Friday, December 14, 2018

There Goes Laissez-Faire: Trump Lashes Out at General Motors

President Donald Trump said Thursday that General Motors CEO Mary Barra made a "big mistake" by laying off thousands of workers and pledged to retaliate against the company.

He did not specify how he planned to retaliate. It should be noted, however, and it is embarrassing that it has to be noted, there is nothing about free-market policy that says you retaliate against firms who close plants that are too costly to run. Trump understands free market theory about as well as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In a Fox News interview with Harris Faulkner, Trump said he was upset with GM's plan to restructure its global business, including halting production at five facilities in North America and eliminating about 14,000 jobs.

He lashed out against Barra, calling her actions "nasty."

"To tell me a couple weeks before Christmas that she's going to close in Ohio and Michigan -- not acceptable to me," Trump said. "And she's either going to open fast or somebody else is going in. But General Motors is not going to be treated well."

This is a positively bizarre position by Trump that is based on his idiotic mercantilist view that any manufacturing done outside of the country is a negative.

Murray Rothbard explained the problems with mercantilist thinking best:
Mercantilism, which reached its height in the Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries, was a system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state. Thus, mercantilism held that exports should be encouraged by the government and imports discouraged. Economically, this seems to be a tissue of fallacy; for what is the point of exports if not to purchase imports, and what is the point of piling up monetary bullion if the bullion is not used to purchase goods?
This is aside from the fact that Trump, as president, shouldn't be interfering in private sector decisions and operations at all.

Trump simply has no grounding, zero, in the foundations of economic thinking. We should really thank the heavens, however, that he is chaotic and inefficient as an emperor. If he was competent, he would be 10 times more dangerous.



  1. I do recall reading something to the effect that Trump was thinking of eliminating some of the subsidies GM yet receives. That would be a good thing for taxpayers.

  2. --- Rothbard: "... and what is the point of piling up monetary bullion if the bullion is not used to purchase goods?" ---

    Because that's how we're all going to be so rich! Trump said so himself.

  3. Trump is a strong advocate for "Ne Laissez-faire Pas."

  4. How dare the Prez go against neoliberal corporatism, hasn't he read the liberturdian dogma?