EPJ reader Keith Snyder emails (My comments are in blue)
I understand this is a long shot BUT are we witnessing a long range negotiation here in regard Trump and trade policy with the Mexicos, Chinas, et al? I think you would agree that what we have now is not or are not free trade agreements with these countries but as you point out, multi page negotiated crony trade agreements to benefit certain parties. While I am not advocating installing any tariffs or protectionist policies, do we not need to renegotiate the agreements at all? Would not full access to their markets benefit us as well as producers of various other goods?
Free trade is not about negotiation. You just open the damn borders to any trade---no negotiation required with any country.This benefits the US by making more goods and services available to Americans. As for other countries that may want to put barriers to US sales in their countries, so what? Barriers to some trade emerge all the time, from wars. to simply distance, etc. Wacko governments putting up trade barriers is just another barrier. It is not like we live in a post-scarcity world where those unable to find jobs in the export sector won't be able to find jobs elsewhere. Markets clear, including employment markets.
And that is without even taking into account the currency manipulation of China.
So what if a country wants to manipulate its currency downward? It just makes good and serivess coming from that country cheaper.
So while ideologically correct, making the free trade argument in an environment which the vast majority of people do not even understand what that means much less the benefits AND what they THINK is “free trade” (i.e. NAFTA, TPP, etc) is actually far from it; might that create a similar effect like the one we see in the capitalism “blowback” from its so-called failures that lead to 2008 most recently. I think you would agree that Capitalism (like free trade and free markets in general) is like a unicorn in this world: it doesn’t exist. I tend to look at it like pregnancy. You either are or you are not.
Well, the solution to the clueless masses is to present truth in a simple manner so the masses get it, not to bow to clueless beliefs.
While Trump is a hot mess in several areas taken at face value and should be challenged on these points, perhaps this is a long game approach. A protectionist policy would hurt China as much as it would hurt us if not more ATMO. Last time I checked they have a demographic problem they cannot grow out of. Either they keep with the debt and leverage expansion forever or they go bust. And since THAT is a math impossibility..
Again, a free trade policy is simple, just open the border to foreign goods and services. Why should we care if other countries have wacko policies? The US can lead by example by unilaterally opening borders. Free trade should be the long game and the short game.
Maybe The Donald can like Reagan in the 80’s in regard Europe get some concessions that inch us closer to a more beneficial agreement and away from the cronyism that are the things of NAFTA, TPP. I liken it to a hypothetical Trump president asking Congress for an elimination of the corporate income tax (which would the appropriate action to take) and knowing that a bridge too far but getting a 50% reduction in the final reckoning.
Again, you are thinking in terms od deals and negotiations. This is the perspective of a central planner. No deals need to be made with any country, just open the borders to goods and services.
Or maybe he’s just gonna blow it all up and do a Hoover then come to the conclusion after Depression & WWIII that it was a big oops. Probably isn’t going to matter anyway. I suspect they will find a away to take the nomination from him, willingly hand the Presidency to Hitlery who will avoid indictment and then we get what TPTB want and the whole mess just rolls on.
The idea that blowing everything up will lead to the masses thinking that we "now need to try free markets and free trade" is a pipe dream. There is a long history of crashing economies leading to even more central control. If the masses don't get freedom, that is the serious problem from an economic perspective.. There are really no others.
Part of me is sympathetic to Trump just for the small chance that he might just pour gasoline over the whole political, economic, media con game apparatus, light a match and walk away. Cruz,Clinton, Sanders or whoever gets the throne GUARANTEE WWIII and possibly a nuclear exchange ATMO. And God bless ‘em but The Libertardian Party is headed down the way to Gary Johnson. Please. Just another fraud.
Yeah, Trump could be a positive but he could also be more totalitarian than any of the rest of them. Supporting any of these characters is like playing a new revolver game, American Roulette, where there are bullets in 5 out of 6 chambers. It's possible we could luck out, but I really don't want to play the game. The only wise thing to do is to try and find workarounds to the ever more oppressive state, rather than wasting time supporting these clowns, who are all lying egomaniacs.