Trump’s display of economic ignorance goes well beyond his budget arithmetic and lack of sympathy for the Ex-Im Bank.
This is a short multiple-choice test for Trump voters. It is not a long multiple-choice test so that Trump voters’ attention span is respected. And, in the spirit of the current Administration, no correct answers will be provided (in case we need to reverse our position in the future).
On the eve of the recent G7 meetings in Taormina, Trump allegedly called “Germany ‘bad, very bad’ for flooding the US market with cars.” (1) Given the apparent technical nature of the allegations you may feel uncomfortable with the level of knowledge required to make sense of such statement. Answering the following questions will help you a great deal.
[A] What is Germany?
- A child living in Europe caught beating a squirrel near a dam;
- An old relative of Trump’s who forgot his birthday;
- A large, civilized and economically developed country;
- A new type of malfunctioning automotive faucet.
[B] Can the US unwittingly be “flooded” with cars or any other goods from abroad?
- Yes, if the cars (or goods) are amphibious;
- No, because goods from abroad are not in liquid form (most of them);
- Yes, if the country of origin is China;
- No, because cars and goods need to be desired by US consumers for them to make their way into the country.
[C] If your answer to [B] is 1., what is the best way to stop German cars from entering the US?
- Build a longer wall on the Mexican border;
- Send submarines to intercept cars and goods before they make landfall;
- Mine the waters around the East and West coasts of the US;
- Surrender your driver’s license.
[D] What changes to your answers for [A]-[C] would you make if you were presented with the information on Table I?
- You would conclude that German car sales in the US support a lot of US jobs;
- No change; it’s fake news;
- You would realize that it’s not all German cars that are flooding the US: it’s only Audis and Porsches;
- You would think that inventories of German cars must be ballooning.
[E] Why do Americans purchase German cars?
- Their instruction booklets come in several foreign languages;
- In reverse gear they go faster than most American – and some Japanese – cars;
- A lot of them are well built, good looking, high-performance vehicles;
- They come with extra spare tires under the passenger seat.
[F] BONUS QUESTION – If you voted for Trump and you got half of the answers right (however you define “right”), you probably have not missed the non-fake fact that the President is clueless; what is your most likely state of mind now?
- Feel like a passenger in the plane:
(1) FT Weekend, May 27-28 2017; also, other newspapers.
My Current Reads – a list of the last 30 items (books, articles or blog posts) I found interesting: right column on HOME page, or under LIBRARY > MY CURRENT READS.
Research – economics and finance research papers: under LIBRARY > RESEARCH.
Table I: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/05/cars-german-auto-brands-sell-build-united-states-america/
Last Strip: http://dilbert.com/strip/1997-09-10