hypothesis has repeatedly failed to find empirical support, making it something of a zombie theory.”

Elsewhere in the survey the authors write, “[t]he accumulated evidence weighs strongly against the idea that self-interested concerns about labor market competition are a powerful driver of mass attitudes toward immigration … the significant majority of prior work finds that labor market competition does not shape attitudes of the mass public.” We can shed the myth that Trump’s nativism is popular among GOP voters because they are worried about immigrants taking their jobs.

However, people’s perceptions of how immigrants affect the economy of the nation as a whole influence their opinion of immigration, not concerns over how immigrants will affect their own pocketbooks. People thus prefer admitting high-skilled immigrants over lower-skilled ones because the former will be more positive than the latter, on the margin. Consistent with that, Douthat and Salam wisely endorse liberalized high-skilled immigration but unfortunately combine it with a decrease in lower-skilled immigration.

The perception that high-skilled immigrants have a positive impact on the economy is correct. But lower-skilled immigrants also have a positive effect, despite what the public thinks. Cutting off or removing lower-skilled immigrants would hurt the labor market and economy as a whole. It’s more important to have public policy consistent with the evidence rather than with the perceptions of a minority of voters.

Lower-Skill Immigrants Are Beneficial, Too

Immigrants of all skill levels have both a supply and demand effect on the economy as a whole and on the labor market specifically. On the supply side, immigration increases the number of workers. In a very simple model this would decrease wages, but immigrants and natives tend to work in very different occupations, meaning there isn’t much competition between the two groups. In other words, an increase in the supply of farm workers will not lower the wages for accountants.

The estimated negative wage impacts of lower-skilled immigrants are very small when they are even discovered. George Borjas’ famous work discovered small relative wage declines from immigration that are concentrated among lower-skilled Americans. According to a recent update of that paper which copies his methods but adds another ten years of analysis, the negative effect statistically disappears. At worst, the roughly 10 percent of Americans with only less than a high school degree actually compete against immigrants, but there are reasons to doubt that finding.

Other research finds complementary effects whereby lower-skilled Americans actually experience wage increases due to immigration. In such cases, more immigrant workers create job opportunities for lower-skilled Americans, pushing them up the wage ladder. Crucial here is noticing that occupations can face falling wages as a result of immigration but American workers change their behavior and shift into higher-paying occupations as a result.

The most interesting effect here is that newer immigrants compete with the immigrants who preceded them, not much with native-born Americans who are similarly skilled. Even then, research by David Card and Ethan Lewis looked at how new Mexican immigrants displaced older Mexican immigrants and found small effects. Only in Los Angeles and El Paso did new Mexican immigrants push out older ones. The U.S. economy is good at attracting lower-skilled immigrants, providing incentives for them to settle in areas where they are most demanded, and responding in ways that increase net production and employment for native-born Americans.

Americans shifting into different occupations have produced a division of labor whereby lower-skilled immigrants compete for manual labor occupations while similarly skilled natives concentrate on the one area of low-skilled jobs where they have an advantage: communicating with customers and managers in English. Communications jobs pay more than those focused on manual labor.

There are also very few instances where immigrants displace natives from the labor market. The most common estimate in the academic literature is that for every 10 percent increase in the foreigner share of the population of a country, native employment rates fall by a minuscule 0.2 to 0.7 percent. Countries with relatively liberal labor markets, like the United States, face the smallest effects. In fact, an increase in lower-skilled migration can induce skilled natives to reenter the workforce. If immigration restrictionism improves wage growth, Japan certainly missed the memo.

None of These Concerns Hold Water

On the demand side, immigrants of every skill level buy goods and services. According to a recent working paper, each additional immigrant creates 1.2 local jobs mostly for native workers. Remarkably, 62 percent of these new local jobs are in non-tradable services, thus raising the wages for lower-skilled natives. That is why lower-skilled natives and lower-skilled immigrants frequently move to the same booming cities. By increasing both the supply and demand sides of the economy, immigration is a big win for Americans.

If younger lower-skilled American men are more interested in playing video games in their parent’s home than in working, kicking out a few hard-working immigrants, stopping their future flow, and possibly raising wages by a few percent won’t make a difference. All we’d be doing is replacing good, willing workers with nobody.

Worse than skirting the economic evidence in favor of liberalized immigration, Douthat and Salam’s support for skilled immigration will fall on deaf ears. Trump has read his supporters well and crafted his white paper and public statements to oppose skilled immigration, proposing reforms that would kill the H-1B program and opposing the type of reform Douthat and Salam might support with this statement: “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.”

Perhaps Douthat and Salam are concerned about the problems with the H-1B program—and there are many—so they defend Trump’s opposition to H-1B expansion. Trump also supports “a pause” in handing out green cards to foreign workers. Virtually all employment-based green cards that go to workers go to the high-skilled workers that they want to see liberalized.

Douthat and Salam will argue their specific immigration proposals would have prevented these people from flocking to support Trump. However, the anti-immigration views increasingly common among the GOP provide little salve for their faith. Candidates have touted views similar to Douthat and Salam’s, and they got outvoted by Trump’s more extreme anti-immigrant position.

As Salam recently wrote in the Dallas Morning News, “I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but one of the biggest reasons Trump won the GOP presidential nomination is that he pledged to strengthen America’s borders, oppose amnesty and reduce immigration levels.” A nuanced position in favor of expanding some legal immigration but restricting other types might appeal to moderate voters, but they did not turn the GOP into a nativist fever-swamp of economic ignorance.

Guys, You’re Condescending Again

That brings us back to the original problem: How to have a GOP immigration policy that appeals to an increasingly nativist base and an increasingly pro-immigration public, and is economically coherent. Douthat and Salam chose a policy that is none of those. I’m not convinced that anybody really understands populism or the Trump phenomenon, but they seem particularly off.

Trump represents, in part, a rebellion against political elites like Salam, Douthat, and myself who use every political change to state loudly and confidently that this confirms their long-held opinions. The first part of preventing populist-inspired rebellions is to actually listen to voters instead of pretending your preferred policies are really what they wanted all along despite all of the evidence. Little is more condescending than that. Trump’s supporters will not be assuaged by the immigration position Douthat and Salam proposed, any more than they’d be convinced by mine.

Douthat and Salam also assume Trump’s candidacy is an entirely demand-driven phenomenon, that there is some uprising of support from a long-ignored constituency craving nationalism and protectionist economic policies who are attracted to Trump and fueled his rise. That ignores the other plausible supply-side theory for Trump: that he is a brilliant political entrepreneur who largely created the market in which he is competing. Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, and Mike Huckabee all had similar anti-immigration policy positions, yet they made it nowhere. Trump had one advantage: he acts like a demagogue, while those others didn’t, and populists love a demagogue.

While there is always a latent nativism, protectionism, and nationalism lurking in the populist corners of the American electorate, it needed a demagogue to activate it, and Trump was the right candidate. Without those notions lurking, Trump would not have succeeded; but without Trump or a character like him (someone like Ross Perot or George Wallace) those ideas wouldn’t be talked about, either.

Elite condescension is another reason Trump rose so fast among Republican primary voters. The piece by Douthat and Salam is a prime example of that condescending attitude. Condescension reeks most when elites argue that every political development supports their long-held preferred policy positions. Cherry-picked data that ignore the vast majority of economic evidence, patriotic correctness, and the same case for Salam’s preferred immigration policies that he’s promoted for years don’t make the GOP Trump-proof—they provide an example of why Trump succeeded.

Douthat and Salam misstate the degree of public enthusiasm for their own immigration reform ideas and are too willing to concede the factual “high ground” to people who believe lower-skilled immigrants are a net economic drain. Worse, their policy proposals will not appeal to the nativist wing of the GOP, will be ignored by the small sliver of establishment types who were able to keep their 2016 platform less extreme than it could have been, and will thus do nothing to prevent a future Trump.

Alex Nowrasteh is the immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

The War on Drugs Has Made Policing More Violent

Jonathan Blanks

Bfore a police shooting makes headlines, before the shooting ever happens, there is the moment of contact between the police officer and the eventual victim. Sometimes the officer is responding to a dangerous situation, like a report of a man with a gun. Other times, the contact is initiated by the officer because of excessive speeding or reckless driving that poses a risk to other drivers. And sometimes the reason for the contact is an officer’s legally baseless hunch and a minor violation of a traffic law—like a burned out taillight—that escalates into an unnecessary tragedy. This last type of contact is what led to the shooting death of Philando Castile in a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb.

American policing today has become increasingly aggressive and, at times, even predatory. Policies and tactics have evolved to make police contact more confrontational. In so doing, they have increased the chances of violence and fatal uses of force. This has been particularly true of efforts aimed at fighting the Drug War. Police are incentivized to initiate unnecessary contact with pedestrians and motorists, and they do so most often against ethnic and racial minorities. Such over-policing engenders resentment among minority communities and jeopardizes public safety.

The laws and tactics employed to fight the Drug War have transformed police officers from those who protect and serve to a force that, too often, actively searches the innocent and seizes for profit.

Some of the Drug War’s most disturbing images involve police officers in SWAT gear, kicking down doors, ransacking homes and endangering the lives of everyone inside during pre-dawn raids. Officers rummaging through a car for drug contraband while the driver sits helplessly on the sidewalk as onlookers drive by may be less violent, but is just as invasive and degrading. This experience can be humiliating under any circumstance, and any perception of race as playing a role in the stop piles resentment on top of humiliation.

The “pretextual” or “investigatory” stop is a common police tactic to investigate potential criminal activity—particularly drug possession and trafficking—in situations where there is no legal reason to suspect a crime is occurring. There is not a large amount of data on how often these stops produce contraband seizures, but what data there is suggests that the overwhelming majority of people who are stopped are guilty of no crime. Much like the pedestrian stops during the heyday of New York City’s “Stop and Frisk” program, most of the motorists stopped for investigatory purposes are black or Hispanic. Those who are stopped are often pressured to give consent to a search the officer has no legal right to demand.

There is evidence that some police departments, particularly state police and drug task forces in the American interior, target motorists with out-of-state plates in the hopes of finding drug proceeds and other unexplained cash.Cash-driven interdiction is the result of asset forfeiture laws that allow police departments to keep the proceeds of assets seized in connection with suspected crimes. This “policing for profit” puts budgetary concerns above public safety.

Officers are also trained to prepare for the possibility of violence in every encounter. Anti-police attacks such as the recent tragedies in Dallas and Baton Rouge heighten the fear and trepidation some officers feel in the field. While fewer police officers are feloniously killed in the line of duty per year than at almost any time in American history, officers who find themselves in stressful situations may be more likely to resort to the use of force, including deadly force, in order to maintain their sense of control during such encounters.

In short, the laws and tactics employed to fight the Drug War have transformed police officers from those who protect and serve to a force that, too often, actively searches the innocent and seizes for profit. Aggressive and antagonistic policing also increases the likelihood of disagreement, thereby increasing the possibility of escalation and the use of force that could lead to the injury or death of an innocent person. But the effects of aggressive policing extend beyond the outcome of any given police stop.

Although a majority of Americans express a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police, the same is not true across all racial and ethnic lines.Less than one-third of black respondents to a Gallup poll expressed a large amount of confidence in the police. And while a majority of Hispanics still have a lot of confidence in the police, just over 40 percent of other nonwhites do.Research by Charles Epp and others at the University of Kansas shows that support for police declines when individuals and the people they know have negative police experiences, particularly through investigatory stops.

This lack of confidence in the police can endanger communities. As Jill Leovy documented in her book Ghettoside, the poor relationships officers have with black Los Angelenos hinders homicide clearance rates and prosecutions. At the same time, the “broken windows” policing strategy that focuses on heavy enforcement of petty crimes has been shown to have no effect on the felony crime rate, the premise on which the strategy is based. Together, these create a tragic contradiction in which black communities are over-policed for drugs and petty crimes, but under-policed for homicides and other violent crimes.

Criminologists Cynthia Lum and Daniel Nagin argue that, as a foundational principle, policymakers should reorient policing toward crime prevention rather than arrest maximization. One way to do that would be to curb the use of pretextual stops, which could reduce community-police tension and, therefore, reduce the opportunities for unnecessary tragedies that claim the lives of people like Philando Castile. Another option is to end the policing for profit motive by decoupling asset forfeiture proceeds from law enforcement agency coffers. And finally, law enforcement resources should be pulled away from fighting the unwinnable Drug War and redirected toward general public safety.

Until we fundamentally change how America’s police operate, we will continue to suffer from police violence, and all the problems that it creates and represents.

Jonathan Blanks is a research associate at the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice and managing editor of PoliceMisconduct.net.

What’s a Freedom-Loving American to Do in November?

Doug Bandow

The coming presidential election could cause a liberty lover to commit ritual seppuku. A left-wing corporatist and friend of influence-peddlers will face off against an unprincipled populist who supports big government and carries protectionist and anti-immigration banners.

The usual of gaggle of third parties are running with no hope of victory. Anti-Trump Republicans concocted but abandoned a plot to run an unknown apparatchik as an independent in hopes of either winning or at least preventing anyone else from winning the 270 necessary electoral votes, tossing the election into the House of Representatives. Who would control the latter body after such a race, and who would such a body choose as chief executive, were matters of conjecture.

Whew!

Thousands of years ago the Bible warned people against putting their hope in princes. That remains true today.

Indeed, almost as soon as the Constitution was ratified politicians ignored their oaths and broke the nation’s fundamental law when convenient to do so. The Alien and Sedition Acts, passed during John Adams’ presidency, would have done Hugo Chavez or Vladimir Putin proud.

Thousands of years ago the Bible warned people against putting their hope in princes. That remains true today.

In succeeding years men of principle vied with shameless opportunists to set U.S. policy. The twin tragedies of slavery, which conflicted so greatly with America’s founding principles, and civil war, in which the central government killed promiscuously to hold people in political bondage (rather than to achieve the far more appealing objective of freeing the bondsmen), effectively destroyed the original Constitution.

By the end of the 19th century, neither major political party could be trusted to protect liberty. Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, was one of the last liberals to be president. There was little, if any, difference between such “Progressives” as Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both friends of Leviathan. If Calvin Coolidge offered a step back toward more limited government, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt soon launched a series of grand national crusades.

Since then there has been sporadic but largely ineffective resistance to the ever-aggrandizing state, by Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, for instance. However, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama both pushed dramatic increases in the welfare state. Republicans often have been as willing as Democrats to spend and regulate. Richard Nixon and George W. Bush were particularly enthusiastic advocates of expanded government.

Maybe 2016 will offer a worse choice than usual, but maybe not. What to say of Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton vs. George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole vs. Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry vs. George W. Bush, and John McCain and Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama? Which of these candidates was dedicated to protecting individual liberty and limiting state power? None of them.

Moreover, America has survived worse from politicians across the spectrum. Abraham Lincoln sacrificed the Constitution (and hundreds of thousands of lives) to prevent people from choosing a new political union. Teddy Roosevelt and his great rival Woodrow Wilson disdained even the idea of constitutional limits. Franklin Delano Roosevelt expanded on the defeated Herbert Hoover’s interventionist economic program, threatening the market economy he claimed to save.

Relying on the inflated Democratic congressional majority Lyndon Johnson carried on a policy of guns and butter while launching the misnamed “Great Society.” Richard Nixon converted to Keynesianism and expanded the regulatory state. Since then government has continued to grow inexorably under Republicans and Democrats alike.

Of course, some presidents and Congresses have proved to be better or worse than others. Sometimes it might make sense to support the lesser of evils. Nevertheless, past experience suggests that America wouldn’t look that much different with Chris Christie or Marco Rubio as president than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Without question government would be bigger, spending would be higher, regulations would be more extensive, additional wars would be fought, and people’s liberties would be further restricted. The details would differ, but government would shed more limits and individual freedom would suffer more abridgements. The country would be headed down the same path. Only the speed of descent would differ.

Which means the various schemes promoted by anti-Trump activists, even if successful, would not have made that much long-term difference for liberty. What independent politician could win states from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Probably someone better at promising more benefits than one interested in protecting individual liberty.

Who would congressmen, having approved big budgets and passed big programs, choose as the next president if the issue ended up in the House? Partisan loyalty, not commitment to liberty, would determine the outcome. Who would get the nod is not clear. But we can be sure that Rand Paul, Justin Amash, or another similarly-minded freedom advocate would not end up in the White House.

Lest reality seem unduly bleak, it’s important to remember what American liberty has survived: brutal political division and legal repression during the republic’s early years, invasion of the U.S. by Great Britain, decades of slavery undermining free institutions, a horrid civil war and consequent centralization of power in Washington, Progressive takeover of liberal politics, aggressive redistributionist campaigns in the name of the New Deal and Great Society, and multiple wars feeding an ever-more powerful Leviathan. Compared to these the prospect of a Clinton, Sanders, or Trump presidency doesn’t look quite so hopeless.

It oft has been said that eternal vigilance is necessary to safeguard our liberties. That remains the case today. Irrespective of who wins in November, those who love liberty must continue to act as sentinels for freedom. Upon them the future of the republic will depend.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

Brexit Shows Science and Politics Don’t Mix

Patrick J. Michaels and David E. Wojick

Britain’s quitting the European Union sets the stage for a major mess in the funding of British science. Whatever the merits of Brexit, as the withdrawal is popularly called, exiting the present labyrinthine structure of EU science funding is going to be pure chaos. Government funding of science is always capricious and often wasteful. Brexit is merely going to present the world with a new record for this folly.

The basic problem is that government funding of science is very complex. First the government or government-related science office formulates a specific research program, and then gets it funded. Then it develops and publishes requests for proposals. Then the researchers develop and submit detailed proposals, which the government studies, ultimately choosing some and funding their awards. The process normally takes several years from concept to award. It can hardly take less.

Government funding of science is always capricious and often wasteful. Brexit is merely going to present the world with a new record for this folly.

The EU presently funds a lot of British researchers, as it should given that Britain pays over 12 percent of the European Union’s operating budget. British universities reportedly get about 16 percent of their research funding from Brussels, well over a billion dollars a year. Given that this 16 percent is an average, some universities probably get a significantly larger fraction of their revenue from EU funding.

The EU funding of British science should end as soon as Britain stops paying its EU dues. There is a lot of talk about multi-year negotiations between the incoming Brexit government in Britain and the European Union, but the political reality is that Britain can stop paying its dues anytime it wants to. It is hard to imagine a government whose mandate is to leave the EU continuing to send them billions of pounds that it could use for its own purposes.

The point is that there is no way that Britain can simply replace that EU funding (assuming it wants to), even if it has the money to do so. It will first have to go through its own lengthy competitive funding procedures. Many of the existing EU-funded projects will probably be dropped midstream, their funding wasted. There is no reason the new British government should choose to continue these EU-chosen projects; quite the contrary, given the Brexiteers’ apparent disdain for Brussels. There may well be a multi-year gap in which nothing is funded to replace the present projects.

Untangling the science funding is thus going to be a true mess, unless Britain can work a deal to simply pay for continued EU funding as an associated country. Some small non-EU countries do this. But given that Britain is handing Brussels a big budget cut, such a side deal may not be possible. Moreover, the philosophy of Brexit would seem to preclude Britain ceding funding decisions to the EU, which these associated deals require. The fact that the research community came out loudly against Brexit does not help their case of need.

What this shows is not that Brexit is wrong, but rather that government funding of science is often a mistake. Funding of science by governments is not necessary for economic progress. The intrinsically political nature of the process makes it often wasteful as well.

Brexit is merely a very large example of something that repeatedly happens. An expensive research program is launched because it is politically attractive. Large sums are spent, and then the program is killed midstream, because the politics change. Half a project gives no results, so the money and researchers’ time is simply wasted.

The U.S. government is certainly prone to this kind of waste, to begin with because we get a new House of Representatives every two years, and that is where the money comes from. We also get new, politically appointed department and agency heads with every new presidential administration, if not more frequently. These officials often want to “restructure” their research program, as it is called. Or a new office director may want to do something new, within the existing budget, killing ongoing work in the process.

This sort of project chopping probably happens many, many times a year, at all levels. But the hundreds or thousands of chops are individually too small to be noticed outside of their immediate research community. Tremendous amounts of money and research talent is wasted in this way.

So when the screaming from the unfunded British universities starts, as it almost certainly will, keep in mind that this is just a very large case of the waste that plagues U.S. government-funded science as well. Science and politics do not mix.

Patrick J. Michaels is the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science. David Wojick is head of DEWA, a cognitive science and policy analysis consultancy.

Rudy’s Racist Rants: An NYPD History Lesson

Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff

It was one of the biggest riots in New York City history.

As many as 10,000 demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Manhattan on Sept. 16, 1992. Reporters and innocent bystanders were violently assaulted by the mob as thousands of dollars in private property was destroyed in multiple acts of vandalism. The protesters stormed up the steps of City Hall, occupying the building. They then streamed onto the Brooklyn Bridge, where they blocked traffic in both directions, jumping on the cars of trapped, terrified motorists. Many of the protestors were carrying guns and openly drinking alcohol.

Yet the uniformed police present did little to stop them. Why? Because the rioters were nearly all white, off-duty NYPD officers. They were participating in a Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association demonstration against Mayor David Dinkins’ call for a Civilian Complaint Review Board and his creation earlier that year of the Mollen Commission, formed to investigate widespread allegations of misconduct within the NYPD.

In the center of the mayhem, standing on top of a car while cursing Mayor Dinkins through a bullhorn, was mayoral candidate Rudy Giuliani.

“Beer cans and broken beer bottles littered the streets as Mr. Giuliani led the crowd in chants,” The New York Times reported.

Now, almost 25 years later, Giuliani continues to fan the flames of racial division. The two-term mayor, who has been a prominent surrogate for presidential candidate Donald Trump and is his likely choice to head the Department of Homeland Security, recently made headlines for condemning the Black Lives Matter protests as being “anti-American” and arguing that the term itself is “inherently racist.”

But Giuliani has yet to condemn the blatant racism that rippled through the crowd during the 1992 demonstration.

Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin described the racist conduct in chilling detail:

“The cops held up several of the most crude drawings of Dinkins, black, performing perverted sex acts,” he wrote. “And then, here was one of them calling across the top of his beer can held to his mouth, ‘How did you like the niggers beating you up in Crown Heights?’”

The off-duty cops were referring to a severe beating Breslin suffered while covering the 1991 Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn.

Breslin continued: “Now others began screaming … ‘How do you like what the niggers did to you in Crown Heights?’

“?‘Now you got a nigger right inside City Hall. How do you like that? A nigger mayor.’

“And they put it right out in the sun yesterday in front of City Hall,” Breslin wrote. “We have a police force that is openly racist …”

Newsday reported on other instances of racial abuse. City Councilwoman Una Clarke, a petite black woman, was blocked from crossing Broadway “by a beer-drinking, off-duty police officer who said to his sidekick: ‘This nigger says she’s a member of the City Council.’”

Mary Pinkett, another black councilwoman, was trapped on the Brooklyn Bridge as her car was rocked back and forth by off-duty officers. The two elderly passengers in her car were terrified.

Former NYPD officer and New York state senator Eric Adams, currently serving as Brooklyn’s borough president, told Newsday at the time that the demonstration was “right out of the 1950s: A drunk, racist lynch mob storming City Hall and coming in here to get themselves a nigger.”

An internal-strategy report (the “Rudolph W. Giuliani Vulnerability Study”) prepared for the candidate’s 1993 mayoral campaign devoted more than 50 pages to the 1992 police riot under the all-caps heading “RACIST.”

“When dealing with direct questions about the police rally, Giuliani should acknowledge and criticize the underlying racial nature of the protest,” the study urged.

Giuliani never condemned the overt racism of the 1992 NYPD riot. Instead, he ordered the vulnerability study destroyed, but a copy was leaked to journalist Wayne Barrett in 2000.

Giuliani won the 1993 election against Dinkins and won re-election in 1997. During his two terms, the NYPD ran roughshod over the civil liberties of all New Yorkers, particularly in neighborhoods where most young men of color grew up under the thumb of constant police harassment. At the heart of Giuliani’s law enforcement policy, in case after case, was a lack of accountability for police misconduct.

Now, Giuliani is back again to give us his sage advice. Jangling his chains like Marley’s Ghost, he reminds us of everything that is wrong about the NYPD’s past policing practices. But unlike Marley, Giuliani has no remorse for his past misdeeds and wants us to repeat them into the future. There is nothing that the onetime presidential candidate can tell us about proper policing that is worth listening to.

This isn’t the first time in recent years that Giuliani has rattled the chains of racial division.

In 2014, after a grand jury cleared NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, Giuliani criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio for publicly acknowledging a history of racism within the police department.

“This helps to create this atmosphere of protest, and even sometimes violence,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

Giuliani was particularly critical of de Blasio’s comment that he has had to train his own mixed-race son on how to avoid being victimized by the police: “I was always told the policeman’s always right. There’s a good reason for that: He’s got a gun.”

The lesson Giuliani should have learned a long time ago is that the police should always be held accountable, not only because they carry a gun in their holster, but because they have been entrusted with the full power of the state to use that gun to end human life.

“Making police accountable is essential,” said former NYPD detective David Durk, who, along with Frank Serpico, broke the blue wall of silence before the Knapp Commission in 1971. “At 3 o’clock in the morning, a cop is more powerful than the mayor, the governor and the president. He can kill you.”

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow. Nick Hentoff is a criminal defense and civil liberties attorney in New York.

As Britain Tries to Learn from Iraq Mistakes, so Should the U.S. — by Privatizing the Va

Michael F. Cannon

The British government issued Wednesday the long-awaited Chilcot report, harshly criticizing the U.K.’s decision to join the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq. The ensuing Iraq war “cost the lives of 179 British troops and, at the time of the British withdrawal in 2009, at least 150,000 Iraqis,” according to the Washington Post. “To date, more than 4,500 Americans have died in Iraq and more than 32,000 have been wounded.”

Many Democrats remain angry with their presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for voting as a U.S. senator from New York to authorize the invasion in 2002. Clinton later wrote, “I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had … But I still got it wrong.”

Privatizing the VA may be the only sure-fire way Congress can provide itself better information on the costs of war.

There is a reform that could have given Clinton and other policymakers better information about the costs of invading Iraq — information that could conceivably have prevented the invasion altogether or at least shortened the U.S. occupation.

That reform? Privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA provides life, disability and health benefits to certain veterans. But Congress does not fund those benefits until they come due, and the cost of those benefits typically peaks decades after Congress incurs them by sending troops to war. This lag enables members of Congress to ignore one of the largest financial costs of war. The VA lets Congress wage war on the cheap.

When Clinton and other members of Congress authorized the Iraq invasion and occupation, they knew they were incurring huge obligations to provide benefits to future veterans of that conflict. Economists Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz estimated the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ benefits alone would total about $1 trillion.

But Clinton and Co. did not have to fund those obligations. They did not have to set aside money in a special fund to cover those future benefits. They did not have to face political pushback against raising taxes or increasing federal borrowing by around $1 trillion. Thus, they did not give that mammoth cost the weight it deserved when making their cost-benefit calculations about whether to go to war.

Clinton said it herself: She did the best she could with the information she had at the time. That is a cry for help.

Privatizing the VA may be the only sure-fire way Congress can provide itself better information on the costs of war. As my Cato Institute colleague Chris Preble and I explained in the New York Times, Congress should pre-fund veterans benefits by immediately giving military personnel enough additional pay to enable them to purchase private life, disability, and health insurance similar to what the VA provides. Congress should simultaneously privatize the Veterans Health Administration by transferring ownership of the system’s physical capital to veterans, and give current VA enrollees subsidies they can use at the newly privatized VA or other private providers. Simply privatizing the VA would dramatically increase innovation and competition in health care markets around the country.

More importantly, requiring Congress to pre-fund veterans’ benefits would force Congress to face this enormous cost of war at the moment it decides to go to war. As Preble and I wrote:

The alternative system we propose combines the universal goal of improving veterans’ benefits with conservative Republicans’ preference for market incentives and antiwar Democrats’ desire to make it harder to wage war. Pre-funding veterans’ benefits could prevent unnecessary wars, or at least end them sooner. We can think of no greater tribute to the men and women serving in our armed forces.

Privatizing the VA is the only way to impose political accountability on Congress for these costs of war. Alternatives like socking money away in a lock-box would merely create opportunities for Congress to raid that fund — as it has raided Social Security surpluses — and thereby avoid political accountability.

The British government is trying to avoid repeating costly mistakes. The U.S. government should do the same.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Essential to Regional Peace and Global Prosperity

Daniel J. Ikenson

What world-changing behemoth that begins with the letter “C” presents the greatest threat to U.S. commercial and strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region? Wrong. Even in the wake of this week’s potentially provocative tribunal ruling against Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, the greatest threat remains Congress, not China. The alarmingly likely failure of Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year would do more to subvert U.S. regional and global interests than anything China is capable of doing.

The TPP is a comprehensive trade and investment agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific-Rim nations, which reduces tariffs and other impediments to trade and investment. Its value as an agreement to create greater wealth and higher living standards by more closely integrating 12 economies accounting for 40 percent of global GDP is indisputable. But there is also an even bigger picture to consider.

The TPP is the first step in the process of reestablishing the primacy of non-discrimination and other tenets of the US-led, post-WWII liberal economic order. It is a blueprint for securing U.S. geoeconomic and geopolitical interests now and into the future by refreshing the rules of international trade law and accommodating those institutions to a multi-polar, 21st century global economy.

The TPP is the first step in the process of reestablishing the primacy of non-discrimination and other tenets of the US-led, post-WWII liberal economic order.

As an agreement including countries on four continents, the TPP is the only vehicle that can plausibly fill the void created by the once successful, but now dysfunctional, multilateral negotiating “round” approach to global trade liberalization, which served the world well for a half century. Unlike most other trade agreements, the TPP permits new members to join, if they meet the standards established and the conditions set by existing members. The fact that TPP has achieved critical mass allows its terms to be offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Just as larger bodies floating in space have significant gravitational pull on smaller, surrounding objects, the TPP — by virtue of its heft — would pull other countries on other continents into its orbit because the costs of remaining on the outside will increase with each new accession.

The evidence of this effect is considerable. As investment in production platforms and supply chains has begun to shift from TPP outsiders to TPP members, current non-members such as South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan have been considering and implementing various domestic reforms to improve their prospects for eventually joining. And with TPP rules and benefits applying to China’s most important trade partners, Beijing with have no better alternatives than to embrace the TPP itself.

The TPP was borne of geopolitical considerations in Hillary Clinton’s State Department as the economic component of the Obama administration’s “strategic pivot” to Asia. There could hardly be a better implement in the U.S. geoeconomic policy toolbox than the TPP for projecting U.S. values, securing U.S. interests, and compelling China and others to play by the rules that will govern international commerce in the 21st century.

What better way to dissuade China from bellicosity over its territorial disputes with Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines than to demonstrate a prosperous alternative to 1930’s-style resource-driven expansionism in Asia? Rather than deploy a naval fleet, offer China’s neighbors — and China itself — a clearly plausible path to economic growth and security.

Yet Congress can’t see past election-year politics to acknowledge the TPP as this multi-functional tool that will increase the size of markets, elicit compliance with U.S.-authored rules of international trade, and resuscitate U.S.-lead multilateral liberalization. Or perhaps Congress hasn’t sufficiently contemplated a world after it rejects TPP.

In that world, China is the large mass drawing smaller countries into its gravitational pull. With the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations waiting in the wings for TPP’s failure, countries in the region will be drawn more deeply into China’s orbit. Although that doesn’t mean trade between the United States and those countries will suddenly dry up, it does mean that existing China-focused investment and supply chain relationships will be reinforced, new ones will emerge and become established, and the costs of reorienting those relationships in the event of some future TPP implementation will increase with each passing year.

Without the payoff of TPP membership as motivation, those countries would be less inclined to continue engaging in unilateral domestic reforms, which would retard their own development and encourage compliance with rules and standards preferred by China. U.S. commercial and diplomatic interests in the region would be further impaired by Washington’s failure to follow through on its promises. Reformers in foreign governments that incurred political costs to push the TPP in their countries with expectations of U.S. participation wouldn’t soon forget that the United States proved to be an unreliable partner. Hopes for the TPP jump-starting a new wave of global trade liberalization would be dashed and, with U.S. credibility diminished around the world, America’s policy objectives would become more difficult to meet.

Congressional failure to ratify the TPP would be an epic geostrategic blunder that the United States — and the world — can ill afford.

Daniel J. Ikenson is the director of Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.

Even Superpowers Must Set Priorities in a Dangerous World

Doug Bandow

We live in a dangerous world, government officials and political candidates routinely intone to justify budget-busting military expenditures. But the question should be: dangerous to whom? Even a superpower like the U.S. must set priorities and focus on those tasks, which are essential.

In its early years, the American republic possessed only a small standing military and played a very small international role. That changed dramatically in the 20th century. After World War II, the U.S. defended its many friends in Asia and Europe.

However, the Europeans now enjoy a greater collective gross domestic product (GDP) and population than America. South Korea vastly outmatches the North. Japan long possessed the second largest economy on earth. In the Middle East, U.S. friends, most notably Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, easily outrange America’s few potential adversaries, such as Iran.

Yet Washington still mans the big alliances, guards against pirates, fills peacekeeping missions, confronts emerging powers, garrisons defeated states, rebuilds failed societies, hunts down insurgents, promotes development and spreads democracy. It’s a daunting list. And an expensive one.

The U.S. is one of the world’s most secure nations geographically, yet it leads the world in military expenditures, accounting for about 40 percent of the total. America spends more per person and as a percentage of its GDP than do the vast majority of its allies, and does so mostly on their behalf.

Yet Washington’s emphasis on the geopolitically trivial — looking for warlords in Somalia and Uganda, attempting to Westernize Afghanistan, redrawing the map of the Balkans, seeking to fix multiple Middle Eastern countries — risks impairing America’s ability to handle the truly consequential. The more U.S. resources poured into secondary tasks which other nations could manage, the less able Washington will be to confront t threats which might transcend the abilities of America’s allies to respond.

The problem comes into stark relief when comparing the Cold War with the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). In the first, the U.S. faced the possibility of nuclear destruction. In Europe, the fear was essentially a renewed Eastern Front of World War II moved west.

In Korea, Washington fought a traditional conventional war involving the emerging People’s Republic of China (PRC). In succeeding years, America worried about a renewal of that conflict and threats to Japan involving both the Soviet Union and PRC.

The costs of these potential wars, especially if they escalated to nuclear weapons, could scarcely be calculated. Yet to not defend these nations would have left America’s geopolitical position isolated and threatened, if not directly endangered. And in the early decades, only the U.S. could secure Western Europe, South Korea and Japan.

The GWOT bears no comparison, despite the tendency of some military hawks to designate it as “World War III.” There’s no existential threat to America or its allies. While the casualties from individual attacks, especially 9/11, are horrendous in human terms, they wouldn’t even be noticed during the daily carnage of World War II.

Moreover, America’s participation in much of the fighting is unnecessary and counterproductive. The conflicts and controversies themselves were trivial compared to past global conflagrations. America’s interests usually were modest at best and other nations were capable of acting.

Worse, intervention in foreign conflicts has many unintended consequences, including increased attacks against America, which entangle Washington in more lengthy military campaigns.

Decades of involvement in such sideshows has diverted resources from preparing for the sort of conflicts which could threaten America’s existence and only be confronted by the U.S. Russia is a declining power unlikely to reemerge as a global presence, but China could become a genuine peer competitor to Washington. India is further behind but also has extraordinary potential.

It is hard to imagine either of the latter directly threatening America, but both conceivably could attain dominating positions in Asia that Washington’s friends might find hard to contain. If hostilities arose, the U.S. would need to be prepared to battle a great power with advanced weaponry, not defeat an insurgency in a traditional society. The trillions of dollars wasted in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria would be sorely missed.

Even the U.S. cannot do everything. It must make choices. Washington should focus on preparing for big threats, which could not be otherwise contained. And the U.S. needs to start doing that now, well before such a conflict occurs.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

Porn Is Not a ‘Public Health Crisis’

David Boaz

A Republican National Convention platform committee has declared pornography “a public health crisis.” Committee members don’t seem to know what “public health” means.

Lately it’s been liberal Democrats who have applied the “public health” label to everything they don’t like — smoking, obesity, venereal disease, motorcycle accidents, and more. They see “public health” as a blank check for government action.

The meaning of “public health” has sprawled out lazily over the decades. Once, it referred to the project of securing health benefits that were public: clean water, improved sanitation, and the control of epidemics through treatment, quarantine, and immunization. Public health officials worked to drain swamps that might breed mosquitoes and thus spread malaria. They strove to ensure that water supplies were not contaminated with cholera, typhoid, or other diseases. The U.S. Public Health Service began as the Marine Hospital Service, and one of its primary functions was ensuring that sailors didn’t expose domestic populations to new and virulent illnesses from overseas.

Calling something a “public health problem” suggests that it is different from a personal health problem in ways that demand collective action.

Those were legitimate public health issues because they involved consumption of a collective good (air or water) and/or the communication of disease to parties who had not consented to put themselves at risk. It is difficult for individuals to protect themselves against illnesses found in air, water, or food. A breeding ground for disease-carrying insects poses a risk to entire communities.

In the United States and other developed countries those public health problems have been largely solved. For instance, in the 1920s there were 13,000-15,000 reported cases of diphtheria each year in the United States. In the past decade, fewer  than five cases of diphtheria have been reported in the United States. Of course, we still face new problems such as Ebola and Zika.

But bureaucracies notoriously want to expand. So, true to form, the public health authorities have broadened their mandate and kept on going. They launched informational and regulatory crusades against such health problems as smoking, venereal disease, AIDS, and obesity. Pick up any newspaper and you’re apt to find a story about these “public health crises.” Those are all health problems, to be sure, but are they really public health problems?

There’s an easy, perfectly private way to avoid increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease: Don’t smoke. You don’t need any collective action for that.

As for obesity, it doesn’t take a village for me to eat less and exercise more.

Pornography may be an even more ridiculous extension of the “public health” claim. The GOP platform draft says, “Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions.” But it offers no evidence. Advocates often claim that pornography promotes sexual violence against women.

But in a 2009 review of the literature, psychologists Christopher Ferguson and Richard Hartley concluded: “it is time to discard the hypothesis that pornography contributes to increased sexual assault behavior.” Indeed, as pornography has become ever easier to find on the internet, rape rates in the United States have steadily fallen. Rape is a crime and should be prosecuted vigorously, but there’s little evidence that pornography is causing the incidence to increase.

Language matters. Calling something a “public health problem” suggests that it is different from a personal health problem in ways that demand collective action. And while it doesn’t strictly follow, either in principle or historically, that “collective action” must be state action, that distinction is easily elided in the face of a “public health crisis.” If smoking and obesity are called public health problems, then it seems that we need a public health bureaucracy to solve them — and the Public Health Service and all its sister agencies don’t get to close up shop with the satisfaction of a job well done. So let’s start using honest language: Smoking and obesity are health problems. In fact, they are widespread health problems. But they are not public health problems. Nor is pornography, despite the views of the right-wing groups lobbying the Republican convention.

David Boaz is executive vice president of the Cato Institute.

How Free Traders Fueled Trump and Can Beat Him

Scott Lincicome

Donald Trump is on the protectionist warpath, attacking not just America’s trading partners but also its long-held political consensus in favor of open trade. The demise of this consensus is in one sense odd—trade has never been popular with voters, and modest declines in recent polls are typical for election years—but it is no less real: for the first time in decades, both major party presidential nominees are openly skeptical of trade (Trump outright hostile), and congressional leaders are unwilling to consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a time when our stagnant economy could use a trade-provided boost, such proposals are nowhere to be found.

How did America devolve from the trade advocacy of Kennedy, Reagan, (Bill) Clinton, and Bush to the divisive protectionism of Trump? Some causes are obvious: the Democratic Party, once supportive of trade, has slowly embraced protectionism, its platform and legislative record shifting from trade-friendly in 1996 to mirroring the anti-globalization movement by 2008. Today Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, almost unanimously refuse to support their standard-bearer’s signature trade deal, the TPP.

President Obama also deserves blame: his successful campaigns against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and outsourcing showed other politicians that protectionism can pay political dividends. The president also condoned or implemented discrete trade restrictions like the 2009 safeguard on Chinese tires, while refusing to spend political capital to advocate trade liberalization policies like completed FTAs with Colombia, Panama ,and Korea.

Protectionists want to force poor American consumers to subsidize well-connected cronies. They must no longer be given free rein to mislead with impunity.

Even now in selling the TPP, President Obama emphasizes new rules for labor, the environment, and state enterprises, as opposed to the unassailable economic and moral arguments that have supported free trade for centuries. TPP might now be in force, instead of languishing in congressional limbo, had the president experienced his trade conversion years ago instead of in 2015.

Give Us Reasons, Not Numbers

But trade proponents in Washington also helped create Trump and the current wave of American trade skepticism. By embracing a mercantilist message to sell trade agreements, one that touts every deal by noting only its ability to generate American exports and trade surpluses, these groups fuel prevalent protectionist myths that imports shrink the economy and cost jobs, and that the trade balance is handy scoreboard for gauging U.S. policy.

At the same time, these “free traders” fail to attack such myths, thus yielding the floor to protectionists like Trump who wrongly blame trade for America’s alleged deindustrialization (though manufacturing output is at record highs) and general economic malaise.

Trump’s rhetoric, heavy on trade deficit demagoguery and unsupported allegations of pervasive foreign cheating, is straight from the dusty protectionist playbook, yet has been rarely challenged by timid rivals. As such, his preposterous claims are challenged by only voiceless wonks, instead of more powerful groups—especially elected officials—that might actually affect public perceptions.

Trade proponents also have erred through a consistent overreliance on economic data, particularly forecasts, to push trade liberalization policies. Not only are these data boring (a stark contrast to the protectionists’ gripping, though limited, tales of personal woe), but accurately predicting the impact of wide-ranging agreements among sovereign nations is an impossible task because trade flows and national economic performance rely on factors that often have little to do with trade policy.

Treating these stats as gospel imperils future advocacy efforts whenever the predicted results fail to materialize (as they often inevitably do). Today, for example, unions discount the U.S. International Trade Commission’s new analysis of the TPP because the review of the U.S.-Korea free-trade agreement (FTA) inaccurately predicted a shrinking bilateral trade deficit (never mind that Korea’s economy entered a recession shortly after the FTA took effect, thus crippling Korean demand for U.S. exports).

We Need a Sensible Response to Globalization

Finally, there has been a bipartisan failure of U.S. policy to adapt to the realities of today’s more globalized, more automated world. Our policymakers continue to pursue trade liberalization through only reciprocal FTAs like the TPP, even though these agreements’ rigid tariff schedules and rules of origin deter optimal sourcing decisions in fields defined by ever-changing global supply chains. (Other countries, such as Canada, have pursued a more logical mix of trade agreements and unilateral market opening.)

FTAs also can undermine public confidence in trade liberalization by treating the beneficial reduction of domestic trade barriers as a “concession” for U.S. negotiators to resist by traditionally keeping negotiations secret and promulgating arcane, heavily lobbied rules (e.g., pharmaceutical patent protections or investor-state disciplines) that give the not-wholly-unwarranted impression that current U.S. trade policy nefariously benefits only multinational corporations at the expense of American workers.

At the same time, domestic policy not only has failed to help workers and companies adjust to disruptive and growing forces like globalization and technology, but likely hinders such adjustment. The Trade Adjustment Assistance program, for example, leaves participants worse off in terms of future wages and benefits than similarly situated individuals outside of the program, and breeds the misconception that trade is somehow different from, and worse than, other forms of creative destruction. American companies are also hobbled by sky-high corporate tax rates and costly overregulation. Winning public support for increased global competition under such circumstances is a fool’s errand.

Let’s Address Misconceptions on Trade Head-On

Trade advocates must learn from these errors to counter Trump and restore the pro-trade consensus. Long-term polling from organizations like Gallup and Pew indicate many Americans’ opinions on trade are loosely held, shaped by partisanship and capable of shifting in response to improved trade rhetoric and policy.

A new poll out of Texas—one of the most free market, trade-dependent, and economically successful states in the union—lays the situation bare: more than half of all Republicans in the state, having spent the last year listening to an unchallenged Trump rail against “trade deals,” now view them as “bad for the United States economy” (while only 17 percent see them as “good”). Clearly, something other than actual economic experience is driving these views.

A better trade message is needed, one that emphasizes the benefits of U.S. exports andimports (more than half of which other manufacturers use), attacks common protectionist myths, and recognizes the economic, historical, and moral case for free trade. Protectionists want to force poor American consumers to subsidize well-connected cronies; they must no longer be given free rein to set the terms of debate and mislead with impunity.

If Trump wants a fight, free traders should give him one. We have not just the factual but also the moral high ground.

Better policy, on the other hand, would reflect the realities of the twenty-first-century economy through a mix of simpler trade agreements; unilateral reductions in trade barriers that enrich cronies at most Americans’ expense; and legal reforms that strengthen the ability of all workers and companies, not just those exposed to imports, to confront inevitable market disruptions and to thrive in the global marketplace. The U.S. government must also be more willing to use legal dispute settlement mechanisms, particularly World Trade Organization anti-subsidy rules, to ensure that our trading partners are held to account—but only after getting our own trade and subsidy house in order (it’s a mess).

Unless and until policymakers and industry groups address their failures and make such changes, the pro-trade consensus in American politics will remain broken, demagogues like Trump will prosper, and trade’s many benefits will continue to go unrealized.

Scott Lincicome is an international trade attorney, adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute and visiting lecturer at Duke University.