Why the Trade Deficit is a Really, Really Good Thing


News came out that after all that President Trump has done, the trade deficit has widened by 5%. This means we are sending out more money and getting more goods in return.

It may sound like this is bad. After all, everything we import is goods not produced at home. That means more jobs for the Chinese and Indians and Germans and others. It means more money for them as well.

But when you think about it, that’s what we do at the grocery store every day. We don’t grow our own food, and we don’t seem so concerned about that. We’re more than happy to make money other ways. I, for instance, sit in an office all day and hammer away at a keyboard writing code that no one but a few people will ever see or know about. But they pay me these little bits of paper with green ink stamped on them. Scratch that. They send messages to my bank account that causes them to update my balance by adding numbers up. And then I use a little piece of plastic to go to the grocery store and come home with the things I like to eat but did not grow myself.

You may feel sad that we aren’t making the goods we are importing. If your job used to be in those industries, you’ll feel doubly sad because not only did someone “take” your job, as long as the American economy is strong, it will never ever come back. But this is like feeling sad because you aren’t raising your own cows and you aren’t growing your own wheat and grinding it to make bread.

Instead, focus on those things Americans can do to make money. By being the people who send out pieces of paper with green ink on them, we are in a great deal of power, especially because we’re the ones who print that stuff.


But if you really, really want your job back, try to see if you can immigrate to the country that “stole” your job. You can enjoy a lower standard of living, a less free economy, and you can see what kind of work schedule they keep. I imagine you won’t be happy at all about that and wonder how anyone in the world can do it. Just remember that to them, it’s a major step forward. It’s a heckuva lot better than what they used to have.

So you don’t want your job back. Come back the US, get trained in something that actually makes money, and join us in the new economy where information and technology is king. Let the Indians and the Chinese and the Germans spend all their time with 1950’s technology making steel and running machines, you know, the kind of stuff we build robots for.

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