Who will protect Americans from their protectors?

Today’s Republican administration promises protection against the destruction of American jobs by the Chinese, Mexicans and other foreigners. The really prolific destroyers are: Americans. As Reason’s John Tamny says, Americans streaming movies from Netflix (based in Los Gatos, Calif.) erase American jobs in movie theaters and DVD rental stores. Americans buying books from Seattle-based Amazon have caused many American bookstores to do what Borders (399 stores, 11,000 employees) did: disappear. (Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Post.) Americans using San Francisco-based Uber are destroying many taxi drivers’ jobs.

Evidently our protectors in the administration must believe this: The destruction of American jobs because Americans buy goods or services of some American companies rather than those of other American companies is benign. But the destruction of American jobs because Americans buy goods or services of foreign companies is intolerable.

An administration confident about conducting interventions in the economy should demonstrate care when bandying numbers. But in defending the sensible idea of reducing government regulation of the financial sector, Gary Cohn, director of the president’s National Economic Council, said this would save “literally hundreds of billions of dollars of regulatory costs every year.” Former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers notes the implausibility: “Total bank profits last year were about $170 billion.” Deregulation will more than double profits?

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