09 Mar 2018

Tariffs in Perspective

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1910 Republican campaign poster.

Charles G. Mills does a good, and succinct, job of explaining tariffs, historically and politically.

President Trump has proposed significant tariffs on the importation of steel and aluminum. Should we support or oppose these measures? The answer is not simple; it lies in the details of the tariff law, rather than in a single principle about all tariffs. On balance, a significant tariff on steel and aluminum is worthy of support, despite its harmful effects.


5 Feedbacks on "Tariffs in Perspective"

Seattle Sam

Please explain how higher prices for everything made from steel and aluminum are worthy of support.


I did not vote for Trump in either the primary or the election. I am neither in favor of Protectionism or Nativism. But I was obviously outvoted. We are clearly going to have a wave of both.

Protectionism has a long history of debate in American politics, and has been out of fashion for a very long time. The current generation of living Americans is apparently determined to experiment with it again.


It’s not that simple. We, the U.S. and the world, has endured protectionism and nativism for decades now and almost all of it from our trading partners. We are the world’s cash cow. We have been milked and bled for decades and not by accident or ineffective negotiators. The globalists own us and the own our politicians. When you hear one of the Republicans (the Democrats are totally in the globalist pockets it is only a few rare Republicans who are not) clucking about how tariffs are bad it is true. U.S. tariffs are bad for all the politicians on the take and all the globalists and all the international corporations. But every country we trade with has tariffs and regulations that harm us. Ross Perot was right when he called NAFTA as the giant sucking sound as our jobs are sucked into Mexico (and to a lesser extent to Canada). But China is the biggest sucker and our biggest leech on our back.

What I hope Trump can do is bring equity and “free” to our free trade. I doubt anyone can, in fact it is probably a death wish. The globalist are serious. There is literally trillions of dollars on the line and the global elite aren’t going to let any American president ruin their scam. If I were Trump I would hire a food taster and vet the secret service around him.

The globalist intend to have it all. All our money, all our jobs and to own all our businesses and farmland. In fact they will probably pick, elect and install the next president (just as they did the last one).

Dick the Butcher

Monday to Wednesday last week the big money boys threw a tantrum and shot down the market. Not to worry they make money going both ways. In the game, the little guy loses going both ways.

Of course, there are right and wrong ways of imposing tariffs.

I think that the major push behind the absolute fear of tariffs is from Wall Street globalists and their hired, politician lackeys. In case you haven’t been paying attention (i.e., only reading Goldman Sachs analyses, the Fed, the MSM and the academy) it’s time to consider Main Street and end centrally-planned financial fascism (near-zero interest rates, huge assets purchases to boost asset bubble prices, too-big-to-fail) of the past ten years.

The two (China and India) fastest growing economies on the Planet have higher-than-US tariffs.

FYI by 1930, the Great Depression was in full swing. Other missteps (The Fed curtailing reserves and raising rates) were in play; and later FDR in 1933 confiscated all the American people’s gold money and devalued the dollar 69%, . . . Of course, Smoot is a facile means of diverting attention from all the other, rankly stupid stuff big government central-planners did to deepen and prolong the GD.

All this crowing about evil tariffs and trade wars may be examples of intellectual laziness (at best) or dishonesty (at worst) mixed with large doses of profiteering and globalist ideology.

Fred Z

It’s mostly arithmetic, which most people would rather die than do.

x million consumers saving $y per year vs. i million producers losing $j per year.

It’s my money, who the fuck are you to tell me I can’t buy from the chink over there?


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