July 28, 2016

Free Trade co-opted by progressives

A core conservative principle has always been that of free trade.  Or HAD always been.  Free trade encourages countries to specialize their resources - land, labor and capital - in the areas which they can most efficiently utilize them. That specialization results in the most efficient use of resources, and therefore the imbalance of goods and services is neatly resolved by trade.  Producers are at their most efficient and consequently consumers get the best products as well as the lowest prices.  If pencils cost 50 cents to buy when made in America but 5 cents a piece when made in Vietnam, the other 45 cents can be used elsewhere or perhaps invested in more innovation through the purchase of shares in companies.

All good.

So what went wrong?  Why is Donald Trump heading the GOP into the 2016 presidential election?  He's a candidate who has vowed to build walls to keep out illegal immigrants, he's vowed to exit from multiple free trade deals.  And he won the nomination and has a good shot so far at winning the presidency.

The problem with free trade is two-fold. Firstly, the outcome of signing these deals has had some unintended consequences.  American workers are losing jobs to China, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, and other countries.   That's a natural fallout as resources within America have to be re-allocated to more efficient usage.  People get displaced and that does not get fixed overnight. Nobody in the free trade camp seemed to give that proper consideration when pushing free trade deals.  And without jobs, there is another fallout - there's no money to spend on goods and services in a larger swath of the populace.  This reduces demand domestically for both foreign and domestic goods and probably contributes to decreased efficiency in production. There's potential for a downward spiral in an economy not set up properly to capitalize on trade.

That leads to the other problem on which Trump is capitalizing. Progressives have both co-opted the free trade agenda for their own purposes and distorted the playing field in such a way as to favor trade partners over domestic producers.  On the latter point, tax laws, labor laws, environmental regulation and red tape for things from Dodd-Frank to FATCA etc. make it more desirable for companies to do their work from offshore and simply push product back to America.  In other words Democrats are not business friendly.  They view the business environment as a zero-sum gain - any advantage to business has to (in their view) come at the expense of workers.  There is no concept of synergy  - an environment that enables both companies and workers - among Democrats when it comes to business or the economy at large.  Winners means losers.  There's no "we can all be better off together if..."

Finally, truly progressive Democrats - socialists like Bernie Sanders - are either completely clueless or are actively seeking the destruction of the system that has made America great.  Sanders never spoke about offshoring. He speaks about a living wage.  As if those arguments will create jobs.  It will drive more business offshore because free trade allows it.  They are actively, purposefully seeking the destruction of American capitalism.  They will change America into an also-ran.  They are leveraging the existence of free trade to do so, or are exploiting it's fallout due to trade deals that were not well crafted in the first place, in order to further their agenda.

Trump makes a point about the free trade deals that conservatives and the Republican establishment would do well to heed.  China steals technology.  China pays slave labor wages and does not have health and safety protections for workers that America does.  That does not create a level playing field.  Put the same regulations in place in China that exist in America and then a truly free trade deal would be a fair trade deal.  As it stands free trade with China, is biased trade in China's favor.  Ignoring that fact will eventually spell the doom of the free trade movement.

Addendum: You can read more about free trade with protectionist nations here.

Thursday Hillary Bash - Dems step in Trump trap

Most every Thursday for a couple of years now, I've been publishing notes about Hillary Clinton's scandals and issues in the hopes that it might serve as a reminder when it came time for her renewed march towards the White House. You can find that litany here.

Most recently, it would appear that Donald Trump, either wittingly or not, has laid a clever trap for Hillary Clinton, and her election team has stepped right into it.  It started out with Trump sarcastically comment that he hoped Russia could find Hillary's missing 30,000 emails.  Democrats pounced. They suggested that he was committing an act of treason. The media jumped all over it too.

It would seem, quite simply, that having government emails on an unsecured server has actively encouraged a foreign power to commit espionage. 

So there's that. Some more sarcasm along those lines from Trump and his campaign and supporters should go a long way here.

July 27, 2016

Sanders picks up the pieces and goes home

So Bernie Sanders has left the Democratic party.  Weird, since he just told all of his national supporters to support Hillary Clinton.

Sellout? Fake?  Confused , old man?
The nomination was barely sealed up at the Democratic National Convention before Bernie Sanders, who had campaigned against Hillary Clinton for the party’s nod, went back to being an Independent.

Sanders, who considers himself, officially, an Independent in Congress because his views lean further left than the Democratic party’s platform, caucuses with Democrats. But until declaring an intention to run for the presidency in 2015, he had rarely, if ever, identified as a member of the Democratic Party (he’s been in politics since 1979).

And now, despite pleading with his base to support Hillary, even though they’re concerned that she’s too moderate, Sanders will return to Vermont and to his seat in the Senate, and he’ll do it with no official party affiliation.
The same article tries to defend Debbie Wasserman Schultz as having done her job.  No.  You can't prove Sanders didn't leave because of the DNC's cheating to help Hillary win.  Why would Sanders stick around after that?

Sanders did the right thing.  His mistake was trying to convince people to support Hillary.  There was no reason for that unless he was hoping for a senior spot in her cabinet and was subsequently told he was not going to get it.

July 25, 2016

Sanders sells out, supporters don't

This, is karma for corrupt Hillary:
PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a text message to the leaders of his delegation pleading with them not to protest on the Democratic convention floor Monday night.

“I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor,” he wrote in the text message to his delegate whips. “Its of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations.”

He signed the text, “Bernie.”

Many of his delegates did not heed his warning, as some Sanders supporters interrupted the convention’s opening prayer with chants of “Bernie!” DNC Chair Rep. Marcia Fudge reprimanded the delegates for interrupting her opening remarks when she said she was “excited” to help elect Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine. “Excuse me!” she pleaded, as Sanders delegates interrupted her with boos and chants of “Bernie.”
She may have reached her tipping point.  We can only hope at this moment.

July 24, 2016

Sunday Linkaround

Hillary's Nazi salute.  Two can play at that out-of-context game Democrats.   Nice work by 90 Miles from Tyranny.

President Obama's brother is voting for Donald J Trump. For real. He's not on board with Hillary or even his half brother. How terrible do you have to be as a president to lose the support of a family member?

John Kerry is more worried about air conditioners than ISIS but he just can't bring himself to say it outright.

Bernie Sanders is mad at the DNC, but not enough to really do anything about it. But a corrupt DNC and a Hillary Clinton whom the FBI said was very negligent but skated free on being charged for her improper email server and deleting emails (destroying evidence), hand-in-hand speak to a corruption that stinks to high Heaven. Yet Sanders is still supporting Hillary, so his faux outrage is just that, faux.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz has kind of recused herself from her role as chair of the Democratic party's convention this week.  But only for the convention it would seem.  Just like with Hillary Clinton though, there's not likely going to be any repercussions never mind punishment.

Hillary, pathological liar, so says...Politico? Not really, they're just attempting to offer up a spirited defense of the indefensible. It's actually an infuriating read if you have the stomach for such tripe.

The DNC planned to link Trump to the KKK?

Conrad Black offers a great critique of the critiques of Trump, noting quite correctly,
...It reminds me of Tom Wicker’s prediction in The New York Times the Sunday before the inauguration of Richard Nixon in 1969, that the president-elect would “blow up the world,” and by Scotty Reston in the same newspaper about 12 years later that Ronald Reagan would be a complete failure who would ride back to California like a disillusioned cowboy after his first term. As the world knows, but may have forgotten, Nixon ended school segregation and the draft and the endless riots and the skyjackings and the assassinations, reduced the crime rate, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, opened relations with China and a peace process in the Middle East, extracted the U.S. from Vietnam while retaining a non-communist government in Saigon, and signed the greatest arms control agreement in world history with the U.S.S.R. while re-establishing American nuclear superiority, and was re-elected by 18 million votes. The subsequent Watergate nonsense, tawdry though it was, doesn’t alter the fact that his was one of the most successful presidential terms in U.S. history. It is probably better remembered that Reagan produced America’s greatest economic boom of the 20th century and bloodlessly won the Cold War, and was re-elected by 15 million votes.
Over at The Daily Beast Nancy A Youssef breaks down Hillary Clinton's misbegotten tenure at state, including this truth;
If there is a connective thread in Clinton’s tenure, it was an overestimation in the U.S. ability to shape events around the world and an underestimation of the unintended consequences of change.
George Will wants the RNC to be more like the DNC because his man did not win?  Respect lost. Entirely. 

Sunday verse

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