In an April 2, 2017, story by Amy Davidson titled “Trump v. The Earth,” the New Yorker magazine ran a cartoon. It featured a cartoon President Donald Trump standing in front of coal plant smoke stacks with black smoke emerging from them.

ForTheRecord says: The New Yorker claims it is “fighting fake stories with real ones.” But in this instance, the “fake news” was the idea that coal plants have black smoke polluting the sky.

“The picture of the flue-gas stacks with black smoke coming out is a deliberate misrepresentation of what actually happens,” said Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “No coal plant in the U.S. could ever have black smoke coming out of its flue gas stacks. It would be shut down immediately, fined, and forced into repair mode. … The stuff coming out of the flue-gas stack is primarily water vapor.”

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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