Finance

Hundreds of prominent economists just denounced Donald Trump in an open letter to voters

donald trumpDonald Trump at a campaign rally in October.Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

370 economists wrote an open letter to voters denouncing Donald Trump and telling voters to “choose a different candidate.”

“Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country,” the economists wrote. “He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality.”

The economists did not specifically endorse Clinton in the letter.

The letter was signed by prominent economists like Oliver Hart of Harvard University, who won a Nobel prize this year, and Paul Romer, the chief economist of The World Bank.

The economists — a mix of professors, Ph.D candidates, and policy-makers — said that they oppose Trump’s campaign based on the Republican nominee’s history of promoting falsehoods and misleading the public.

The economists wrote, among other things, that they were concerned that Trump:

  • “…[M]isled voters in in states like Ohio and Michigan,” by saying that renegotiating NAFTA would increase employment in manufacturing. The economists point out that manufacturing losses were mostly due to automation, not trade.
  • “…[C]laims that he will eliminate the fiscal deficit,” but has proposed a plan that would decrease tax revenue by $2.6 to $5.9 trillion, according to the Tax Foundation.

coal miners trump supportersA group of coal miners hold Trump signs as they wait for a rally with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Charleston, W.Va.Associated Press/Steve Helber

  • “…[U]ses immigration as a red herring to mislead voters about issues of economic importance,” including the stagnation of wages in households with lower education levels, which the economists say “diverts the public debate.”
  • “…[M]isled the public by asserting that U.S. manufacturing has declined,” though the economists point out that the level of manufacturing output in the US has more than doubled since 1980.
  • “…[H]as lowered the seriousness of the national dialogue,” by proposing that the elimination of government departments such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education would significantly reduce the fiscal deficit.

“If elected, he poses a unique danger to the functioning of democratic and economic institutions, and to the prosperity of the country,” the economists wrote.

19 former Nobel Prize winners in economics, including Joseph Stiglitz and Daniel Kahneman, published a separate open letter on Monday endorsing Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, for president.

306 conservative economists from universities, think tanks, and business groups published a letter in September denouncing Clinton’s policies.

Read the economists’ letter here.

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