04/21/2017

Free Trade Is For Patriots

Samuel Gregg, The Stream

Over the past four years, Americans have turned against free trade. A majority now see free trade as bad for America. The biggest growth in anti-free trade feeling has occurred among Republicans and conservatives.

There are many reasons for this shift. For one thing, not all Americans immediately win from the opening of markets. Another problem is free trade’s politically-poisonous association with the Davos internationalista set.

That’s why it’s so vital for those who believe in free trade to ground this belief in love of country. American protectionists have always wrapped themselves in the Stars and Stripes. To support tariffs and subsidies, they say, means you’re a patriot. To favor free trade, the argument goes, implies that you care more about Japan than West Virginian coal miners. President John Quincy Adam’s Secretary of State, Henry Clay was an arch-protectionist. He portrayed free trade as a way for the British to re-colonize the United States!

But American protectionists haven’t played the patriotism card for petty reasons. They know that Americans don’t view love of country as crude and outdated. Americans are still patriotic compared to, say, most West Europeans. Over half of Americans own a flag.

That’s why free traders need to explain that free trade is the true patriotic choice.

Protectionism is all about Special Interests

It’s ironic that so many people link protectionism with patriotism. After all, tariffs and subsidies aren’t designed to help America as a whole. Instead they favor key industries — even certain firms.

Take a look at what’s called the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. This consists of 22 Sections, 99 Chapters, and several annexes. Talk about “byzantine.” Several different tariffs may apply to the same product in different forms. Even a product as simple as mineral water gets snared in its net. There’s no logic to this. It likely reflects the fact that producers of one type of mineral water had better lobbyists than another.

How does this help America? It doesn’t. It just means that consumers pay more for some types of mineral water than others — for no good reason.

The steel industry also shows how the protectionist racket helps the few rather than the many. For 40 years, such policies have sheltered American steel producers from foreign rivals. To what effect? They have pushed up steel prices in the US.

Read full article



You May Also Like:

When Carter Page Met Stefan Halper The Wall Street Journal

Lying Liar James Clapper Just Lied Again About His Previous Lies About NSA Spying [Watch] Bre Payton, The Federalist

Tinker, Tailor, Clapper, Carter, Downer, Halper, Spy Mark Steyn, SteynOnline.com

Texas Laps California In Job And Population Growth Chuck DeVore, Forbes.com

HOW TO DESTROY A MAJOR CITY: One Week After Passing Massive Job Tax, Seattle Democrats Consider Huge Property Tax Increase Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire

Honest FBI Agents Step Forward: Want To Testify Against Their Deep State Masters Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit

NFL Adopts Policy To Fine Teams If Players And Personnel Don't Stand For National Anthem Kathleen Joyce, Fox News

How Junk Science Sends Innocent People To Jail [Watch] John Stossel, Rasmussen Reports

The Obamas’ Netflix Deal Proves It’s Time To Stop Paying Ex-Presidents Jonathan S. Tobin, New York Post

Let The Farm Bill Stay Dead Michael Tanner, National Review

Larry Elder: Kanye, The Media, And New Conservatives [Watch] Rubin Report

Right To Try Passes House, Trump Expected To Sign Mary Lou Lang, Washington Free Beacon

Tomi Lahren Viciously Assaulted At Brunch With Mom [Watch] Matt, Political Insider

You Have To Work!': Judge Lays Down The Law On 30-Year-Old Who Refused To Leave Parent's House [Watch] Jenni Fink, Independent Journal Review

Firefighter Earned $300K In Overtime By Working More Hours Than Actually Exist Eric Boehm, Reason

Welfare By Another Name James Rickards, Daily Reckoning

For More go to the Home Page >>>

Join Our Email List



section

Bookshelf

FreeMarket Central

Some titles recent, all recommended -

Special Video Feature

FreeMarket Central

Voices From The 2017 International Students For Liberty Conference

section

In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

Shadow Stats Snapshot


FreeMarket Central

ShadowStats alternate economic indicators are based on the methodology of noted economist John Williams, specialist in government economic reporting.

  • Unemployment:
    FreeMarket Central BLS: 3.93%
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 21.5%
  • Inflation:
    FreeMarket Central April Year-to-Year: 2.46% (CPI-U*)
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 9.9%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]

section