segunda-feira, dezembro 20, 2004
EUA: Balança Comércial e o Dólar
Artigo de Arnold Kling na Tech Central Station.
Many journalists treat the merchandise trade balance as a sort of basketball score. If we are importing more goods and services than we export, then we are losing, and conversely. As an economist, I find the sports analogy misleading. Economists view trade primarily as an efficiency tool, like using word processors instead of typewriters or tractors instead of horse-drawn plows.
I would tend to measure the state of our trade by looking at our exports plus our imports rather than as exports minus imports. The more we trade, the more efficiently we will be using our domestic productive resources. It makes more sense to worry about the total volume of trade than about the difference between exports and imports
If the trade deficit exists because your government issues lots of debt that is bought by foreigners, then that can affect you. Eventually, the government is going to tax you to pay off the debt. But that is primarily an issue of how the government runs its fiscal policy, and the international aspect is only incidental.
For many years, foreigners seemingly were not able to get enough of U.S. assets, so that the dollar appreciated. When foreign demand finally tapered off in the past two years, the dollar declined.(...)
Taking as given government policy for spending, taxes, and money creation, there is nothing specific that political leaders can contribute to the operation of the foreign exchange markets. We should just leave the currency speculators alone, including foreign governments, such as China's, that engage in currency speculation. Our government has no more business manipulating the value of the dollar than it does manipulating the betting odds on next week's football games.
As a typical American, how does a dramatically lower value of the dollar affect you? It makes certain consumer goods more expensive. It also subtly affects the outlook for employment in different industries. Compared with two years ago, the likelihood has increased slightly that you will work in an industry whose goods and services are traded internationally. By the same token, you are slightly less likely to work in an industry whose goods and services are insulated from international competition.
posted by Miguel Noronha 3:46 da tarde
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