Archive for the For Free Trade Category

You have a patriotic duty to be robbed.

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2018 by cavalier973

The Protectionists/mercantilists have a curious philosophy: the free market can only work with heavy government intervention. They have the long-discredited belief that manufacturing creates wealth, while trade is a zero-sum game which always “loses jobs” for “our side” to the perfidous foreigners who are selling us goods and services.

They claim that Free Trade is somehow unpatriotic, because apparently they believe that the product of citizens’ labors belongs to the collective, and only the government can properly determine what standard of living each citizen should enjoy. What is amusing is that the Protectionists/mercantilists claim that Free Trade is “Marxist”.

The problems that Protectionists/mercantilists ascribe to Free Trade are actually the result government intervention, which they propose to increase. Deregulation and reduction in government spending and taxation are the true remedies to economic problems, which is why I’ve been hopeful about Pres. Trump’s administration, so far. His unpatriotic push to increase taxes on American citizens will reverse whatever good he has done to this point.

The protectionists/mercantilists have the mistaken believe that a shortage of available goods and services results in a higher standard of living.

From Bastiat: 

“Which is preferable for man and for society, abundance or scarcity?

“What!” people may exclaim. “How can there be any question about it? Has anyone ever suggested, or is it possible to maintain, that scarcity is the basis of man’s well-being?”

Yes, this has been suggested; yes, this has been maintained and is maintained every day, and I do not hesitate to say that the theory of scarcity is by far the most popular of all theories. It is the burden of conversations, newspaper articles, books, and political speeches; and, strange as it may seem, it is certain that political economy will not have a completed its task and performed its practical function until it has popularized and established as indisputable this very simple proposition: “Wealth consists in an abundance of commodities.”

Do we not hear it said every day: “Foreigners are going to flood us with their products”? Thus, people fear abundance.

Has not M. de Saint-Cricq said: “There is overproduction”? Thus, he was afraid of abundance.

Do not the workers wreck machines? Thus, they are afraid of overproduction, or—in other words—of abundance.”


“‘Marxist’ Free Trade”

Posted in For Free Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 7, 2018 by cavalier973

So, President Trump is indulging his neo-mercantilist demons, by proposing that a 25% tariff be imposed on foreign-produced steel, to “protect American steel companies”.

Were it simply a measure by the President to raise revenue for the government, it wouldn’t be quite so exasperating, but the claim that an increase in taxes somehow helps the American economy, and Americans in general, is maddening.

If one reads the sites of the Neo-Mercantilists/Protectionists, one may run across the phrase “Marxist Free Trade”. The idea behind the phrase is that an unfettered market leads to Marxism, based on something Karl Marx said, claiming some such nonsense.

In reality, it is the Neo-Mercantilist/Protectionists who let the communist camel poke its nose under the tent flap, by promoting a policy of government intervention in the economy to raise the income of a certain group of Americans by requiring all Americans to enjoy a lower standard of living.

If President Trump had been honest and proposed, for example, legislation that resulted in people earning $35,000 a year lowering their standards of living so that a small group of people can increase their incomes from $50,000 to $55,000, then people would likely give the legislation the stink eye. And yet, that’s exactly what he is proposing, but because it is couched in false patriotism, then people don’t automatically reject such a policy.

One of Trump’s advisors claimed that the 25% increase in steel prices would only result in a fraction of an increase in the cost of cans of soup, as an example. The problem is that the advisor specifically mentioned Campbell’s soup company. Such a large company may of course be able to absorb the increased cost, or pass the cost to its customers, but “players at the margin” may not be able to do so. Bob’s Soup Company may go out of business, because it is already operating a extremely low margins. With one less competitor in the soup market, we can expect the prices of soup to rise and/or the quality to be lowered. That’s how the market works. Protectionists seem to have a magical thinking about market forces, and expect that costs will be born by “someone else”, and not ourselves.

One last thing, about Free Trade generally: Free Trade is not only the economically advantageous policy, it is the moral policy, because with Free Trade a person can dispose of the product of his labor as he deems best. Protectionism requires that person to dispose of his income in ways that the Protectionists approve. This is a violation of property rights, and a form of theft.

I was happy with the Trump Tax plan that passed late last year, despite its flaws, and considered voting for him in 2020, if he ran for re-election. This tariff could negate the benefits of the tax plan, and my support.

Roy Moore and the GOPe

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , on December 1, 2017 by cavalier973

This article makes a point I hadn’t thought of concerning the Republican Establishment’s opposition to Roy Moore: Moore’s win will signal to other potential populist candidates that Republican Establishment politicians are vulnerable.



Also, why the accusations against Moore aren’t actually credible.

Info about the “Olde Hickory House”.


A message to some students of Oxford University

Posted in For Free Trade on September 3, 2017 by cavalier973


Kid Snippets

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , on August 27, 2017 by cavalier973

These are some clever videos of adults acting out recordings of children playing/conversing:

My wife’s favorite: Math Class

My favorite (so far): Fast Food Drive Through


Lee and Lincoln

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by cavalier973

It has become trendy recently for “conservative-types” to declare that Gen. Robert E. Lee was a “traitor”, probably in response to the call by leftist-progressives to remove statues honoring Confederates. An interesting charge; Lee would certainly have disagreed with the underlying assumption that the Federal Government owned his allegiance to a greater degree than his home State of Virginia, but the self-described conservatives seem to have swallowed the narrative that the Federal Government somehow owns all of us, and so any action taken against that government is wrong, and immoral, and treasonous.

I would be curious to know if these supposed conservatives think that Gen. Lee should have been executed for his “crime”. If not, then they don’t consider treason that bad of a crime. If they think he SHOULD have been executed, then they are in conflict with the actual victors at the end of the war, who decided not to execute, permanently imprison, or otherwise severely punish the “traitors” of the South, apart from requiring oaths of allegiance, and preventing them from being elected for political office for a little while (many of the same people who effected Southern Secession were right back in power only a few years after the end of the Civil War).

Anyway, if we grant the supposed conservatives’ charge that Gen. Lee was a traitor, then so was Gen. Washington, and since the supposed conservatives are crying a river of tears over the thought of statues of Washington being removed, then, again, it’s not apparent that these same people consider treason to be that bad of a crime. Gen. Lee’s real crime, I guess, is being on the losing side of a war.

Also, Slavery. Slavery, Slavery, Slavery, Slavery. “Just say Slavery”. Ooh! The Slaves! The South had Slaves! And Slavery!

Interestingly, while defense and maintenance of Slavery can explain why the South seceded, it does not explain why the North invaded. In addition, even if the North had invaded the South for the express purpose of freeing the slaves, the war would still be more immoral than slavery, just like murder is more immoral than kidnapping and theft. But, that’s a different topic. Right now, we’re talking about treason.

Let us look, then, at the Constitutional description of treason in Article III, Section 3, Clause 1:

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

Okay; Gen. Lee did none of that at the beginning of the war. Neither did Jefferson Davis, nor Beauregard, nor any of the Southerners. The South did not invade the Northern States. Not at first, anyway. Lee’s attempted invasion into the Northern states happened long after the war started, and was not done in an attempt to conquer the Northern States, but to provide material relief (food and supplies) to the Southern armies, so that doesn’t really count. Had the North not invaded the South, first, in other words, then Lee would not have marched his armies into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Also, the Southern firing on Fort Sumter, which was in Charleston Harbor, can hardly be described as levying war against “the States”.

You know who did “levy war against THEM [i.e., the States]? Abraham Lincoln. Deploying troops to the fort for the purposes of collecting tribute was the original act of war. The counter-argument by supposed conservatives is that the Federal Government “owned” the fort, and so had eternal rights to its usage. Eh.

Imagine, if you will, that the United Nations started agitating for the United States to cough up more money. The United States refused, and declared that they will withdraw from the UN. The UN, in response, deploys troops to the UN Building in New York City, with the stated intention of collecting the fees, duties, and tributes that it claims the U.S. owes. The United States orders the U.S. military to fire on the building. Which side initiated hostilities?

Hint: It was the United Nations.

If the supposed conservatives claim that this imagined scenario is “different”; that the United States was not supposed to be a collection of independent nations that formed an alliance to effect actions for the common good of them all, and that the Constitution was instead an eternally binding compact that formed a single nation from component parts, then they demonstrate that they are interpreting Southerners’ perceptions of “the Union” through the prism of their own Federal-Government-worshipping understanding and biases.

Nevertheless, it’s politically expedient (in the minds of the supposed conservatives) to declare that “slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK” are all elements of the Democrat Party. Please. The Dems purges those elements from their party long ago, so the charge is irrelevant. What these supposed conservatives are really doing is alienating potential allies: limited-government adherents who are also people who honor Southern heroes like Gen. Lee for their sustained fight against Federal tyranny. “Fine! Who needs you, anyway?” might be these supposed conservatives’ response, but they’re never going to get the America they want until they first acknowledge that the men of the seceding South were the Good Guys.


Kansas State Budget

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , on June 9, 2017 by cavalier973

The government-worshipping thieves are crowing about recent developments concerning the Kansas State Budget, since “moderate” Republicans overrode Governor Brownback’s veto of a tax increase. The narrative is that the theory of “supply-side” economics has once again been shown to be a failure, since the State of Kansas is projected to have a budget deficit in 2019.

Perusing the recent articles that discuss the subject of the Kansas budget (here is an example), I see little to no actual numbers being discussed, beyond the amount of the projected deficit and the amounts allocated to departments in the Kansas government. It would be nice to have information stating something along the lines of: The Kansas state budget from FY 2015 to FY 2016 showed that state government revenues were $6.5 billion and $6.0 billion, respectively (showing an actual decrease in revenues), while expenditures for the same Fiscal Years were $6.4 billion and $6.1 billion, respectively (showing that the state’s expenditures were actually decreased).

According to a chart at the Kansas Budget Department’s site, it looks like state revenues did decrease after the 2012 “supply side” tax cut, from $6.412 billion in 2012 to $6.341 billion in 2013, and $5.653 billion in 2014. In 2015, revenues increased to $5.928 billion, and were projected to increased further in 2016 to $6.171 and to $6.326 billion in 2017.

Expenditures in 2012 were $6.098 billion, in 2013 they were $6.134 billion, in 2014 $5.982 billion, in 2015 $6.237 billion, in 2016 $6.322 billion, and in 2017 $6.398 billion.

This is from the FY 2017 Comparison report, which was published in August 2016, so the 2016 and 2017 numbers are estimates.

Notice, though, that while revenues dropped each year from 2012 to 2014, and increased thereafter, spending increased every year from 2012 to 2017, excepting for a drop in 2014 (and which by 2015 was higher than expenditures in 2013).

Something else about the Kansas Budget: courts declared that the state wasn’t funding schools equitably, and ordered the government to increase its spending in that area.

So, we have tax cuts, followed by decreases in revenue for a couple of years, followed by increases in revenues. Expenditures, however, continued to grow, in part due to a court system that compels the government to spend more than it otherwise would.

But  “supply side economics” is to blame. Riiiiight.

It would be interesting to see what all the State of Kansas spends its money on (I’m not interested enough to actually research it, however). A spokesman for the Transportation department complained about cuts to that department’s budget to pay for other expenditures. I wonder what items supersede spending on roads.

Usually what politicians do, when they are faced with a voting populace who wants to keep more of their money, is cut spending to schools, roads, and police, and then when people complain, say, “Hey, you wanted tax cuts; this is what you get for being greedy.” Meanwhile, a lot of unnecessary spending that is hidden in the esoteric elements of the budget are protected and increased. Stupid stuff that keep the politicians in office. When people knuckle under, and agree to let the politicians abscond with their earned wealth so that they can have police and schools again, the politicians double down, raise taxes, raise spending even more, and brag about how “fiscally responsible” they are.

There is a group of people; I can’t determine if they are in on the scam, or if they are just that stupid, who defend politicians’ lying, thieving ways. It only ends when the government runs out of other people’s money; when the makers get tired of being robbed by the takers, and leave the state.

What we need is something I call the “stupid people tax”. Anyone who says we need to raise taxes should automatically have his tax rates increased to 50% (not progressive; a flat tax of half their income). If he continues to maintain a need for  increased taxes, then his rate goes to 75%. If he still agitate for tax increases, then he gets hit with a 50% wealth tax in addition to the income tax.

Here is an article from a year ago that claimed that the tax rates were a success.

Here is another article from earlier this year, that includes an interview with Governor Brownback, in which he gives his theory why tax receipts are down. He claims that it is the sales tax revenues that are down, due to low commodity prices, while tax revenues from the lower personal income taxes are actually higher.

And here is yet another article that kind of puts things in perspective. An excerpt:


…from 1998-2012, “Kansas ranked 38th in private-sector job growth, according Bureau of Labor Statistics data crunched by the Kansas Policy Institute. In 2013—the first year after the tax reform—the state climbed to 27th place, and in 2014 it moved to 21st, placing it in the top half of states.” Also: ” In the second half of 2014, hourly wages in Kansas grew 3.5%, according to BLS data, far faster than the national average of 1.9%.”

I decided to see if the above statement can be verified. The closest I can find is this article describing each of the 50 states and the jobs growth since 2007.

In the grand scheme of things, the economic considerations with regard to taxes are secondary to the moral considerations. It is immoral for someone to covet someone else’s wealth and/or income, even for the purposes of “helping other people”.