Econ 101 aside, though, there's a more compelling moral reason to condemn this kind of tariff that should help break deadlocks like Matt's: Jobs lost at home are usually jobs created elsewhere, typically in poorer countries. If anything, jobs are likely to be gained when an industry moves to China, where more aspects of the manufacturing and assembly process are done by hand. They just won't be created here. If that's your focus, you have to make the case that American jobs are intrinsically better or more valuable than Chinese jobs.I examined this from every angle, and find no evidence of a joke (which is not Ms. Mangu-Ward's strong suit in any case). She really thinks local (that is to say, American) suckers will just have to tough out a creative destruction phase, in which the Chinese get their jobs at a fraction of their wages, and the suckers get unemployment for a while and then whatever they can scrounge up. Some (okay, many) of them aren't going to make it, but who wants them around anyway -- they're not on Twitter and Foursquare and wouldn't have fun things to say if they were. But many of their kids will probably become New Technocrats. That should be some consolation to their parents in the hobo camps!
And as to them being Americans? There are no nations, there are no peoples; there is only money.
I'm beginning to think Mangu-Ward was raised in a Skinner box.
UPDATE. In comments, Freshly Squeezed Cynic explicates Mangu-Ward's use of Whataboutery; AC in BC suggests, "Surely the Atlantic can find an Indian to write something this stupid at one quarter the cost?"