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Chris
07-07-2012, 12:46 PM
Pat Buchanan's 1998 The Great Betrayal rejects free trade for nationalism.

As The Truth about Trade in History (http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/truth-about-trade-history), also written in 1998, argues, he got his history wrong--historicism usually does. Here's the argument, pared down for copyright purposes so I suggest reading it in full.


British trade policy toward the American colonies was mercantilistic..... The country's mercantilist policies were a major burden on the colonies. In that way, British protectionism was a significant cause of the Revolution.

Having achieved independence, however, many Americans advocated protectionist policies similar to those they had earlier condemned.3 Alexander Hamilton, the principal advocate of import restrictions, based his proposals on the alleged needs of infant industries. As he wrote in his "Report on Manufactures" (1791)....

Although Congress adopted the first tariff in 1789, its principal purpose was to raise revenue.... in 1816 Congress adopted an explicitly protectionist tariff....

That first wave of protectionism peaked in 1828...As early as 1832 Congress began to scale back tariffs with further reductions enacted the following year. In 1842, tariffs were again raised; but by 1846 they were moving downward, and further lowered in 1857....

Economist Frank Taussig, in a thorough examination of those tariffs, found that they did nothing to promote domestic industry....

It is also important to note that the adverse effects of tariffs in 19th century America were more than offset by the economic activity that constituted the western expansion across the continent....

...Politically, at least, in the long term the memory of the Smoot-Hawley tariff has kept Americans committed to a free-trade policy....

...protectionist policies have not been the source of America's economic strength. And American policy, fortunately, remains largely directed toward free trade.

Peter1469
07-07-2012, 01:01 PM
I agree that tariffs to protect your unattacked industries is dumb and counter productive.

But if you are living in 1830 USA and if Egypt subsidies it cotton to the extent that your cotton industry will die, you do one of two things. Let it die, or impose tariffs.

Chris
07-07-2012, 01:16 PM
I agree that tariffs to protect your unattacked industries is dumb and counter productive.

A reversal of your usual position advocating for tariffs to level the playing field.


But if you are living in 1830 USA and if Egypt subsidies it cotton to the extent that your cotton industry will die, you do one of two things. Let it die, or impose tariffs.

OK, back to your usual protectionist argument! But a false dichotomy, and the article demonstrates those tariffs did not have the desired effect, that they were in fact detrimental.

Peter1469
07-07-2012, 02:21 PM
I conclude that you don't understand my position.

Or you are just running around in circles to burn off excess energy. Which isn't a bad idea. :smiley:

Chris
07-07-2012, 02:33 PM
Hard to understand your contradictions. Sometimes in the same sentence you're for free trade while you're against it, or against tariffs while you're for them.

Regardless, Buchanan missed his history lessons in highschool. The founders approved of tariffs not to protect nationalism but to raise revenues.

Peter1469
07-07-2012, 02:52 PM
Hard to understand your contradictions. Sometimes in the same sentence you're for free trade while you're against it, or against tariffs while you're for them.

Regardless, Buchanan missed his history lessons in highschool. The founders approved of tariffs not to protect nationalism but to raise revenues.

I guess you could consider the phrase "reserve the right to impose sanctions" to convey Mitt-ish flip floppery.

I don't see it that way. I see it as the intelligent application of sovereign authority as opposed to either (a) a one size fits all policy, or (b) an abdication to foreign powers.

Chris
07-07-2012, 03:00 PM
I think it was Hume who pointed out how many tend to argue what is and slip suddenly into what ought to be. What is does not imply what ought to be. I know you think tariffs good, Peter, the fact that Congress can legislate them does not imply they should. That is what you need to argue. The closest you've come is they do it so we must--why must we when two wrongs make not a right? You speak of national interests, what national interests? How does, for China's managed trade, imposing a punitive tariff (tax) on US consumers serve our interest? It harms us, it harm our interest. The article in the OP demonstrates that this negative effect has always been the case.

Shoot the Goose
07-07-2012, 04:14 PM
Tariffs were pretty much to raise funds for the Treasury, as noted. They did also protect American products for Domestic Consumption. The tariff reduction of 1857 would be a classic example. The Treasury was running large surplusses, so Buchanan slashed tariffs. And crashed the economy. No doubt about it. In fact, the Panic of '57 is likely more responsible for the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the subsequent Civil War, than any other single event. Had Buchanan not slashed tariffs, the Republicans do not rise as high in 1860.


The States of PA and NJ were very hard-hit once the tariff protections were removed. PA was so devestated that in the 1858 midterms, it flipped Democrat to Republican by the largest margin ever by any state in any midterm, before or since. At every level. The economic morass that the tariff reductions caused redrew the map such that the Democrat Party lost the remaining industrial states that it had. The North was now assuredly anti-Democrat. Not because of Slavery, but because of the economic calamity Buchanan wrought by slashing tariffs.

The 1860 General Election mirrored much that of 1856, with the changes being states flipping to the GOP because of the economic collapse Buchanan induced in 1857, made obvious in those '58 midterms. Buchanan could nto get them back by 1860.

Further, the South loved the reductions of 1857. They could now get stuff cheaper from Europe. The prior tariffs, which Buchanan had lowered, had also disproportionately "taxed" the South, as they imported more of what they consumed, so they felt as though they were not getting a fair shake regardless. The incoming Republican Party wanted to raise the tariffs back up again, which was the main financial reason that the South rejected Lincoln, and Republicans in general, in 1860. Slavery is what got everyone all roused up. But the money was what was truly at stake. The money was why the Southern politicians wanted no part of Republicans. The South had boomed with the tariff reductions.

Back to PA. No small irony that Buchanan was a son of Pennsylvania. The only one ever elected President still. He lost PA in 1860, after having won it in '56.

The tariff reductions of 1857 turned a surplus into a deficit, btw.

Such as NAFTA and other free-trade agreements have most certainly hurt the country. We cannot compete with the reduced labor and production costs of such as Mexico, Brazil, China ....... etc.

Shoot the Goose
07-07-2012, 04:19 PM
I think it was Hume who pointed out how many tend to argue what is and slip suddenly into what ought to be. What is does not imply what ought to be. I know you think tariffs good, Peter, the fact that Congress can legislate them does not imply they should. That is what you need to argue. The closest you've come is they do it so we must--why must we when two wrongs make not a right? You speak of national interests, what national interests? How does, for China's managed trade, imposing a punitive tariff (tax) on US consumers serve our interest? It harms us, it harm our interest. The article in the OP demonstrates that this negative effect has always been the case.

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Where foreign states have what some would call "unfair advantage", either with reduced agricultural standards, lower pollution standards, and most egregiously lower labor standards, we cannot compete. Yet we open the most developed consumer market in the world to them. For free.

Peter1469
07-07-2012, 05:30 PM
I think it was Hume who pointed out how many tend to argue what is and slip suddenly into what ought to be. What is does not imply what ought to be. I know you think tariffs good, Peter, the fact that Congress can legislate them does not imply they should. That is what you need to argue. The closest you've come is they do it so we must--why must we when two wrongs make not a right? You speak of national interests, what national interests? How does, for China's managed trade, imposing a punitive tariff (tax) on US consumers serve our interest? It harms us, it harm our interest. The article in the OP demonstrates that this negative effect has always been the case.


Let's shift the argument to a world that does not exist: one with very minimal to no governments. Chris you win. I agree with you.

Back in Real-ville: where other governments are literally raping the US in trade. You lose.

Chris
07-07-2012, 05:39 PM
Let's shift the argument to a world that does not exist: one with very minimal to no governments. Chris you win. I agree with you.

Back in Real-ville: where other governments are literally raping the US in trade. You lose.

Oh, I see, you're god to decide what's real and what's fantasy.

Peter1469
07-07-2012, 05:55 PM
Oh, I see, you're god to decide what's real and what's fantasy.

:wink:

So tell me, where is this minimalist government? And really a world full of them so you can get you free trade.

I will be waiting over here in Real-ville for your response, at a 5 star resort- at the pool side bar. Feel free to pull up a chair.

Chris
07-07-2012, 06:00 PM
:wink:

So tell me, where is this minimalist government? And really a world full of them so you can get you free trade.

I will be waiting over here in Real-ville for your response, at a 5 star resort- at the pool side bar. Feel free to pull up a chair.

Again, you argue what is ought to be. Naturalistic fallacy, if you want a name for it. You earlier claimed you're a Jeffersonian/Madisonian minimalist, now you advocate big government. Make up your mind.

Peter1469
07-07-2012, 06:26 PM
Again, you argue what is ought to be. Naturalistic fallacy, if you want a name for it. You earlier claimed you're a Jeffersonian/Madisonian minimalist, now you advocate big government. Make up your mind.


I think that you are confused. I said that I prefer a Jeffersonian/Madisonian government. And I also said that you are further to the right of that. I am not advocating for big government. I am advocating for a federal government that is limited by the enumerated powers of Art 1 sec 8. And states have much more power- to legislate for Life, Health, and Safety issues. Way much more that you wish government to be involved in.

I am offering solutions to current governance issues. Stuff that can actually pass and become law.

If you want to revert to pure theory you need to make that clear so others don't think that what you post is remotely likely to occur.

If it did I would be 100% on board.

Real-ville. Word.