From Sheldon Richman’s blog. Relevant chunks:
“Neither Bernie Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist, nor Donald Trump, the self-described terrific businessman, knows squat about economics. If their polices were enacted, regular working people would be harmed.
This is most clear with trade. Sanders and Trump are flaming protectionists, which means they peddle perhaps the oldest, most-thoroughly discredited economics doctrine ever spoken. (An older fallacy may be that an economy can grow by creating purchasing power from thin air.)
Observe: what Sanders and Trump seek to protect us from is low-priced useful products made outside the United States. Crazy, right? Our living standard depends on the ease with which we can choose from a growing array of products that make our lives better. Products, then, are an odd thing to promise protection from. In 1886 Henry George exposed the demagoguery inherent in protectionist appeals such as those from Sanders and Trump:
“Trade is not invasion. It does not involve aggression on one side and resistance on the other, but mutual consent and gratification. There cannot be a trade unless the parties to it agree, any more than there can be a quarrel unless the parties to it differ.””