The Political Autism of Anti-Protectionism

There is a certain species of policy analysis which exhibits many of the symptoms which are commonly found among high-functioning autistic people. Among these symptoms are an inability to understand context, a troubling need for routines, an obsession with particular topics, difficulty with abstract thinking, difficulty in understanding other perspectives, a lack of empathy, an inability to process social cues, repetitive use of set phrases, and an inability to identify or think about groups or shared interests. Analysis that suffers from some (or even all) of these shortcomings can be found all over the political spectrum, but it seems to come disproportionately from libertarian thinkers. The rise of Donald Trump has brought a protectionist view of trade policy back to the forefront for the first time in decades. Naturally, this gives libertarians pause, as protectionism violates individual liberties, is economically inefficient, and gives more money and power to the state. In a textbook-style vacuum, free trade is both more libertarian and more beneficial than protectionism. But to stop there and fail to address the relevant current conditions would be politically autistic by way of context denial. Thus, it is necessary to examine how protectionist policies can make sense in certain contexts, as well as the problems with supporting a policy of free trade in all circumstances. On January 26, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer floated the idea of a 20 percent import tariff on goods coming from Mexico as a means of funding a border wall. This prompted outrage from the establishment media, along with claims and analysis showing that Americans would pay the tariff rather than Mexico because Mexican products would be more expensive for American consumers as a result. This would be true if all else were equal, but this is not the case. The Context Mexico already has import tariffs which can be as high as 140.4 percent and average 13.97 percent. For Mexico to tariff US goods while the US does not tariff Mexican goods puts American companies at a disadvantage. While the libertarian may note that smuggling to evade the tariff would be a morally acceptable response, this is not feasible on the level necessary to conduct a national economy. Revolution to abolish the governments that impose the tariffs would also be morally acceptable, but this is likewise unfeasible, at least for the immediate future. Eliminating government interference in the economy that makes it harder to do business domestically is another option which is better than protective tariffs, but doing so to the extent and with the quickness which would be necessary is unlikely. The next best option, then, is for the US government to respond with an equivalent counter-tariff to attempt to even out the discrepancies caused by another state’s tariffs, with an aim toward negotiating abolition of the tariff on both sides. Given that 81.2 percent of Mexican exports for a worth of $309.2 billion go to the United States and 15.7 percent of US exports for $236.4 billion go to Mexico, the threat of a trade war clearly gives leverage to the United States. Peter Navarro, who heads the White House National Trade Council, said as much to CNNMoney: “The tariff is not an end game, it’s a strategy…to renegotiate trade deals. Tariffs wouldn’t put U.S. jobs at risk.” It is important to remember that much like nuclear weapons, the primary purpose of tariffs is not to be directly utilized, but to alter the behavior of other states by serving as a deterrent. The threat of a trade war by way of tariffs and counter-tariffs helps to keep the economic peace, just as peace through mutually assured destruction does with nuclear weapons. A response to another nation’s tariff to gain leverage against it is the secondary purpose, as explained earlier. Those who fail to account for this are exhibiting political autism by engaging in context denial. Read the entire article at ZerothPosition.com

The post The Political Autism of Anti-Protectionism appeared first on The Zeroth Position.

Source: Reece Liberty.Me

Welcome to hell…my day at the DMV

Tuesday, my daughter’s favorite day.  I don’t know why, but it just is.  However, this Tuesday was not like most.  This Tuesday was the day I finally had time to blow four hours of what could have been productive time, to go to the DMV to beg my masters for a permission slip to drive my own vehicle.

The amount of waste  involved in this process is truly startling.  

Across the country, there must be nearly 1,000 such facilities.  Here is a list of DMV locations in Washington State alone:

If each person sitting there, waiting to be anointed by on high, was even only as productive at the proposed minimum wage of $15 per hour.  With the amount of time it took me at four hours – even if I cut it in half and call it 2 hours.  That is $30 of minimum lost productivity in just the act of going to the office and waiting.  Tack on all of the fees and taxes and that number increases substantially.  But, let’s keep that $30 in mind. Continue reading “Welcome to hell…my day at the DMV”

The Fight For Growth -Economic Outlook in a Trump World

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Growing the Economy

Over the next couple of years, we predict the best global GDP growth will come from the United States. The powerful triad of lower taxes, deregulation and fiscal spending will move the US economy forward making it the proverbial locomotive that pulls the world economy. The Presidents goal is to get back to 4-5% annual GDP growth that we have seen in the past. Looking at the chart below over the last 85 years, the Obama economy was the worst recovery since the 1930s. If we can get back to the norm of a 4-5% recovery that will create a huge number of jobs.
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Average recovery in past years has been 4-5%.

Overseas there are some dark clouds on the horizon that will affect our markets. The MaxOut Savings Report has been highlighting the dangers of China’s runaway growth. China’s growth over the last decade has been one massive debt bubble. During that time, credit has grown from three trillion dollars to over thirty-four trillion dollars. Over the last 18 months, China’s credit has increased six and a half trillion dollars, while deposits have only grown by three trillion dollars. Despite massive growth in bank credit the Chinese economy is in trouble and will be forced to confront President Trump because of the crisis. President Trump will be the first President to stand up to China over jobs likely causing a standoff in the South China Sea or a currency/trade crisis. When the US and China face off, expect volatility in the stock and bond markets.

Ivory Tower Moves on Cash

One of the craziest ideas we have ever seen is the war on cash. The war on cash is the theory that we need to eliminate cash currency to prevent corruption, tax evasion and terrorism. This idea has been generated by Harvard professors Ken Rogoff, Peter Sands and Larry Summers, under the guise of stopping terrorism and tax evasion. The “end cash” agenda was then pushed by the elite class at recent Davos Conferences. In case you think this is some moonbeam idea nobody takes seriously, take note that the EU has moved to eliminate the 500 Euro note. Furthermore India has called in all of their “large” notes (ten dollar notes) which has actually caused the Indian economy to crash.

The Central Banks and their negative interest rate policies are the ones behind this “end cash movement”. If there is no cash – only electronic money – then it is very easy to force people to spend by installing negative rates on the electronic cash. In a negative interest rate world, a central planner (Central Banker’s) dream is that every day your money will lose some value unless you spend it and at the same time you boost tax collection.

From the chart below, we can see that even as currency in circulation has grown, corruption has gone down. The idea that cash causes corruption is a red herring.

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Posted By David Stockman’s Contra Corner

No correlation between cash and corruption

The scary thing about the move to eliminate cash, is that in a crisis such as a hurricane or EMP attack the power could be out for a long period, leaving people without money and in severe trouble. Look what happened during Hurricane Ike in Houston when over three million people lost power, many for over a week. An EMP attack could cut power to parts of the United States for several weeks and people would have no money if it were all electronic currency. An additional concern with the elimination of cash is that allows monitoring of purchases by people, raising major privacy issues.

The war on cash is a very real and a very dangerous idea that threatens the American people. It is an Ivory Tower idea that should be rejected.

High Costs Low Life Expectancy?

Obamacare has turned into a fiasco for the American middle class skyrocketing healthcare premiums and lessening the access to good quality physicians. The most outrageous thing about healthcare is the cost, as Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than almost every country in the world. The disturbing thing about our healthcare is that for all the money spent on healthcare our life expectancy is five to ten years less than many developed countries such as the UK and Japan. As we can see from the World Bank chart below, healthcare costs in the United States are the highest in the world and we have one of the lower life expectancies of any developed country.

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Outlook

The recent move higher in the stock market since the Trump election has been based on expectations of a stronger economy. This will help the United States economy grow at a much faster pace than the rest of the world making us the locomotive that carries the rest of the world’s economy along. This will take time to implement. We face a looming trade confrontation with China and to a lesser extent Mexico, with resulting currency volatility. At the same time the Federal Reserve is on track for multiple interest rate increases for the first time in almost a decade. This will also increase volatility. Going forward valuations are at new record highs and will likely come down as that all plays out. Near-term, a rapidly forming concern is the hysteria by the media and Democrats with the Donald Trump Presidency. There is an old saying, “a house divided against itself cannot stand” to quote Lincoln and Mark 3:25. The same thing can be said for the nation’s stock market. If the Democrats succeed in shutting down or delaying reform, the stock market is in real trouble. We have had a good run since the election, but now is a time for caution.

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Episode 45 – American Economy and the End of Laissez-Faire – 5 of 13 – Pietism and the Power Brokers

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The American Economy and the End of Laissez-Faire: 1870 to World War II

5. Pietism and the Power Brokers
Lecture by Murray N. Rothbard

When pietists shift to the Republican party, they form the progressive movement of 1900-1920. Rockefeller- McKinley forms alliances with power brokers like Kuhn, Loeb & Co., and Harriman (versus the Morgans).

Teddy Roosevelt (Oyster Bay wing of the family) was financially in with the Morgans. The Panama Canal caper included a fake revolution in Panama in order to give more U.S. money to the French canal company, whose shares were owned by a Morgan group.

In industry, iron and steel found double protection through tariffs and greenback inflation. Morgan tried to establish cartels, but failed. The iron and steel companies then turned to government to do it for them- a progressive move.

Lecture 5 of 13 presented in Fall of 1986 at the New York Polytechnic University.

This lecture on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2K2u82fMXE8

Sourced from: https://mises.org/library/american-economy-and-end-laissez-faire-1870-world-war-ii

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Source: Enemy of the State

The French Ban on Soda Refills is…Sodum

The French government, in the name of fighting obesity, has issued a ban on offering unlimited soft drink refills to customers.

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute.  Choices can be pesky things.  The bother of having different products to decide between can take seconds, even minutes out of your busy day.  We all know how hard it is to decide what to buy when we’re literally assaulted by dozens of different types of every kind of product.  Well never fear, intrepid human, for the French overlords are looking out for you.  They heard your cries, ringing out far into the night, your wails of pain and suffering reached them in their ivory towers, and they responded.  The wise oligarchs know, in their wise wisdom, that choice is more dangerous than fascism.  They know that if left to their own devices human beings wouldn’t have the slightest idea of how to live their own damn lives.

It’s true that navigating the minefield of deciding what to put into your body can be difficult, and often leads to the wrong choice being made.  So what to do?  Well, according to French bureaucrats, we need the choice to be removed.  And since bureaucrats have a level of knowledge far superior than what’s available for the rest of us, we can be content in knowing that they will correctly decide which choices need to be removed, and which (for now at least) can stay. Continue reading “The French Ban on Soda Refills is…Sodum”

Closed ears, closed minds

Last week during a homeschool lesson, my 8-year-old plugged his ears his with his fingers. He was done. He didn’t want to pay attention. He had decided that silence was preferable to useful information.

Luckily, we worked through the obstruction, communication reconvened, and the knowledge of how nouns can become adjectives was finally imparted to my headstrong son. On his own accord, he eventually apologized, saying he was sorry for not listening. Let me reiterate, he is 8.

Compare that with a recent web search I did on “things white people can’t say.” You’d be astounded at the plethora of writers advising … no, more along the lines of strongly urging … hmm, really, they’re just downright demanding that people take their marching orders from them, without question and without provocation.

And then these self-proclaimed etymological geniuses want to assert that their calls for censorship somehow foster unity and dialogue. Consider Sierra (and her 317 shares … gasp).



Now, I’m not providing this “caricature” to be a “smug asshole,” as writer Sean Blanda might assess. I mean, when did using an example to illustrate a larger point become taboo? I guess right around the time people started pronouncing that disagreement is divisive.

And I’m certainly not calling “the other side” dumb. In fact, I think the loud and forceful opposers to the free exchange of ideas are extremely savvy. If they weren’t smart, I wouldn’t feel the need to write about this very real and worrisome issue, right?

You see, through years of careful grooming and relentless indoctrination, this youngster has learned that it’s acceptable to tell others what they are allowed and not allowed to say, all while doing a little cultural appropriating herself. Let’s face it, the PC purveyors are not really known for their robust consistency.

For instance, Beatniks were saying “dig it” in the ’50s and hippies were “trippin” in the ’60s. Pirates’ were plundering “swag” back in the 1600s. The first “ghetto” dates back to 16th-century Italy and housed the Venetian Jews. And our Creator has been “giving life” since the beginning of time; last I checked, God is the life-giver, not Beyoncé.

Sierra then makes a phony plea for a “productive and receptive conversation.” Translation: “Let me talk at you, while you sit silently and self-flagellate to make up for your innate racism and hate.”

“Check your privilege” means “We’re always right – simply by virtue of our skin color, or sexual orientation, or gender, religion (only applicable to non-Christians), or insert aggrieved victim status here – so you’re always wrong by default.” “Educate yourself” is code for “Let us benevolent leftists tell you how it is.” Sounds more like to reeducation to me.

Even MLK said that whites must “reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance.” I would argue that it is today’s social-justice warriors (SJWs), with their self-inflated “sense of superiority,” who “believe they have so little to learn.”

“Just because you don’t think you’re a racist, doesn’t mean you’re not,” explains activist Melody Moezzi. “I know it’s hard for some to accept, but white people don’t get to determine what is and isn’t racist.” In other words, self-appointed progressive priestesses like Moezzi are the only ones entitled to enlighten the masses about systemic hatred, of which she and her co-religionists are obviously exempt.

Censorship is the height of vanity.” — Martha Graham, mother of modern dance

There’s also no shortage of well-intentioned folks who say, “Let’s come to the table and have a conversation.” In the modern context, though, one side is prohibited from speaking his mind. He’s demeaned and dehumanized, and his thoughts and experiences deemed worthless. His words are deconstructed, categorized, and labeled by some self-important PC parser of language. His spirit is broken in order for him to accept as truth things that are false, and confess to a crime he did not commit.

There there. Just let the other side do all that talking. Submit yourself to an idea or action that doesn’t have your family’s best interest at heart. Go on, engage in this Stalinist show trial … er, I mean, dialogue. Seriously, how can sincere people be expected to “build bridges” under those conditions? Seems a lot less like racial justice to me than it does revenge.

Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos and Community”

Social justice stands in direct opposition to love. It censors diversity of thought, suppresses autonomy, decreases understanding, diminishes real communication, fosters both the victim-mentality and self-loathing, and spreads discord and enmity among all humankind. It pushes anger, covetousness, and un-forgiveness, and the patently un-Christian belief that some people have more worth than others.

I’m an inquisitive person by nature. I suppose that’s why I became a journalist. I listen. I query. I read. I research. I’m an open-minded woman, who is willing to discuss and debate. After all, how do you think this once feminist-atheist-socialist came to be a Christian libertarian?

Even during my most militant years, I actually took the time to hear other people’s points of view. Sure, I’d get angry sometimes (after all, I was a feminist), but I never tried to silence anyone. Even my 8-year-old son grasps that he must eventually take his fingers out of his ears to have a meaningful conversation. Otherwise, it’s just soliloquy, a homily intended only to edify one’s own doctrine.

Black feminist Audre Lorde once advised: “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” And when PC totalitarians are defining the parameters of the “conversation,” thereby, putting all competing perspectives at an immediate disadvantage, being consumed out of existence is indeed what will happen, that is, if clear-thinking people don’t reclaim their humanity and boldly speak up.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — George Orwell

The puritanical zeal of which progressives promote censorship goes way beyond the hubris of the self-proclaimed sage, Sierra. She is simply a symptom of the bigger problem of privileged speech rights for some, and none for others. And let’s be honest, black leftists haven’t cornered the market of dictating language and restricting speech.

The speech-police business is booming. Feminists bludgeon free expression with allegations of “sexism,” the disabled with “able-ism,” LGBTs with “heteronormativity,” Muslims with “Islamophobia,” Jews with “anti-semiticism,” statists with “un-Americanism,” and even plus-size chicks with “fat-shaming.”

Evangeleftists will go so far as to question a Christian’s salvation, should he not be sufficiently pro-SJW. And when all else fails, you can always utilize the absurd “Logic is a tool of the white patriarchy” as a stopgap conversation-killer, at least until reinforcements arrive.

During my aforementioned internet search, I found that many of the white-people-shut-up posts are written in list form, I suppose, for the convenience of your average self-hating American. Maybe someone can come up with a phone app that sends an electric shock to its user, if he’s somehow remiss in conforming to the left’s stringent and ever-evolving newspeak dictates.

This app might actually come in handy, since much of the language repression comes in the form of self-censorship. Take the safety pin trend, its myriad of virtue-signaling organizations and their disciples, like Safety Pin Box, which is for “white people striving to be allies in the fight for Black Liberation.” The pin seems like an easy olive branch to prove your solidarity not as an ally, but as a co-conspirator, yet you still hear SJW cries that “Your whiteness scares me!

It may appear to be silly slacktivism, but it’s sinister because it requires that white folks somehow cope with their cancerous inferiority complex while simultaneously purging their supposed white supremacy. One must learn to truly repel his whiteness. Much like the old “celebrate diversity” flimflam was really code for “promote everything that’s non-white,” let’s get real, “white anti-racism” really means “anti-white.” So, you may as well just shut up, nilla.

But if you have a bully pulpit, by all means, please do the bidding of your post-modern masters, as did DNC chair candidate, Sally Boynton Brown: “It is my job to shut down other white people. It’s my job to shut down other white people when they interrupt. It is my job to shut down white people when they say they’re not prejudiced.” Good, good, lick the jackboots of the cultural-Marxist leaders, comrade, and let your white guilt flow!

I’m willing to break bread and have a real conversation, y’all. But when the progressives have such closed ears and closed minds – not to mention having a penchant for encouraging white men and all white folks to commit suicide, calling for the murder of white people, or wishing for a genocide – man, they sure do make it hard.

Source: Dissident Mama

Episode 2 – Captain Fantastic, Part 1 (1:03:53)

Part 1 of 2 where we discuss the topic-rich, yet wildly contradictory movie, Captain Fantastic. We change up the process slightly, where rather than give a synopsis and then discuss the movie – we opt to synopse-and-discuss in real-time. Hence, in the first episode, we only get threw the first few scenes of the movie, leaving us for a marathon episode 2 to cover the majority of the film. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Episode 2 – Captain Fantastic, Part 1 (1:03:53)”

Episode 1 – The Inaugural Actual Anarchy Podcast (43:34)

 

Hey, we’re back! Allow ourselves to…introduce….ourselves… Robert and Daniel here from the Read Rothbard Podcast which will be transitioning to audiobooks of Murray Rothbard books and articles going foward. So let us be the first to welcome you to the inaugural episode of the Actual Anarchy Podcast (New name, same game).

As I just said, this is the inaugural Actual Anarchy Podcast launching, fittingly, on inauguration day of new President, Donald J. Trump. Old boss, same as the new boss?

In some ways, probably; though he was the change candidate. The F-you to the status quo. But, is the status quo the right thing? Most people aren’t happy, no matter who wins.

Is there a better way? Yes, Virginia, there is.

Continue reading “Episode 1 – The Inaugural Actual Anarchy Podcast (43:34)”