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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 485 - Big Tax Increases On The Way. | WILLisms.com | Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 139. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 485 - Trade Beneficial To Us All.

Freer Economies Perform Better-

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in bids to win rust belt states like Pennsylvania, have staked out increasingly anti-trade positions, trying to out-protectionist one another. For Pete's sake, the Obama campaign even had Jimmy Hoffa representing Obama on their media conference call yesterday. Jimmy. Hoffa. Seriously.

This bizarre economic isolationism, so out of place in today's global economy, would harm American diplomacy, harm American liberty, and harm the American economy. With so much hay made of President Bush's "unilateralism," it is astonishing that Democrats would so openly advocate alienating current and potential trade partners in exchange for a few labor union endorsements. Talk about a Faustian bargain.

The idea that NAFTA-- to take one free trade agreement-- has helped states like Texas to the detriment of states like Ohio and Michigan, is bunk. Those two states are models of poor governance and bad policy in action.

Contrary to these zero-sum notions, trade benefits everyone:

...trade has been the backbone of the U.S. economy, contributing almost 30 percent of GDP in 2007. The benefits go not only to workers and entrepreneurs in export industries, but also to consumers of imports. Free trade has delivered a greater choice of goods for people in all 50 states--everything from food and furniture to computers and cars--at lower prices.

Free trade is fundamental to the very concept of America. It has been a substantial contributor to the growth of American wealth, power, and prestige over U.S. history.

And with the economy now sputtering some after six strong years, Democrats have the audacity to associate John McCain with Herbert Hoover?

It was Hoover who agreed to some of the largest tax increases in American history (income taxes up from 25% to 63%, corporate taxes up by 15%, estate taxes doubled, plus a variety of small taxes on things like bank checks). It was Hoover who did his best to shut down free trade, signing the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. It was Hoover who, like any good populist would do, railed against Wall Street and the very concept of stock markets. It was Hoover who supported unions and bullied companies-- large and small-- to inflate wages and keep employees on their payrolls at any cost, something that discouraged the creative churn that we see in efficient economies. It was Hoover who enacted a laundry list of public works projects, enacted the first government-run employment insurance plan, vastly expanded farm subsidies, and otherwise laid the groundwork for the New Deal. It was FDR's VP choice John Nance Garner who said on the campaign trail that Hoover was leading America into socialism.

For Democrats today to compare Hoover and John McCain demonstrates a complete lack of critical thinking skills. President Hoover had far more in common with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama than John McCain, trade being one of the more obvious examples.

How anti-trade candidates could even exist in the 21st century is baffling, although bad policy sometimes makes great politics.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Taxes Set To Rise Dramatically.

Posted by Will Franklin · 9 April 2008 10:59 AM