Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump trade

Protectionism is simply a method of redistributing wealth from consumers to favored groups, like the UAW. By definition, it reduces our freedom, strengthens the regulatory State, encourages rent-seekers and wastes resources.

People favor it because, per Bastiat, the negative effects are unseen.

Monday, January 30, 2017

That could have gone better

Predictably, Trump supporters are praising the President's executive order on immigration despite its flaws. Even more predictably, his detractors are invoking their Hitler analogies and ignoring the fact that the countries targeted come from a list developed by the Obama administration, who actually did use it to discriminate - against Christians.

If the Left wants ever more of this sort of thing, they should keep ramping up their hysterical whining.

Yes, the EO was not very well thought out since it stopped green card holders from entering the United States. They've already been subjected to sufficiently extreme vetting that holding them overnight isn't going to help fight terrorism. They spent months or years waiting to become legal immigrants. The Administration belatedly recognized this and reversed itself. An unforced error.

It's merely the most recent example of Trump's idea that he knows more about everything than anybody. I.e., he's not Hitler, he's simply impulsive and ignorant in the manner of big government authoritarians like Barack Obama and every Democrat in Congress, if more crude.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thank God that's over

It's an immense relief that Barack Obama no longer occupies the White House, nor can be referred to as "President."

Hail to the Chief.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mr. Thompson* speaks

“I have a Twitter account," is the populist version of “I have a pen and phone.”

You might say these are just negotiating positions, but if the negotiating positions are immoral, where do the negotiations end up?

On health care
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us."
No, I get it. If you can’t pay for it we’ll steal it from others.

“In some circles,” is worthy of an Obama speech.

"It’ll be another plan. But they’ll be beautifully covered. I don’t want single-payer. What I do want is to be able to take care of people,”
Depends on your definition of “plan” and “single-payer,” I suppose: Direct from the Feds, or from insurance companies run by the Feds. A distinction without a difference. The former is socialist, the latter fascist. Both are statist.
“The question of whether the government should start negotiating how much it pays drugmakers for older Americans on Medicare has long been a partisan dispute, ever since the 2003 law that created Medicare drug benefits prohibited such negotiations.”
There's a reason for that: It wouldn't have passed if it put the Feds in control of pricing drugs. It was a partisan (a question of principle) issue when one party promoted fascism and the other paid lip service to free markets. Even that small distinction is being dissolved. The question that’s been forgotten is whether the government should be doing this at all. Just like “repeal and replace” is surrender because it assumes Obamacare should be replaced.

On tariffs

“Trump then attacked another carmarker, previosuly [sic] unnoticed by the president-elect, when he warned the United States will impose a border tax of 35 percent on cars that German carmaker BMW plans to build at a new plant in Mexico and export to the U.S. market.”
Now foreign companies are to be punished for operating in Mexico? Actually, it’s Mexico and American consumers being punished.

Ask yourself what Hank Reardon would have said.


*Mr. Thompson was US "Head of State" in Atlas Shrugged.
"He is not particularly intelligent and has a very undistinguished look. He knows politics, however, and is a master of public relations and back-room deals. Rand's notes indicate that she modeled him on President Harry S. Truman, and that she deliberately decided not to call him "President of the United States" as this title has "honorable connotations" which the character does not deserve."

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Econ 001

If you read the brief articles below, you'll have a better understanding of the obstacles the President elect faces in implementing his economic agenda, and you'll understand the damage much of that agenda will do.

Reason Magazine:
A Stronger Economy Will Also Destroy Jobs, but It’s Necessary
Luddites need not apply.

The Brookings Institution:
Global economic forces conspire to stymie U.S. manufacturing
Stopping productivity increases will preserve jobs for some and destroy jobs for many others. All of them will be poorer.

The Foundation for Economic Education:
Taxing Global Trade Is Not Deregulation
The Regulatory State is where you find it.

I heard some guy named Sexton (guest hosting for Rush) making excuses for cronyism and protectionism on Tuesday. Hannity, too (while flipping stations).

The corruption of conservatism is well underway. These guys only ever paid lip service to the idea of small government. They’re just fine with Statism if the “right people” are in charge.

Cafe Hayek:
Trump’s Ignorance Is Matched Only by His Thuggishness
Remember when Obama screwed GM bondholders and fired the CEO? Donald Trump probably liked that. Conservatives didn't.

Now, apparently, we're supposed to cheer the big bully in the pulpit.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

"Offshoring" meets automation

These jobs aren't coming back no matter how much the President-elect threatens Apple:
After announcing its 40,000 robot workforce in October, Foxconn (OTC:FXCOF) is automating production at its factories in China in three phases, aiming to fully automate entire factories eventually.
If the average Foxconn employee making Apple products gets $3.00 an hour (it's probably closer to $3.00 a day), and those jobs are being eliminated by automation, we don't want them back.

Robots cost the same to operate everywhere.