Return to Main Page | Ragout: U.S. to World: Keep Out
A Spicy Stew of Economics, Politics, Data, Food, Carpentry, etc.
Monday, May 24, 2004

U.S. to World: Keep Out

An underappreciated way in which Bush is destroying our country is by driving foreigners away from our shores. This has received a fair amount of coverage in the British and French press, but very little here at home. One exception is this article from CBS, but like most U.S. press coverage I've seen it emphasizes the decline in foreign students rather than travel in general.

The British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reports

Strict new security and visa rules put in place since the September 11 attacks have triggered a 30 per cent drop in overseas visitors to the United States, the Bush administration has announced.

This has dealt a major blow to the tourist industry and US universities, among other sectors, said Colin Powell, the secretary of state.

Let's put aside the jobs and dollars that tourists bring in, which really aren't all that important. It doesn't take a genius to see that America's standing in the world greatly benefits when others travel here. Students study here, and some go home and lead their countries. People come here to to business and bring ideas and innovations. Scientists come here and share their knowledge. Tourists come and most probably go home with a better image of the U.S. So, this is one of Bush's disasters that really bums me out, and that I think could really do a lot of harm in the long run.

Now you can say that a lot of factors drive tourism, and that it's not all Bush's fault. And surely the fallout from 9/11 would have reduced travel no matter who was president. The world economy hasn't been that hot. But at the same time, some factors should have been increasing travel to the U.S., like the weak dollar. And there's the unprecedented size of the drop-off in visitors. Ultimately, I think a lot of fall-off is due to excessive visa requirements, excessive hassling at the border, excessive red tape and fingerprinting and photographing.

And then there's lawlessness of U.S. customs agents. Canada issued an advisory to their citizens of middle eastern descent a few years ago, advising them to avoid travel to the U.S. Why? Because of our record of deporting Canadian citizens to Syria to be tortured. That can't be good for tourism.

Percentage Change in Travel to the U.S., 2000-2003

Overseas -30.6
Europe -25.5
Asia -33.8
Middle East -36.3
Mexico -6.3
Canada -13.6

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

The Unprecedented Fall in Travel to the U.S.

Number 1 in Ragout Economics!

March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 /

First Team
Angry Bear
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Economist's View
Mark Kleiman
Nathan Newman
Political Animal
Max Sawicky
Brian Setser
Sock Thief
Talking Points Memo
Matthew Yglesias

Second Opinion
Stephen Bainbridge
Marginal Revolution
Andrew Samwick
The Volokh Conspiracy

Third Way

Fourth Estate
Economic Reporting Review
New York Times
Washington Post

Fifth Republic
Le Figaro
Le Monde

Sixth Sense
The Intersection
In the Pipeline
What's New

Politics & Polls
Daily Kos
Donkey Rising
Electoral Vote Predictor
Rasmussen Tracking Polls

Art Sucks
Enzo Titolo
L’esprit d’escalier
A Level Gaze
Approximately Perfect

ragoutchef at yahoo dot com


Powered by Blogger