- - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

What Stephen Moore and his fellow economists — most of whom have never worked on or managed a factory production line — don’t understand is that filling empty U.S. factories with idled U.S. factory workers will raise prices for products made in the United States (“The threat of tariffs may work,” Web, Sept. 2).

What has emptied U.S. factories, idled their workers and perhaps even started the U.S. drug-death epidemic is the difference between the cost of touch labor in the U.S. and third-world countries. For Mexico, President Trump’s target U.S. factory wage of $16 an hour is much more than four times the wage of the Mexican factory worker. Four times is the direct cost. Much more is the cost of benefits, such as health care and pensions, that U.S. workers receive.

The U.S. consumer faces a choice. Accept responsibility for empty factories, idle workers and possibly the drug-induced deaths of some workers who can’t find jobs, or pay a little more for products made in the United States. We all know that if the government steps in to “solve” these problems, we’ll end up with even less money in our wallets while the problems get worse.

GEORGE F. STEEG

Potomac Falls, Va.


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