Donald Trump tore up the broad consensus on international free trade with a miserable, protectionist inaugural speech on Friday. So explicit was his outlook that those of us who had become complacent about his economic impact — the “how bad can he be?” crowd — have had to sit up and reassess.
In a pugnacious passage, he claimed: “Every decision on trade… will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

Basing every decision on trade or any other economic policy on whether it will benefit the body of American workers and families is a good metric for success, in theory. It would be refreshing if more politicians took setting the conditions for enhanced prosperity of the populace as a serious responsibility.