Archive for Free Trade

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.

Stuff Going On — 06/05/2017

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2017 by cavalier973

Several Arab nations–Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Egypt–have moved to isolate Qatar. They have blocked flights into and out of the country, and told Qatari citizens to leave. This seems to be in response to President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he urged the Arab leaders to take a stronger stance against terrorism. Qatar tries to sit the fence between the Saudis and the Iranians, who hate each other.

British police are still investigating a terrorist attack in London last Saturday evening. Three men ploughed through a crowd of people, then exited the van and began slashing people in the throat with knives. Seven people were killed, and forty-eight injured. Twenty-one of those injured are reported to be in critical condition.

The above link doesn’t mention it, but people fought back with chairs, bottles, and other items they had at hand. It seems that five more people were arrested, with one of those trying to make an escape.

The citizens of the United Kingdom suffered a bombing attack at a concert in late May, and an attack in March, in which a terrorist used a van to run people over.

The citizens are also headed to the election polls in three days, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory party has had its lead in the polls eroded from around twenty points to around one.

Trump got in on the story, by tweeting about the need for his Travel Ban to prevent such an occurrence in the U.S. He also misquoted the London Mayor in an attempt to show the mayor taking a benign view of the attacks. The mayor urged Londoners to “not be alarmed by the increased police presence”, but Trump left out the part about “police presence”, making it seem that the mayor was urging people to not be alarmed about the terrorist attack.

Also, Trump received criticism for calling it a terrorist attack before the local government or media had labeled it so.

Ten chain restaurants that are no longer with us. I’ve eaten at the Casa Bonita (in Little Rock), the Pancho’s (in Texarkana), and at the Steak & Ale (in Memphis). The Casa Bonita and the Steak & Ale were intriguingly decorated, though in different ways. Casa Bonita was an all-you-can-eat restaurant, but you didn’t go to a buffet bar. It had a little flag on a pole at your table. When you were ready for more food, you raised the flag, and the waitress would get your order. Pancho’s had a similar gimmick. The Steak & Ale had really good dark brown bread they served while you were waiting for your order.

The laziest argument against Free Trade, ever. By Don Boudreaux.

Protectionists and neo-mercantilists hate private property almost as much as communists do.


Free Trade IS the Free Market

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , on May 31, 2017 by cavalier973

If you meet someone, anyone, who says they support capitalism, but do not support Free Trade, then understand that that person does not support capitalism at all. People who hate Free Trade hate the Free Market, and Capitalism, because they do not truly accept the principle of private property. They want a say in how another disposes of his income, backed up by the threat of violence. Eventually, you will find that their desire for government intervention in trade leads them to the conclusion that the government needs to intervene in all sorts of other economic (and non-economic) activities, up to and including advocating communism. They lack the capacity to grasp that much of the ill effects they attribute to freedom is actually due to the very government intervention for which they pine. History has numerous examples that the Free Market/Free Trade works, and communism/government intervention doesn’t.

And, yes, support for Free Trade needs to be unconditional.

Be also wary of people who fear immigrants “stealing their jobs”, or “destroying the culture”, or whatever immigrants are supposed to be doing, more than they fear a government powerful enough to legally starve their children while they watch helplessly. It is an inexcusable stupidity on their part.

Anyone who invites more government intervention into his life to protect him from potential threats is like someone who invites a serial killer to move in to protect against possible burglars.


Stuff Going On — 05/12/2017

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2017 by cavalier973

The media are quite giddy over the story of Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey. They think they smell blood in the water. They breathlessly report about “he said, he said” situations based on information provided by “sources”. Some Democrats are hinting around about the “I” word*.

I have no dog in this fight. I wanted Ted Cruz to be President, until he endorsed Trump, at which point I decided to vote for the Constitution Party candidate, Darrell Castle. If President Trump is *impeached, and removed from office, I would feel validation, not anger, over the situation. But, it seems to me, the leftist-progressives in this country are completely misreading what is going on, and they have a surprising inability to grasp nuance in any story, anymore.

Also, when their “sources” tell them things that turn out not to be true, it just adds to the narrative that the media is just making things up, out of partisan spite. It’s getting to where even I am automatically regarding any Trump hit piece with skepticism, if it relies on unnamed sources.

Trumps supporters among the populace aren’t even listening to the media, and his erstwhile detractors in the center-right are slowly coming around to seeing he’s not such a bad guy, in part because of the apocalyptic-style reporting that fails to comport with reality.

One other thing: it’s pointless to speak of Trump’s instincts being wrong, or his decisions “looking” like those of an incompetent man. He’s just doing things differently than expected, in a world where the rules of engagement are definitely skewed in the favor of those already in power, or that are entrenched in the bureaucracy. I thought he wasn’t going to win the election, but he did. In my totally non-professional opinion, President Trump needs to go back to what made him successful: Double Down. He should fire someone else in the next couple of days, just on principle. His political opponents will be thrown in to disarray, and waste lots of time discussing what it all means, and trying to figure out a way to turn it to their advantage. In the meantime, Trump moves on to the next issue, and everyone forgets what they were talking about last week.

The Affordable Care Act is still failing. I saw the link to this commentary on instapundit ( The name of the author of the commentary isn’t given. The article is right that “Obamacare” is failing, but the author then throws out some suggestions which, if implemented, will not really solve the problem. First, a quibble: the author says we can’t solve the problem by “blind faith in private markets”. The heck we can’t.

Anyway, one of the other proposals is to allow more “doctor immigrants” into the country to “lower the price of health care”. Why not just release the stranglehold that the AMA somehow has on how many Americans can become doctors each year? Why not eschew licensing as a requirement for being a doctor? Allow people to put their trust in someone who has been to medical school, even if he hasn’t gotten his fee-purchased government stamp of approval?

Also, state governments could eliminate the silly “Certificate of Need” laws that prevent the building or expansion of medical facilities. This is a crony-capitalist measure, if there ever was one.

Finally, the government could rein in the FDA, and its approval process for developing drugs. Yes, drug companies can and do make dangerous cost-cutting measures when developing drugs–the company officials are still humans responding to incentives, after all–but I imagine that some of that is due to the ridiculously expensive process of getting FDA approval. Also, the rules for patents, trademarks, and copyrights needs to be reviewed. It all comes down to government interference in the marketplace.

Prince Harry is going to be the very model of a modern major general.

President Trump’s son-in-law saves NAFTA from demise. For now, anyway. Whatever. NAFTA is government-managed trade, not free trade, despite the name. All government “free trade” agreements ought to be scrapped, and the government limited from interfering with the trade decisions of individuals and firms. Nations do not trade; people trade.



Stuff Going On — 05/08/2017

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2017 by cavalier973

Macron is mightier than Le Pen. It is interesting to me that this story isn’t bigger than it is. As of 9:26 a.m., CST, on the day after the election the articles on CNN are all pre-election ones. The headline on Drudge is a link to a blog (the gateway pundit). MSNBC has a story, but it’s down the list, and is actually a story from yesterday written (or recorded–it’s a video) before the official results. Fox News also has a story (it’s the one I linked), but it’s also “down the list”. I get it that normal people don’t really care about the French elections, but I find it strange that there is no “victory lap” in the press. The Alt-right nationalist was defeated, after all (for now, anyway).

In Chicago, a man was shot and killed Sunday morning. An impromptu memorial service was being held later that day, and two gunmen used the opportunity to shoot 10 more people, killing two of them.

♥ Meanwhile, in Memphis, a person tries to rob a liquor store, and is himself liquidated.

♦ Nationalist economics are not Free Market economics. If someone says they hate or oppose Free Trade, then they also hate and oppose the Free Market. President Trump campaigned on a promise to use government power to interfere with the international free flow of goods. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he wants the government to interfere in the domestic markets, as well.


Stuff Going On — 04/25/2017

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2017 by cavalier973

Russia has supplanted Saudi Arabia as the third-largest spender on military. It spends just under $70 billion, compared to 2nd-place China’s $215 billion and the U.S.A.’s $611 billion.

♣ A court case that has a good chance of making it to the SCOTUS may, possibly, eliminate all Federal Gun Control laws.

Belleview, FL is feeling a little rebellious.

♦ Trump is playing 3D Monopoly, by targeting U.S. trading partner Canada, instead of Mexico. Robert Wenzel talks about the benefits that accrue to U.S. citizens from foreign government subsidies.