Friday, June 7, 2019

Tucker Carlson Endorses Elizabeth Warren's Economic Central Planning Program and Then Disses Austrian School Economics

Tucker Carlson and
his central planning muse
 Elizabeth Warren
By Robert Wenzel

In a remarkable commentary on his show Wednesday, Tucker Carlson went all in on what he called "economic nationalism" and then he read part of Elizabeth Warren's crazed new economic plan as an example of what he meant by economic nationalism.
Warren calls her plan "A plan for economic patriotism" and Carlson liked that also.

As part of her plan, she attacked Levi's for making most of their jeans overseas. She also mentioned, as a problem because of overseas manufacturing, other firms including Dixon Ticonderoga — maker of the famous №2 pencil. Carlson cheered all this. He said firms that manufacture products overseas cost "millions of good jobs lost" here in America.

Of course, this view is a call for economic protectionism.

This reveals nothing other than that that neither Warren nor Carlson understand the basic value of free trade in raising the overall standard of living.

On its basic level, do we really want Levi's to make its jeans here so that they will cost more? Do we really want Levi's to have to take workers from other jobs here in America to make jeans that can be made cheaper somewhere else? Do we really want to end up paying more for jeans and lose completely the products or services that could have been created by the American workers that are now misdirected to jean making?

As Murray Rothbard put it:
… protectionism is not only nonsense, but dangerous nonsense,
destructive of all economic prosperity. … Coerced restraints on
trade — such as protectionism — cripple, hobble, and destroy
trade, the source of life and prosperity. Protectionism is simply a
plea that consumers, as well as general prosperity, be hurt so as
to confer permanent special privilege upon groups of less efficient
producers, at the expense of more competent firms and of consumers. But it is a peculiarly destructive kind of bailout, because it permanently shackles trade under the cloak of patriotism.
Protectionism is a Neanderthal view and homo sapiens beat out the Neanderthals, despite that their brains were larger than ours and thus having more capacity for calculating. Homo sapiens won because we traded and they were what could be considered Carlsonites, that is, non-traders, protectionists. We, therefore, had the better weapons that came as the result of trade.

As Matt Ridley put it:
[T]he reason we won the war against the Neanderthals, if war it was, is staring us in the face...We exchanged. At one site in the Caucasus there are Neanderthal and modern remains within a few miles of each other, both from around 30,000 years ago. The Neanderthal tools are all made from local materials. The moderns' tools are made from chert and jasper, some of which originated many miles away. That means trade. 
But Carlson didn't stop there. He also said that “Republicans in Congress can’t promise to protect American industry. They wouldn’t dare to do that. It might violate some principle of Austrian economics.” As if advocacy of free trade, begins and ends with Austrian school economics rather than pretty much the entire modern day economics profession (except for Trumpette Peter Navarro).

Hey Tucker, If you want to know how Austrian school economics differs from mainstream economics read this.

And free trade advocacy is also not as Carlson put it about "libertarian zealot[s] controlled by the banks yammering about entrepreneurship."

Libertarians controlled by banks? That's a laugher since most of us wear underwear that says "End the Fed." And I personally entered the belly of the beast and told them to close the place down.

Watch the below and weep, Carlson is the worst kind of nationalist.

As Ludwig von Mises put it:
Nationalist policies, which always begin by aiming at the
ruination of one’s neighbor, must, in the final analysis, lead to
the ruination of all. 

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. More about Wenzel here.


  1. So even though we are getting all this cheaper stuff, where are the jobs in the heartland of America? How is free trade viable when another country or countries can manipulate their currency at will? China plays every dirty trick in the book and libertardians cheer for it.

    I want to know why there are not more jobs after all this NAFTA and what passes for free trade?

    1. Yes, how is free trade viable when the US can manipulate its currency at will?!

  2. I almost fell out of my chair, watching that the other night. He directly and indirectly covered just about ALL the lies and tropes about libertarians and freedom: Libertarians are libertines...libertarians are selfish and want to be islands unto themselves...they worship at the altar of Mammmon...they are slaves to theory over experience..etc.
    It was a bit ironic though, that in a screed about anti-trade/anti-comparative advantage/pro-central planning, that he discussed the manufacture of pencils. Maybe Leonard Read is rolling over in his grave...

  3. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if Tucker's mention of pencils now being manufactured overseas, was an intentional reference to Leonard Read's classic essay on spontaneous order---"I, Pencil"---and as such, he was making some sort of covert plea for help or American prisoners of the Soviets or North Vietnamese did, when they would blink S.O.S. in Morse Code with their eyes...
    He's either being held prisoner, or somebody is blackmailing him... ha ha.

  4. Does nationalism really necessitate the ruination of an outside nation? Mises was concerned about ruination of all, but that threat seems to be coming more from globalism, for which nationalism is the only viable response.

  5. For as many conflicts as Austrians have had with the Kochs, they do discuss von Mises in their market based management theory at their companies. I used to work for Koch industries, they openly talk about Mises human action "model". For all their flaws, Koch industries employs way more people in the United States than Tucker Carlson or Elizabeth Warren ever will.

    Honestly never knew Tucker hated free markets so much. Thought he has said some sympathetic things before. But he is pandering to the supposed socially conservative, economic nationalists out there. Most people I know just voted against Hillary. They also hate the tariffs because they are worried about their iPhones and tech being more expensive. People in manufacturing hate the trade war because it puts the business at risk, except for maybe a few small protected industries.

    More commerce is always the solution, less only leads to impoverishment.