Ferris Beuller, Smoot-Hawley, and Follow The Money When It Comes To Environmentalism and the Economy

by Melissa Clouthier | March 30, 2008 2:48 pm

Econ teacher in Ferris Bueller:

In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone?… the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?… raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.

Maxed Out Mama explains the SmootHawley Act[1]. I kid you not. But here’s what she’s really talking about and it’s very important students, so pay attention!

I believe that many politicians are being deeply dishonest about their “environmental” concerns. I also believe that instituting a carbon tariff will cause Asian growth to slow remarkably and further destabilize the world economy. The rise in food prices is very dangerous because it has an impact on the ability of emerging market countries to support consumption increases necessary to rebalance trade. If you add to the situation by doing something like this, you could recreate the conditions which caused the Great Depression.


We have no proof at all that CO2 is dramatically affecting global temperatures or will. We have a bunch of models that don’t predict previous temperature changes, so how can we believe that they are accurate in future predictions? We have a lot of hysteria on the subject, but it is mostly occurring in the political realm. Follow the money.

Are the world’s main powers continually in a power struggle? Yes. Are the world’s main powers subtly (and not so subtly) warring over ideologies and more significantly, right now, economies? I think so. The reliance and interconnectedness of the world economies causes significant vulnerability to states.

How so? Imagine having a billion people hungry because rice and corn and wheat are so expensive and in such a short supply that people and the government can’t afford them. Starvation on a massive scale, the disease that follows, tends to make people upset. There was a time when China couldn’t go out and take, by force, the resources needed for survival, but that has changed. By the way, I’m not writing as an economist since I’m clueless on that front. This opinion is just based on human nature and history. Oh, and China doesn’t need force to hurt America. Go read MoM’s full post to see why.

And this also relates to the Obama–[2]Clinton-McCain[3] triumvirate of pandering to leftist dogma. All three seem moved by the environmental clap-trap that passes as truth. Should their economic policy be dictated by environmental policy, I fear for the world and for the United States.

  1. SmootHawley Act: http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com/2008/03/smoot-hawley-under-heading-of-carbon.html
  2. Obama–: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8S9RPL80&show_article=1
  3. McCain: http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/4/13/233753.shtml

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