Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Minnesota's Exports Up! Should We Care?

Mark Perry highlights the good news that Minnesota's exports were up 19% in the second quarter. It's not mentioned whether these were exports to foreign countries or to other states (though I assume the former), but would it matter anyway?

Why do we think that selling goods abroad is so wonderful?

When you think about it, every sale is an export. I export my labor to my employer in the city and then import all manner of consumer goods from groceries at the store up the street to the TV that I bought from a company that makes them in China. Some of the food I buy locally came from Mexico and some of the parts in my Chinese television were made in the U.S..

I paid no attention to any of it at the time of purchase. Now, President Obama has issued a five-year plan to double American exports. If he even had the power to accomplish it, I'd still have to ask, so what?

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