• An Olympian Myth

      The Olympics have gone smoothly so far despite -- gasp! -- America's team wearing clothing made in China.

      Many people were angry about the uniforms, as I write in my syndicated column today:

      "I'm so upset," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile, and burn them. ... We have people in the textile industry who are desperate for jobs."

      Here, Reid demonstrates the economic cluelessness I write about in "No, They Can't -- Why Government Fails but Individuals Succeed".

      It seems logical that Americans lose if American clothing is made overseas. But that's nonsense. First, it's no surprise the uniforms were made in China. Most clothing is. That's fine. It saves money. We invest the savings in other things, like the machines that Chinese factories buy and the trucks that ship the Olympic uniforms.

      The Cato Institute's Daniel Ikenson's adds: "We design clothing here. We brand clothing here. We market and retail clothing. ... Chinese athletes arrived in London by U.S.-made aircraft, trained on U.S.-designed and -engineered equipment, wear U.S.-designed and -engineered footwear, having perfected their skills using U.S.-created technology." That's free trade. Trade makes us richer.

      The rest of the column deals with other myths: overpopulation creates poverty; we are running out of oil. You can read the whole piece here.

      Syndicated Column