Nearly 400 economists have signed an open letter to voters denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and telling voters to “choose a different candidate.”
“Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country,” the letter said. “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 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the letter.
Among prominent economists who signed the letter were Oliver Hart, the Harvard University professor who won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences this year, and Paul Romer, the chief economist of the World Bank.
The economists — a mix of professors, Ph.D. candidates, and policymakers — said they opposed Trump’s campaign based on the Republican nominee’s history of promoting falsehoods and misleading the public.
Among the issues addressed in the letter were concerns by the economists that Trump:
- “Misled voters in in states like Ohio and Michigan” by saying that renegotiating the NAFTA trade agreement would increase employment in manufacturing. The economists said manufacturing losses were due mostly to automation and not trade.
- “Claims that he will eliminate the fiscal deficit” while proposing a plan that the Tax Foundation says would decrease tax revenue by $2.6 trillion to $5.9 trillion.
- “Uses immigration as a red herring to mislead about issues of economic importance,” including the stagnation of wages in households with lower education levels, which the economists say “diverts the public debate.”
- “Misled 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.
- “Has 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.
Nineteen Nobel laureates in economics, including Joseph Stiglitz and Daniel Kahneman, published a separate open letter on Monday endorsing Clinton for president.
More than 300 conservative economists from universities, think tanks, and business groups, however, published a letter in September denouncing Clinton’s policies.