Trump Was Right: Productivity versus Employment & Status


On Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux references a CATO posting which in turn references a Wall Street Journal article, that criticizes Donald Trump for stating that we need more manufacturing jobs. The libertarian sentiments held by my friends at CATO and Cafe Hayek, inform them that productivity gains show that we produce just plenty of manufacturing – thank you very much. Wherein Don supports the Cato position that we do not need more manufacturing, and that any perception that we do, is a myth.

(Articles are linked below.)

But they are mistaken. A polity desires not productivity, but employment, and not simply employment, but competitive, status-enriching employment — and the lower classes in particular find their social enfranchisement in producing these ‘collective goods’ we call competitive production. They cannot achieve status through individualism, so they seek to find it in collective membership: They want to ‘do good.’

For example, a friend…

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