Trump is shitting on the free market orthodoxy with his tariffs. Being who I am, I can’t find it to be bad just because he’s doing it.

Unlike most people on this blog, I actually experienced savage capitalism in an absent nation-state. It stank. Long before I heard Trump’s name, I knew it stank. I can’t unknow it because Trump is icky and sends idiotic tweets.


10 thoughts on “Tariffs”

  1. It’s hilarious watching people who normally uncritically support any tax you throw their way falling over themselves whining about how the tariffs are “a tax on all Americans.” I wouldn’t characterize them as a tax, but if I have to pay slightly more for consumer goods so that the people who made them can make a decent wage, so be it. I value the worker over the consumer.


      1. It’s weird that liberals understand that the market needs to be regulated, but then when it comes to international trade it’s somehow different and we should ally ourselves with libertarians. They act like protectionists are calling for an end to all trade, when really we just want reasonable regulation on it.


        1. Very weird. Everybody remembers how all the manufacturing moved to China. Everybody is unhappy about this. Why are we suddenly pretending it didn’t happen?


          1. Many of the people complaining about tariffs don’t give a shit about the decline in manufacturing jobs, even slightly. You know this.


  2. The money shows are all freaking out. At the gym I saw this great ticker of the Dow Jones heading downward on both Fox and CNN.
    “But I don’t get any money from the stock market!,” you say.

    I’m sure you’ve seen this chart floating around I wonder how much cheap consumer goods serve in mollifying or muting discontent. Right now, tvs are cheap but college education is ridiculous. If the costs of everything else explodes along with the already exploding costs of childcare and medical care, what happens?

    The other thing people bring up is the farmers. Trump is actively pushing for price supports for the farmers affected by the trade wars. You know, on top all the price supports they already get? Agriculture doesn’t really exist in a classical “free market” with lots of competitors.


    1. If all of the cheap Chinese crap gets more expensive and people buy less, that will be the best thing that can happen to the environment. Everybody is drowning in stuff. Maybe it’s time to stop. And unlike the fantasies of the GND, it’s something real.

      These consumption levels are unsustainable.


      1. Of course.
        But assuming that Trump operates from any level of rationality when he says this lie “China will pay the costs of the tariffs on Chinese goods”, he knows that prices going up are deeply unpopular.

        And unlike “Mexico will pay for the wall” people will notice a 25% increase in the cost of consumer goods. Especially when real income has been flat for most people.

        I’m not tripping over myself to take a position one way or the other. I just don’t think most people will be like, “Yay the environment and American factory workers” when they’re paying more for goods.


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