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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Economic patriotism and winning the trade war

Pat Buchanan was correct all along:
If you choose not to purchase Chinese goods and instead buy comparable goods made in other nations or the USA, then you do not pay the tariff. China loses the sale. This is why Beijing, which runs $350 billion to $400 billion in annual trade surpluses at our expense is howling loudest. Should Donald Trump impose that 25% tariff on all $500 billion in Chinese exports to the USA, it would cripple China's economy. Factories seeking assured access to the U.S. market would flee in panic from the Middle Kingdom.

Tariffs were the taxes that made America great. They were the taxes relied upon by the first and greatest of our early statesmen, before the coming of the globalists Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

Tariffs, to protect manufacturers and jobs, were the Republican Party's path to power and prosperity in the 19th and 20th centuries, before the rise of the Rockefeller Eastern liberal establishment and its embrace of the British-bred heresy of unfettered free trade.

The Tariff Act of 1789 was enacted with the declared purpose, "the encouragement and protection of manufactures." It was the second act passed by the first Congress led by Speaker James Madison. It was crafted by Alexander Hamilton and signed by President Washington.

After the War of 1812, President Madison, backed by Henry Clay and John Calhoun and ex-Presidents Jefferson and Adams, enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked.

Tariffs financed Mr. Lincoln's War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer "has no right or claim to equality with our own. ... He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties."

That is economic patriotism, putting America and Americans first.
Anyone who claims that free trade is good for America is either a) lying, b) does not understand economics, or c) both. I pointed out when this US-China trade dispute began that any so-called trade war would be good for the US economy because imports (M) are an intrinsic statistical drag on the economy.

Do the math. Since GDP = C+I+G + (X-M), does GDP grow or contract when M gets smaller?

And on the logical side, if Chinese imports are so good for America and its workers, then why is China shrieking in outrage over mere prospect that it will not be able to export as much to the USA in the future?

Then there is the key question asked by Mr. Buchanan: What great nation did free traders ever build?

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97 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous May 16, 2019 10:23 AM  

Pat Buchanan: the greatest president we never had.

Blogger #7139 May 16, 2019 10:23 AM  

The louder China howls, the more I like it.

Blogger David Ray Milton May 16, 2019 10:29 AM  

That’s fascinating how our past economic boom were due to the utilization of tariffs. So many of the libertarian intellectuals have made claims that we experienced such growth only because we were a free trade notion. Notably, I believe they were quoting Jefferson’s aspirations and not the actual practice of our country.

Blogger Ingemar May 16, 2019 10:35 AM  

I do not think it is inevitable that China is the future. It certainly is *possible*, but given how loudly China and her proxies (the US Media and the Democrats) are howling over the tariffs there is probably less to their dominance than meets the eye.

What would really strengthen the US against further Chinese incursions would be a Chinese Exclusion Act 2.0.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 16, 2019 10:38 AM  

In the Torah, Moses says that among the blessings a nation that follows God will enjoy is that they will lend money to other nations. One of the curses is that they will borrow money from other nations.

Maybe we should look to the Bible for economic lessons. After all, it seems to be more accurate than even Austrian economists these days.

Blogger Pinakeli May 16, 2019 10:48 AM  

What most American free traders seem to overlook is the amount of taxes on manufactures. There is a manufacturing tax, employment tax, unemployment tax, often local taxes on business, gasoline tax for any transport ... taxes.

Most countries that export to the US do not charge their industries tax on exports, so we are at a major disadvantage at the beginning.

Set import tax at the same level as our own industries pay and we might have fair trade for a change.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 16, 2019 10:50 AM  

Then there is the key question asked by Mr. Buchanan: What great nation did free traders ever build?
How many great nations have been ruined by free trade? I can think of 2.5 without even looking.

Blogger RandyB May 16, 2019 10:52 AM  

Now, do India.

The numbers are smaller, but the impact of the free flow of labor, both offshore and immigrant/guest worker, is killing the American IT worker.

Blogger Chris Ritchie May 16, 2019 10:56 AM  

Pat Buchanan is right about a lot of things. Reading this succinct description is like a breath of fresh air. It gives weight to the arguments against free trade.

Blogger wahr01 May 16, 2019 10:56 AM  

I haven't listened to "news" in ages, but they're howling so hard I am hearing about it second hand.

I haven't seen this kind of lock-step in support of Chinese wealth exfiltration since "project fear" on the UK side of the pond.

Blogger The Gaelic Lands May 16, 2019 10:56 AM  

A great country is never built when the #1 goal of those worth $1m or more is to get out of it. As the FT reported a few years back, that is the goal of all the millionaires in China. To Get Out. And a key reason why China will never win a war as it is to easy to corrupt the key people with a $10m, a California house and a green card.

Blogger buwaya May 16, 2019 10:58 AM  

Britain was built by free trade. Or the British empire was anyway. Opening markets was the fundamental strategy, even if unofficial, for 250 years or so. Among other things its how Britain destroyed the Spanish empire, by creating incentives to break out of the closed Spanish trading system.

Blogger Chris Ritchie May 16, 2019 10:58 AM  

Pat Buchanan: the greatest president we never had.

A forward thinker, to be sure.

I discovered Pat Buchanan with his book, Death of the West. It was the first time I was confronted with the idea that perhaps, if I ever got married, we should have children, and plenty of them. I was in my early 30's when that book came out, and still single. Been married for over a decade now and we have seven children. Deus Vult!

Blogger pyrrhus May 16, 2019 10:58 AM  

It's not like this wasn't understood by the economic thinkers at the time...Alexander Hamilton, educated in the British system, was a staunch protectionist, who opposed both free trade and immigration.Hamilton also believed in protecting "infant" industries..David Ricardo's free trade model required a gold standard, so that the terms of trade would automatically adjust as gold left the country, and assumed the immobility of labor and capital, none of which are the case in the modern world...

Blogger NP_see May 16, 2019 10:59 AM  

Why am I surprised Ben Shapiro isn't a big fan of tariffs?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbFvF7kiOv4

Blogger Crush Limbraw May 16, 2019 11:00 AM  

Danged right! Looking at Walmart prices in isolation from the entire state of our economy - including the devastating effects on our workers - is political and economic subterfuge!
If you want to read more - https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/05/trumps_china_tariffs_will_succeed.html - this is a good big picture report.

Blogger Duh May 16, 2019 11:04 AM  

Trump is the best president you can have to win this trade war. And once he does, he'll have shown the world 1) how to deal with China 2) that barriers are beneficial

Blogger Crush Limbraw May 16, 2019 11:10 AM  

Here is a collection of articles, some posted on Vox with comments, which show the bible has a ton of advice on economics - https://crushlimbraw.blogspot.com/search?q=Forgive+us+our+debts&m=0 - good stuff!

Blogger stevev May 16, 2019 11:16 AM  

expecting a pile on here, because I admit my ignorance.
All of the SJW-polluted companies who use Chinese manufacture resources to *keep their labor costs down* must be seething with
fury at the tariffs. Given how pervasive is the Swamp, and how money buys influence, I think the tariffs will be short lived. Certainly not long enough to bring manufacturing to the US as an empowering force.
I work in Tech, and am met every single meeting with the contempt the manager class has for any of us who express resentment over our jobs going to Southeast Asia.
How naive is it to hope that a law could be established that forbade US companies from outsourcing labor costs? That's the elephant in the room for me. No one can compete with that, and as our manager and execs become increasingly Indian or Malaysian, or Chinese-well, guess where the jobs go?

Blogger camcleat May 16, 2019 11:21 AM  

This is so stunningly obvious that it is little wonder that our public school indoctrinated population does not grasp it.

US Public School: nation destroying narrative building since the 1800's.

Blogger xevious2030 May 16, 2019 11:22 AM  

@1 (DT) Truly a pity he did not become president in 96. Manufacturing is wealth creation, size of pie expansion, capture/transfer method of medium of exchange. Makes the brain hurt trying to imagine how to not understand this.

Blogger Zwiebel May 16, 2019 11:23 AM  

In addition: China produces crap that goes into the landfill quicker than you can say: "made in China"

Blogger Noah B. May 16, 2019 11:23 AM  

Free trade is spreading one of the deadliest pathogens ever known to have existed, wiping out amphibian populations worldwide.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/science/frogs-fungus-bd.html

Blogger Wraithburn May 16, 2019 11:25 AM  

@buwaya

Free Trade needs force to make people sell me goods and buy my own? Seems like engaging in gunboat diplomacy isn't really "Free".

Blogger Steve Canyon May 16, 2019 11:33 AM  

I took the requisite collegiate economics courses and heard the usual argument for comparative advantage and free trade etc. That was right about the time my engineer father was out of work and the nation was in a recession and was having trouble getting jobs he was qualified for but not in his career field (teaching math). My conclusion was that these profs didn't have a clue that labor was not as fungible as they thought. Engineers can't turn into brain surgeons overnight any more than a ditch digger or buggy whip painter can turn into an engineer.

I suppose though, if you were to automate everything requiring a semblance of intelligence and reduce everything else to an effort requiring unskilled labor, you'd have the globalist paradise they so desperately want. A few elites owning everything, with everyone else a wage-slave.

Blogger xevious2030 May 16, 2019 11:34 AM  

@19 (SV) You’re right to the extent that there will be an attempt to make them short lived. There is a reason China explicitly stated that there was one man and one administration responsible for this. Has to do with the Democrat run House of Representatives, Mao Zedong wearing Clinton, get off the back of the plane Obama, and any of the other windup people groomed in the 1960s by the Red China run communist student unions. Explicit does not tend to be their style if they think they can help it.

Blogger Warunicorn May 16, 2019 11:38 AM  

stevev wrote:expecting a pile on here, because I admit my ignorance.

All of the SJW-polluted companies who use Chinese manufacture resources to *keep their labor costs down* must be seething with

fury at the tariffs. Given how pervasive is the Swamp, and how money buys influence, I think the tariffs will be short lived. Certainly not long enough to bring manufacturing to the US as an empowering force.

I work in Tech, and am met every single meeting with the contempt the manager class has for any of us who express resentment over our jobs going to Southeast Asia.

How naive is it to hope that a law could be established that forbade US companies from outsourcing labor costs? That's the elephant in the room for me. No one can compete with that, and as our manager and execs become increasingly Indian or Malaysian, or Chinese-well, guess where the jobs go?


The problem here is that your managers don't see the forest for the trees concerning their well-being in the end.

They might scoff at the idea of all this leading to war but let them be ignorant. It'll just make it easier for the rest of us.

Blogger peacefulposter May 16, 2019 11:39 AM  

When the God Emperor gets tough on China, the stock market panics like a little girl. It is revealing that He is willing to risk his beloved stock market gains for this issue.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella May 16, 2019 11:42 AM  

I'm pro-tariff simply because my spouse is pro-tariffs, for over 20 years. Literally everything he predicted has come true, or is being shown to be true, including China adulterating steel.

Having said that, the most spectacular thing about reading the oral history of Silicon Valley is the part where each person talking about disruption is only talking about disrupting everyone else- politics, medicine, other manufacturing, retail, farming, the family, drug laws. Not one person in the whole thing ever said to disrupt the supply lines for the computer industry. The book goes from Silicon Valley to overseas factories. Quite literally everything else was to be disrupted, except the precious supply lines for Silicon Valley. That is a barbarian anti-culture. They deserve every thing that Trump and every other American, and Russian and who knows who else, will throw at them.

It was like reading the Stephen King horror story about the trucks demanding to be fed oil. The sheer lack of humanity, the mind-blindness, the arrogance, the snakelike stupidity....

Blogger peacefulposter May 16, 2019 11:45 AM  

Tariff Man should be an Alt-Hero.

Blogger Warunicorn May 16, 2019 11:46 AM  

Reading "Factory Man" by Beth Macy was a heartbreaking account on what so-called "free trade" has wrought in the South, which was economic devastation.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what happens when you take away a person's livelihood just so one can have cheap Chinese-made junk. No job = no disposable income. No disposable income = economic devastation across the board. We've seen this almost everywhere but especially in the South.

Blogger Mr. Naron May 16, 2019 11:49 AM  

"What great nation did free traders ever build?"

It's interesting because I've been discussing the documentary, Poverty, Inc, with my Econ classes. In the doc, an African gentleman is doing a TED talk where he asks, "What country has ever developed by receiving aid?". Bono was in the audience, and I guess he said Ireland--it's not clear what he says. But either way, Bono couldn't name a country that got rich after receiving aid. The same is true of free trade, at least in the post-world war II sense. Previously developed nations like UK, Germany, Japan, and France got rich in the post war boom after receiving aid from the Marshall Plan and then the benefits of asymmetrical trade with the US. But they didn't go from third world nations to first world that way.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2019 11:50 AM  

I'm embarrassed to be a reformed Free Trader.

It is now beyond obvious that VD's position on trade is correct; cross-border trade in goods is indivisible from "trade" in people, and the export mercantilism of China, et.al., is nothing in the modern era but a huge PAWN SHOP where Americans pawn their entire country (kitchen sink included) for pre-landfilled consumer "goods" that could just as easily and cheaply be made in America.

The whole thing was a tax dodge for multi-national corporations, which behave like alien parasites staffed by humans but whose actions are literally poisonous to humanity.

When the last 50 years of history are reframed under a negative social mood in future years and Americans confront the fact that Prosperity(tm) was bought entirely with MasterCard, disguised by Credit Inflation and the bills coming due cannot be paid, the list of those to be tried, convicted and executed for their crimes will be as long as one of the Omnibus bills routinely passed by CON-gress.

Blogger Dalrock May 16, 2019 11:59 AM  

The other hollow threat is China dumping US Treasuries. The reason China holds so much US debt is because they need to prevent the dollars we send their way from coming back to us in the form of demand for US goods and services while also preventing the dollar from depreciating against the yuan. China has to massively invest in US Treasuries in order to keep the very trade imbalance they are fighting to protect.

Blogger SidVic May 16, 2019 12:02 PM  

My respect for Pat Buchanan has grown into something akin to love. --not gay--

Blogger John Best. May 16, 2019 12:02 PM  

Anything which is enforced by the globalist state is done so to destroy the nations of world. Free trade is imperialist is always has been.

Blogger Dr. J May 16, 2019 12:07 PM  

The mainstream debate on this has completely missed the point. They argue about Chinese corporate subsidies, closed markets and intellectual property theft/transfer. All problems, to be sure. They think that a few boilerplate concessions by the Chinese on these issues will make the tariffs go away.

But Trump made it clear that none of that is the point. The tariffs are designed to recapture our manufacturing capacity. There is no acceptable concession by the Chinese that can change this, and the tariffs are critical to accomplishing this goal. Investors need to know they can rely on protectionist policies in order to rebuild. It's going to take Trump stoicism now and the 2020 Trumpsl!de to make that happen. The gutting of our manufacturing base means rebuilding much of it from scratch.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 16, 2019 12:21 PM  

dc.sunsets wrote:I'm embarrassed to be a reformed Free Trader.

Many of us are. I was. More significantly Vox was.

But we were wrong and we admit it. There's nothing wrong with that. Nobody is right 100% of the time. Hell, most people are wrong 80% of the time when it comes to economics.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 16, 2019 12:26 PM  

buwaya wrote:Britain was built by free trade. Or the British empire was anyway.
No, the British Empire was built on Mercantilism. Free Trade was only implemented starting with the repeal of the Corn Acts in 1850, after Mercantilism resulted in the death by starvation of millions of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland. Free Trade resulted in the collapse of the British Empire in less than 100 years.

And how has that all worked out for the English?

Blogger cloom May 16, 2019 12:39 PM  

Did anybody try to sink Marco Polo's ships of the desert? Pondering that question led me to read about the Mongols, below, and I see some nations and regions were empowered over others by that profitable trade. Is this an accurate account of history of this era of free trade?

"Merchants from Venice, Genoa and Pisa got rich by selling oriental spices and products picked up in the Levant ports in the eastern Mediterranean. But it was Arabs, Turks and other Muslims who profited most from the Silk Road trade. They controlled the land and the trade routes between Europe and China so completely that historian Daniel Boorstin described it as the "Iron Curtain of the Middle Ages."

"The roads through Egypt were controlled by Muslim and prohibited to Christians. Goods passing from India to Egypt along the Silk Road were so heavily taxed, they tripled in price."

Later, under Mongol rule:

"Instead of waiting for goods at the Mediterranean ports, European travelers were able to travel on their own to India and China for the first time. This is when Marco Polo made his historic journey from Venice to China and back. [Source: “The Discoverers” by Daniel Boorstin]."

"For a relatively brief period between 1250 and 1350 the Silk Road trade routes were opened up to European when the land occupied by the Turks was taken over by the Mongols who allowed free trade. ... They lowered tolls and taxes; protected caravans by guarding roads against bandits; promoted trade with Europe; ... Mongol military power reached its apex in the thirteenth century. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan ... formidable military state ... . After the Mongols were gone the Silk Road was shut down."

http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat2/4sub8/entry-5454.html

Blogger Quicksilver May 16, 2019 12:41 PM  

Is this the precursor to a hot war with China?

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2019 12:55 PM  

@cloom - Please indicate the use of the phrase "free trade" in the cited sources.

If you can't, I'll assume the trade was taxed and that you're full of shit.

Blogger Stocky Anglo May 16, 2019 12:57 PM  

Does anyone else think that perhaps the 'free trade' cool-aid was only able to be sold to the masses because economics was taken out of the moral philosophy departments and moved to an empirically based business science?

Vox is right about the labor mobility conundrum. But it is only problematic if the moral axioms are based on true nationalism. Even Adam Smith thought a moral people a necessity (whatever he meant by that I am not well read enough to know).

Blogger sammibandit May 16, 2019 12:58 PM  

Naieve question but I'm curious to hear what the commentariate thinks of guilds and the idea of workers pooling some monies for insurance-like things like injuries or widowhood. Afaik guilds also allowed purchasing on contract so that there was job security.

Background:
I mean, England really didn't want any naval competition and, again afaik, they really didn't like the Hanseatic league and guild model. I'm reading about the Hanseatic-Anglo war for the first time now and I had no idea that blockading imports (from England) has such a long tradition.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2019 1:02 PM  

@34 re China and Treasuries, I'm not sure we agree.

China ships us pre-landfilled junk.
We ship them T-bills to pay for it.
Multi-nationals reap the arbitrage between low-cost mfg and high price retail (hence why they're 100% for flooding the USA with more "consumers.")

But what does China want with T-bills?

They have "US$" but where does one find things for SALE in US$?

The USA.

If we look, I'd bet Big Bucks that Chinese firms (or fronts for China's Ruling Party) are buying up everything that's not nailed down in America. Are they buying remaining US manufacturers? Big agribusinesses? Land? Homes? Office buildings?

Of that we can be certain.

(Of course, this doesn't include the Chinese buying US politicians like Obama, Pelosi, and probably 2/3rds of Congress. For Pete's Sake, lobbying legislators on behalf of foreign nationals and entities should be punishable by slow motion feeding into a wood chipper.)

Blogger John Best. May 16, 2019 1:03 PM  

@39 I thought it was free trade which caused the second great Irish famine? There was another famine in the 1700's when Britain was Mercantilist, but nobody in Ireland talks about it because efforts were made to feed people and the food wasn't stolen to be exported like it was under the free trade system. Which was enforced by the British state after the Napoleonic wars?

Blogger Balam May 16, 2019 1:15 PM  

buwaya wrote:Britain was built by free trade. Or the British empire was anyway. Opening markets was the fundamental strategy, even if unofficial, for 250 years or so. Among other things its how Britain destroyed the Spanish empire, by creating incentives to break out of the closed Spanish trading system.

This deserves response - my gut reaction is to think, "If there was so obvious a counterexample as England, the empire where the sun never sets, surely Vox would know about it." So let's see how clear it is from easily obtainable sources.

First question to you is, what 250 years? A cursory look says that the British were mercantile at least up to 1860 when a fellow named Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury) lifted 400 tariffs. Maybe 1846 with the repeal of some Corn import law. We aren't currently in the year 2100 so it can't be 250 years.

Next, it appears that the Spanish Empire was already falling with the the spanking by the British Royal Navy, loss of Royal family and French meddling leading to civil war and political turmoil and loss of colonies (primarily the Americas) through revolt which all happened before 1840. England may have destroyed the Spanish Empire but it was with warships and blockade not with Free Trade. The time periods of English free trade and the Spanish Empire's biggest periods of decline don't match up.

Now, it is clear that England made a lot of money and the empire reached its height right before WWI around 1913. The article I read asserts, however, that the unilateral free trade England practiced (all the other major powers were protectionist, so the free trade only worked one way) relied completely on military domination of weaker powers to force access to their markets. Meaning that it wasn't trade with France or Germany that made them rich, it was Asia and Africa (colonies). As soon as that military dominance faded so would the prosperity of empire. Can you really call colonial military enforced servitude 'free trade'? I guess you could, in the same way African Nike shoe slaves are free trade.

A critic in 1900, Ritortus, agreed that the commercial and financial sectors profited greatly from this 'free trade' but that
-Domestic agriculture was subject to ruinous competition
-The main powers who could be protectionist (America, other big Europ states) would advance their own high tech industry at a rapid rate and subject England's high tech industry to the same ruinous competition. That would end the very thing that gave England the edge to begin with
-England's political influence would wane as it became dependent on foreign goods and industry
-The event of war would, because of the above factors, prove extremely dangerous.

All bore out to be true, and is remarkably paralleled by what's happened to America. Ian Fletcher (Free Trade Doesn't Work) might have been Ritortus, resurrected from the dead.

1. https://infogalactic.com/info/Anglo-Spanish_War_(1796%E2%80%931808)
2. "British Free Trade, 1850-1914 - Economics and History" (pdf) by the The Economic History Review

Blogger Nate May 16, 2019 1:22 PM  

tariffs also caused the war of northern aggression.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 16, 2019 1:26 PM  

Nate is correct

Death to Yankees

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 16, 2019 1:35 PM  

John Best. wrote:I thought it was free trade which caused the second great Irish famine?
It was the Corn Acts that caused the Potato Blight Famine. Ireland produced more than enough grain to feed herself. The Corn Acts imposed an enormous tariff on grain imported to Britain, from which Irish grain was exempt. So Irish landowners shipped their grain to England, to make a higher profit. The high tariffs also applied to grain imported to Ireland, making it impossible for impoverished Irish peasants to afford when the potato crop failed.
There was nothing that Libertarians and Austrian economists would call free trade in the British Empire until the 1870s or later. Recall the Stamp Act, or the Intolerable Acts that prompted the American Revolution.

Blogger Crew May 16, 2019 1:37 PM  

Did he mean to say:

ts embrace of the (((British)))-bred heresy of unfettered free trade

Blogger peacefulposter May 16, 2019 1:38 PM  

Poll Question. This blog has inspired more folks to convert from:

1. Atheism to Christianity
2. Free Trader to Economic Nationalist

Blogger wahr01 May 16, 2019 1:44 PM  

@28

The stock market isn't "panicking".

Wall Street's interests are now diametrically opposed to Main Street America, her domestic industry, and her citizens.

If we can hold the presidency in 2020 there will be a LOT of spluttering by the "muh free trade" brigade when they're asked why employment and wages went through the roof while the stock market dropped 25% of its value.

They will have no answers.

Blogger Daniel May 16, 2019 1:44 PM  

Nate wrote:tariffs also caused the war of northern aggression.

But constitutional free trade hamstrung the Confederacy and made them unable to industrialize independently.

So, obviously, when you produce raw materials and ag in a virtual monoculture, you want free trade, because you can only buy so much of your own cotton...but that is short-sighted. If you can't diversify domestically, you are just going to become someone else's bitch as soon as they throw up tariffs and you can't manufacture for your own people.

In other words, the South hated the BUY NORTHERN tariffs, but the libertarian idiots made that a MUH FREE TRADE policy.

Good thing they still could magically crank out trains and guns to repel the invaders despite this, huh?

Blogger Daniel May 16, 2019 1:46 PM  

Some of you have it completely upside down:

Free trade isn't good because bad tariffs are bad; good tariffs are good because free trade is bad.

Blogger Chris Ritchie May 16, 2019 1:57 PM  

Free Traders Anonymous:
My name is Chris. I am a free-trader.

Vox Audience: Hello Chris

I was already a Christian upon coming here. But I am a former Free Trader. Vox's critiques helped me see the light, so to speak.

It's astounding to me though that when I try to bring these arguments to my friends, they are blind. And they don't know they're blind. They won't accept any arguments against free trade in the same way they don't accept arguments against Jordan Peterson.

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 16, 2019 1:58 PM  

"Free Trade" means as much for the beneficial aspects of trade as "Free speech" as meant for actually speaking freely.
Free Trade is usury, backroom deals, and globalists picking the winners.
Free speech is brainwashing the masses against their own civilization, grooming kids for perverts, and rage mobs to take down dissenters.

I'm sick of both.

Blogger xevious2030 May 16, 2019 1:58 PM  

@43 (R) It was sold on notions of specialization, mutual interdependence to reduce the risk of war, comparative advantage, international complete circulation of currency, and resulting comparable wages (to balance out against the concern of labor mobility) as a means to benefit everyone involved. In addition to others. In other words, horse shit packaged with ignorance as to the likely actual implementation and intention. The same sort of thing I bought into in a less eyes open understanding.

@45 (DC) They have been. Anything that provides returns without actual production in the US (banks, for loans interest and low/no interest Fed borrowing, for one, education and entertainment, for a couple of others).

Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2019 2:02 PM  

Another thing libertarians get wrong:
"When goods don't cross borders, armies often do." The assumption is that free trade produces peace, non-free-trade produces war.

The better explanation is that (high social mood) openness produces open borders and peace, and (low social mood) distrust produces conflict. An even better view is that Pathological Openness, altruism and trust fostering open borders produces the PRECURSORS of conflict that will explode into consciousness when next social mood waxes negative.

Can we imagine what will follow today's open borders folly when people collectively change the mass mind and it becomes FASHIONABLE to be outraged by the 39 flavors of intolerable cultures hammering our faces, making ever-growing demands on us wherever we go?

The future is created by conditions amplified today. Economic busts follow the stupidity, criminality and mis-allocated resources embedded during the previous boom.

By every objective measure are today's fads and fashions unhinged in stupidity (borrow-to-spend economics, mercantilist trade, and tolerating the intolerable levels of immivasion and sexual deviancy of wackos galore), and by every measure available will they be catalysts for the detonations to follow.

Bastiat had it right with What is seen and what is unseen. It's oh so much deeper than even he realized.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 16, 2019 2:14 PM  

peacefulposter wrote:Poll Question. This blog has inspired more folks to convert from:
2. Free Trader to Economic Nationalist

Despite everything you read on the Internet, there are a lot more Christians than Atheists.

Blogger ZhukovG May 16, 2019 2:16 PM  

@Nate: Let's just say the Morrill Tarriff was WAY too much of a good thing.

Blogger cloom May 16, 2019 2:41 PM  

S1AL wrote:@cloom - Please indicate the use of the phrase "free trade" in the cited sources.

If you can't, I'll assume the trade was taxed and that you're full of shit.


Hi, brain of shit, S1AL, the transition from Muslims and others taxing it at three times the price at origin, to the new regime of Europeans avoiding that level of tax is documented in the article. You can argue that that freer trade damaged somebody, and you can cite a source for the tax of Marco Polo's trade, but you can't stand on a position about whether a phase is in the article or not.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 16, 2019 3:19 PM  

dc.sunsets wrote:
But what does China want with T-bills?

They have "US$" but where does one find things for SALE in US$?


All over the world.

China is using US dollars to buy raw materials and natural resources - mines, oil fields, farms - all over the world, but especially in Africa.

China is trading junky DVD players for real estate.

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2019 3:21 PM  

> Truly a pity he did not become president in 96.

I tried. But my one vote wasn't enough. :(

> Britain was built by free trade. Or the British empire was anyway.

I see that argument has already been dealt with.

> Certainly not long enough to bring manufacturing to the US as an empowering force.

You underestimate how easy it is to move manufacturing now. It's already been working. See https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/manufacturing-production#calendar-table

> It is revealing that He is willing to risk his beloved stock market gains for this issue.

Yep, it is. He knows how important this is. Note there are two aspects to these actions though. One is to increase manufacturing in the US and bring the jobs back. But the second is to weaken China. The tariffs do both.

> The other hollow threat is China dumping US Treasuries.

"Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch." :)

Their selling treasuries would reduce their price, thus increasing the effective interest rate.

> Wall Street's interests are now diametrically opposed to Main Street America, her domestic industry, and her citizens.

The financial industry is not a monolithic whole. Some groups have interests that align with main street, some don't. Some groups that don't have greater influence than they perhaps should. Feel free to add parentheses as you feel necessary.

Blogger God Emperor Memes May 16, 2019 3:31 PM  

https://youtu.be/kqa-HYihaZo

Blogger Lurker May 16, 2019 3:38 PM  

"Free trade" is a misnomer. It's globalism plain and simple. What? You expect globalists/the left/the demonic to stick to accurate definitions!!??

Blogger Lurker May 16, 2019 3:46 PM  

"2) That barriers are beneficial"

Or structure. It makes sense to tear down all barriers and structure if you want to create a dystopian gloBULList empire by hook, crook, lies and of course murder ie… Tower of Babel 2.0. Or you can build healthy nation states competing for citizens and by extension elevating humanity.

Blogger DonReynolds May 16, 2019 4:32 PM  

The only people who are going to insist on Free Trade are those who have something to sell, which is to say....they expect to sell much, much more than they ever expect to buy...so they will enjoy a favorable balance of trade. After WWI and WWII, the USA emerged as the only major economy that was not adversely impacted by the destructive effects of war. Our agricultural sector was in high gear and prices were high. Our much-expanded wartime production was shifted to civilian use and there was considerable unused capacity. In this climate, the USA took over as the major voice advocating for Free Trade from the UK, whose own industrial revolution had peaked and declined with the loss of much of their overseas empire.

Now is the time to walk away from Free Trade policies because we no longer benefit from those policies. We are no longer the sellers, we are the buyers, and much of our industrial capacity has been outsourced to other nations. Let China advocate for Free Trade, and India. We can quietly fold our tent, and our markets, to international sellers, while cultivating the normal American policy of encouraging domestic manufactures.

Blogger Brett baker May 16, 2019 5:03 PM  

Replace our current taxes on business with a border-adjusted value-added tax.

Anonymous Anonymous May 16, 2019 5:05 PM  

He steals from the mega transnational corporations and gives to the displaced American working class

Anonymous Anonymous May 16, 2019 5:08 PM  

“Been married for over a decade now and we have seven children. Deus Vult!”

Dues Vult! Glad to hear it.

Entering my 20s now. As soon as I get out of college marriage and children are one of my highest priorities.

Blogger Brett baker May 16, 2019 5:10 PM  

We do have a tradition of screwing over foreigners who invest here. The Chinese will probably be added to the list.

Blogger Brett baker May 16, 2019 5:12 PM  

Am I going to have to go Sherman on you two?

Blogger Pyrex May 16, 2019 5:45 PM  

Tarif's address trade balance, but capital inflows more generally. We attract surplus savings from around the world, but it's not being invested productively.

Great discussion here:
https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/78304
and continued here:
https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/78496?lang=en

Blogger MidnightSun May 16, 2019 6:57 PM  

I am not an economics whiz but am I correct in assuming the money China made on the imbalance in trade resulted in the same buying up our debt? How the heck does that work? Either politicians are naive or they're totally corrupt!

Blogger JovianStorm May 16, 2019 7:03 PM  

SEAsia and India are salivating over the thought of soaking up all the factories that need to leave China but I would be happier if those places relocate to the USA.

Blogger Refuse to buy overpriced May 16, 2019 7:04 PM  

"Britain was built by free trade."

Just plain wrong.

Britain rose to greatness in the 18th and early 19th century under a protectionist / mercantilist regime.

Free trade was only adopted in the mid-19th century, *after* Britain had already become the #1 manufacturing nation. From that point forward, they lost ground to the protectionist Americans and Germans, just as the free trade Dutch had lost ground to the protectionist British in the 18th century.

Without protectionism, the industrial revolution might have never happened. Without protectionism, inexpensive cloth from Bengal would have driven the British textile industry out of existence before it had a chance innovate.

Blogger Lurker May 16, 2019 7:12 PM  

"Entering my 20s now. As soon as I get out of college marriage and children are one of my highest priorities."


The children are CPS highest "priorities" as well. Be careful.

Blogger Dave Dave May 16, 2019 7:13 PM  

The premise of free trade is that overall, both nations will be richer. But when you compare the benefits to USA vs somewhere like Bangladesh, there's a huge disparity between what USA theoretically gains and what Bangladesh theoretically gains. Even within the theory, there are big problems.

Blogger Jack (LJCSOGHMOMAS) May 16, 2019 7:23 PM  

Free Trade is one of the founding values of our Judeo-Boomer civilization. It's in the Constitution. And the Bible.

Blogger State Estimation May 16, 2019 8:35 PM  

My respect for Pat Buchanan has grown into something akin to love.

I decided earlier this year - in my household November 2 is Pat Buchanan Day.

Blogger My Dead Gramps May 16, 2019 8:38 PM  

Is there any merit to 'muh farmers' going bankrupt and turning on Trump from the loss of trade with China or is that just hot air from gammas who have never dirtied their baby-soft hands with farmwork in their lives?

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel May 16, 2019 9:46 PM  

@33 @38

Of course you are taken in by the standard free trade arguments as college textbooks teach the theory of comparative advantage as an insuperable mathematical model, failing to mention no model is insuperable.




Blogger Brian O'Brien May 16, 2019 10:12 PM  

In the 19th century, free trade was the policy of slave owners and imperialists. Today, it is the policy of globalists. As Pat Buchanan explained so eloquently in his column, America was built by the tariff. Protectionism was the policy of patriots. It was the policy of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1851, Henry Charles Carey wrote the book "A Harmony of Interest" that defined the "American System" of protectionism that was opposed to the imperialist "English System" of free trade. Carey wrote that the American System increased economic production and wages, favoring those who do productive work, while the English System favored middle men and usurers and resulted in falling wages. Another great economist who has been suppressed in the free trade era is the German-American Friedrich List, who Buchanan often writes about, and whose protectionist theories were used to build Germany into an economic powerhouse, not to mention Japan, South Korea and China.

In the late 1890s under high tariffs, Americans surpassed the English in living standards and GDP at a time when Britain was a superpower practicing free trade and imperialism. Britain was a free-trade nation with falling wages, homeless beggars on its streets and engaged in wars around the world, while its domestic industries were being driven to bankruptcy by imports from the protectionist American and German economies. Sound familiar?

We adopted the English System of free trade after World War II, taking over where the British left off. Free trade is a component of the tyranny of the central banking system--a policy, along with mass immigration, pushed by globalists to achieve their goals: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010RUSJUA

Blogger John Best. May 16, 2019 10:14 PM  

I am enjoying the talk how Mercantilism is better than free trade. This is clear to anyone who looks at Mercantilism. Any future economic system should build off Mercantilism did well, all I know from looking into economics is trade is bad and debt is evil. So any system needs to keep the debt down and limit trade from outside the nations as much as possible.

Blogger sammibandit May 16, 2019 10:44 PM  

Since when do gammas care about farmers?

Blogger Damelon Brinn May 16, 2019 11:10 PM  

@82, It's the second one. First of all, it hasn't been long enough for anyone to go bankrupt from Trump's tariffs yet even if that were likely. Second, when you hear "farmers" saying something in the media, you're actually hearing from so-called farm organizations like Farm Bureau or commodity trade organizations, not actual farmers. Actual farmers have better things to do than talk to the media. It's like how when the media says "teachers" think something it's really coming from the NEA.

If anyone tells me he voted for Trump and is surprised that he's enacting tariffs, I have to assume he's lying or too dumb to listen to.

Blogger PH May 16, 2019 11:23 PM  

1. A tariff is a tax. Who wants to pay more tax?

2. If the reason Maytag etc moved to Mexico/ China is because US govt tax and regulation is so onorous, the answer is to cut the US tax and regs to make manufacturing here competitive.

Blogger My Dead Gramps May 17, 2019 1:11 AM  

Since the media told them to.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 17, 2019 1:32 AM  

PH wrote:1. A tariff is a tax. Who wants to pay more tax?

2. If the reason Maytag etc moved to Mexico/ China is because US govt tax and regulation is so onorous, the answer is to cut the US tax and regs to make manufacturing here competitive.

Do you have any other bon mots? I mean, that's just the lamest possible excuse for a response ever. I hope nobdy's paying you for that kind of work, Rajeev.
1) Somebody who thinks his position will be improved by the existence of the tax. Like, say factory and mill workers. It workers. Electronic assemblers. And anyone who derives their income from those sources of wealth. Don't be a moron.
2 The reason is that the stock market demands that manufacturing be moved to a 3rd world shithole. Maytag was making good money manufacturing in the US, but decided short term stock gains were more important than their reputation for quality and service. The whole Libertardian "Free the rich from all restraint and they'll make you rich ans free" argument was always a lie and a ruse for the rubes. Like you. It's never happened in the history national economy, and it's not happening now.

Blogger Rhys May 17, 2019 2:50 AM  

Trump is smart. We have the chance to do this now without repercussions. If we don't, and we kick the can down the road, it may end up on a day where China has more "negotiating" power.

Blogger Gregory the Tall May 17, 2019 5:59 AM  

the phrase from the Janis Joplin/Kris Kristofferson song takes on a new meaning:
"Free trade's just another word for nothing left to lose" - no money, no family, no spouse, no friends, no home, no nation ...

Blogger Gregory the Tall May 17, 2019 6:12 AM  

The Pat Buchanan article was on the Unz review. Under it there was also another article by Paul Craig Roberts on the same subject which said Trump should not blame the Chinese for something US corporations willingly did to maximize their profits (outsource production to China). I do not agree with Roberts because:
1. The Chinese have used their massive trade surplus to massively expand into other countries themselves.
2. It is not so much subcontractors of Nike and Apple that are threatening US jobs today, but entities like Huawei and Alibaba.
3. Tariffs on Iphones and shoes made in China will indirectly hurt Apple and Nike - which is what Roberts seem to advocate.
4. Rhetorically Trump needs a clearly definable culprit, if he starts addressing the downside of tariffs for Nike and Apple less people will understand the message.

Blogger sammibandit May 17, 2019 11:25 AM  

Touché

Blogger OneWingedShark May 17, 2019 12:01 PM  

Pinakeli wrote:What most American free traders seem to overlook is the amount of taxes on manufactures. There is a manufacturing tax, employment tax, unemployment tax, often local taxes on business, gasoline tax for any transport … taxes.
I'm reminded of this:
"Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?”
“They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied.
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free!”
"

Blogger OneWingedShark May 17, 2019 12:02 PM  

RandyB wrote:Now, do India.
The numbers are smaller, but the impact of the free flow of labor, both offshore and immigrant/guest worker, is killing the American IT worker.

This is true — companies are so addicted to H1B it's not even funny; and the institutionalized devaluation of resumes and degrees is disgusting.

Chris Ritchie wrote:I discovered Pat Buchanan with his book, Death of the West. It was the first time I was confronted with the idea that perhaps, if I ever got married, we should have children, and plenty of them. I was in my early 30's when that book came out, and still single. Been married for over a decade now and we have seven children. Deus Vult!
Congrats, and thank you for the encouraging story.

Crush Limbraw wrote:Here is a collection of articles, some posted on Vox with comments, which show the bible has a ton of advice on economics - link - good stuff!
Thank you, I'll have to check it out.

camcleat wrote:This is so stunningly obvious that it is little wonder that our public school indoctrinated population does not grasp it.
US Public School: nation destroying narrative building since the 1800's.

This is by design.

xevious2030 wrote:@1 (DT) Truly a pity he did not become president in 96. Manufacturing is wealth creation, size of pie expansion, capture/transfer method of medium of exchange. Makes the brain hurt trying to imagine how to not understand this.
It's rather obvious: the elites equate 'manufacturing' and 'service' together with talk of "jobs" and, indeed, the offshoring of industry was pushed as "good" (or at least "not [so] bad") because the US could just "move to a more service [oriented] economy" and not lose jobs. — An obvious lie, but enough sleight-of-hand that they could use it to salve criticizers and provide plausible deniability for destroying US economic power.

Zwiebel wrote:In addition: China produces crap that goes into the landfill quicker than you can say: "made in China"
Yep. Part of their mentality over there is enshrinement of "pulling a fast one over on you", given that this low-quality stuff breaks so early drives up more demand and thus is used to say that the economy is doing well (a modified "broken window" theory). — Also interesting is how expensive, in relation, good-/high-quality items are: expensive enough that unless you're making decent money they're "a bit pricey" to "kinda expensive", and this factors into businesses as well, when they get into the administrative "bean counting" mindset: they'll jump for the immediate low-cost solutions rather than consider time or investment costs as well.

Blogger OneWingedShark May 17, 2019 2:08 PM  

S1AL wrote:@cloom - Please indicate the use of the phrase "free trade" in the cited sources.
If you can't, I'll assume the trade was taxed and that you're full of shit.

Your comment shows the word-wizardry/sleight-of-hand in play: "free trade" isn't about taxes, or even the ability to engage in trade, both of which it is heavily conflated with, but rather it's about the ability of producers and workers to move about relatively freely — because this erodes loyalty to local community on the part of the producer and destroys culture and community with laborer-migration it is pushed heavily by the globalists who are straining and striving to destroy every rallying-point of culture or identity.

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