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Posts Tagged ‘free trade’

Conservatives and the Free Trade Straw Man | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 18, 2021

Today, we get something quite different, a set of beliefs based upon the notion that because something was “American,” it was exceptional by nature. The limits of time and space only applied to other people, not Americans, and that included laws of economics. In fact, there were not real “laws” of economics, according to these conservative historicists, just epochs of history that came and went and set their own rules.

https://mises.org/wire/conservatives-and-free-trade-straw-man

William L. Anderson

When Ronald Reagan officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States in November 1979, he called for the establishment of a large free trade zone encompassing the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Not surprisingly, the so-called free trade agreement better known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resembled the usual “managed trade” that falls much more into the category of what Randall Holcombe calls “political capitalism.” Politics has a way of doing that.

For all of the logic of theories of free trade and for all of the prosperity that has come about as international trade has expanded in the past few decades, freedom of exchange over international borders will always have its enemies. On the progressive Left, we have seen the political candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom are hardcore protectionists.

Conservatives, however, have opposed free trade for decades and seem to be impervious to any arguments to the contrary, no matter how logical free trade policies might be. In a recent edition of the American Conservative, Clyde Prestowitz praises President Joe Biden’s proposal to heavily subsidize the US semiconductor industry. He writes:

President Biden has proposed that the U.S. government invest billions of dollars in the pivotal U.S. semiconductor industry as part of an effort to assure continued global leadership. It is a break with 70 years of U.S. free-trade doctrine, as well as a huge step back to America’s future.

While one can write volumes on the meaning of “invest” in that statement, nonetheless there is much more to understanding just how fallacious this latest conservative argument for “managed trade” really is. President Bill Clinton used that term regularly as a euphemism for more spending, and politicians recklessly have used the terminology ever since.

However, what exactly would be Biden’s “investments”? Will the federal government be financing new capital expenditures for US companies and, if so, what are the terms of financing and how will the capital be directed? Government “investments” by definition are political expenditures and require political outcomes, none of which will meet actual needs in the US economy.

Like so many conservatives that call for some forms of autarky, Prestowitz conjures up an American past that in his thinking was made possible only by protective tariffs. He writes:

This is a return to the trail first blazed by Alexander Hamilton in 1791. Hamilton proposed mimicking Britain’s budding industrial revolution by copying its technology, imposing tariffs on imports of manufactures and providing financial incentives for the development of domestic manufacturing.

Hamilton was initially opposed by Thomas Jefferson, who dreamed of an America of yeoman farmers trading produce and raw materials like timber for imported manufactures. The outcome of the debate was determined by the War of 1812, which the U.S. nearly lost for want of manufacturing capability. In its wake, Jefferson yielded to Hamilton, noting that manufactures were “as necessary to our independence as to our comfort.”

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Author:

Contact William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

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Biden Has Embraced Trump’s Protectionism | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 9, 2021

https://mises.org/wire/biden-has-embraced-trumps-protectionism

Joseph Solis-Mullen

The Biden administration’s decision this week to raise import duties on some Canadian lumber has US trade policy back in the headlines. Since taking office President Biden has moved to end a pair of trade spats with the European Union, while simultaneously leaving in place the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese exports. Despite the wide-ranging applause Biden received for his transatlantic deal making, this freeing up of trade has been an exception to the general trend. Indeed, since taking office Biden has tended to follow his predecessor’s protectionist bent, even while polls show that a majority of Americans still support free trade, though it has suffered a sharp decline of late. While there are several factors to be considered when measuring the benefits of free trade versus protectionism, on the whole, free trade comes out ahead.

First, protectionism always creates one clear loser: consumers. Whether as individuals or as firms, they pay more than a free market would dictate. Consider the results of the four principal tools of protectionism as experienced by consumers. Tariffs, by taxing the incoming import, raise the price paid by consumers for that good. Import quotas cap the amount of a given good that can be imported, protecting the ability of domestic firms to charge higher prices, again, paid by consumers. Export subsidies are tax dollars given to private firms so they can afford to sell their products more cheaply abroad than they do domestically. Lastly, individual or industry subsidies are devoted to encouraging the production of a good or service the government deems desirable—that is, of course, when they aren’t simply being doled out as favors to politically connected favorites.

Indeed, in virtually every instance the motivating impetus for the adoption of protectionist legislation is to be found in a core group of constituents who benefit from it. They are an example of what happens when the benefits of a policy are concentrated while the costs are diffused. A dollar here and a dollar there from every single citizen in the country over the course of years or even decades likely goes unnoticed by them, even though it adds up quickly, making the recipients eager to see the policy continued, whatever its public cost. Concentrating their focus and resources, small groups of wealthy beneficiaries effectively capture billions to split between themselves in this way.

It is a pernicious problem, and no industry is immune to the moral hazard of profitability by government welfare, through protection or subsidy rather than by working to improve products, methods, or management. Once entrenched, these policies are difficult to reverse. Consider the decades-long subsidy of mohair. Passed in 1954 in the name of national security, mohair being the key ingredient in US military fabrics, it was rendered irrelevant a decade later by the adoption of synthetic fibers. Still on the books in 1998, the subsidy was costing nearly $200 million dollars each year, over half of which went to the top 1 percent of producers. It continues in modified form to the present day.

The inefficiencies of protectionism are well known, and are part of why free trade results in greater economic growth than alternative protectionist regimes. If it can be gotten for less elsewhere, competing US producers should shift capital toward increasing productivity in order to compete or else steer their capital into other profitable ventures; labor will follow, acquiring any new or necessary skills required to continue their employment should they choose. This is to say that the cost of free market efficiency and its higher standard of living is the occasional temporary dislocation of both capital and labor. If these processes are not artificially hindered by government policy, however, they will not come as sudden shocks, but will rather take place gradually over time. Firms seeking survival and profit maximization will take steps as necessary to adapt to changing conditions. Subsidies, tariffs, and quotas offer domestic firms an easy alternative to the work of proper management. And though they lead to an overall lower economic outcome, for the firm or industry in question the difference is irrelevant.

The Buy American campaigns of Presidents Biden and Trump have grabbed headlines over the past five years, but behind the scenes the US has been moving steadily away from free trade since the early 2000s. Part of this was a reaction to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Despite its impacts having been a net positive in terms of trade, it was rosily oversold and seriously disappointed and angered many, particularly those employed in certain manufacturing industries where job losses were concentrated. All told, it is estimated that NAFTA cost the US about six hundred thousand manufacturing jobs, but a far bigger contributor to American manufacturing job losses was China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, which cost an estimated 3.7 million manufacturing jobs over roughly the same period.

The personal costs imposed on those dislocated by the competitive pressures of free trade are worthy of our personal sympathies, but the costs of protectionism far outweigh the narrow benefits it provides recipients. Free trade reduces inefficiency by forcing firms to constantly compete to the benefit of consumers; it reduces moral hazard, results in higher economic output, lower prices, a smaller state, lower taxes, and higher standards of living. No free trade deal will ever be perfect, and there will always be winners and losers, but good free trade deals result in winners and losers dictated by market forces rather than government favoritism. Author:

Joseph Solis-Mullen

A graduate of Spring Arbor University and the University of Illinois, Joseph Solis-Mullen is a political scientist and graduate student in the economics department at the University of Missouri. A writer and blogger, his work can be found at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Eurasian Review, Libertarian Institute, and Sage Advance. You can contact him through his website http://www.jsmwritings.com or find him on Twitter.

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The GOP Is Not Your Savior | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2021

Unfortunately, the answer is that the Republicans would not have saved us, and for two reasons, one historical and the other philosophical: (1) Republicans have never saved us from the bad policies and programs of Democrats, regardless of whether they had partial or total control of the government and could have done something, and (2) Republicans are philosophically not much different from Democrats, regardless of how often and how loud they recite their conservative mantra about the Constitution, the free market, limited government, federalism, traditional values, free enterprise, a balanced budget, individual freedom, free trade, and property rights.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-gop-is-not-your-savior/

by Laurence Vance

If Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) had not gotten sick and resigned his Senate seat, then the title of this article would have been “Will the Republicans Save Us?”

After serving in the Georgia state house and senate, Isakson served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was re-elected in 2010 and 2016. Although his Senate term did not expire until January 2023, in August 2019 he announced that because of his Parkinson’s disease and other health challenges, he was resigning his Senate seat effective at the end of 2019. Under Georgia law, the governor—Brian Kemp, a Republican—was allowed to make an appointment to fill the unexpired term until the next regularly scheduled statewide election (November 3, 2020). He selected Republican Kelly Loeffler, the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), who had never held political office. She assumed office in January 2020.

Under Georgia election law, all candidates for a special election, regardless of their political party, compete in a “jungle primary” where every name is on the November general election ballot. If no candidate in what is usually a crowded field receives more than 50 percent of the vote, then a runoff election is conducted in January. All told, there were twenty-one candidates—including a write-in candidate who received seven votes—most of whom received less than 1 percent of the vote. Loeffler finished second in the special election with 25.9 percent of the vote. That is why she was in the January 5 runoff election for the Senate seat she held at the time. But although Loeffler claimed to be the most conservative Republican in the Senate, and was considered to be the richest member of the Senate, she lost in the runoff election to the Democrat Raphael Warnock by the slim margin of 50.8 to 49.2 percent.

It is because of this special election that Georgia was the only state to hold two Senate elections in 2020. In the Senate, the 100 senators are divided into three classes with staggered terms. Thus, only one-third of the Senate seats are contested at any election, and never more than one Senate seat in a state. In the regular Senate race in Georgia, the incumbent Republican David Perdue—the cousin of former Georgia governor and Trump administration Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue—was seeking a second term. But as he received only 49.7 percent of the vote (47.9 percent went for Democrat Jon Ossoff and 2.3 percent went for Libertarian Shane Hazel), Georgia law required a runoff election between the top two candidates. But in the January 5 runoff election, Ossoff defeated Perdue by a margin of 50.4 to 49.6 percent.

Winning these two Georgia Senate seats is how the Democrats wrested control of the Senate from the Republicans, who had controlled the Senate since January 2015. Prior to the Georgia runoff election, there were 50 Republicans in the Senate and 48 Democrats (including the two independent members of the Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who caucus with the Democrats). So now that the Senate is tied 50-50, the Democratic vice president, the former senator Kamala Harris, gets to cast the tie-breaking vote, effectively giving Democrats control of the Senate.

The Democrats

One-party control of the government is dangerous. Gridlock in the Congress helps prevent one party — whether Democrats or Republicans — from exercising unbridled power. Thus, even if one Georgia Senate seat had been won by a Republican, it could have stopped bad legislation proposed by Democrats from passing (assuming that all of the Senate Republicans voted together). But the reality is that life under Democratic rule will be especially dangerous to privacy, liberty, and property.

Now, we know that the Democratic Party for many years has been the party of liberalism, progressivism, collectivism, socialism, paternalism, statism, environmentalism, “social justice,” economic egalitarianism, organized labor, taxpayer-funded abortion, public education, climate change, affirmative action, welfare, higher taxes on the “rich,” universal single-payer health care, increased government regulation of the economy and society, increased government spending, larger and more-intrusive government, and assorted income-transfer programs and wealth-redistribution schemes. The Democratic solution to every problem, injustice, or crisis — real, imaginary, or contrived—is invariably more government, more government intervention, or more government money.

The Democratic Party is not just going to pick up where it left off at the end of the Obama administration. Democrats in Congress will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda. The Democratic Party of today is even more radical than it was twelve years ago during the first two years of Obama’s first term, which was the last time that Democrats had total control of the federal government (House, Senate, presidency).

What’s On the Table

In an episode of “The Libertarian Angle” recorded just two days after the Electoral College vote was certified, Future of Freedom Foundation president Jacob Hornberger and Citadel professor Richard Ebeling examined the question of life under Democratic control and it was not a pretty picture they painted. According to Hornberger and Ebeling, we are going to see massive increases in federal spending, and the debt ceiling rendered totally irrelevant; massive foreign intervention, since Biden is essentially owned by the national-security state; increased focus on official enemies, expansion of the role of the military in American life, expansion of the welfare state, the revitalization of Obamacare, the attempt to implement a full-fledged government health-care system, and the expansion of the war on drugs (a war that Biden supported when he was vice president and Harris supported as a prosecutor); increased federal regulations, massive welfare-state socialism, a more centrally planned economy, massive debauchery of the currency, tax increases, increased anti-trust enforcement, a national increase in the minimum wage, elements of the “green new deal,” and emphasis on equality of outcomes and proportional representation of minorities in all groups; and more money creation by the Fed, increased inflation, wage and price controls to combat inflation, and a more interventionist foreign policy. They concluded that under a Biden administration, everything is on the table that could be a danger to our liberty, privacy, income, wealth, property, and freedom in the marketplace.

To this we can certainly add increased deficit spending, further increases in the national debt, unrestricted funding for Planned Parenthood, loosened restrictions on taxpayer-funded abortions, increased enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, expanded gun-control laws, a federal family-leave policy, government-funded child care, increased resources devoted to fighting climate change, increased violation of privacy and civil liberties in response to the coronavirus, fewer welfare-work requirements, and increased promotion of the transgender movement.

On the basis of statements in the 2020 Democratic Party platform, the recommendations in the “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations,” and statements from Biden himself, we can also look forward to extended unemployment benefits, a $15 per hour minimum wage, and more-generous refundable tax credits that give even more Americans tax refunds of money that they never paid in; increased funding for food stamps, WIC, and school-meal programs; greater “investment” in mass transit and transportation public-works projects, “fair” trade policies and deals, expanded farm and housing subsidies, a national goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings and vehicles, and “environmental justice”; increases in corporate tax rates, aggressive attempts to increase the supply of “affordable” housing, increased government efforts to close the racial wealth gap, increased spending on K-12 education, tuition-free college, increased federal education grants, extended student-loan payment suspension, and student-debt relief; and making Washington, D.C., the 51st state, an increased push for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, the ending of cash bail, the passing of an Equal Rights Amendment, increased condemnation of “hate speech,” the reauthorization and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act, the securing of equal pay for women, and increased funding for arts and culture.

The Republicans

Read the rest here

This article was originally featured at the Future of Freedom Foundation

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Where is the “Free” part?

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2019

“Free trade”, “requires”, “prohibits”. Any agreement longer than this post is not “free”.

Everytime there is a requires or prohibits someone is making out and the rest of US are getting screwed.

From Voterama in Congress
Setting New Rules for North American Trade: Voting 385-41, the House on Dec. 19 passed a bill (HR 5430) giving congressional approval to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the framework for commerce among the three countries. The agreement requires Mexico to guarantee workers the right to join unions and engage in collective bargaining; authorizes fast-track probes of labor violations in Mexico and factory-specific penalties when transgressions are found; gives U.S. dairy and poultry farmers and to a lesser extent winemakers more access to Canadian markets; raises environmental standards but does not address climate change; reduces patent protections for certain pharmaceuticals; sets wage requirements that benefit U.S. and Canadian auto factories over Mexico’s; prohibits duties on digital products; and protects Internet companies against liability for their users’ content. A yes vote was to pass the bill. Kelly: Yes. Thompson: Yes.

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Thing you shouldn't do over the age of 30

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The Benefits of Free Trade Are Canceled Out by Domestic Interventionism

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

What no one recognizes is that the common reason for the breakdown of world economic relations is the combination of interventionist domestic policies and government-led, top-down, faulty trade integration, which serves only interest groups and is subject to perverse incentives.

https://mises.org/wire/benefits-free-trade-are-canceled-out-domestic-interventionism?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=c869db6738-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-c869db6738-228343965

Foreign policy commentators live in their own bubble. The WTO’s credibility is gone and its survival uncertain due to its lack of impact on world trade over the last two decades. A China vs. USA trade war is still growing and the economic community of European states is in its worst-ever shape. Yet no one stops to wonder if all these failures have anything to do with the kind of economic integration they propose. In fact, the media is now childishly excited about the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a Trans-Pacific Partnership surrogate many years in the making.

What no one recognizes is that the common reason for the breakdown of world economic relations is the combination of interventionist domestic policies and government-led, top-down, faulty trade integration, which serves only interest groups and is subject to perverse incentives. The positive effects of inter-governmental multilateral trade agreements are minor at best. Their negative effects, however, such as stifling global trade, diversion of trade flows, or increasing red tape, have been growing at an alarming rate.

Trade agreements have thus become obsolete tokens of negotiation in larger geopolitical disputes, protectionist tools for managing and interfering with global trade flows. RCEP’s tentative provisions serve as a great illustration of the adulteration and vitiation of trade deals. For example, RCEP would allow and encourage poorer members to “proceed cautiously and gradually in lowering tariffs on manufactured goods… [over] adjustment periods of up to 25 years” (The Economist, 2019). However, it is precisely the poorer members of such agreements who benefit from reducing their tariffs to zero. According to Mises (1990), “their own policies are the main obstacle to any improvement and economic progress. There cannot be any question of imitating the technological procedures of the capitalistic countries if there is no capital available. Whence should this capital come if domestic capital formation as well as the inflow of foreign capital are sabotaged?”

RCEP would also allow India to “impose some sort of ‘safeguard’ tariffs if imports surged too sharply” (The Economist, 2019). In other words, India could easily withdraw their already weak commitment to this economic partnership without incurring any direct consequences — allowing them to have their managed trade cake and eat it too. However, despite this mollification, India remained reluctant to commit and Narendra Modi refused to sign the current draft agreement, citing the trade deficit with China, the danger to Indian farmers, Ghandi, and his own conscience.

Lastly, the text of the RCEP is littered with “non-committal phrases… [such as] “members shall endeavour to” rather than “members shall’” (The Economist, 2019). As The Economist argues, “in these sort of agreements do and do not are not the only options. There is plenty of “try” (The Economist, 2019). But no rose-colored glasses can make free trade anything but a black and white issue. To reference Yoda again, this is why you fail. Either trade is entirely free, and thus works to bring about prosperity and economic growth, or it is government-managed, thus not free, and bound only to bring about more intervention and economic distortions. In matters of economic freedom, there is no try.

Preparations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are now 8 years old and 30 negotiation rounds have already taken place. A fantastic leap of faith is necessary to imagine that, once signed, this agreement will have any beneficial impact, or will indeed be managed efficiently. A leap of faith that should be impossible for any minimally informed and honest commentator. Sadly, much like true free trade agreements, there are few such left.

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Washington Monthly | Free Trade Is Dead

 

 

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How the World Views Libertarianism | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/how-world-views-libertarianism

Ask ten libertarians for a definition of libertarianism, and one is likely to receive about ten different answers.

Indeed, libertarians have something of a reputation for internecine battles over who the “real” libertarians are.

Most of the world, however, couldn’t possibly care less about these battles over how to correctly slice and dice the different types of libertarians.

When it comes to use of the term libertarian out “in the wild” among mainstream, non-libertarian pundits, the use of the term is surprisingly consistent. It nearly always refers to an ideology that pushes for greater economic freedom in the form of less regulation of economic life, lower taxes, and freedom in trade.

Most writers on political and public policy matters, however, are not friendly to this sort of ideology so the term “libertarian” is also often expressed with an air of disapproval.

A Sampling of Media Coverage

This definition of libertarianism was made more clear than usual in the wake of the death of industrialist David Koch. Koch was known to support a number of libertarian political initiatives around taxation and government regulation.

To say that Koch was savaged for these views in the press and in social media would be an understatement. But the criticism also helped to bring out how mainstream media organs view libertarianism, and how they define it.

After Koch’s death, Salon declared we “live in the brothers’ libertarian utopia” thanks in part to the political machinations of Koch and his brother Charles.

What does this utopia look like? According to Christopher Leonard, a reporter known to have written a “secret history” of the Koch brothers, the assumed victory of libertarians has led to a world in which environmental regulations have been eviscerated, social programs are impoverished, and wealthy corporations wield vast power over workers. Indeed, according to Leonard, this Kochian libertarian program seeks a return to the days before the New Deal, allegedly a “capitalistic free-fire zone” characterized by starving workers lorded over by corrupt plutocrats.

But thanks to libertarians like Koch, the progress forged by the New Deal has largely been brought crashing down.

Similarly, the Washington Post refers to Koch’s “libertarian” empire responsible for pushing the Republican party further in the direction of low taxes, fewer government programs, and what the author refers to as anti-government extremism.

Needless to say, we don’t actually live in a “libertarian utopia” and its unclear if Koch did the things attributed to him. But for our purposes in this article what matters is that the mainstream view of libertarianism is clear: libertarianism is an extreme pro-capitalist ideology.

This view extends well beyond a handful of articles about the Kochs.

For example, Darren Dochuk at Politico writes this month on the now-forgotten Pew brothers who were influential political operators behind the scenes in the mid-twentieth century. The brothers, Dochuk notes, “spent their oil fortune remaking the GOP in their libertarian and conservative Christian image.”

Both the Christianity and the libertarianism are apparently meant by the author to be seen as nefarious aspects of the brothers’ agenda. The nature of the libertarian side of their agenda is consistent with what we see said about libertarians elsewhere: the Pews’ libertarianism impelled them to oppose the beloved New Deal, especially its “encroachment on their corporate sector.” Capitalist dystopia allegedly ensued.

From Guns to Free Trade

The title “libertarian” can also be used to encompass those who take an excessive view of the freedom to own firearms. For example, Georgetown historian Robert Curran writes “Our scandalous gun policy is the inevitable consequence of libertarian ideology.” Libertarian laissez-faire, we’re told, doesn’t just encourage oppression of hapless workers. It encourages murderers as well.

Other writers have claimed to be appalled by the callousness of libertarian ideology. For instance, consider David Masciotra’s confession about once being libertarian, but eventually coming to his senses. Masciotra describes libertarians as “individuals myopically pursuing their own interests have no solution to ecological catastrophe, thousands dying for lack of health insurance, lethal disparities in the public education system, and the unending terror and devastation of racism.”

The context makes it clear that these are problems government regulation and control could solve, but libertarians dogmatically insist on their idiosyncratic views of how government regulation and funding in areas such as health care and education are a bad thing.

Other references make it clear that the term “libertarian” can be generally used to describe any organization that, on the whole, favors even a marginally pro-market political economy. This often involves applying the term to a variety of organizations that are also often just regarded as mainstream “conservative” organizations. As Max Moran writes at the American Prospect:

Democrats, if you’re reading, here’s a shot of reality: Google doesn’t just donate to think tanks on the center-left of the political spectrum. It also funds libertarian and right-wing institutions like the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

To many libertarians, organization like the Heritage Foundation may hardly qualify as libertarian. But from the outside looking in, Heritage is libertarian because it takes a low-tax anti-regulatory view on some issues. What may seem milquetoast to a libertarian appears as extreme pro-market superstition to the average writer at The Washington Post.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: This Is Not Free Trade, Not Even Close

Posted by M. C. on October 2, 2018

I shudder to think about the crony deals and protectionism that is buried in this deal.

A real free trade agreement should be 1 page.

For every treaty page there will be a thousand pages of regulations and procedures. Think of when the government adds 5000 pages to the tax code in order to simplify it.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/10/this-is-not-free-trade-not-even-close.html

Below is the table of contents to Trump’s Trade Agreement (TRUMPSTA). In no way does this suggest a free trade agreement. I shudder to think about the crony deals and protectionism that is buried in this deal.

As Lawrence McQuillan put it:

At least #NAFTA had the pretense of free trade. The new agreement is managed government #protectionism & #cronycapitalism. @realDonaldTrump just made America poorer again & strengthened Federal govt! 

RW 

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Text
Table of Contents
A.        United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Text – Chapters
0.         Preamble
3.         Agriculture
4.         Rules of Origin, with Product Specific Rules
5.         Origin Procedures
6.         Textiles and Apparel
7.         Customs and Trade Facilitation
10.       Trade Remedies
12.       Sectoral Annexes
13.       Government Procurement

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The Most Ridiculous Argument Ever – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 26, 2018

It is in fact protectionists who are Marxists.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/09/laurence-m-vance/the-most-ridiculous-argument-ever-against-free-trade/

By 

In the age of Trump’s protectionism, economic nationalism, and ignorance and incoherence on trade, some conservatives have begun to go beyond legitimate criticisms of government-managed trade agreements and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and attack free trade itself.

The most ridiculous of their arguments against free trade is a classic guilt by association argument: Karl Marx believed in free trade. This is the most ridiculous argument ever against free trade.

Marx said he favored free trade because “it breaks up old nationalities and carries antagonism of proletariat and bourgeoisie to the uttermost point.” But “certainly it would be unfair to tar the bulk of free-traders with Marxism.” Then why do it? Did Marx favor free trade because he was a capitalist? Did Marx favor free trade because he was a libertarian? Did Marx favor free trade because he believed in the free market? Did Marx favor free trade because he was a disciple of Adam Smith and David Ricardo? Did Marx favor free trade because he believed in free enterprise? Did Marx favor free trade because he believed in freedom? Did Marx favor free trade because he was opposed to government intervention in the economy? Did Marx favor free trade because he believed in the benefits of competition?

Of course not… Read the rest of this entry »

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The Globalists – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2018

Tariffs is one place where I feel Pat Buchanan is wrong. It is the masochist tax.

Open borders…Pat is right on.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/08/patrick-j-buchanan/are-globalists-plotting-a-counter-revolution/

On meeting with the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker last month, Donald Trump tweeted: “Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be Free Market and Fair Trade.”

Did Larry Kudlow somehow get access to Trump’s phone?

We know not. But, on hearing this, Steve Forbes, Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer broke into the “Hallelujah” chorus of Handel’s “Messiah.”

“Amen,” they thundered in The New York Times.

Trump should declare “total trade disarmament” to be national policy and make free trade his “legacy” to America. Such a proclamation, they wrote, would assure Trump the “moral high ground” in the global debate and transform him from “evil disrupter of international commerce to potential savior.”

For free trade is always and ever a “win-win for trading partners.”

To read the Times op-ed is to appreciate that what we are dealing with here is an ideology, a political religion, a creed, a cult. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trade Myths – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 10, 2018

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/07/laurence-m-vance/trade-myths-die-hard/

By 

I received several comments and questions regarding trade after the publication of my recent article, “Stupid Countries Restrict Trade.” Here is a summary of some questions that a few people had:

What should the government of the United States do if other countries impose tariffs on U.S. goods exported to their countries?

What should the government of the United States do if a country subsidizes its exports to the United States?

What should the government of the United States do if it had no tariffs on foreign imports but other countries imposed tariffs on U.S. exports?

Trade myths die hard. Here are three of them I want to refute based on the comments and questions I recently received. Read the rest of this entry »

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