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Thread: What If... The Protectionists Are Right And The Free Traders Are Wrong?

  1. #1

    What If... The Protectionists Are Right And The Free Traders Are Wrong?

    “When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!” (Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 4, The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill)
    What if... the protectionists are right and the free traders are wrong?


    2020 starts with markets feeling optimistic due to a US-China trade deal and a reworked NAFTA in the form of the USMCA. However, the tide towards protectionism may still be coming in, not going out.
    The intellectual appeal of the basis for free trade, Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, where Portugal specializes in wine, and the UK in cloth, is still clearly there. Moreover, trade has always been a beneficial and enriching part of human culture. Yet the fact is that for the majority of the last 5,000 years global trade has been highly-politicized and heavily-regulated. Indeed, global free-trade only began following the abolition of the UK Corn Laws in 1846, which reduced British agricultural tariffs, brought in European wheat and corn, and allowed the UK to maximize its comparative advantage in industry. Yet it took until 1860 for the UK to fully embrace free trade, and even then the unpalatable historical record is that during this ‘golden age’, the British:
    Destroyed the Indian textile industry to benefit their own cloth manufacturers;

    • Started the Opium Wars to balance UK-China trade by selling China addictive drugs;
    • Ignored the Irish Potato Famine and continued to allow Irish wheat exports;
    • Forced Siam (Thailand) to open up its economy to trade with gunboats (as the US did with Japan); and
    • Colonized much of Africa and Asia.

    As we showed back in ‘Currency and Wars’, after an initial embrace of free trade, the major European powers and Japan saw that their relative comparative advantage meant they remained at the bottom of the development ladder as agricultural producers, an area where prices were also being depressed by huge US output; meanwhile, the UK sold industrial goods, ran a huge trade surplus, and ruled the waves militarily. This was politically unsustainable even though the UK vigorously backed the intellectual concept of free trade given it was such a winner from it.
    Regardless, the first flowering of free trade collapsed back into nationalism and protectionism - bloodily so in 1914. Free trade was tried again from 1919 - but burned-out even more bloodily in the 1930s and 1940s. After WW2, most developed countries had moderately free trade - but most developing countries did not. We only started to reembrace global free trade from the 1990s onwards when the Cold War ended – and here it is under stress again. In short, only around 100 years in a total of 5,000 years of civilization has seen real global free trade, it has failed twice already, and it is once again coming under pressure.
    What are we getting wrong? Perhaps that Ricardo’s theory has major flaws that don’t get included in our textbooks, as summarized in this overlooked quote
    “It would undoubtedly be advantageous to the capitalists of England…[that] the wine and cloth should both be made in Portugal [and that] the capital and labour of England employed in making cloth should be removed to Portugal for that purpose.” Which is pretty much what happens today! However, Ricardo adds that this won’t happen because “Most men of property [will be] satisfied with a low rate of profits in their own country, rather than seek a more advantageous employment for their wealth in foreign nations,” which is simply not true at all! In other words, his premise is flawed in that:

    • It is atemporal in assuming countries move to their comparative advantage painlessly and instantly;
    • It assumes full employment when if there is unemployment a country is better off producing at home to reduce it, regardless of higher cost;
    • It assumes capital between countries is immobile, i.e., investors don’t shift money and technology abroad. (Which Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’, Book IV, Chapter II also assumes doesn’t happen, as an “invisible hand” keeps money invested in one’s home country’s industry and not abroad: we don’t read him correctly either.);
    • It assumes trade balances under free trade - but since when has this been true? Rather we see large deficits and inverse capital flows, and so debts steadily increasing in deficit countries;
    • It assumes all goods are equal as in Ricardo’s example, cloth produced in the UK and wine produced in Portugal are equivalent. Yet some sectors provide well-paid and others badly-paid employment: why only produce the latter?




    As Ricardo’s theory requires key conditions that are not met in reality most of the time, why are we surprised that most of reality fails to produce idealised free trade most of the time? Several past US presidents before Donald Trump made exactly that point. Munroe (1817-25) argued: “The conditions necessary for Free Trade’s success - reciprocity and international peace - have never occurred and cannot be expected”. Grant (1869-77) noted “Within 200 years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade”.
    Yet arguably we are better, not worse, off regardless of these sentiments – so hooray! How so? Well, did you know that Adam Smith, who we equate with free markets, and who created the term “mercantile system” to describe the national-protectionist policies opposed to it, argued the US should remain an agricultural producer and buy its industrial goods from the UK? It was Founding Father Alexander Hamilton who rejected this approach, and his “infant industry” policy of industrialization and infrastructure spending saw the US emerge as the world’s leading economy instead. That was the same development model that, with tweaks, was then adopted by pre-WW1 Japan, France, and Germany to successfully rival the UK; and then post-WW2 by Japan (again) and South Korea; and then more recently by China, that key global growth driver. Would we really be better off if the US was still mainly growing cotton and wheat, China rice and apples, and the UK was making most of the world’s consumer goods? Thank the lack of free trade if you think otherwise!
    Yet look at the examples above and there is a further argument for more protectionism ahead. Ricardo assumes a benign global political environment for free trade. Yet what if the UK and Portugal are rivals or enemies? What if the choice is between steel and wine? You can’t invade neighbours armed with wine as you can with steel! A large part of the trade tension between China and the US, just as between pre-WW1 Germany and the UK, is not about trade per se: for both sides, it is about who produces key inputs with national security implications - and hence is about relative power. This is why we hear US hawks underlining that they don’t want to export their highest technology to China, or to specialize only in agricultural exports to it as China moves up the value-chain. It also helps underline why for most of the past 5,000 years trade has not been free. Indeed, this argument also holds true for the other claimed benefit of free trade: the cross-flow of ideas and technology. That is great for friends, but not for those less trusted.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean liked-minded groups of countries with similar-enough or sympathetic-enough economies and politics should avoid free trade: clearly for some states it can work out nicely - even if within the EU one could argue there are also underlying strains. However, it is a huge stretch to assume a one-size-fits-all free trade policy will always work best for all countries, as some would have it. That is a fairy tale. History shows it wasn’t the case; national security concerns show it can never always be the case; and Ricardo argues this logically won’t be the case.

    More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/...ders-are-wrong
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  3. #2
    Indeed, global free-trade only began following the abolition of the UK Corn Laws in 1846, which reduced British agricultural tariffs, brought in European wheat and corn, and allowed the UK to maximize its comparative advantage in industry. Yet it took until 1860 for the UK to fully embrace free trade, and even then the unpalatable historical record is that during this ‘golden age’, the British:
    Destroyed the Indian textile industry to benefit their own cloth manufacturers;

    Started the Opium Wars to balance UK-China trade by selling China addictive drugs;
    Ignored the Irish Potato Famine and continued to allow Irish wheat exports;
    Forced Siam (Thailand) to open up its economy to trade with gunboats (as the US did with Japan); and
    Colonized much of Africa and Asia.
    And almost got annihilated in two world wars and is now a shell of its former self.

  4. #3
    One of the points not made is that tariffs are the best form of taxation and that making a religion out of doing away with them invited in such monstrosities as the income tax.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  5. #4
    So now Hamilton is to be embraced? WTF Chuck? LOL, all hail the new rpf's. Free trade bad, National banks good. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were just morons who didn't understand Keynesian economics.
    "The Patriarch"

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    So now Hamilton is to be embraced? WTF Chuck? LOL, all hail the new rpf's. Free trade bad, National banks good. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were just morons who didn't understand Keynesian economics.
    Very few people are wrong about everything 100%.
    And I don't necessarily embrace Hamilton 100% on this and certainly not about central banks at all.

    My view is that all federal taxes should be tariffs (with the possible exception of a small tax on state budgets to deal with any ups and downs in trade) and that would take care of any need for protectionism aside from specific extra measures to counter deliberate trade warfare by foreign governments.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    So now Hamilton is to be embraced? WTF Chuck? LOL, all hail the new rpf's. Free trade bad, National banks good. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were just morons who didn't understand Keynesian economics.
    About Keynes:

    John Maynard Keynes. Keynes was generally free trade and supported the logic of specialisation
    “In a regime of Free Trade and free economic intercourse it would be of little consequence that iron lay on one side of a political frontier, and labor, coal, and blast furnaces on the other. But as it is, men have devised ways to impoverish themselves and one another; and prefer collective animosities to individual happiness.”
    John Maynard Keynes The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920) Though it worth bearing in mind Keynes wavered on free trade in some circumstances


    More at: https://www.economicshelp.org/trade2...ts_free_trade/

    Keynes thought tariffs were ridiculous. While knocking free trade, he also wrote that “the reader must not reach a premature conclusion as to the practical policy to which our argument leads up…. The advantages of the international division of labor are real and substantial, even though the classical school greatly overstressed them…. A policy of trade restrictions is a treacherous instrument.”

    More at: https://www.thenation.com/article/ar...uld-keynes-do/


    So who is supporting Keynesian economics?
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Very few people are wrong about everything 100%.
    And I don't necessarily embrace Hamilton 100% on this and certainly not about central banks at all.

    My view is that all federal taxes should be tariffs (with the possible exception of a small tax on state budgets to deal with any ups and downs in trade) and that would take care of any need for protectionism aside from specific extra measures to counter deliberate trade warfare by foreign governments.
    That, sounds reasonable. However, Hamilton IS the father of the central bank philosophy in this country.
    "The Patriarch"

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    That, sounds reasonable. However, Hamilton IS the father of the central bank philosophy in this country.
    And for that alone I'm glad Aaron Burr shot him.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    So now Hamilton is to be embraced? WTF Chuck? LOL, all hail the new rpf's. Free trade bad, National banks good. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were just morons who didn't understand Keynesian economics.
    The whole Constitution setup was a Hamiltonian coup to make a strong central ruling government.
    There is no spoon.

  12. #10
    Tariffs Are Not the Answer
    By Ron Paul


    Ron Paul Institute

    March 13, 2018

    President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians, instead of the preferences of consumers, determine how resources are allocated. This reduces economic efficiency and living standards.

    Some justify these economic inefficiencies as being worth it to save American jobs. This ignores how tariffs increase costs of production for industries reliant on imported materials to produce their products. These increased costs lead to job losses in those industries. For example, President Trump’s proposed steel tariff could cost nearly 40,000 jobs in the steel-dependent auto manufacturing industry. Tariffs also cause job losses in industries reliant on exports. This is especially true if — as is likely to be the case — other countries respond to President Trump’s actions by increasing tariffs on US products.

    Many of President Trump’s critics do not themselves support true free trade, which is the voluntary exchange of goods and services across borders. Instead, they support the managed (by government) trade of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO). NAFTA and the WTO promote world government and crony capitalism, not free markets. Any libertarian or free-market conservative who thinks the WTO promotes economic liberty should remember that the WTO once ordered Congress to raise taxes!

    Foreign manufacturers may make convenient scapegoats for the problems facing US industry. However, the truth is that most of the problems plaguing American businesses stem from the US government. American businesses are burdened by thousands of federal regulations controlling every aspect of their operations. The tax system also burdens businesses. Until last year’s tax reform bill, the US had the highest corporate tax rates in the developed word. The tax reform bill lowered corporate taxes, but the US corporate tax rate is still higher than that of many other developed countries.

    The United States not only spends more on “defense” than the combined budgets of the next eight biggest spending countries, but also spends billions subsidizing the defense of developed counties like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Bringing US troops home from these countries is an excellent place to start reducing spending on militarism.

    The biggest cause of our economic problems is the Federal Reserve. America’s experiment with fiat currency has enabled a system based on private and public debt. This makes trade imbalances inevitable as the US government needs foreign investors to purchase its debt. Foreign investors get the money to purchase the US government’s debt by selling products to American consumers. A trade war could cause foreign investors to stop buying US debt instruments and could end the dollar’s world reserves currency status. This would cause a major economic crisis — but at least it would stop our shores from being flooded with “cheap foreign goods.”

    President Trump’s claim that trade wars can be easily won is as credible as the neoconservative claim that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk. A trade war would likely push the global economy into a recession or worse. Instead of imposing costs on American businesses and consumers and putting those whose livelihoods depend on imports out of s job, President Trump should address the real causes of our economic problems: the welfare-warfare state, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.
    There is no spoon.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    The whole Constitution setup was a Hamiltonian coup to make a strong central ruling government.
    That argument can legitimately be made.
    "The Patriarch"

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    Tariffs Are Not the Answer
    By Ron Paul


    Ron Paul Institute

    March 13, 2018

    President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians, instead of the preferences of consumers, determine how resources are allocated. This reduces economic efficiency and living standards.

    Some justify these economic inefficiencies as being worth it to save American jobs. This ignores how tariffs increase costs of production for industries reliant on imported materials to produce their products. These increased costs lead to job losses in those industries. For example, President Trump’s proposed steel tariff could cost nearly 40,000 jobs in the steel-dependent auto manufacturing industry. Tariffs also cause job losses in industries reliant on exports. This is especially true if — as is likely to be the case — other countries respond to President Trump’s actions by increasing tariffs on US products.

    Many of President Trump’s critics do not themselves support true free trade, which is the voluntary exchange of goods and services across borders. Instead, they support the managed (by government) trade of NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO). NAFTA and the WTO promote world government and crony capitalism, not free markets. Any libertarian or free-market conservative who thinks the WTO promotes economic liberty should remember that the WTO once ordered Congress to raise taxes!

    Foreign manufacturers may make convenient scapegoats for the problems facing US industry. However, the truth is that most of the problems plaguing American businesses stem from the US government. American businesses are burdened by thousands of federal regulations controlling every aspect of their operations. The tax system also burdens businesses. Until last year’s tax reform bill, the US had the highest corporate tax rates in the developed word. The tax reform bill lowered corporate taxes, but the US corporate tax rate is still higher than that of many other developed countries.

    The United States not only spends more on “defense” than the combined budgets of the next eight biggest spending countries, but also spends billions subsidizing the defense of developed counties like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Bringing US troops home from these countries is an excellent place to start reducing spending on militarism.

    The biggest cause of our economic problems is the Federal Reserve. America’s experiment with fiat currency has enabled a system based on private and public debt. This makes trade imbalances inevitable as the US government needs foreign investors to purchase its debt. Foreign investors get the money to purchase the US government’s debt by selling products to American consumers. A trade war could cause foreign investors to stop buying US debt instruments and could end the dollar’s world reserves currency status. This would cause a major economic crisis — but at least it would stop our shores from being flooded with “cheap foreign goods.”

    President Trump’s claim that trade wars can be easily won is as credible as the neoconservative claim that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk. A trade war would likely push the global economy into a recession or worse. Instead of imposing costs on American businesses and consumers and putting those whose livelihoods depend on imports out of s job, President Trump should address the real causes of our economic problems: the welfare-warfare state, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.
    Ron has always supported general tariffs as a replacement for other taxes, while I disagree with him about defending against trade war attacks we are certainly in agreement about general tariffs.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    So now Hamilton is to be embraced? WTF Chuck?
    You gotta give the $#@!er some credit though; for an orphaned son of an island whore, he really made something of himself and a figure in history.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by specsaregood View Post
    You gotta give the $#@!er some credit though; for an orphaned son of an island whore, he really made something of himself and a figure in history.
    Dammit specs, whiskey through the nasal passages is painful.
    "The Patriarch"

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    Dammit specs, whiskey through the nasal passages is painful.
    It should kill germs though.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    Dammit specs, whiskey through the nasal passages is painful.
    Seriously, most people don't realize that some "trick baby" was George Washington's chief aide. That's what we should be teaching in schools.



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by specsaregood View Post
    Seriously, most people don't realize that some "trick baby" was George Washington's chief aide. That's what we should be teaching in schools.
    That's not all, but ya.
    "The Patriarch"

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    That, sounds reasonable. However, Hamilton IS the father of the central bank philosophy in this country.
    I wish Hamilton were here now , I bet if I bought him a few drinks he would confess that he wanted a central bank to provide the stability to pay for standing armies and navies to repel invasion or if it was for other purposes . Be interesting . I wonder if he would be supportive of the federal reserve system now or would be opposed to people being punished for saving .
    Do something Danke

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    I wish Hamilton were here now , I bet if I bought him a few drinks he would confess that he wanted a central bank to provide the stability to pay for standing armies and navies to repel invasion or if it was for other purposes . Be interesting . I wonder if he would be supportive of the federal reserve system now or would be opposed to people being punished for saving .
    I think he'd be quite pleased with the Fed.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I think he'd be quite pleased with the Fed.
    I think you're right.
    "The Patriarch"

  24. #21
    We should probably outlaw all interpersonal exchange, give everyone his own 10,000% personal tariff.

    Eliminating labor specialization and markets is the key to prosperity...
    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    -H. L. Mencken

  25. #22
    You know its funny we have people on this forum arguing for free trade and we also have people will also argue that free trade from westerners like USA and UK is not allowed because something something colonizer, something something empire.

    So WTF do you all want?

    In response to protectionism vs free trade. Being in the literal trade business between US and China, I can tell you all that the tariffs they put on the US were sky high way before Trump came into office. Something as simple as US beverages would be 30-50%, US cars would be 100%+. He didn't start the trade war, he responded to it, only newbs that trust MSM think that Trump initiated an aggressive trade war with poor commie China. Now if the outcome of his response is lower tariffs for both sides, was he right or wrong to retaliate? I can say that he was wrong about the trade imbalance, you don't need trade to be balanced, you only need equal access, of course if both sides agree to it. And according to the US/China phase 1 deal, both sides appear to have feel like they got a good deal and signed the dotted line. WTF else do you want?
    @Ehanced_Deficit's real agenda on RPF :
    DNC-S (Soros)
    CLINTON-PELO-SCHIFF
    NYT-CNN-SOCIALIST
    CIA-B (Brennan)

    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    Bernie will bring about a more free market in the US than Trump. Hence the reason I wouldn't mind having him as my next president.

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    We should probably outlaw all interpersonal exchange, give everyone his own 10,000% personal tariff.

    Eliminating labor specialization and markets is the key to prosperity...
    The smaller the scale is the better free trade works ad the larger it is the worse it works.
    And shifting all federal taxation for legitimate federal functions to tariffs isn't exactly an embargo on all trade.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    You know its funny we have people on this forum arguing for free trade and we also have people will also argue that free trade from westerners like USA and UK is not allowed because something something colonizer, something something empire.

    So WTF do you all want?

    In response to protectionism vs free trade. Being in the literal trade business between US and China, I can tell you all that the tariffs they put on the US were sky high way before Trump came into office. Something as simple as US beverages would be 30-50%, US cars would be 100%+. He didn't start the trade war, he responded to it, only newbs that trust MSM think that Trump initiated an aggressive trade war with poor commie China. Now if the outcome of his response is lower tariffs for both sides, was he right or wrong to retaliate? I can say that he was wrong about the trade imbalance, you don't need trade to be balanced, you only need equal access, of course if both sides agree to it. And according to the US/China phase 1 deal, both sides appear to have feel like they got a good deal and signed the dotted line. WTF else do you want?
    I want our industries defended against foreign government intervention in our marketplace and our independence and industrial strength guarded through shifting all federal taxation for legitimate federal functions to tariffs.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  29. #25
    Remember when they pretended that protectionism wasn't their real goal?
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I'm going to need to be told the details before I accept the narrative about this.
    "The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."
    H. L. Mencken

  30. #26
    The government knows best. They should be able to tell us who we can and can't do business with and which industries should be protected and supported by our taxes. It doesn't get any more Libertarian than that.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    Tariffs Are Not the Answer
    By Ron Paul

    Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians, instead of the preferences of consumers, determine how resources are allocated. This reduces economic efficiency and living standards.
    yep if a foreign competitor comes into your market with a heavily government subsidized product built by slave labor, Ron Paul would just fire all your employees and close up shop in the name of efficiency.

    wow, so hard to believe Ron Paul lost the 1988, 2008, and the 2012 election...….
    Last edited by spudea; 01-26-2020 at 05:35 PM.

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by spudea View Post
    yep if a foreign competitor comes into your market with a heavily government subsidized product built by slave labor, Ron Paul would just fire all your employees and close up shop in the name of efficiency.

    wow, so hard to believe Ron Paul lost the 2008 election and the 2012 election...….
    Uh.... maybe learn something about REAL capitalism.
    There is no spoon.

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by spudea View Post
    yep if a foreign competitor comes into your market with a heavily government subsidized product built by slave labor, Ron Paul would just fire all your employees and close up shop in the name of efficiency.

    wow, so hard to believe Ron Paul lost the 2008 election and the 2012 election...….
    I happen to disagree with the good doctor on this subject; but he discussed this in one of his best interviews of 2007 here:

    https://youtu.be/SVBAqrBbqjY?t=409

    jump to 6:50.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    I wish Hamilton were here now , I bet if I bought him a few drinks he would confess that he wanted a central bank to provide the stability to pay for standing armies and navies to repel invasion or if it was for other purposes . Be interesting . I wonder if he would be supportive of the federal reserve system now or would be opposed to people being punished for saving .
    Since Hamilton is the one that created the idea of central banking in the first place, I'm pretty sure he would be in full support of the Federal Reserve.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

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