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Thread: Conservatives and the Free Trade Straw Man

  1. #1

    Conservatives and the Free Trade Straw Man

    Good essay on free trade.

    Conservatives and the Free Trade Straw Man

    12/16/2021William 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.”

    The ensuing Tariff Act of 1816 launched a 132-year U.S. policy of imposing high duties on manufactured imports while subsidizing domestic industrial and technological development. Known as the “American System,” it led to the establishment of the Erie Canal, the telegraph, the transcontinental railway, and the world’s leading industries in steel, farm equipment, chemicals, autos, aviation, and engineering—along with the creation of the world’s largest economy by 1890 and the greatest economic mobilization ever seen in America’s World War II victory.

    Prestowitz then goes on to construct a history that never was:

    After the war, America ironically abandoned the American System and turned toward the Jeffersonian. There were two reasons. First, by dint of the American System and the nation’s victory in WWII, the United States had become the world leader in virtually every industry and no longer needed protectionist policies.

    Second, many economists believed that U.S. tariff increases in the 1930s had both exacerbated the Great Depression and contributed to the outbreak of WWII. Led by the great John Maynard Keynes, they preached free trade as the road to both economic growth and peace. Thus was the postwar trading system founded in 1948 on free-trade principles.

    Those associated with the Austrian school of economics know that we can call Keynes many things but “great” is not among them. While there is much to digest in the preceding paragraphs, one can be sure that American prosperity and the rise of large-scale manufacturing did not come about because the governments at all levels restricted trade. For that matter, as economic historians like Robert Higgs and Tom DiLorenzo have noted, many of the so-called American System projects, especially those involved with transportation via canals and railroads, were neither models of economy nor free of massive corruption.

    (Because of limitations of space, I defer to excellent works on US economic history by Higgs, DiLorenzo, and Burton Folsom, who have looked at the so-called American System in detail and find a gap between the myths and the facts.)

    The growth of industries such as steel and the development of the automobile did not come about because the USA had high protective tariffs but rather because entrepreneurs had the freedom to pursue profitable ideas. Yes, a system of high protective tariffs did exist at that time, but to say that tariffs and other government-sponsored projects such as canals or railroad subsidies created prosperity is to engage in the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Furthermore, if protectionism creates prosperity, as the author claims, then how can one reconcile the fruits of protectionism with the fact that the USA itself is a very large free trade zone in which people within states and localities freely exchange with each other?

    In order to escape his own logical fallacies, Prestowitz then turns to economic historicism, a doctrine that says there are no laws of economics, as epochs of history themselves determine what set of economic arrangements will succeed and fail. Writers such as Karl Marx and Thorstein Veblen, for example, fell into the historical camp. Prestowitz writes about the effect of the reduction of tariff barriers in the USA following World War II:

    It worked—for 25 years. During this economic golden era, GDP more than doubled. Dramatically rising productivity made it possible for single-earner families of eight like mine to enjoy middle-class life while sending the kids to college without borrowing.

    By the mid-1970s, however, the United States began to experience trade deficits and balance-of-payment problems for the first time in nearly a century, as German Volkswagens and Japanese TVs showed up in American driveways and living rooms.

    Note that in these paragraphs, there are no “whys,” just things that happen. Japanese televisions just “happened” to “appear” in American living rooms and German cars just “happened” to suddenly occupy American roads. There is no causality, nothing. There is no explanation as to why GDP in the United States rose in the postwar years and no reason that imports showed up on our doorsteps. He gives a halfhearted response which raises even more questions about his own logical processes:

    Harvard economist Dani Rodrik notes that U.S. free-trade doctrine rested on questionable assumptions (e.g., permanent full employment) and ignored key realities like economies of scale (costs falling as production rises) and non-tariff barriers to trade (varying safety standards, monopolies).

    Furthermore, he goes on to claim that nations that were poorer than the USA (and still are) turned the tide by creating systems of government subsidies and other protections from imports that enabled manufacturers in their countries to create goods that ultimately supplanted domestic goods in the US markets. He gives the example of Japan subsidizing steel and countries like China subsidizing just about everything else.

    One does not dispute that other countries used subsidies, but there is a problem Prestowitz fails to address. Subsidies by definition must be taken from profitable portions of the economy and then applied to the unprofitable sectors. For example, if Japan were to subsidize its electronics industry, then every sale of a Japanese TV in the USA would be drawing from the accounts of Japanese industries that were profitable without subsidies, weakening those industries in the process. Prestowitz, furthermore, does not say that the subsidized industries suddenly became profitable, but rather that they continued to operate because of taxpayer largess, which means that countries like Japan and China weakened their own economies in order to sell products to Americans.

    It is obvious that this is not a sustainable situation, which is why even hard-core protectionists always emphasized that the “infant industries” being subsidized sooner or later would have to grow into production adulthood. There is no way around this problem, as even the most creative methods of accounting cannot turn deficits into assets. Subsidies must come from somewhere, and the only place from which they can come is from those economic assets that are profitable. Anything else turns into an economic form of cannibalism.

    In the end, we are left with a morass of contradictory thought, all undergirded by a conservative version of historicism. Free trade helped us to prosper until it didn’t. All of the successful industries in US history that created wealth were subsidized, except for those that weren’t. And so on.

    One of the allegedly redeeming factors of conservatism was that it allegedly was grounded in a factual reality that recognized the natural limits of humanity and the universe. In its religious form (Christianity) conservatism understood the implications of original sin and the limitations it placed around people.

    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.

    So, according to Prestowitz, if Joe Biden wants to provide vast subsidies for American businesses, we are to assume that cronyism, rent seeking, and other behaviors that always have accompanied government-directed business investment will disappear because, well, because we are Americans. We accept the slogan “Build Back Better” and run with it, no questions asked.

    Author:
    Contact William L. Anderson

    William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.
    https://mises.org/wire/conservatives...rade-straw-man
    Chris

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  3. #2
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to CCTelander again.

    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.
    Gee, it's almost as if things like the 1986 Semiconductor Trade Agreement happened in an alternate dimension, and not at all in this universe.

    All of the following video is highly relevant to the OP article, but see especially @ 10:13 and after:

    Saagar Enjeti is Clueless About Industrial Policy: Semiconductors
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2MF_3km_eg
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 12-23-2021 at 10:08 PM.

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  4. #3
    To whatever degree you are dependent on foreign resources or industry you will be forced to engage in geopolitics either as a primary actor or a side taker to ensure your access.

    Free trade is the first step to globalism and global government as a natural consequence of how markets work.

    Noninterventionism can only be achieved to the degree that you are self sufficient for your needs.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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

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    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.
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    A Zero Hedge comment

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    To whatever degree you are dependent on foreign resources or industry you will be forced to engage in geopolitics either as a primary actor or a side taker to ensure your access.

    Free trade is the first step to globalism and global government as a natural consequence of how markets work.

    Noninterventionism can only be achieved to the degree that you are self sufficient for your needs.


    a +100 rep coming from me on this post might seem out of character, but @Swordsmyth; really phrases this well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    To whatever degree you are dependent on foreign resources or industry... (emphasis cjm)
    I'm a huge international/free trade advocate but I agree that if an entity (individual, organization, community, or nation-state) becomes dependent on an external source, that same entity can become subject to, or "owned" by, that external entity. That's why we, as individuals, prep -- to maintain our independence. I leverage the local electrical and gas grids to heat my house but I'm not dependent on them because I have a firewood option and I also have the capability and capacity to acquire and store firewood in what might be considered a strategic reserve. If my relationship with those grids sours, or if they try to blackmail me (get a vax or we cut you off), I have contingency plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Free trade is the first step to globalism and global government as a natural consequence of how markets work.
    I agree with this within the context of an entity allowing itself to become dependent (I'm assuming that was the intended context). If independence is maintained, through strategic reserves, diversification of sources, or whatever... I don't see global government as a natural consequence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Noninterventionism can only be achieved to the degree that you are self sufficient for your needs.
    The only modification I'd suggest here is "Successful Noninterventionism." An entity can exercise a noninterventionist policy but without self-sufficiency or independence, it will either have its arm twisted into something harmful to itself or it will be taken over.
    Last edited by cjm; 12-24-2021 at 04:51 PM.
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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cjm View Post


    a +100 rep coming from me on this post might seem out of character, but @Swordsmyth; really phrases this well.



    I'm a huge international/free trade advocate but I agree that if an entity (individual, organization, community, or nation-state) becomes dependent on an external source, that same entity can become subject to, or "owned" by, that external entity. That's why we, as individuals, prep -- to maintain our independence. I leverage the local electrical and gas grids to heat my house but I'm not dependent on them because I have a firewood option and I also have the capability and capacity to acquire and store firewood in what might be considered a strategic reserve. If my relationship with those grids sours, or if they try to blackmail me (get a vax or we cut you off), I have contingency plans.



    I agree with this within the context of an entity allowing itself to become dependent (I'm assuming that was the intended context). If independence is maintained, through strategic reserves, diversification of sources, or whatever... I don't see global government as a natural consequence.



    The only modification I'd suggest here is "Successful Noninterventionism." An entity can exercise a noninterventionist policy but without self-sufficiency or independence, it will either have its arm twisted into something harmful to itself or it will be taken over.
    Well said.

    My position is that free trade WILL create dependence.
    The Globalists openly tout the interdependence creating aspects and the free trade theory of Relative Advantage predicts it.

    If you have free trade for perfumes then you will probably be able to do without them and avoid engaging in geopolitics but you will create a base of people who depend on imported perfumes who will push for interventions.
    If you become dependent on imports for food or ammunition etc. you may have no choice.
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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 Swordsmyth View Post
    My position is that free trade WILL create dependence. The Globalists openly tout the interdependence creating aspects and the free trade theory of Relative Advantage predicts it.
    Right. Conservatives and libertarians often have different value systems. This isn't so much an economic question as it is a cultural one. The right tend to see value in intangibles and what they may bring to a person's life. Whereas libertarians seemingly only care about their wallets.

  8. #7
    I don't believe in unrestricted Free trade.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    My position is that free trade WILL create dependence.
    Gotcha, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree there. I agree that free trade can cause an unhealthy dependence if not done wisely, but I don't believe it's guaranteed.

    Quote Originally Posted by familydog View Post
    Right. Conservatives and libertarians often have different value systems. This isn't so much an economic question as it is a cultural one. The right tend to see value in intangibles and what they may bring to a person's life. Whereas libertarians seemingly only care about their wallets.
    Many libertarians, including the vast majority of libertarians that I know, are culturally conservative. They also see the "value in intangibles and what they may bring to a person's life" but don't try to enforce those values on the rest of the world with AGWs. Or are you saying that the use of AGWs is the difference in value systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
    I don't believe in unrestricted Free trade.
    You don't have to worry about that. Unrestricted free trade will never be an option. Even if there was a libertarian miracle to remove all restrictions on international and domestic trade, the Fed will still be there to "manage" the money supply and interest rates.
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  11. #9
    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.
    Anarchists, however, have promoted free trade for decades and seem to be impervious to any arguments to the contrary, no matter how illogical free trade policies might be.
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  12. #10
    Free trade creates dependency, destroys culture, and exports wealth.

    If you want what's best for "the globe", then free trade is great.

    If you want what's best for your community (including yourself), free trade is $#@!ing stupid.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Trump Jr 2024!!!!

    My pronouns are he/him/his

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    Free trade creates dependency, destroys culture, and exports wealth.
    The old TheTexan is back!!!

    Finally, you're a hilarious pretend moron again!
    There is nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency, but a globalism where free trade is competitively subsidized by each nation, a continuous trade war is dictated by the WTO, and the single currency is pure fiat, fear is justified. That type of globalism is destined to collapse into economic despair, inflationism and protectionism and managed by resurgent militant nationalism.
    Ron Paul
    Congressional Record (March 13, 2001)

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    The old TheTexan is back!!!

    Finally, you're a hilarious pretend moron again!
    Pretend moron?
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Trump Jr 2024!!!!

    My pronouns are he/him/his

  15. #13
    Trade only takes place is both sides feel like they gain. Placing barriers to Americans trading is saying you want Americans to be worse off. You can't influence the policies of other countries but you can influence American policies. Unilaterally eliminating all barriers is the only rational policy unless you are a misanthrope.

    Countries don't trade. People do. If Wal-Mart wants to buy something from anyplace in the world, any barrier is infringing on a fundamental human right to do with there property as the please.

    Trade is how civilized people deal with each other. When goods cross borders armies don't. Free trade is the foreign policy of a free society.

  16. #14
    Leftarians will choose free trade over non-interventionism every time.
    Their supposed dedication to ending wars and interventionism is just as hollow as the rest of the left.

    Notice how they refuse to even deal with my point and just resort to selfish economic arguments that disregard interventionism and the independence and liberty of our nation.

    They are camp followers to the globalists and they care not for liberty at home or abroad, they will happily exploit slave labor if they themselves can make a buck:

    The House of Representatives late Wednesday passed legislation to ban all goods from China’s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang over concerns about forced labor.

    The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which passed the Democrat-led chamber by an overwhelming vote of 428-1, now heads to the Senate. It would need to pass the Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

    Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was the only lawmaker who voted against the measure.

    The measure would create a “rebuttable presumption” that all goods from Xinjiang, where the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has set up a vast network of detention and reeducation camps for Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, are made with forced labor.

    To bypass the import ban, entities would be required to prove, with “clear and convincing evidence,” that their goods from the Xinjiang region are not made with forced labor.

    The bill also requires the president impose sanctions on foreign officials that he determines have “knowingly” engaged in or facilitated forced labor of victims in Xinjiang.

    It also requires the Secretary of State to, with in 90 days of the legislation’s enactment, determine whether forced labor and other human rights abuses against Uyghurs and minorities in Xinjiang “can be considered systematic and widespread, and therefore constitutes crimes against humanity or constitutes genocide.”
    More at: https://www.theepochtimes.com/house-...s_4146931.html

    Mr Massie said that he voted “no” as he believed that the US should not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, reported The New York Times.
    And what they exploit abroad will come home like chickens to their roost.
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by familydog View Post
    Right. Conservatives and libertarians often have different value systems. This isn't so much an economic question as it is a cultural one. The right tend to see value in intangibles and what they may bring to a person's life. Whereas libertarians seemingly only care about their wallets.
    Libertarians will sell the commies the rope to hang them with and pay the globalists money to get premium Beast Mark status.
    (Hell forbid they should be unable to buy and sell)
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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 Swordsmyth View Post
    Libertarians will sell the commies the rope to hang them with and pay the globalists money to get premium Beast Mark status.
    (Hell forbid they should be unable to buy and sell)
    Libertarians are the enemies of liberty?
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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cjm View Post
    Libertarians are the enemies of liberty?
    Many are.
    Some are wolves in sheep's clothing and others are just fools.

    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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

  21. #18
    I'm in favor of free trade. As long as there are massive tarriffs
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Trump Jr 2024!!!!

    My pronouns are he/him/his

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Many are.
    Some are wolves in sheep's clothing and others are just fools.
    Which one is Ron Paul? A wolf in sheep's clothing? Or a fool?
    There is nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency, but a globalism where free trade is competitively subsidized by each nation, a continuous trade war is dictated by the WTO, and the single currency is pure fiat, fear is justified. That type of globalism is destined to collapse into economic despair, inflationism and protectionism and managed by resurgent militant nationalism.
    Ron Paul
    Congressional Record (March 13, 2001)

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    I'm in favor of free trade. As long as there are massive tarriffs
    Me too.But I'm totally against Free Trade with countries like china or Saudi Arabia.

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
    Me too.But I'm totally against Free Trade with countries like china or Saudi Arabia.
    With a sufficiently high tarriff I don't see the harm.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Trump Jr 2024!!!!

    My pronouns are he/him/his

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
    Me too.But I'm totally against Free Trade with countries like china or Saudi Arabia.
    Part of free trade is that you are free not to trade with them if you don't want to.

    You just don't have any right to interfere with others who choose differently than you.
    There is nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency, but a globalism where free trade is competitively subsidized by each nation, a continuous trade war is dictated by the WTO, and the single currency is pure fiat, fear is justified. That type of globalism is destined to collapse into economic despair, inflationism and protectionism and managed by resurgent militant nationalism.
    Ron Paul
    Congressional Record (March 13, 2001)

  26. #23
    What? Swordshyll is creating strawmen, labeling them "libertarian" and bashing them?

    Again?



    You just don't care what a libertarian really is, do you shyll?

    So if you get to redefine "libertarian" (with help from a treehouse) do I get to define American conservative? Prone to conserve and retain massive government once it's in place, totalitarian AF whenever it suits them to be, and principled only when convenient. Hey. Mine aren't all straw men.
    Last edited by acptulsa; 12-29-2021 at 10:44 AM.
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  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Which one is Ron Paul? A wolf in sheep's clothing? Or a fool?
    In all fairness, he said many are, not all are. Real libertarians (like Ron) are friends of liberty. Fake libertarians (wolves in sheep's clothing) are definitely enemies of liberty. As for the fools, I take that to mean the clothing-optional LP types. I don't know that I'd call them enemies of liberty, but I do think they undermine the message in electoral politics.

    Is that a fair summary @Swordsmyth;?
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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by cjm View Post
    In all fairness, he said many are, not all are. Real libertarians (like Ron) are friends of liberty. Fake libertarians (wolves in sheep's clothing) are definitely enemies of liberty. As for the fools, I take that to mean the clothing-optional LP types. I don't know that I'd call them enemies of liberty, but I do think they undermine the message in electoral politics.

    Is that a fair summary @Swordsmyth;?
    Perhaps you're right. I gathered from the context that he meant to include all libertarians who support free trade in one of those two categories.
    There is nothing to fear from globalism, free trade and a single worldwide currency, but a globalism where free trade is competitively subsidized by each nation, a continuous trade war is dictated by the WTO, and the single currency is pure fiat, fear is justified. That type of globalism is destined to collapse into economic despair, inflationism and protectionism and managed by resurgent militant nationalism.
    Ron Paul
    Congressional Record (March 13, 2001)

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Perhaps you're right. I gathered from the context that he meant to include all libertarians who support free trade in one of those two categories.

    I don't agree with Ron Paul on Free Trade but I still like him a lot on other issues.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by cjm View Post
    In all fairness, he said many are, not all are. Real libertarians (like Ron) are friends of liberty. Fake libertarians (wolves in sheep's clothing) are definitely enemies of liberty. As for the fools, I take that to mean the clothing-optional LP types. I don't know that I'd call them enemies of liberty, but I do think they undermine the message in electoral politics.

    Is that a fair summary @Swordsmyth;?
    Exactly.
    The Wolves in Sheep's clothing are the ones who advocate globalist anti-liberty policies on purpose, the fools are those that advocate them out of ideological derangement. (most of the clothing optional types are the latter but some may be the former, you really can't tell unless you connect them up to people like the Kochs)

    On this specific subject, Ron is an advocate of tariffs so he is not either. (It's the same with immigration, I am more aggressive than he is but he has always been an advocate of strong borders and controlled immigration)
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
    I don't agree with Ron Paul on Free Trade but I still like him a lot on other issues.
    Ron wants tariffs, that puts him closer to us than to the leftarians.
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Invisible Man View Post
    Part of free trade is that you are free not to trade with them if you don't want to.

    You just don't have any right to interfere with others who choose differently than you.
    We know you think you should be allowed to sell them the rope to hang us with.
    We have no duty to let you.
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    With a sufficiently high tarriff I don't see the harm.
    The harm is that it gives enemies a beachhead into our country and creates a lobby of people who share their interests and are dependent on them who will seek to please them by supporting policies they want. (including various foreign interventions)
    Since they are enemies that will threaten to destroy us.
    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 mankindÖitís people I canít 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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