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If Trump makes a solid deal with China, I’ll admit I was wrong

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If Trump makes a solid deal with China Ill admit I was wrong

Unlike most political commentators, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. In fact, I normally like it because being wrong usually means things worked out better than I expected. The latest example of my potential wrongness comes in the form of a trade deal with China that, if it materializes, means the tariffs I’ve been railing against for the better part of a year may have actually worked in our benefit.

Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean I support tariffs. It also doesn’t mean I approve of using tariffs as anything other than a legitimate threat. Even if the deal comes through, I would have preferred to see a very limited form of tariffs used in reality with the threat of worse ones in lieu of a deal. But I didn’t expect a deal to come at all based on the way the President has used them, which means if the deal comes through, I was wrong about the tariffs being completely bad.

In that case, they will have only been partially bad.

As the President has noted, we’ve brought in billions of dollars in “tariff money” since he started instituting them. This isn’t something he should be bragging about, as tariff money is invariably a filtering of money from United States citizens and businesses who pay higher prices to receive resources and products affected by the tariffs. No, China didn’t “pay” tariffs. Their companies simply charged more from U.S. importers (and therefore U.S. consumers) to compensate for the increased expenses.

Nevertheless, the economic effects of the tariffs so far have only been a little bad. They would have turned horrendous if allowed to continue for much longer, and if a deal isn’t made, that’s still their fate. But news is coming in that hopes are high for a trade deal.

We’ve heard similar claims in the past, but there’s actual action attached to this one. By delaying or possibly ending the tariffs that are set to be imposed next week, the President is expressing real hope that an equitable trade deal can be reached. This is the closest we’ve been to a tangible deal. For the first time, I’m actually seeing it as better than 50% odds that we’ll have a trade deal in place sooner rather than later.

Before anyone jumps up and down and says, “See, tariffs work,” let’s temper the enthusiasm a bit. Even with a trade deal, there has still been damage. The United States is seen as a better trading partner when our power as consumers is used to promote free trade with the rest of the world instead of the “fair trade” ideology of Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and President Trump. But unlike the Democrats’ use of tariffs for revenue and to curtail business growth, the President attempted and may succeed at using tariffs to bolster trade numbers. I shouldn’t have to say this to a conservative audience, but in the era of Trump, nothing should be taken for granted. Trade deficits are NOT bad. In fact, they’re an indicator of the state of the economy. As trade deficits in a consumer nation like the United States go up, that means more people are buying, prompting American companies to import more.

The argument that trade deficits are bad are made strictly by leftist economists and the President of the United States. Fiscal conservatives universally see trade deficits as a key indicator of economic strength.

If this is the path that gets China to import more United States goods, so be it. My concern is never about being right. My concern is about doing what’s right for America. If this is how it’s done, then this is how it’s done and I’m happy as a result.

 


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Economy

Gary Vaynerchuk never talks about politics, but he’s great when he does

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Gary Vaynerchuk never talks about politics but hes great when he does

Language warning, in case you’ve never listened to Gary Vaynerchuk before. I have, and he’s great.

Those who know of Gary Vaynerchuk think of wine, social media, and digital strategy. The Belarusian American entrepreneur has been an outspoken advocate of all things “віно і маркетинг” for over a decade, but he rarely speaks about politics.

Recently, he did, and one prediction in particular caught my eye.

In an interview for Capitalism by Ryan Daniel Moran, Vaynerchuk said, “I believe we’re seeing the beginning stages of a four party system in America in the next 50 to 100 years.”

The way he sees it, both major parties are pushing to the extremes on the ideological scale, opening up spots for moderate progressives and moderate conservatives to have major parties of their own. This is the case in most countries; the United States is one of the few that has a true two-party system despite the fact that most of our founding fathers didn’t want it to turn out this way.

John Adams said:

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

But Vaynerchuk, who has built a career around being write much more often than he’s wrong, says the opening is already being seen today. He railed against both parties, blaming both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama for poorly handling the financial crisis of the late 00s.

Millions have learned over the years to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk when he’s offering opinions. Though his political opinions are few and far between, there’s a wisdom to them you don’t hear from the pundits. It’s authentic, a rare quality indeed.

Petition Capitol Hill for Term Limits

Sign the petition. We demand Congress immediately put together legislation that spells out term limits for themselves. Americans need to know who is willing to suppress their own power for the sake of the nation. This can only happen by bringing legislation to the floor.

Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?

 


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Economy

Charlie Kirk: Capitalism saves lives

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Charlie Kirk Capitalism saves lives

I’m normally not a fan of quick bursts of talking points, preferring longer, fact-filled discussions on topics as important as capitalism versus socialism. With that said, Turning Point‘s Charlie Kirk knocks it out of the park with talking points that totaled 33 seconds.

But even though the video was short, this article will take a bit longer to read. I’m not going to talk about the clear evidence that capitalism is far superior to socialism (or any other economic -ism). Instead, I’d like to focus on the challenge pro-capitalism activists face. Our message is right, and for the most part our nation accepts this. But things are changing. The indoctrination in schools combined with the propaganda in mainstream media and the false narratives from Democrats are all combining to deceive the masses in ways many thought impossible just a few years ago.

Would you have thought over 50% of college students would support socialism over capitalism at any point in American history if someone told you that a decade ago? If you would have, you’re much smarter than me. I couldn’t imagine the will of the people being so misled that many would abandon the system that has clearly worked in exchange for a system that has never worked. It makes no sense, and therein lies the problem with the progressive movement today.

As our EIC noted, logic doesn’t always prevail.

We must, as conservatives, continue to push out the right message. We might think it’s commons sense, but apparently common sense is becoming less common in America. We need to keep pushing.

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Executive order targeting Huawei is the right move at the right time

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Executive order targeting Huawei is the right move at the right time

American technology companies, particularly those in the telecommunications industry, have been fools for far too long. While China as actively and aggressively sought to not only steal our technology but subvert it by inserting their own untrustworthy components into our systems, many American companies have turned a blind eye to the threats they pose to every American.

That won’t happen anymore. President Trump signed an executive order defending against technological attacks by the Chinese and specifically targeted Huawei, the Chinese telecomm giant that has been inserting itself rapidly into as many technological conversations as it can all across the world.

The right move

There are certain aspects of protectionism that do not appeal to me, but when it comes to technological protectionism, I’m all in. For years I’ve done what I can to limit the amount of Chinese technology in the devices I use for one simple reason: I don’t trust them.

Yes, they’re cheaper. But they’re also cheaper in the way they’re produced. Though China has made many technological advances in recent years (much of which can likely be attributed to theft of technology from other countries), they’re still behind in most regards compared to Japanese, Korean, Israeli, Australian, and European technologies. But that’s not a huge deal at this point; you get what you pay for and if certain sacrifices to quality make sense, so be it as long as it’s cheaper.

But there’s a nefarious aspect to the way the Chinese have inserted their technologies into the global mix. China has a very poor track record of obeying international laws, adhering to security protocols, and believing in the right to privacy. In China, there is no privacy which is why their technology often bypasses privacy controls put in place to protect individuals.

With the growing 5G infrastructure at the center of this move, now is not the time to take risks. If Huawei cannot be trusted, then 5G is the last place we want them involved.

I’m not a fan of executive orders, either, but this is one that makes sense since it’s a dynamic topic that moves much faster than Congress can handle and it’s administrated solely by the executive branch.

The right time

It’s obviously not a coincidence that this executive order was signed just as the trade war with China is ramping up. As our EIC noted, we’re in a time when we must use full measures to win this war. I’m not a fan of tariffs, but if we’re going to use them, let’s make them effective and get rid of them as quickly as possible.

This is just another arrow slung at the Chinese in that trade war. It may be technically separate and it’s hard to imagine this is another bargaining chip, but it will cause further harm to the Chinese economy, making it more likely they’ll come to the table ready to make a deal.

We’ve reached a moment in history where technology can have catastrophic effects on the lives of nearly every American if the wrong actors are allowed to run free in our infrastructure. This is a step towards safeguarding us from the threats.

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