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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The American hurt

I have long liked the work of Byron York of the Washington Examiner and Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. As I research and write my post-nomination book, I have come to appreciate them more (and Tucker Carlson of the Daily Caller).

They do legwork. Zito's column today is a good example. None of this will be in my book (alas, three-quarters of my research while good is not conducive to the story). So let me share this.




For her column today, Zito traveled to Piedmont, Ohio, which is near Cadiz, which is in coal country. The town thrived not long ago, but the EPA killed it.

From Zito:
Behind the counter, Jody Lawry, Barbara Larrison and Barb Wheeler greet customers warmly and cheerfully banter with each other.
All three are stunned to learn that two support Trump and the other “feels the Bern” of Bernie Sanders' candidacy.
“Wait, you like Trump too?” Lawry asks Larrison as Wheeler admits that Sanders has her vote.
“We never talk about politics here,” Larrison says. “And to be honest, people are cautious to admit if they like Trump because the media makes you feel as though that is something to mock.”
I have no idea how this affects Tuesday's primary.

But I can say that if she visited Nitro, West Virginia -- a town devastated by the loss of the chemical industry -- she would find similar reactions.

Blindly following open borders and never questioning unlimited free trade have hurt America almost as much as socialism does. But just like you cannot say you support Trump, you cannot say anything bad about free trade.

It is the Global Warming of the Conservative Commentariat.

31 comments:

  1. The problem, Don, is not free trade. The problem is the taxes, the regulation, and the govt culture that make it impossible for Americans to compete as they once did.

    Free trade works, but only for free economies.

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    Replies
    1. And the Left's dedication to making life more difficult and expensive for us.

      Delete
    2. Even seen some inner city clown try to catch a horse? They'll chase the dang thing all over the place till you take pity on 'em and put a bucket with a handful of oats in the bottom of it into their hands.

      My point? Wondrous things happen when there's a little bit of incentive in the mix.

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    3. For all the vitriol on the campaign trail, the Democrats and Republicans work hand in hand to hollow out our nation to pay for their city in the clouds.

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    4. The problem is that it isn't 'free trade.' Our adversaries negotiate lower or no tarriffs in areas favorable to themselves and use tarriffs against us to protect their own industries. They wage economic warfare against us and we aren't even aware of it as a nation. What we should be seeking is reciprocal trade. If Japan wants zero import duties on their automobiles and consumer electronics, then we get the same deal on agricultural products and supercomputers. It has to cut both ways.

      Delete
  2. You know those feral students of Bernie's that shut down the Chicago rally?

    Nothing is going to say "Loser!" in 2017 more than the "We Stopped Trump!" tattoos they all went out and got afterwards.

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  3. Blindly following open borders and never questioning unlimited free trade have hurt America almost as much as socialism does.

    Free trade is not about Piedmont, Ohio, Nitro, WV or even Welch, WV. Free trade is about expanding the economic engine that comes from eliminating locked doors. Over time NAFTA has brought favorable trade balance between between Mexico, United States and Canada, increasing volume from $290 billion to $1.1 trillion - all since the treaty began in 1993.

    U.S. inter-regional trade is now more in goods and services with Mexico and Canada than we do with Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, India, and China combined.

    That could not and did not happen without more jobs here. We need less tariffs not more, starting with cane sugar and ending laws that limit the exporting of carbon-based fuels. Then we need to get the government out of the way and build safe Thorium reactors for ourselves, instead of just for the Chicoms.

    If you are looking for forward thinking from Donald Trump, it ain't gonna happen - because he doesn't understand basic economics and truly has no interest in any subject other than Donald Trump.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Pardon moi but our trade deficits are mounting and we have lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.
      Trade deficits mount from Canada, Mexico and all these other nations. No company would continue such a contract for 22 years like this. The deal does not help the United States
      Renegotiate
      http://www.epi.org/publication/briefingpapers_bp147/

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    2. I suppose what gadfly means by "a favorable trade balance" is American treasure and
      american jobs going to Mexico and Canada.

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    3. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national employment in December 1993 was 120,295,190 versus 135,128,260 in May of 2014.

      Your cite was dated in 2003.

      So Holding My Nose, while an 11.1% increase over 20 years is not a big number, more people are working now and although I cannot prove what caused the increase, I read that NAFTA resulted in a national network being installed to handle our foreign trade volume. That is why I said that there have to be more jobs today and not less.

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    4. The argument for free trade also rested on the idea that poor people would be working. They would earn money. They would prosper and in turn buy American-made goods.

      I don't think that's going so well in China where prison labor is used. Plus, what are they going to buy if our manufacturing is outsourced?

      Finally, there's the argument that economic theories are good for the flow of money, terrible for people. These are real people losing their livelihoods. You want to try telling them to reskill themselves as waiters? You want to try telling them (as the National Review did yesterday) that they should suck it up and move to a place with a better job outlook? Like where, Washington, D.C.?

      Remember, the GNP benefits by having a married couple divorcing (lawyers get paid), putting their kids in childcare (day care workers get paid) and getting cancer (medical workers get paid). A one-income household with a non-working spouse in a paid-off house does not help the GNP as much.

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    5. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national employment in December 1993 was 120,295,190 versus 135,128,260 in May of 2014.

      Your cite was dated in 2003.

      So Holding My Nose, while an 11.1% increase over 20 years is not a big number, more people are working now and although I cannot prove what caused the increase, I read that NAFTA resulted in a national network being installed to handle our foreign trade volume. That is why I said that there have to be more jobs today and not less.

      Delete
    6. "Free trade is not about Piedmont, Ohio, Nitro, WV or even Welch, WV."

      So screw them, huh.

      Delete
    7. Just because you have interregional trade does not mean it all good. Why early in the 90's did so many Mexicans migrate North? They lost agricultural jobs to Iowa farmers who flooded Mexico with cheap corn. Then when it was decided to turn corn into a biofuel they took another hit as prices rose.

      The ban on exporting fuels ended last year. Nor will Cuban sugar be as cheap as you think it is if you add the costs for supporting cuban terrorism in the region. The fact is we don't have free trade, we have merchantilism one of the things the Founders fought against.

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    8. Don, you act like we don't get anything from imports. We get assets, in exchange for cash that is constantly decreasing in value. Now, if our government didn't make it excruciating to start and run a business, we'd benefit even more from being able to use these assets to produce more wealth, create more jobs and generate more cash, but even the status quo is an improvement if you don't make the mistake of conflating cash with wealth. Free markets benefit everyone, in everything, including trade.

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    9. Free trade is a good idea when it maximizes the use of the natural resources of the countries involved. But free trading human labor when half of a country's workforce is out of work is a poor idea. Unless your goal is to level the planet quickly on the backs of the American workers.

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  4. Salena is a regular on the John Batchelor show (radio). It's a podcast as well, and one of the smartest shows on, period. It's extremely solid on politics, books, etc. Check it out.

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  5. At least the air in Nitro is cleaner. Now if they could do something about the roads. - Elric

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. There's no doubt that socialism hurts America. Blindly believing salesmen who show up saying they can fix the problem you're facing, without looking at their references, has probably done just as much damage. They were called flimflam men

    Trump has a winning sales pitch, but a history that denies all of it.

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  8. If GOP and Democrats *really* believe in free trade, then they will cheerfully demonstrate that our trade with China and Japan is just as free as with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA partners).

    They would also consider, say doubling the business tax deduction ($2 out of every $5 in tax currently) for US wages/salaries up to $50K/yr per job. Or, simply lowering the business tax uniformly, say, to 15%.

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  9. Trade deficit doesn't include China buying US Treasury Bills, doesn't include Chinese smuggling their money out of China to buy overpriced US real estate. If a true include everything trade balance were calculated, betcha the trade deficit would be basically zero in comparison to current numbers.

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  10. Not to mention all the heroin and other drugs walking across our open borders.

    Is this a side effect of open borders or is this administration trying to keep us doped us and compliant? If that sounds crazy, it's not as crazy as the lefty/black leaders who accused Reagan of doing that to our inner cities.

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  11. When people cannot say what they think out of fear, there will someday be a great backlash.
    We won't hang our Mussolinis by their heels, drag our Ceausescus out and shoot them. But we can elect Trump and make their heads explode.

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  12. This nation is rapidly headed for collapse unless we get SOMEONE capable of calling a halt to the deficit spending. We're rapidly heading for $20 TRILLION in debt and we can't even get ONE politician with a chance of winning to even TALK about a balanced budget. All the rest of the stuff being discussed is secondary compared to that issue, and it's the one issue that every pol in the race has firmly decided to avoid discussing.

    We've got some damned hard choices to make as a nation and they're going to have to be made soon if we're not going down. The lefties are good with that because then they'll be able to seize power they don't now have on the grounds that "it must be done for the people/children/environment." The right should be pointing this out. Instead, we get false arguments about pushed female reporters and supposed lies by politicians.

    Until "We the People" DEMAND that our elected officials act like adults and not petulant children, and RESPONSIBLY ADDRESS the 800-lb gorilla in the room, we're going to continue on the fast track to national disaster. The only real question left is if we'll wake up before we get there.

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    1. And if you try, "Free Stuff Nation" will come to collect directly. How many of you and your neighbors can or will arm up and stop it?

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  13. Free trade is a Democrat policy, brought to the Republican party by RINOS.

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  14. Trumps policy on Trade is identical to Bernie the socialist, protectionism is a socialist idea, a leftist idea, a corrupt crony capitalist idea. On Mexico and Canada, they are also the largest destinations for US exports, hundreds of billions of US exports, with the total being very close to our imports from them. Those exports provide jobs, as many or more jobs that any imports cost us. And those are high paying jobs of the future, not jobs in decaying obsolete industries, with crony capitalists and corrupt labor leaders seeking special protection.
    While Trump and Bernie the socialist want to have their trade war to supposedly protect US jobs, they may want to explain to those millions of workers in US export industries to Canada and Mexico why Trump and Bernies trade war cost them their jobs. And what in the heck does this have to do with Coal Miners, the leftie EPA cost them their jobs, not free trade.
    ON China and others, we do have a real trade problem with them. But again not because they send too many imports to us, but because they dont accept enough exports from us. I would suggest a 1% tarrif hike on them each year, until they accept enough US exports to match at least 80% of their imports to us, and we can include fees for our intellectual property in that US export total. Let them meet the US export quotas any way they wish, scrap the 100 page treaties with countless loopholes and crony capitaist/labor carveouts, just insist they open their markets to US exports to almost match their our imports from them. As for what exports, let them choose what is best, based on comparative advantage, and what the US does best. One prime candidate I see is US ag exports, since the US farmers are the most productive in the entire world. Increased AG exports will do wonders for jobs in rural communities, since those newly rich farmers will buy locally and from the US.
    I know Trump or Bernie will never do a sensible policy like this, all they know is cheap demagoguery, but Cruz probably will.

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