This gem is from commenter: Vérité as a response to a comment I made on “The Shades of Smoot and Hawley Slouch Toward Washington to be Born,,,” on the site The Constitution Club.
While we had to work through some misunderstandings covered in Vérité‘s first couple paragraphs (to which I responded) the remaining portion of their comment beginning with the sentence after “While a reset sounds nice…” is, in my opinion, an excellent commentary on what our nation has become and where it is heading.
You make some interesting points Talon,
I have some questions and some opinions about this. Some of what I think is hard to support–it’s just my take on things.
If we broadly institute tariffs, how do we weight and balance them to maintain competitiveness as markets fluctuate? Sure, the cost-to-price ratio works now, but how about down the road. How do you formulate, control and limit tariffs? Historically, once ANY source of revenue is in place, it’s almost impossible to break government’s addiction to it. As politicians are rewarded with votes when they move money into their constituencies pockets, the key voters in a given election have an incentive to vote selfishly which feeds and breeds the tax-and-spend model.
While a reset sounds nice, I think it’s effectively impossible. Long periods of austerity and hard work are what’s needed. China, despite laboring under a horrible economic model in communism, is living proof that this works. Even after revolutions, new governments inherit old regime’s debt. Sovereign defaults tend to be costlier as they often lead to wars, riots and more revolution.
When you get right down to it, DEBT IS THE ROOT PROBLEM. I’d love to see America retool and resume manufacturing. That takes capital. Today, that capital IS debt. If every nation on Earth were cut off from every other, I believe America is capable of becoming the most self-sufficient nation on Earth. Just not through centralization or federally conceived shell games. Building economic value requires widespread changes of heart amongst the people–market changes–sea change! You could say values beget value.
Right now we’re witnessing the inevitable collapse of entitlement thinking. This may result in widespread violence, starvation, homelessness and disease. Making matters worse (and perpetuating the problem) are big, multinational businesses, big government and a relatively small group of odious international bankers. This probably represents less than 1 million people worldwide. All stand to lose money (or at least cash flow) if America actually rediscovers its founding values and moves toward self-sufficiency. That’s not going to happen since they OWN the mainstream media, most politicians, academia, health care, our transportation, distribution, power and telecommunications infrastructure, our houses and newer cars, and most of our employers companies. They hold all the strings.
They effectively own us. No wonder they call us “slaves.” This is a very unpleasant thing to think about, but less than 0.1% of the world’s population controls the other 99.9+%. If they decide tomorrow to turn off the internet and power and call all U.S. debt America is done. If they halt food and fuel distribution a lot of us will be dead.
So go ahead and support tariffs. Believe what you want. The reality is that each of us has a moral duty to work toward self-sufficiency, free from debt, living according to solid values, being neither victims nor predators. When we start looking at ways to take value out of markets, we are toying with burning bridges we’ll one day wish to cross.