From the Right
Tariffs, Schmariffs, Not the Solution
Economic Thoughts from a Non-economist
I think he is under the illusion that because of their tariff-inflated higher prices, the imported goods will not be purchased and goods made in the United States will be purchased instead. Supposedly, this will create unemployment in China, hurt their economy and result in job creation here. Nice try … but not so.
Historically, there have been many who advocated the kind of blind protectionism of which President Trump seems to be a champion. They have included Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot, both of whom ran for President. Even Hillary Clinton took protectionist positions designed to cater to her union supporters. It's an easy, but often insincere, position to take. In fact, in reviewing some of my own letters, I have sometimes, usually too hastily, leaned in that direction. But in the end, America's corporate structure wielded enough power to keep protectionism in the background and wisely plant the United States firmly in the camp of globalization of trade.
Politics aside, the real answer is that a finely tuned world economy, where everyone trades with everyone else, with each country’s economy exporting what it does best and importing what others do better, works out well for all participants. A little bit of government subsidy here and there and an occasional minor tariff to smooth things out can work wonders with such globalization. It’s not so simple as the President sees it, but that’s what advisors are for. And of course, advisors who always agree with you are of no value. Advisors who make different suggestions aren’t any good either when the President, out of ignorance, agrees with all of them.
Who's Going to Hell?
(Personally, I believe the President's horrid choice of lawyers is based on his conception of the lawyers as people who can figure out ways for you to do illegal things legally. He has no concept of justice, honesty and no respect for the law. That's his problem.)
All, however, is not a bed of roses. I feel that if the 2016 Presidential Election were held today, the results would be the same. Trump's base in crucial states remains. They ignore economics and they ignore anything that isn't on Fox. Hence, the only solution rests in Democrats taking over the House in 2018 and coming close to taking over the Senate. That will change things. It will somewhat level the playing field for the 2020 Presidential election. Hopefully, the evil, the bigoted, the gullible and the just plain stupid people who comprise Trump's base will be neutralized with the G.O.P. given back to real Republicans. They will lick their wounds, imposed from the right, attempt to regroup ... but be unable to hold off the Democrats.