Chinese Import Tariffs are a Bad Idea
I just got back from a vacation and during that time I got to do something I love - read all sorts of intellectually stimulating stuff. It re-affirmed some simple knowledge: I love the Economist...
One of the most interesting stories I read was one I hadn't been following at all prior to my trip. Covered in both The Economist and The Atlantic the issue of Chinese import tariffs grabbed my attention.
Basically, there is popular support in the US for protectionism that would tax Chinese imports, and hopefully restore some American manufacturing jobs. A bill has been created suggesting that we tax imports based on the Chinese currency being artificially undervalued to give Chinese imports unfair advantage (which is very true, but probably not as egregiously as proponents of this bill claim).
At the heart of this issue is whether global competition is good or bad. The Economist killed it with their coverage; Who's afraid of the dragon?
What's most interesting, is that there's finally some data about the benefits of global competition, which previously has been pretty rare.
In a more standard exploration, economists tried to study the costs associated with foreign competition. What they found was meaningful; 0.77% lower employment per $1000 of import exposure per worker. That's big, especially in the most affected areas (several percentage points lower employment).
However, Nicholas Bloom, Mirko Draka, and John Van Reenen tried to study the benefit that countries got from foreign competition and came up with some fascinating stats. For every 10% rise in Chinese imports in a firms industry, there was: a 3.2% increase in patent filing, a 3.6% increase in IT spending, and a 12% increase in R&D.
While competition is eating the low end of the market, it's forcing innovation from incumbents (read: a good thing).
As a nation, we should be accepting this challenge, and fighting to innovate more and shift more of our workforce to knowledge work.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
- A huge segment of America's population — the Baby Boom generation — is aging and will live longer than any American generation in history.
- The story we read about in the news? Their drain on social services like Social Security and Medicare.
- But increased longevity is a cause for celebration, says Ashton Applewhite, not doom and gloom.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.