Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) officially launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, vowing to kick-start a revolution that will change America "economically, politically, socially and environmentally." Back in 2011 Reason TV highlighted Sanders' misguided understanding of economics and why "Made in America" isn't always the best slogan to get behind. Original text is below.
In the midst of a massive fiscal crisis, a take-no-prisoners budget battle, a historically long recession, and two (make that three) wars, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) knows what really matters.
He's pushing the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to only sell bobble-heads, T-shirts, snow-globes, and other souvenirs that are made in America. After getting a letter from and taking a meeting with the self-described Green Mountain State socialist, the folks at the Smithsonian have agreed to increase the amount of domestically produced junk for sale in their gift shops. They're even constructing a new gift shop solely to products manufactured in America that will be called the Price of Freedom.
During a recent trip to the National Mall, Reason.tv found that such nativist grandstanding plays well with the man in the street, but CATO policy analyst Sallie James says protectionism doesn't come cheap. In fact, top-down attempts to keep Americans in low-level manufacturing jobs is a great way to ruin the economy, whether we're talking about Founding Father thimbles or higher-end electronics.