Hell with that. Let’s put a bounty on ’em. Take the pelts down to the bank to trade for a free toaster oven, while supplies last.
I like free trade – I just don’t like snooty ideologues who won’t take their own country’s side in a trade fight. The ideal market means a willing buyer and a willing seller paying a mutually agreed price for goods or services with minimal government interference. That’s called “capitalism,” and as a business owner and someone who digs prosperity, I really like it. So why am I not wetting myself about Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs?
Cue the True Conservatives™ to tell me it’s because I’m stupid and terrible and awful. I know how they work. It was only a few years ago that I might have been with them. And they aren’t totally wrong opposing trade barriers – in the macro, free trade is a powerful engine of prosperity, the most powerful ever devised. But the key part of “free trade” is the “free” part, and they never want to talk about that when it comes to holding the foreigners accountable.
My question, one a lot of Americans before me have been asking and that no one seems to want to answer, is “When does this free trade stuff actually start?” I mean, if we’re going to have free trade, we all understand that this involves us lowering our barriers to imports. Fair enough. We have dropped our barriers – the trade deficit is enormous. We buy from everyone. We got importing stuff down. But what about the other guys, though? We export a lot, to be sure, but is it on equal terms?
We never seem to hear much about that from the Free Trade Crew – a crew I was a part of not long ago, and with which I still sympathize. It’s a simple question – “Do foreigners have exactly the same barriers to entry to their steel and aluminum markets as the United States does?”
And if not, why the hell should we put up with it?
Why, because reasons, of course.
Here’s the thing – foreigners are not always facing the exact same barriers to entry into the United States market as Americans are facing to entering foreign markets. Look, if a U.S. company can’t compete on a level playing field, that’s one thing. Sorry guys. But when it has to push a boulder uphill, that’s another.
Here’s what interests me: other countries are never, ever scolded by our own wet-brained rulers for pursuing their own national interests. Not one liberal or conservacuck shows the least evidence of dismay over, say, the Chinese government Putting China First. But they scream like a live piglet in boiling water over the proposition when even the lowliest ordinary American suggests it might not be a bad idea for us, let alone when Trump does. For them it’s nothing less than a crime against humanity to advocate promoting US interests. Most of them don’t even like to admit that the US might have national interests at all.
I’d like to avoid skirting the edges of fair use and refrain from too much excerpting in order to get to Kurt’s main point, but this next bit is too much to resist:
Well, there are consequences when you ignore the expressed concerns of a large group of Americans. One is named Donald. Trump did not campaign as a free trader – instead, he campaigned as a fair trader and promised that he would put America’s interests – not the interests of the corporate bigwigs who don’t mind sacrificing our people on the altar of their balance sheets – before anything else. Trump ran against 16 others who failed to pick up the torch, and then against a drunken felon who actively hated the Normal Americans who build and feed and fuel this country.
Heh. Told ya it was good. On to the gist.
There’s always some reason we can’t stick up for our own people. There’s always some reason we can’t offend the foreigners. There’s always some principle that demands Americans who didn’t get fancy degrees like we did be the ones getting shafted.
Weird how that works. Except it isn’t working anymore. To the extent free trade has a bad name, it’s because the free traders are less concerned with actual free trade than with the purity of their doctrine. Our voters are not going to support a system where they are getting the short end of the stick, nor should they. How about we demand equal trade terms, and when we don’t get them we make it painful? Because if someone has to suffer the pain that comes with unfair trade, I vote it be the people trading unfairly.
Dammed skippy. Increasingly, though, I find myself way more at ease with tariffs than Schlichter professes to be. There’s a side benefit here he might be missing:
I can’t find another clip I saw earlier wherein steel workers were waxing very damned joyous indeed over the prospect of 500 American workers getting back in harness again.
Now think of it for a minute: it’s a safe bet that almost all of these guys are union guys, Northeastern blue-staters at that. To a man, they’ve probably been as reliably Yellow-Dog voters for Democrats as can be imagined, for their whole lives. Straight-ticket guys. They’re as deeply ensconced in the Democrat Socialist Party’s pocket as urban blacks. Solid, manly fellows for whom voting Republican was about as unthinkable as playing Culture Club on the beer-joint jukebox after work. Or publicly tongue-kissing Boy George there, for that matter.
And now they’ll probably never vote Democrat Socialist again—some, if not most or even all of them. At the very worst, they’re going to be giving it all some very careful consideration as they watch Democrat Socialists and their Vichy GOPe partners alike collapse in conniptions over the awful doom that Trump’s tariff ATROCITY! will no doubt unleash on us all.
Better still, the ones that held onto their jobs during the American steel industry’s long collapse just found their wallets a bit fatter by the Trump tax cuts, along with the bonuses and raises that resulted from them. All of which Pelosi the Louse recently pooh-poohed as “inadequate,” after years and years of never once having put anything into anybody’s pocket except her own.
So once again the Democrat Socialists find themselves in the position of having to argue AGAINST American economic success—against renewed prosperity and hope for the very working stiffs they claim to be so selflessly defending. Against Putting America First. Against Making America Great Again. In short, against every single damned thing that might be of help to them and their families. Things that they can already see helping them, in quite tangible ways. Things that they are experiencing the benefits of directly, not sometime in the hazy future, but right the fuck NOW.
I repeat: the Democrat Socialists are AGAINST all that. They have no other choice. It’s the corner they’ve painted themselves into. Took ’em decades to do it, and now there’s no good or easy way out.
The inescapable takeaway: if it’s good for the Democrat Socialists, it’s bad for America, and vice the versa. Yeah, THAT’S sure to be a winning message come November
Delicious, ain’t it? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of assholes.