In the midst of a massive fiscal crisis, a take-no-prisoners budget battle, a historically long recession, and two (make that three) wars, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) knows what really matters.
He's pushing the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to only sell bobble-heads, T-shirts, snow-globes, and other souvenirs that are made in America. After getting a letter from and taking a meeting with the self-described Green Mountain State socialist, the folks at the Smithsonian have agreed to increase the amount of domestically produced junk for sale in their gift shops. They're even constructing a new gift shop solely to products manufactured in America that will be called the Price of Freedom.
During a recent trip to the National Mall, Reason.tv found that such nativist grandstanding plays well with the man in the street, but CATO policy analyst Sallie James says protectionism doesn't come cheap. In fact, top-down attempts to keep Americans in low-level manufacturing jobs is a great way to ruin the economy, whether we're talking about Founding Father thimbles or higher-end electronics.
Produced by Joshua Swain, with help from Meredith Bragg, and hosted by Michael Moynihan.
Approximately 3 minutes.
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