Donald J. Boudreaux: Is Trump’s Ultimate Goal Global Free Trade?

The economic case against protectionism is practically invincible. While theoretical curiosities can be described in which an import tariff (or an export subsidy) yields to the people of the home country net economic gains, the conditions that must prevail for these possibilities to have practical merit are absurdly unrealistic.

Yet in their efforts to justify punitive taxes on fellow citizens’ purchases of imports, protectionists regularly trot out these theoretical curiosities. And none is more frequently paraded in public than is the assertion that high tariffs imposed by the home government today will pressure foreign governments to lower their tariffs tomorrow, with the final result being freer trade worldwide.

“Our tariffs are the best means for making trade freer and bringing about what Adam Smith and all free traders have desired: maximum possible expansion of the international division of labor!” protectionists declare with straight faces.

This protectionist apology for tariffs is as believable as is the apology often offered by today’s campus radicals for speech codes and the harassment of certain speakers: “Our insistence on silencing conservatives and libertarians is actually a means of promoting campus diversity and inclusion!”

Both declarations are Orwellian.

Trump Decades Ago

In the case of Donald Trump, the claim that he is at heart really a free trader who raises tariffs today with the aim of bringing about lower tariffs tomorrow — and all because he is committed to achieving free traders’ ideal goal of maximum possible expansion of the international division of labor — is especially preposterous.

Trump has pontificated on trade for decades, and every word out of his mouth clearly reveals a man who knows nothing about the economics of trade and who is as clichéd an economic nationalist as can be imagined.

Behold this line from a 1990 interview he did in Playboy: “The Japanese double-screw the US, a real trick: First they take all our money with their consumer goods, then they put it back in buying all of Manhattan. So either way, we lose.”

Let’s examine this unalloyed gem of economic witlessness.

Overlooking Trump’s outrageous exaggerations, such as his claim that the Japanese buy up “all” of Manhattan, we start by stating an obvious truth: the voluntary purchase of a good is not a transaction in which the buyer is “screwed” or has his or her money “taken.” Instead, the buyer’s money is voluntarily spent. While every person of good sense sees a foreign seller who makes attractive offers to domestic buyers as someone who improves the well-being of each buyer who accepts the offer, Trump sees this seller as a con artist or thief.

And so Trump ignores the value to Americans of the imports we purchase. In typical mercantilist fashion, he believes that the ultimate purpose of trade is to send out as many exports as possible in exchange for as much money as possible — money that in Trump’s ideal world is never spent on imports. His view on this matter is even more bizarre than that of ordinary mercantilists. For Trump, imports are not merely costs that we endure in order to export, they are actual losses. (Although it goes without saying, I’ll say it nevertheless: Trump does not understand that imports are benefits and that exports are costs.)

Furthermore, by describing the money spent on imports as “our money,” Trump reveals his belief that money earned by each American does not belong to that individual but, instead, to the collective.

Also in the fashion of the typical mercantilist, the presumption is that the nation is akin to a gigantic household whose members all share in and collectively own its money. And just as Dad justly superintends little Emma’s and Bobby’s spending to ensure that they don’t dissipate the family’s wealth, Uncle Sam must superintend his subjects’ spending in order to ensure that we don’t dissipate the nation’s wealth.

One other flaw in the above quotation from Trump’s Playboy interview is notable: he believes that foreign investments in America inflict losses on us. He doesn’t pause to consider that when we Americans sell assets to foreigners we regain ownership of some of the dollars that Trump, in his previous sentence, lamented are lost to Americans when we bought imports.

Nor does he ask what the American sellers of these assets do with the sales proceeds. Perhaps we invest some or even all of them. And if so, perhaps these new American investments will prove to be more profitable than are the investments made in America by foreigners. (By the way, contrary to another mercantilist myth, Americans are not made better off when foreigners’ investments in America fail. Quite the contrary.)

An even deeper error infects Trump’s “understanding” of foreign investment: he implicitly — and, once again, like all mercantilists — assumes that the amount of capital in the world is fixed. Only then would it be true that each American sale of assets to foreigners necessarily reduces Americans’ net financial worth (which is presumably what Trump means when he says that “we lose” when the Japanese purchase Manhattan real estate).

Trump Today

Trump continues to this day to warble the same cockamamie protectionist tune. To mention only one of dozens of recent examples, in April of this year, referring to the so-called U.S. trade deficit with China, he asserted that “we have been losing to China for many years, $500 billion a year.” Even ignoring the utter meaninglessness of that in which Trump finds deep significance — namely, bilateral trade deficits — how our voluntary purchases of goods from the Chinese, and how Chinese investments in America, result in our “losing” to China remains inexplicable.

Making matters worse is the release last month of a Treasury Department report that must be read to be believed. It’s a gusher of protectionist goofiness, evincing throughout an astonishing level of confusion about trade, as well as hostility to each country whose producers dare to sell to Americans more goods than American producers sell to that country’s consumers. Hoover Institution economist John Cochrane was being polite in describing this document as “institutionalized nonsense.”

It’s impossible to encounter the president’s incessant complaints and ignorant pronouncements about trade — as well as his inclusion among his advisors of wackadoodle protectionists such as Peter Navarro — and conclude that Trump’s ultimate goal in using tariffs is to achieve the free trade necessary to bring about the greatest possible expansion of the international division of labor.

The many people who today excuse Trump’s protectionism by attempting to camouflage it as bargaining aimed at making global trade freer completely ignore what the man says (and has long said). The only other possibilities are that these apologists are either as economically ignorant as is Trump or they are dishonest stooges. Whatever the explanation, none of these apologies for Trump’s tariffs warrants a smidgen of respect.

Donald J. Boudreaux is a senior fellow with American Institute for Economic Research and with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; a Mercatus Center Board Member; and a professor of economics and former economics-department chair at George Mason University. He is the author of the books The Essential Hayek, GlobalizationHypocrites and Half-Wits, and his articles appear in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York TimesUS News & World Report as well as numerous scholarly journals. He writes a blog called Cafe Hayek and a regular column on economics for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Boudreaux earned a PhD in economics from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Virginia.

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86 Responses to Donald J. Boudreaux: Is Trump’s Ultimate Goal Global Free Trade?

  1. stackja

    Fair trade would be good.

  2. Fair trade in an ideal world. Sadly, we do not live in an ideal world.

  3. On another note, I’ll believe these ‘economical perfessors’ when they demonstrate that they have run a successful business producing something of value, rather than spent their entire lives in academia or government.

  4. Roger

    Even ignoring the utter meaninglessness of that in which Trump finds deep significance — namely, bilateral trade deficits…

    Americans who’ve lost decent manufacturing jobs through offshoring might also find bi-lateral trade deficits significant.

  5. Arky

    Total strawman of Trump’s position.
    ..

    Overlooking Trump’s outrageous exaggerations, such as his claim that the Japanese buy up “all” of Manhattan, we start by stating an obvious truth: the voluntary purchase of a good is not a transaction in which the buyer is “screwed”

    ..
    It is obviously not the seller being screwed, you dope.
    Neither is it the sellers of Melbourne or Sydney’s entire middle suburbs to foreign “investors”.
    But an entire generation of local buyers pushed out into the middle of nowhere and commuting four hours a day while the new owners of the factories that used to be located here send their children to Monash uni as an anchor for when it all turns to shit in their home countries.
    What a greasy prick you are.

  6. Arky

    Also in the fashion of the typical mercantilist, the presumption is that the nation is akin to a gigantic household whose members all share in and collectively

    ..
    We get it.
    You are a globalist with no affinity for the place you live or the people you share that land with.
    You have no imagination, a car factory is just a car factory and a steel factory is just a steel factory and work is work.
    Why, you little people, rejoice in your cheap consumer goods and make those coffees and give up those blowjobs.
    Stop complaining about your shattered heritage. Fucking plebs.

  7. RobK

    Furthermore, by describing the money spent on imports as “our money,” Trump reveals his belief that money earned by each American does not belong to that individual but, instead, to the collective.
    I think this criticism is unjust, given the context of the interview; where he was asked:”if you were president”.
    If trade is lopsided, for extended periods, what measures can one apply to address it?

  8. Arky

    You could just have written:
    “We give you billions of dollars of plastic blow- moulded shit and dirt cheap meth.
    Shut up and blow me”.
    And the meaning would be the same.

  9. David from Canberra

    This article would have a lot more credibility if it referenced Trump’s actual positions and actions on trade as POTUS. Instead, it quotes extensively from an article from 1990 and makes the claim that Trump has said nothing more on the matter, and has not changed his mind, since then. An extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence, none of which is forthcoming.

    Arguing against what a private citizen says several decades before becoming a politician is just a smear.

  10. jupes

    Pretty sure Trump doesn’t use tariffs as an economic policy.

    Tariffs got a pretty good result for him in Mexico the other day.

  11. Arky

    For more than a century, postal services in various countries have, through the Universal Postal Union, agreed to deliver mail that originated in another country. This service used to be free, until a 1969 update required that postal services pay one another “terminal dues”—fees for delivering another country’s mail—based on how developed a country was: Countries whose postal services were still in transition could charge high dues, while developed countries like the United States would have to charge low dues. In 2006, a new law allowed the United States to enter into bilateral agreements with foreign posts, and essentially agree on terminal dues on their own.

    – The Atlantic.

  12. RobK

    Pyr,
    A very interesting link. The following two quotes are lifted from it. The MO is clear.
    1)

    As time goes on, I get more and more convinced that the right method in investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes.

    Then a little further:
    2)

    When I can persuade the Board of my Insurance Company to buy a share, that, I am learning from experience, is the right moment for selling it.”

    Simple really. A child could do it.

  13. Nato

    +1 to Jupes.
    He doesn’t seem to be using them so much for economic reasons as soft power weapons.
    Mexico blinked. China less so.

  14. Arky

    Mike DeVries lives in Iowa and has a store on eBay where he sells parts for agricultural equipment. A few years back, he was selling wheel bearings for a certain brand of lawnmower on eBay for $5 to $8 a piece. He also charged buyers for the cost of shipping. But all of a sudden, his sales stopped. No one was buying the wheel bearings anymore. He went online to see what had happened, and found that a seller in China was selling 20 wheel bearings for $9.99, plus free shipping. The Chinese seller was using ePacket to deliver the bearings, meaning they were paying almost nothing for shipping.

    -The Atlantic.

  15. Lilliana

    Also in the fashion of the typical mercantilist, the presumption is that the nation is akin to a gigantic household whose members all share in and collectively

    That’s exactly what it is – we share common values, heritage, customs, etc I am not ashamed to say that I am deeply patriotic. Free trade is great but it’s rarely the same as fair trade.

    Also people can’t be seen as just another factor of production, like a paper clip. Mass migration will be our down fall – unfortunately people are so blinded by cheap crap that they don’t see they are being replaced.

    In my city we have whole gangs of non Australian tradies who work on sites owned by non-Australians. The locals are being pushed out. It is a race to the bottom. This wouldn’t happen in their home countries but not one politician (well maybe one) has the balls to saying anything. We are being colonised and our “leaders” are silent.

    Globalistss are total hypocrites, they claim they love multiculturalism but travel to other countries to experience their “unique cultures” – the very thing they are destroying!!

    Basically, globalists are rich enough to enjoy the good “stuff” and the rest of us are just bigots, racists and economic imbeciles who just don’t get it.

  16. Bruce of Newcastle

    The economic case against protectionism is practically invincible.

    The economic case against war is practically invincible too. So why do wars happen eh?

    In short free trade is like peace. It takes both sides for peace and it takes both sides for free trade. It only takes one side for war and only one side for unfree trade.

    China has been rogering the world for a long time. They may on the surface accept FDI and trade but in practice once a company invests in China, or tries to sell their stuff to them, a whole series of unfortunate events always seems to occur. Until at last the company goes bankrupt, or pulls out leaving behind their gaoled executives.

    Trump is holding China to account, just as he held Mexico to account for rogering the US with illegal immigrants and enjoying the remittances. Once Mexico pledged to be responsible Trump removed the planned tariff. How amazingly amazing!

    Naïve trade purists like Dr Boudreaux are why China has managed to erect their giant trade firewall so successfully. Maybe he should get a job in the real world for a while.

  17. RobK

    ….that money earned by each American does not belong to that individual but, instead, to the collective.
    China is likely to take that view of their’s.
    I think the author is wrong on his analysis in this case.

  18. HP

    Tariffs are obviously being used as a bargaining tool by Trump. That is so obvious, you’d have to be a Libertarian ThinkTanker to miss that one. Trump uses tariffs as a counter measure in situations where he believes the US is not being treated fairly.

    The reason that tariffs are so effective a weapon in the hands of Trump, is that he’s not afraid to use it. He likes tariffs (as a counter measure). Trump’s willingness to follow through and slap tariffs on, is what makes the difference.

    Compare it to nukes – and what was learned during the Reagan years on negotiating with the Soviets:
    What good are your nuclear weapons, if the other guy knows you’d never use them?
    What good are your nuclear weapons, if you are guided by fear about what the other guy will do with his?
    The other guy must be certain that if he uses his nuclear weapons, you will respond with ever more devastating counter measures, offering him only clear no-win scenarios.

    Performing a simple find and replace: nuclear weapons -> tariffs, is all you need to see the logic that’s being applied here by Trump.

    Moreover, by performing that find-and-replace, you will also immediately recognise the Libertarians throwing hissy fits, as the present day incarnations of Neville Chamberlain. And that’s being generous in assuming that their institutions are not outright funded by the Chinese or Soros.

  19. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    In the case of Donald Trump, the claim that he is at heart really a free trader who raises tariffs today with the aim of bringing about lower tariffs tomorrow — and all because he is committed to achieving free traders’ ideal goal of maximum possible expansion of the international division of labor — is especially preposterous.

    let the unintended consequences of “ideal goal of maximum possible expansion of the international division of labor” sink in for a while…

  20. Ellen of Tasmania

    Debate on Free Trade, with Bob Murphy and Vox Day:

  21. mh

    The president’s decision to threaten tariffs on Mexico got concrete results.

    Last week we saw proof that tariffs work.

    Even the Wall Street Journal, whose generally indispensable and brilliant editorial pages regularly rail against tariffs, recognized the president’s achievement, writing the following:

    “In the course of a week, Mr. Trump managed to get Mexico to agree to two things that months ago would have seemed unlikely: Militarizing Mexico’s crackdown on migrants by deploying National Guard troops and expanding the ‘remain in Mexico’ plan for asylum seekers.”

    The anatomy of this latest tariff dispute tells us a lot about policy, our politics and government. We should learn the lessons. Everyone agrees we have a crisis at the southern border. Two weeks ago, 1,000 illegal immigrants literally just walked into the country, in El Paso, Texas. Our immigration system is not just broken; for all practical purposes, it doesn’t exist.

    But there is one person, it seems, who is actually trying to fix it: President Trump. That’s why he resorted to his tariff threat. It was a new approach, so of course, the establishment lost their minds. And the Republican establishment hated it, too.

    The response was knee-jerk, ideological … dogmatic. So here’s the first lesson: The establishment politicians and media should be more open-minded. Give new ideas and new approaches a chance.

    Instead, the way they were talking, tariffs on Mexico would be the end of our economy. They let ideology get in the way of the facts. Even though Mexico is our biggest trading partner, it’s still a tiny part of our economy. Imports from Mexico make up just 1.8 percent of our economy. And exports to Mexico are only 1.4 percent.

    It’s like the critics didn’t even look at it as a practical policy question. For them it was an article of faith — tariffs are bad. It was the same thing with all the nodding dogs on TV, spouting the same line about American consumers. “Tariffs are a tax.” “It will overwhelm the consumer.

    But hang on a second. President Trump has been introducing tariffs for over two years now, going back to April 2017 when tariffs on lumber imports from Canada went up to 24 percent. We’ve had tariffs on China and Canada on products, ranging from steel and aluminum to toothbrushes and washing machines.

    And what’s happened to prices in that time? We don’t have to guess, we have an actual measure. It’s called inflation.
    The average inflation rate for 2016 was 2.1 percent. 2017 was 2.1 percent; 2018 2.4 percent; and 2019 so far, 1.75 percent. It’s actually going down.

    Companies don’t just sit there and take it when tariffs are imposed, they respond. One person at least seems to get this:
    “The people aren’t going to have to worry about paying the tax because the companies are going to move back into the United States. There won’t be any tariff,” Trump said.

    He’s right. Companies are moving away from countries hit by the Trump tariffs. Especially China – and in a big way. A recent survey by Bain & Company showed that 25 percent of corporate executives who do business in China will be redirecting their investments out of the area, and 42 percent of them are expecting to source their raw materials from someplace else.

    Some of the companies leaving China include Varex Imaging, Universal Electronics, and GoPro. And the CEO of ControlTek, a company that used to have a lot of business in China, recently said, “We’ll design China out.”

    Just think about that for a moment. There is a massive policy lesson here. For decades the establishment looked on impotently as American manufacturing went to China. President trump comes in, imposes tariffs, and you see an immediate private sector response: “We’ll design China out.”

    Trump’s tariffs, derided by the snooty know-alls in the establishment, are turning out to be the most consequential – and positive – economic policy mechanism we’ve seen in decades. And it’s not just companies moving out of China. We’re seeing them move back to America, just as the president said. Toy giant Hasbro is the latest example.

    Another thing establishment geniuses say is you shouldn’t muddle up trade policy with immigration policy. Sen. Chuck Grassley said, “Trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.”

    Another Republican, Sen. James Lankford, was reported as saying that the administration “is trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change.”

    But why not? As Deng Xiaoping said, “Who cares if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice?” And as we’ve seen with the Mexico tariffs, it did. Very quickly.

    President Trump’s use of tariffs is an example of creative, entrepreneurial and above all, successful policy making. This was the whole point of Trump — to do things differently. To stand up to all the useless bureaucrats and naysayers bogged down in the status quo.

    I can imagine the meetings on this that the president has had the last few months. I’ve been in those policy meetings. Oh, you can’t do that, Mr. President, you’ll upset the Chinese. They hate losing face. Oh, Mr. President, if you do that we’ll get pushback. Let’s just give the officials a bit more time to work something out, Mr. President.

    Talk about Nervous Nancy Pelosi. The entire government machine is stuffed full of Nervous Nancys. Usually, the politicians give in. I’ve seen it, over and over again. That’s why nothing happens.

    But Trump is different. Imagine him in those meetings. I’ve had enough of all your negative crap. I want action. I want accountability. I want results. Yes! That’s what Americans voted for.

    The establishment idiots who condemn him for it care about style, not substance. As long as you behave the right way, say the right things, do it the way it’s always been done, they think you’re great, regardless of your actual results. That’s why they all loved Obama. He went along with it. He behaved the way the establishment expects.

    Trump doesn’t. That doesn’t make him bad; it makes him good. It’s the status quo that’s bad. The establishment is obsessed with Trump and his tweets, but he’s obsessed with you and your life.

    The final big lesson of this week is, of course, what’s not happening. The president shouldn’t be having to pressure Mexico the way he did. It should be our own government, not a foreign government, that fixes our immigration crisis.

    President Trump’s use of tariffs is an example of creative, entrepreneurial and above all, successful policy making. This was the whole point of Trump — to do things differently. To stand up to all the useless bureaucrats and naysayers bogged down in the status quo.

    And here we turn to the Democrats. Isn’t it sickening to see them on their high horse about the moral stain of Trump’s border policy? Nancy Pelosi has said, “A wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation.”

    Not who we are? Well, who are you then, Nancy? You’re actually the one standing in the way of the changes that would help prevent the exact things you complain about.

    Let border officials detain families for over 20 days. Let children claim asylum in their home country and then be reunited with their families if they’re already here. Change the asylum threshold from a credible fear to the likelihood of actually getting asylum. None of this even has anything to do with the wall that you say you hate – though of course, we need that, too.

    The Democrats are blocking common-sense immigration reform purely to score political points. It’s you, Nancy Pelosi, who’s exploiting desperate migrants for political gain. The young girls assaulted on their dangerous journey. The families that are separated because of our broken system.

    It’s on you, Nancy, not the evil Trump, but you. You are the person who is actually standing in the way of solving this problem.

    Adapted from Steve Hilton’s monologue from “The Next Reviolution” on June 9, 2019.

  22. You can only have free trade globally when there are no nations left to erect tariff barriers.

  23. Tariffs ain’t tariffs Sol.
    In today’s World, there is a big difference between across the board tariffs at the ports, and targeted tariffs on specific supply lines.
    e.g. If you apply tariffs on ALL widgets coming into the country regardless of where they come from, then the price of widgets may go up, contributing to inflation.
    However if you apply tariffs to widgets coming in from say, China only, then the widget makers and or widget importers will find new lines of supply.
    That’s exactly what’s happening now with respect to US tariffs on China.

    Furthermore, the “book learned” perfessers who don’t live in the real World can riddle me this if you please.
    If a local widget retailing for $1 with 80c of local input costs, is replaced by imports retailing for 80c with only 20c of local input costs, how does the local economy win?
    You don’t even have to include the costs of displaced workers retraining and or welfare, or the costs of trashed assets in rust belts.

    Open borders/mass migration libertarians who also preach SUPPLY SIDE economics seem happy to trash 60c on the supply side to gain 20c on the consumption side. NUTS.

  24. Funny how some people who preach freedom and the rule of contract/property law, are happy to see countries like China trash and abuse contract/property law. Not just happy, but they keep telling us we’re stupid backwater deplorables for not accepting the trashing of contract/property laws.

  25. Pyrmonter

    @ Baa

    Google ‘scientific tariff’ and read up on Australian history. There is no limit to the amount of nonsense people spin around what are pernicioius fetters on the abillity of men and women to lead their lives in the manner of their own choosing. Fallacious calls for mutuality (when mutuality adds little, if anything); horror stories about ‘predation’ and ‘subsidy’ that would put 6 year olds on cub camp to shame for the required credulity …

  26. Arky

    I should be able to trade with my country’s strategic rivals and all you statist pigs bringing up any consequences to the country as a whole are by definition mercantilists, tribalist fools and xenophobes.

  27. Rohan

    Given the tone of this article, sounds like they’re doing a Sam Dastardly PR job for the ROC. All for the princely sum of $5,000.00. This AIER outfit is the same one that posted The Huawei Test by a different author. Because China is good and ultruistic, so their tariffs are 100% justified. While Western countries and especially Donald Trump is bad for not trusting a communist state run teleco equipment supplier and entering a trade war by raising tariffs against Chinese imports in a quest for fair trade.

    Congratulations President Xi, another $5,000.00 well spent.

  28. Tom

    … cockamamie protectionist tune … a gusher of protectionist goofiness … incessant complaints and ignorant pronouncements about trade …

    Being an aggressive anti-Trumper is as easy as peeing your pants if you’ve never ventured out of your academic ivory tower to, you know, actually run a business or even to hold a senior government position overseeing trade.

    POTUS45 simply asks that you judge him by his results, as voters will do in 2020.

    In the meantime, ignorant peons like Boudreaux are just so much worthless white noise from the Never-Trump Resistance.

  29. Mother Lode

    Woops, originally posted on the wrong thread…

    Von Calusewitz’ famous line:

    “War is a mere continuation of politics with* other means”

    might be give rise to the Trumpian paraphrasis:

    “Tariffs are a mere continuation of politics with other means”.

    *Yeah, I know most people accept the translation as ‘by other means’ but Von Clausewitz definitely said ‘mit anderen Mitteln’, the point being that the other diplomatic and political channels are kept open. Otherwise there would be no end of a war until one side was utterly destroyed.

  30. If not tariffs, there are many other ways to increase the cost of imported goods to achieve much the same end result. Consider the EU rule that any digital camera that has video capability (just about every digital camera on the market) and can record 30 min or more continuously, is deemed a video camera and thus has to pay a levy. So every digital camera manufacturer limits the recording time to 29 min 59 sec.

    According to tax laws for some EU countries, any camera that records video for more than 29 minutes is classified as a “video camera” and subject to much higher taxes of 5 to 14 percent. So in order to get around it, DSLR cameras simply record less than 29 minutes at a time.

    https://liberty-intl.org/2017/01/how-the-government-broke-all-digital-cameras/

    The classification was decided not just based on digital cameras’ improving abilities to record video through its lens and sensor, but their ability to record direct input from external sources like televisions. A home video recorder tax would theoretically offset money lost from users recording movies off broadcast television or cable onto digital devices, though the EU has never been very clear on the tax’s intent. The tax’s consequence, though, has been felt in every digital camera user looking to use a DSLR in place of a camcorder, as camera manufactures would rather limit recording capability in software than raise the price of its cameras (or lower their margins).

    https://www.tested.com/tech/photography/44445-why-digital-cameras-have-a-30-minute-video-recording-limit/

    Duties, tariffs, what’s the difference?

  31. Iampeter

    We get it.
    You are a globalist with no affinity for the place you live or the people you share that land with.
    You have no imagination, a car factory is just a car factory and a steel factory is just a steel factory and work is work.
    Why, you little people, rejoice in your cheap consumer goods and make those coffees and give up those blowjobs.
    Stop complaining about your shattered heritage. Fucking plebs.

    LOL.
    Oh miene lebensraum!
    Won’t somebody think of the volk?!

  32. Shy Ted

    Bet Donald J Boudreaux wears big glasses and appears on Q&A soon.

  33. Pyrmonter

    @ Rohan

    Sam D’s problem wasn’t with the RoC, but the PRoC. Different beast altogether.

  34. Arky

    learn the difference between patriotism and fascism, troll.

  35. MACK

    This naive bloke clearly hasn’t read Silent Invasion by Clive Hamilton.

  36. BoyfromTottenham

    The best non-tariff story I have heard is how Japan (supposedly) stopped the import of (expensive, French) mineral water. On ‘health grounds’, all mineral water imported into Japan had to be removed from the bottle, boiled for x minutes to kill any germs, and re-bottled. End of mineral water imports, without a tariff! Genius.
    And on the tariff topic, it reminds me of the naive position of the League of Nations prior to WW2 – ‘if everyone disarms, there will be no wars’. Unfortunately, Corporal A Hitler did not disarm – and nearly won WW2 due to the governments of some of the future combatants taking too much notice of disarmament nonsense from the League of Nations. Fortunately, Churchill saw through this nonsense.

  37. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    As I suspected, there are quite a lot of closet socialists and populist interveners here. Trump is really raking it in on his tinfoil investment.

  38. @ Pyrmonter
    #3040179, posted on June 11, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Scientific tariff isn’t quite what I’m talking about.

    ‘Scientific tariff’: this linked tariffs to the wages in the country of export. If wages in, say Italy, were very low, then Italian goods were given a proportionately higher tariff. This negated the effect of lower wages in competitor countries.

    I don’t care about the wages or any other costs (environmental for e.g.) of imports.
    I’m talking about the effect on the local economy of having X dollars worth of industries destroyed for the benefit of 1/5X price reductions.
    This is why there is a “rust belt” in the US and similar in the industrial areas of Australia and elsewhere.

    There is no limit to the amount of nonsense people spin around what are pernicioius fetters on the abillity of men and women to lead their lives in the manner of their own choosing.

    Almost everybody utters nonsense when they are theorising. Theories are just that. I prefer to look at realities. The results are in.

    By the way, I consider myself a free/fair/reciprocal trader.

  39. Iampeter

    learn the difference between patriotism and fascism, troll.

    Says the guy spouting fascist gibberish that he’s confused for “patriotism.”

    Your total ignorance on the subject is matched only by your total lack of self-awareness.

  40. max

    Wave the Flag To Deceive
    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” These immortal words of Samuel Johnson leapt to mind when I read your drivel.

    When we hear the patriotic and protectionism story, we should remember
    appealing to loyalty to one’s own country is the act of a demagogue, of one who will say and do anything to gain public approval and political power. Primarily, it casts those who disagree as unpatriotic, hostile to the institutions and interests of their own country. Honest disagreement becomes character assassination. Underneath the appeal is the exploitation of bigoted or prejudiced feelings of the masses.

    “Buy American!” Use Prison Labor. Uncle Sam Does.
    Gary North – January 05, 2019

    If a U.S. government agency wants to buy solar panels, it must buy them from a U.S. government corporation. This corporation uses federal prisoners to assemble the panels. Prisoners are paid between 23 cents an hour and $1.15.
    This sounds like slave labor to me.
    But can slave labor produce sophisticated solar cells? Of course not. Then where do the prisons get solar cells? From Taiwan.
    You mean “buy American” means using American prisoners to assemble panels? By law, yes.
    How much does the Taiwanese firm get out of the deal? Initially, $218.6 million.
    The contract can be renewed.
    It turns out that this use of prison labor has been going on ever since 1934. The company is known as UNICOR: the Federal Prison Industries.
    UNICOR says the panels are made in America. Assembled, yes. Made, no. But the law says that “assembled = made.”
    UNICOR has a captive market: the U.S. government.
    This is not free enterprise. This is government-run economics. The big winner is the Taiwanese firm that manufactures the cells.
    Who knew about UNICOR? Yet it has been around since 1934.
    Who knew that this sort of deal is common?

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/19011.cfm

  41. max

    Let me tell you who else does not care about America in general: individual Americans. How do I know this? Because they do not “buy American.” They never have. When the federal government lets them buy whatever they want, they buy the cheapest good that will give them the value they expect. They do not care who makes it. They do not care if it is imported. They do not care if Walmart buys it from an American manufacturer in China or an American manufacturer in Chicago. All they care about is price and quality.

    American corporations decide what their customers will purchase. They make their decisions in terms of expected purchases by their specific group of customers. They do not care about customers in general. They should not care about customers in general. That is because the customers in general do not care about customers in general. Customers care about themselves. It is not their responsibility to make decisions on behalf of all the other customers in America, or in North America, or in the world. They have knowledge about what they want to buy. They have money. They decide what to buy based on what they want to buy and the money they have to buy it. It is silly to expect individual customers to make decisions based on the supposed effects of their individual decision on all other customers. They do not have this information, and even if they did have it, they would ignore it. They are looking out for themselves, not for all other customers. They are responsible for themselves.

    It is the mark of the mercantilist mindset that people blame corporations for their hiring and firing decisions, when the decision-makers in the corporations are simply acting as economic agents of their customers. Blame the customers; do not blame the manufacturers.

    We have met the enemy, and he is us.
    https://www.garynorth.com/public/11030.cfm

  42. max

    “Buy American!”
    Gary North – April 26, 2018
    “Americans have to pull together,” we are told. “They ought to help each other. If they don’t stop buying those foreign imports, they’re going to kill the U.S. economy.” In other words, “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.”
    But Americans have this distressing tendency—one shared by buyers in every nation in the world—to buy what they regard as bargains, irrespective of “Made in U.S.A.” stickers. When Americans “buy American,” they have in mind something very specific: “Buying what this American chooses to buy.” They are only slightly concerned with buying what another American chooses to manufacture.
    Does this indicate a lack of patriotism? Did all those people who bought Volkswagens in the 1950’s deal the national interest a body blow? After all, they could have bought De Sotos, or Studebakers, or Packards. Why, they could even have bought Hudsons. But they didn’t.

    Defenders of the tariff idea …
    They call the government to come to the aid of a particular American industry by imposing tariffs, quotas, or other import restrictions, and simultaneously they call for Congress to enact export subsidies, loan guarantees for exporters, and similar coercive wealth redistribution schemes. Amazing, isn’t it? Congress passes a tariff, and the next thing you know, American exporters are going bankrupt. So Congress passes export subsidies, and the next thing you know, prices for everything start going up. So Congress passes price controls, and the next thing you know, everything starts getting scarce. So Congress passes a rationing scheme, and the next thing you know, the world economy collapses. What’s a Congress to do?

    What Congress should do is to allow voluntary exchange. I buy, he sells. I sell, he buys. In fact, every time I buy, he is buying. I buy his goods and give him money; he is really buying future goods. He is “buying money,” but only because he expects to buy goods from someone who will be willing to accept the money later on. I sell him goods, and I “buy his money,” but only because I want to buy goods later on.
    When we ask people to “buy American,” what do we really mean? If we ask Americans to buy American-made products, and only American-made products, then we are telling American producers to sell to American buyers, and only to American buyers. If people who want all Americans to “buy American” are not willing to admit that they are calling for American producers to sell only to Americans, then they had better drop their slogan. Conversely, if they want foreigners to have the option of “buying American” from American sellers, then they have to allow Americans the option of “buying foreign” from foreign sellers.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/18003.cfm

  43. max

    Patriotism or Nationalism? By Joseph Sobran

    This is a season of patriotism, but also of something that is easily mistaken for patriotism; namely, nationalism. The difference is vital.
    G.K. Chesterton once observed that Rudyard Kipling, the great poet of British imperialism, suffered from a “lack of patriotism.” He explained: “He admires England, but he does not love her; for we admire things with reasons, but love them without reasons. He admires England because she is strong, not because she is English.”
    In the same way, many Americans admire America for being strong, not for being American. For them America has to be “the greatest country on earth” in order to be worthy of their devotion. If it were only the 2nd-greatest, or the 19th-greatest, or, heaven forbid, “a 3rd-rate power,” it would be virtually worthless.
    This is nationalism, not patriotism. Patriotism is like family love. You love your family just for being your family, not for being “the greatest family on earth” (whatever that might mean) or for being “better” than other families. You don’t feel threatened when other people love their families the same way. On the contrary, you respect their love, and you take comfort in knowing they respect yours. You don’t feel your family is enhanced by feuding with other families.
    While patriotism is a form of affection, nationalism, it has often been said, is grounded in resentment and rivalry; it’s often defined by its enemies and traitors, real or supposed. It is militant by nature, and its typical style is belligerent. Patriotism, by contrast, is peaceful until forced to fight.
    The patriot differs from the nationalist in this respect too: he can laugh at his country, the way members of a family can laugh at each other’s foibles. Affection takes for granted the imperfection of those it loves; the patriotic Irishman thinks Ireland is hilarious, whereas the Irish nationalist sees nothing to laugh about.
    The nationalist has to prove his country is always right. He reduces his country to an idea, a perfect abstraction, rather than a mere home. He may even find the patriot’s irreverent humor annoying.
    Patriotism is relaxed. Nationalism is rigid. The patriot may loyally defend his country even when he knows it’s wrong; the nationalist has to insist that he defends his country not because it’s his, but because it’s right. As if he would have defended it even if he hadn’t been born to it! The nationalist talks as if he just “happens,” by sheer accident, to have been a native of the greatest country on earth — in contrast to, say, the pitiful Belgian or Brazilian.
    Because the patriot and the nationalist often use the same words, they may not realize that they use those words in very different senses. The American patriot assumes that the nationalist loves this country with an affection like his own, failing to perceive that what the nationalist really loves is an abstraction — “national greatness,” or something like that. The American nationalist, on the other hand, is apt to be suspicious of the patriot, accusing him of insufficient zeal, or even “anti-Americanism.”

    When it comes to war, the patriot realizes that the rest of the world can’t be turned into America, because his America is something specific and particular — the memories and traditions that can no more be transplanted than the mountains and the prairies. He seeks only contentment at home, and he is quick to compromise with an enemy. He wants his country to be just strong enough to defend itself.
    But the nationalist, who identifies America with abstractions like freedom and democracy, may think it’s precisely America’s mission to spread those abstractions around the world — to impose them by force, if necessary. In his mind, those abstractions are universal ideals, and they can never be truly “safe” until they exist, unchallenged, everywhere; the world must be made “safe for democracy” by “a war to end all wars.” We still hear versions of these Wilsonian themes. Any country that refuses to Americanize is “anti-American” — or a “rogue nation.” For the nationalist, war is a welcome opportunity to change the world. This is a recipe for endless war.
    In a time of war hysteria, the outraged patriot, feeling his country under attack, may succumb to the seductions of nationalism. This is the danger we face now.
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/06/joseph-sobran/patriotism-or-nationalism/

  44. Arky

    Yes, yes.
    It’s Trump who’s the warmonger, not you globalist swine.
    Idiot.

  45. Arky

    How annoying it must be for you bow tie spinning fuckwits that the plebs see through you now.

  46. Iampeter

    Ahh, “globalist.”
    Like, “deep state” and “open borders,” not even the people using it know what they mean.
    These made up terms, are a symptom of today’s dying conservative movements utter lack of any political understanding.

    What do you mean when you say, “globalist swine?”
    Do you mean those that support destroying the West’s enemies, like we did with Imperial Japan?
    Do you mean religious conservatives, that have failed to even identify the enemy since 9/11 and have turned the West into a joke with decades of incompetent foreign policy?
    Do you mean those who support One World government via something like the UN?

    Who do you mean?

    Because these are all very different groups, completely at odds with each other, so can’t be described by one simplistic term.

  47. max

    Yes Arky, National socialists , They don’t understand that the free market is a system that rewards voluntary cooperation. “Let’s make a deal.” This is followed by: “Can I get a discount?”

    The free market is an open system in which buyers and sellers can work out mutually satisfactory deals. This benefits members of minority groups who are productive. They can undercut the competition. They can offer a better deal. This imposes a loss on all those who say: “I don’t do deals with those sorts of people.” They have to pay retail.

  48. Tel

    The free market is an open system in which buyers and sellers can work out mutually satisfactory deals.

    Provided there are rules … because without rules the concept of “property rights” becomes meaningless. Property rights invariably involve one person (or possibly a cooperative group of people) excluding all other people from use of some tangible thing.

    That leaves the question of who decides the rules, who should enforce the rules, and why I should care about anyone else’s preference in terms of their own property.

  49. Arky

    Good luck you global citizens.
    Well done in not needing the rest of us. I agree. I often think my fellow Australians are a drag. There are many people overseas I like much more.
    Where do you go to get those global passports?
    You fucking chicom stooge fuckwits.

  50. max

    Provided there are rules

    what rules are you talking about?

    Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?

  51. Arky

    Who could have predicted that the descendants of John Lennon’s hokey “Imagine there’s no countries” would be such dishonest and stupid dicks.

  52. max

    Arky baby:

    “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” ― Murray N. Rothbard

    David Hume:
    The greater part of mankind may be divided into two classes; that of shallow thinkers, who fall short of the truth; and that of abstruse thinkers, who go beyond it. The latter class are by far the most rare: and I may add, by far the most useful and valuable.

    Gary North:
    We get back to the bedrock reality of human thought, namely, that most people cannot follow long chains of reasoning. Only a relatively small group have this ability, and only within their specialties. Even they get sidetracked when it is in their economic self-interest to stop following a particular chain of reasoning.

  53. Roger

    Tariffs are obviously being used as a bargaining tool by Trump. That is so obvious, you’d have to be a Libertarian ThinkTanker to miss that one.

    I say, you’re clearly a socialist and a populist!

    [sarc off]

  54. Arky

    Tarriffs and trade are not exclusively or chiefly economic matters.
    They are political and strategic matters.
    And the geo- political circumstances we are in are unprecedented.
    That you think your pissy economics training or your dismal science in general has much to contribute is laughable.
    It is decades of your fake free- markets and phoney free trade lies that got us aboard this tiger in the first place. A world awash with cashed up boarder crashers, a series of failed wars, and at home, shortages of skills and a mass of cashed up bogan wankers and massive pockets of welfare bludgers and rorters, topped off with the most abysmal overseer class of red framed glasses wearing harridans to ever inhabit the planet.
    Fuck off with your snide and misplaced superiority complex.

  55. Crossie

    Basically, globalists are rich enough to enjoy the good “stuff” and the rest of us are just bigots, racists and economic imbeciles who just don’t get it.

    And far less well remunerated bigots, racists and economic imbeciles at that than we used to be when tariffs were still in place. In those long ago days a family did well on one income while now you need two workers in the family just to get by.

    Third World countries now have the same knowledge and technology as everyone else so it’s up to them to get on with it. We are all even now and any country that imposes tariffs on our exports to them should have tariffs slapped on their exports to us.

  56. Crossie

    China may be a manufacturing superpower at present but that doesn’t mean they will continue to be. India and other countries are catching up and soon there will be a lot more choice even without tariffs. Technology in the form of industrial 3-D printers may level the playing field even further.

    I’m looking forward to China being forced to deal fairly with other countries.

  57. Mark A

    Arky
    #3040412, posted on June 11, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Arky, Crossie well said, both of you.
    Just make sure some of the libertarian readers don’t hear you.
    According to them every manufacturing job cost us $30K minimum.

    How on earth could we afford a car or a house on one wage?
    It must have been a miracle.

  58. Tel

    In those long ago days a family did well on one income while now you need two workers in the family just to get by.

    Taxes are a lot higher these days than they were a few generations back, especially when you consider all the various indirect taxes such as high electricity prices, just as an example. Also regulations are much more invasive into every aspect of business and lifestyle … I think it’s fair to point out that more than one thing has changed, it’s hard to disentangle cause and effect.

  59. Crossie

    Arky
    #3040380, posted on June 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm
    Who could have predicted that the descendants of John Lennon’s hokey “Imagine there’s no countries” would be such dishonest and stupid dicks.

    I always smile when I see and hear people singing that phrase so earnestly and who do not seem to realise that they are safe to do so only because very powerful countries are guaranteeing their safety. You can excuse the young and the ignorant but wilful ignorance is harder to overlook.

  60. max

    Someone owns money. He decides that he wants to sell some of this money. He owns it. Therefore, he has the legal and moral right to exchange it for something he wants more. The meaning of ownership is this: the right to disown something by trading it or giving it away. If someone is not allowed by the government to disown something, he does not really own it. The government owns it. The government sets the terms of exchange. The government sets the price, not market competition: buyers vs. buyers, sellers vs. sellers.

    The buyer is now in a position to say this to the government agent: “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?” (Matthew 20:15a). The implicit answer is this: “No, you not allowed to do this. You do not own the item. The state does. You are merely an unpaid agent of the state.”

    At the time of Federation Australia’s tax to GDP ratio was around 5 per cent.
    Between the two World Wars, government expenditure and tax revenues grew significantly and by the beginning of the Second World War, Australia’s tax take was over 11 per cent of GDP.
    By the end of the Second World War, taxation revenue had grown to over 22 per cent of GDP.
    In 2016 Australia had a tax-to-GDP ratio of 27.8%

    Problem is “US” we are Socialist country –

    Lang Hancock:
    Our national anthem seems to be a tune called “The Government Oughta” — the government oughta feed me, the government oughta clothe me, the government oughta assist me, the government oughta lay down guidelines, the government oughta do my thinking for me.

    This idea of total dependence on the government has led to Australia’s undoing; it’s a disease that has spread through us and I believe we can only cure it ourselves.

    Governments can only get bigger and bigger, and the bigger they get the more they take away from big business, small business, everybody in the community.

    You’ve got to face the fact that once taxation exceeds 25 per cent of an individual’s income, the country is on the downgrade. That’s what has happened in Britain, and it’s only seven or eight years away here.

  61. Tel

    Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?

    Sure. The rule is that nothing belongs to you … have fun doing something with nothing!

  62. mh

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    ·
    31m
    Maria, Dagan, Steve, Stuart V – When you are the big “piggy bank” that other countries have been ripping off for years (to a level that is not to be believed), Tariffs are a great negotiating tool, a great revenue producers and, most importantly, a powerful way to get…Companies to come to the U.S.A and to get companies that have left us for other lands to come back home. We stupidly lost 30% of our auto business to Mexico. If the Tariffs went on at the higher level, they would all come back, and pass. But very happy with the deal I made,…If Mexico produces (which I think they will). Biggest part of deal with Mexico has not yet been revealed! China is similar, except they devalue currency and subsidize companies to lessen effect of 25% Tariff. So far, little effect to consumer. Companies will relocate to U.S.

  63. Anton

    Government doesn’t come free.

    Is it better to fund the budget through taxes or tariffs?

  64. max

    Anton
    #3040573, posted on June 12, 2019 at 2:08 am
    Government doesn’t come free.

    Is it better to fund the budget through taxes or tariffs?

    nothing wrong with tariff across the board, let say 5% export and import — everyone in Australia same rules — it is better option than any other taxes.

    But proponents of tariffs do not want one law for all Australians, they want one law for you and me and another law for themselves.

    they lobby government to protect their jobs
    why not mine as well or him as well and lo and behold we are in socialism.

  65. max

    Government

    by Frederic Bastiat (1849)

    I wish some one would offer a prize—not of a hundred francs, but of a million, with crowns, medals and ribbons—for a good, simple and intelligible definition of the word “Government.”
    What an immense service it would confer on society!
    The Government! what is it? where is it? what does it do? what ought it to do? All we know is, that it is a mysterious personage; and, assuredly, it is the most solicited, the most tormented, the most overwhelmed, the most admired, the most accused, the most invoked, and the most provoked, of any personage in the world.
    I have not the pleasure of knowing my reader, but I would stake ten to one, that for six months he has been making Utopias, and if so, that he is looking to Government for the realization of them.
    And should the reader happen to be a lady, I have no doubt that she is sincerely desirous of seeing all the evils of suffering humanity remedied, and that she thinks this might easily be done, if Government would only undertake it.
    But, alas! that poor unfortunate personage, like Figaro, knows not to whom to listen, nor where to turn. The hundred thousand mouths of the press and of the platform cry out all at once:
    “Organize labor and workmen.”
    “Do away with egotism.”
    “Repress insolence and the tyranny of capital.”
    “Make experiments upon manure and eggs.”
    “Cover the country with railways.”
    “Irrigate the plains.”
    “Plant the hills.”
    “Make model farms.”
    “Found social workshops.”
    “Colonize Algeria.”
    “Suckle children.”
    “Instruct the youth.”
    “Assist the aged.”
    “Send the inhabitants of towns into the country.”
    “Equalize the profits of all trades.”
    “Lend money without interest to all who wish to borrow.”
    “Emancipate Italy, Poland, and Hungary.”
    “Rear and perfect the saddle-horse.”
    “Encourage the arts, and provide us with musicians and dancers.”
    “Restrict commerce, and at the same time create a merchant navy.”
    “Discover truth, and put a grain of reason into our heads. The mission of Government is to enlighten, to develop, to extend, to fortify, to spiritualize, and to sanctify the soul of the people.”
    “Do have a little patience, gentlemen,” says Government in a beseeching tone. “I will do what I can to satisfy you, but for this I must have resources. I have been preparing plans for five or six taxes, which are quite new, and not at all oppressive. You will see how willingly people will pay them.”
    Then comes a great exclamation: “No! indeed! where is the merit of doing a thing with resources? Why, it does not deserve the name of a Government! So far from loading us with fresh taxes, we would have you withdraw the old ones. You ought to suppress
    “The salt tax,
    “The tax on liquors,
    “The tax on letters,
    “Custom-house duties,
    “Patents.”
    In the midst of this tumult, and now that the country has two or three times changed its Government, for not having satisfied all its demands, I wanted to show that they were contradictory. But what could I have been thinking about? Could I not keep this unfortunate observation to myself?
    I have lost my character for ever! I am looked upon as a man without heart and without feeling—a dry philosopher, an individualist, a plebeian—in a word, an economist of the English or American school. But, pardon me, sublime writers, who stop at nothing, not even at contradictions. I am wrong, without a doubt, and I would willingly retract. I should be glad enough, you may be sure, if you had really discovered a beneficent and inexhaustible being, calling itself the Government, which has bread for all mouths, work for all hands, capital for all enterprises, credit for all projects, oil for all wounds, balm for all sufferings, advice for all perplexities, solutions for all doubts, truths for all intellects, diversions for all who want them, milk for infancy, and wine for old age—which can provide for all our wants, satisfy all our curiosity, correct all our errors, repair all our faults, and exempt us henceforth from the necessity for foresight, prudence, judgment, sagacity, experience, order, economy, temperance and activity.
    What reason could I have for not desiring to see such a discovery made? Indeed, the more I reflect upon it, the more do I see that nothing could be more convenient than that we should all of us have within our reach an inexhaustible source of wealth and enlightenment—a universal physician, an unlimited treasure, and an infallible counselor, such as you describe Government to be. Therefore it is that I want to have it pointed out and defined, and that a prize should be offered to the first discoverer of the phoenix. For no one would think of asserting that this precious discovery has yet been made, since up to this time everything presenting itself under the name of the Government is immediately overturned by the people, precisely because it does not fulfill the rather contradictory conditions of the program.
    I will venture to say that I fear we are, in this respect, the dupes of one of the strangest illusions which have ever taken possession of the human mind.

  66. max

    Here it is:
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    For now, as formerly, every one is, more or less, for profiting by the labors of others. No one would dare to profess such a sentiment; he even hides it from himself; and then what is done? A medium is thought of; Government is applied to, and every class in its turn comes to it, and says, “You, who can take justifiably and honestly, take from the public, and we will partake.” Alas! Government is only too much disposed to follow this diabolical advice, for it is composed of ministers and officials—of men, in short, who, like all other men, desire in their hearts, and always seize every opportunity with eagerness, to increase their wealth and influence. Government is not slow to perceive the advantages it may derive from the part which is entrusted to it by the public. It is glad to be the judge and the master of the destinies of all; it will take much, for then a large share will remain for itself; it will multiply the number of its agents; it will enlarge the circle of its privileges; it will end by appropriating a ruinous proportion.
    But the most remarkable part of it is the astonishing blindness of the public through it all.

  67. max

    When successful soldiers used to reduce the vanquished to slavery, they were barbarous, but they were not absurd. Their object, like ours, was to live at other people’s expense, and they did not fail to do so. What are we to think of a people who never seem to suspect that reciprocal plunder is no less plunder because it is reciprocal; that it is no less criminal because it is executed legally and with order; that it adds nothing to the public good; that it diminishes it, just in proportion to the cost of the expensive medium which we call the Government?

  68. Arky

    Max Thickie Fucknuts.
    Trump is targeting his tariffs at countries, not industries.

  69. Arky

    You can still buy the products from where ever you want, but those countries not playing the game get whacked.
    Good for whatever countries can supply the goods while also reciprocating.
    That is: not protectionism.
    Not hard to understand, unless of course you’re a fake libertarian chicom shill.

  70. max

    Trump is economic ignoramus, same as you or any other democratic president.

    Government can not protect our all our jobs — it can protect some at expense of others.

  71. Arky

    Trump is economic ignoramus

    ..
    Good grammar skills.
    You’re still a virgin aren’t you?
    Never done a day’s physical labour either.

  72. max

    let me see you put tariff on product from china
    Japanese buy that product repackage and than sale here –than you put tax on Japanese as well and so on and so on.

    Of course American settlers did all that to British empire –smuggling goods and resale –no tariffs paid.

  73. max

    Yes Arky –you are socialist – Nacional — no much difference in your thinking and thinking of German people in 1933.

  74. Arky

    Thought so.
    Soft handed virgin confirmed.
    Do some real work, get laid then start telling men how the world should be.

  75. Tel

    When successful soldiers used to reduce the vanquished to slavery, they were barbarous, but they were not absurd. Their object, like ours, was to live at other people’s expense, and they did not fail to do so.

    That’s odd, because before you were saying, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?” and yet the Romans, Greeks, Ottomans figured they were allowed to do what they choose with their property. Conquered fair and square … what’s your problem?

  76. Terry

    max
    #3040772, posted on June 12, 2019 at 11:08 am

    ” it can protect some at expense of others.”

    Yes. In Trump’s case, it is American jobs at the expense of jobs in foreign countries.

    Quite probably anathema to an Economic-Theory, Libertarian Fundamentalists but does make a lot of practical sense, particularly since it is those that are benefiting from his policy and that he is sworn to represent, not those in the foreign countries from which those jobs have returned/are returning.

    Free/fair trade goes far beyond tariffs.

  77. Tel

    Yes. In Trump’s case, it is American jobs at the expense of jobs in foreign countries.

    Not all American jobs, some American jobs … mostly those blue collar manufacturing jobs that require skilled manual labour. Just happens to be strongly overlapping with those electorates who got Trump across the line in 2016, so at least rational incentives still operate as advertised.

  78. Iampeter

    Arky is not a Nazi. He simply has no idea what he is saying.
    And this makes him worse.

    He is just a mindless drone, refusing to think through his half baked, collectivist ideas and where they will lead when taken to their logical conclusion.

    Together, millions of immoral and unthinking drones just like him, are what will help put Nazi’s, or something like them, into power once again.

  79. Arky

    Blah blah blah I’m superior you’re an idiot last word Iamfuckingspastic wank wank wank.

  80. max

    In German Heil mean salvation

    The phrase “Heil Hitler” roughly means salvation belongs to Hitler or Salvation [through] Hitler.

    in all western countries they have same believe today Heil my big Government which is going to protect me from cradle to grave.

    Socialist true and true.

    Change word “Unions” with Government

    Unions can extract above-market wages for a minority of workers. It is economically impossible for unions to gain above-market wages for all workers. The only way for some workers to receive above-market wages is for other workers to receive below-market wages.

  81. Arky

    Only a complete moron would so much need the last word that he is still posting on here after it is past the page turn.

  82. Iampeter

    In German Heil mean salvation

    The phrase “Heil Hitler” roughly means salvation belongs to Hitler or Salvation [through] Hitler.

    You know max, it’s good that you can join the dots between what Arky is saying and supporters of National Socialism, but it’s sad that you can’t join the dots between the religious nature of these supporters and the religion that is the origin of seeking “salvation” through something greater than yourself… 😛

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