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Friday, March 23, 2018

No job, but cheap junk

"Think twice about tariffs, President Trump. Cheap imports keep your voters afloat," Matt Bai, a blogger for Yahoo News wrote.

The sneering, condescending economic ignorance of Bai holds that cheap goods at Dollar General are better than $75,000-a-year jobs building television sets.

There are of course no jobs building television sets. NAFTA and a score of other trade agreements -- treaties -- did us in. How do you think Clinton and Obama amassed eight- and nine-figure fortunes post-presidency.

The last American TV factory was a Zenith plant that a South Korean outfit shut down after it bought Zenith in 1995.

"In the early 1950's, more than 90 American companies made television sets. Today, the last American-owned television manufacturer, the Zenith Electronics Corporation, gave up its battle to survive on its own and agreed to sell a controlling interest to a South Korean industrial giant," the New York Times reported.

But who needs jobs when they have cheap TVs, Bai argued.

"To the extent that Trump’s program jacks up prices on imports at the big retailers, we’re not just talking about an impact on household budgets. We’re also pulling at one of the few remaining threads that may be keeping our society from spinning apart," Bai said.

Ah we are brought together by cheap TV sets.

The biggest "impact on household budgets" is this thing called a job. Yes, you show up five days a week, work your tailbone off, and on Friday they deposit a few hundred dollars in your checking account. It is magic.

But Bai is past that.

"You think we have anger and resentment now in parts of the country where the factories have shuttered and the banks are closing and families are coming unglued? Try raising prices on imported toys and cellphones and barbecues, just enough so that American families living on the edge of solvency can’t make the numbers work anymore," Bai wrote.

These imports are not cheap.

America subsidizes the communist government of Red China to the tune of a half-trillion dollars a year. That's how far imbalanced our "free trade" agreement with China is.

He opposes tariffs because he was taught they are evil.

And yet tariffs protected our industry in the 19th century, allowing our nation to establish its industrial might.

Just as China is doing now.

Such arrogance.


  1. All Americans only buy cheap junk except for rich Lefties.

    Another bitter clinger.

  2. Wow, I wonder where all the concern trolling from Bai was at when Obama and Obamacare crushed the working-class families living on the margins of solvency.

  3. If the federal government would return to its earlier method of financing itself through tariffs and abolish the federal income tax I would be more than happy to pay higher prices for products. Plus, it would cost no more to buy American-made products of higher quality than imported junk. - Elric

  4. More relevant: You have your iPhone but can't get a job.

    1. There are plenty of less expensive phones that perform very well.

    2. That's what Obamaphones are for.

  5. There are consequences for all actions. Some good. Some bad. More people working means more people off of the government dole. That should mean reduced government expense and workers to administer the programs meaning lower budget requirements and lower taxes (ha if our congress would ever cut expenses).

  6. The Japanese destroyed the US electronics industry in the 1960 with dumping subsidized by their government.

    J-School students are the dumbest kids on campus and the dumbest of the dumb end up at Yahoo or MSN News.

  7. As Steve Landsberg says, we have the technology to grow bananas in North Dakota but do not. Why?

  8. with a TV in every room
    Americans have reached saturation point
    threats too from Korea n u k e s

  9. TVs of impressive size and perfectly adequate clarity can be had at the thrift stores for ten dollars. Most thrifts have put a freeze on donations of further TVs that are not flat screens so the big cathode ray tubes can be had on craigslist for the carting away. A factory refurb smartphone was thirty dollars from my provider, even cheaper online. The materialism Bai attributes our relative tranquility to can be satisfied, if it is MATERIAL for pennies. What is really on display at the lines to the Apple stores is social/tribal hierarchy. The sneakers that are famously the object of so many fatal scuffles in da 'hood are no more comfortable nor durable than the old Chuck Taylors we used to go to school in. They have the cache of luxury branding, no more. He is right about one thing, though. With the low levels of employment (as opposed to unemployment) we have had since the 09 crisis (somewhat abated now) would have produced mass riots in the streets and spiking crime in any other epoch. Looks like a big causative factor in that always was boredom, now perpetually assuaged by the screens available to even the poorest of us here and the average fellow abroad.