President Trump proved me both wrong and right simultaneously this week: right because the consequences of his actions are precisely what I predicted they would be if he decided to go there, and wrong because for some reason I haven’t fully accepted that if you don’t think Trump will do something, he almost inevitably will.
Earlier this week, I was discussing the highs and lows of a Trump presidency with my co-workers. Some of the major highlights of his rookie year in office were the massive rollbacks in business regulations and record-breaking stock values. I argued that the market’s rise can be attributed not necessarily to anything Trump has done, but specifically to what he hasn’t done. Where investors are confident that they will not be burdened by regulations, penalized for expanding their wealth, and sideswiped by unpredictable and unstable economic policy, they feel confident investing in the economy, and the national market booms.
Any time the government gets overly involved in business, business declines — especially to the detriment of middle-class workers. This has been established time and time again through the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, mandatory wage and price controls under Hoover, the Wagner Act of 1935, the Bush tariffs of 2002, subsidized subprime mortgages leading up to the 2008 housing crisis, and the Fight for 15, which is estimated to cost around 400,000 low-wage jobs by 2022 in California alone.
My co-workers agreed. Not only is it logical, but it’s observably true. The 1987 crash could’ve had far more dire results, after all, if Reagan hadn’t kept his distance from corrective measures.
But leave it to Trump to ruin one of the approximately four good things he had going for him.
When the president announced on Thursday that he would be imposing steel and aluminum tariffs, the Dow Jones nosedived 600 points, recovering about 150 of those by the end of the day. This just one week after his announcement of the imposition of solar panel and washing machine tariffs.
All told, the Dow has fallen 1,200 points since Monday, and it will be far worse once these tariffs are officially imposed. Investors are uneasy, but they can at least hold onto a semblance of hope that the president can be talked out of his suicide mission.
Not only is Trump’s claim that a country without steel isn’t really a country patently ludicrous, but so is his assertion that we can have free, fair, and smart trade together. “Fair” means “controlled;” “smart” means controlled;” “controlled” means “not free.”
As for his claims that the steel industry is in bad shape, he apparently hasn’t cracked open a single study on the matter. As amassed by Daily Wire, steel production rose last year, the U.S. handily controls the market on steel, the nation’s leading steel manufacturers have seen exponential growth in stock, earnings, and wages, and by and large any loss of steel jobs can be attributed to technological advancements (which lead to job growth in other fields) rather than trade deficits.
Speaking of supposed trade deficits, President Trump claims that spending more on a country’s goods than they spend on ours is “not fair or smart.” This is a fundamentally flawed approach to business. I’ve given far more money to Costco than it’s given to me, but presumably, I chose to spend that money because I valued the product higher than the purchase price. In a voluntary transaction, assuming no fraud, both sides are better off.
Trump’s insistence on “America First” to the detriment of America reminds me of one of my local city council members, who campaigned (and won) on the promise that she would only shop within our city limits, even cutting up her Costco card (the nearest Costco is two cities away, a roughly fifteen-minute drive) to emphasize the point.
Here’s the problem: there are hardly any shops or restaurants in my city, due to exorbitant taxes and a hostile business environment. We boast a half-dozen chain restaurants and a Wal-Mart next to our freeway exits, but everything else is an absurdly priced mom and pop shop, and I don’t have the money for that kind of constant virtue. As such, my wife and I almost exclusively drive two cities up on date nights to where we can find virtually every kind of restaurant and store we could hope for.
Capitalism thrives on providing the greatest service for the lowest price, incentivizing innovation and public accommodation. Trade wars excuse local stagnation, allowing businesses to become complacent and cease to progress. That is not good for any economy.
Moreover, foreign imports affect domestic jobs far more than Trump gives them credit for. Tariffs incur higher costs on manufacturers, making production more expensive. This will lead to either price hikes, wage cuts, layoffs, or a combination of the three. Steel tariffs will cost thousands of American auto jobs, and aluminum tariffs will force significant layoffs in the beer industry.
This is rudimentary economic awareness, of which it appears Trump has none.
Finally, this proposal has major international implications. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission and leader of the E.U., has declared that if Trump wants a trade war, he’ll get one, according to a New York Times report. Juncker has announced tariffs on Harley-Davidsons, bourbon, and blue jeans, with an intention to match trade penalties tit for tat with the United States.
Still, Trump insists that “trade wars are good and easy to win.” Perhaps he could name one if he’d ever read a book.
One of the great lies of modern America is that free markets led to the Great Depression. In reality, a crash that could have ended after only a moderate recession resulted in a massive, decade-long depression thanks to government intervention by way of a trade war, job stimulus, and the New Deal, and it only ended thanks to World War II’s global devastation and its reallocation of twelve million workers into the military. Trump is on the verge of creating his trade war, and with his proposed $1 trillion infrastructure package, look for the sequel to the Hoover Dam.
If Trump continues down this path, things will get much worse before they get better. Hopefully, if dissenting voices are loud enough, the president will be dissuaded from this disastrous course.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and those who claim to not read books because they already arrive at correct decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability,” don’t know history and clearly don’t know economics.
Bernie 2020, the union: How organized labor is the latest play for primary points
When one Democratic candidate goes to the left, the other candidates lurch to match. We’ve seen it in support for the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, and super-high tax rates for the rich. We’re about to see it in regards to organized labor as Bernie Sanders’s campaign has become the first group in presidential campaign history to form a union.
one of the few accurate reports. Recognizing a union that has demonstrated majority support is not some act of charity or social conscience. It's the law. https://t.co/Mz4o0eoLpU
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) March 16, 2019
Whether this was a decision by campaign leadership to demonstrate their boss’s leftist credibility or of they’re simply being the leftists that they are, we can’t be sure. In fact, we’ll almost certainly never know. Either way, it’s done and now all of the other leftist campaigns have to respond.
Expect every major campaign team to unionize soon. It’s not because it will make them more effective. It won’t help them get better benefits or retain their jobs for longer term since the organization will fundamentally change following the election. All it will do is allow them to make the claim they’re so pro-union, they’re willing to accept the lost productivity associated with organized labor.
This is quickly becoming the most symbol-driven primary election season we’ve seen in decades, perhaps ever. It would all be very entertaining if it weren’t so dangerous to the American psyche.
Busted: The myth that old 90% tax rates actually worked
One of the favorite tactics for the new Democrats to push their idea of super-high taxes on the rich is to invoke Dwight D. Eisenhower. They say even a Republican President once believed in high taxes on the rich, a time in which the highest tax bracket was 90%.
John Stossel an economic historian Phillip Magness debunked the myth that rich people actually paid the extreme tax rates of the past in this video. As usual, Democrats have selective memories when it comes to anything they want to press.
Back in the days of high taxes for the rich, there were enough loopholes intentionally left open for them to cut their actual tax rates tremendously. According to Magness, the actual average rate paid by millionaires back then was around 41%. With fewer loopholes available today, the highest tax bracket of 37% is close to what is actually paid by those earning the most money. But what would happen if the high tax rates of the past were combined with the lack of loopholes of today? We’d have an economic collapse that would hit so swiftly, there’s no way Democrats would have time to react.
The bottom line is this: the best producers in America will no longer have an incentive to produce here. Some would leave. Others would simply stop producing. It’s easier for them to reduce their revenue and live off their accumulated riches than to earn money for the government to take. Even at a “more reasonable” 70% tax rate, as proposed by some of the top Democrats today, the increase would be too great for most wealthy Americans to bear. We saw this play out in France. We could see it play out here if the Democrats get their way.
Fighting the talking points of the left is one of the biggest reasons conservative sites like NOQ Report exist. We call on those who want to help prevent the rise of socialistic ideas to contribute to us; as a news outlet that is crowdfunded, you’ll notice a conspicuous lack of spammy ads that you find on other sites. This is intentional and allows us to reach a broader audience with the conservative truth.
Democrats love pretending like raising taxes on the rich will solve all of our problems. They know it’s not true, but it certainly sound good in campaign speeches. This isn’t really a tax grab. It’s a power grab designed to confuse the people.
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Why everyone, even abortion activists, should be happy Ohio court allowed them to defund Planned Parenthood
The two opposing viewpoints when it comes to funding Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics are based on whether or not our tax dollars should be used to pay for abortions on demand or not. Planned Parenthood supporters want access for everyone and government money helps achieve this. Pro-Life activists want abortions limited or removed altogether, making funding of abortion clinics antithetical to their cause.
This is why a ruling in Ohio is getting so much attention.
— Pro-Life Action League (@ProLifeAction) March 13, 2019
But this isn’t really about pro-abortion versus pro-life. It really isn’t even about whether or not Planned Parenthood should be funded by taxpayers. This portion of the debate is about whether or not a state legislature has the power to decide how the people’s money is spent. For a court, any court, to claim that doing so is unconstitutional should send shivers down everyone’s spine, even those who support funding Planned Parenthood. When the courts decide who gets taxpayer funding, the power of the people is lost.
One of the things that separates NOQ Report from other conservative news outlets is our willingness to go to the heart of a matter. On the surface, this seems like a fight over funding, but the real issue here that everyone seems to be ignoring is the removal of our rights when an overpowered court continues to neuter our elected officials. This is why we request our readers help keep us 100% crowdfunded. We need support to keep these messages flowing.
Let’s fight this battle with our votes. Let’s fight it in state capitals. Even those who oppose defunding Planned Parenthood should be able to recognize that a judge declaring withdrawal of funding unconstitutional is a dangerous precedent. They wouldn’t be so happy about it if a different judge said it was illegal to fund Planned Parenthood. If that were the case, even pro-life conservatives should be screaming about overreach.
Judicial activism is rampant in America. It’s happening on both sides, though the left seems to be much more willing to contort the Constitution to fit their political ideology.
The debate over funding should be fought in the legislature. When the courts step in and declare a legislature does not have the right to fund or defund an entity, it’s clear judicial overreach. Neither side of the debate should want this.
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