Donald Trump Channels Smoot/Hawley?

TrumpDonald Trump, populist supreme, favors high tariffs on Chinese goods. (Does he have a “Smoot-Hawley” T-shirt?  They enlarged the Great Depression that same way.)

We have been hornswoggled by Mr. Trump. He raises key issues important to us but clearly not important to those politicians clamoring to represent us. For that, we owe Mr. Trump a medal plus palm leaf cluster. But we have followed him through his big time and so politically sensitive deals, his megalomanic TV show, his ‘friendship’ with the Clintons. His past Democratic allegiance. We have not known how to vote — reasonable enough, since we don’t yet know who will be running.

For the Democrats, we are so far, offered a choice between an avowed Socialist (an ideology that has so far, failed economically every time out) and a candidate of questionable health and energy lacking in any measurable accomplishment and generally thought to be not very nice.

Among Republicans, we are presented a handful of pretty much cloned Establishment types from Jeb Bush through Carly Fiorina (the female version) to Marco Rubio (the Hispanic selection). Dr. Carson is the nod to blacks but not a likely candidate, currently exiting stage left or right as you perceive it. At this point, the GOP seems to have two likely choices: Trump and Trumps creation, Cruz.

Cruz was set to be handled as the family nutcase until Trump came along and in response, the polls shot up for both Cruz and Trump. Trump’s presence and outspoken successes legitimized Cruz. Well, the Trumps’ poll results legitimized Cruz. (The confounded Establishment is likely trying to hire some Predator drone operators.)

Now, Mr. Trump has taken a heavily protectionist trade position, avowing that he would (if he could) clamp a 45% tariff on Chinese imports of “unfairly” cheaper goods. (We’re somewhat put off when a politician assumes he should decide what is fair in business.) We cannot but remember when the Smoot – Hawley Tarifff deepened and prolonged the Great Depression by in essence, shutting down international trade.

Mr. Trump may be ignorant of the Smoot – Hawley Tariff, he may be ignorant of economics or he may not care what he says so long as it sells. We cannot know that. But we do know that we want none of the above for our President in these times.

So, facing reality; we are seemingly left with Ted Cruz vs Hillary Clinton or … what? We at this moment, are unimpressed with Mrs. Clinton as our President. We are unsure of Senator Cruz; he is not now saying all the same things we heard earlier. We will have to see, as the months pass.

Meantime, a past governor of our state, Gary Johnson, is reportedly planning to run as a Libertarian. He wasn’t a bad governor. A vote for him might be wasted, with respect to reality but at least, we might have some confidence that we knew what we would be getting if he were to be elected. Of course, he won’t be elected …

But, we can’t have everything… (Good grief!)





About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
This entry was posted in Ecomomics, Goverrnment, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Donald Trump Channels Smoot/Hawley?

  1. Michael curtis says:

    Free trade. Can you regulate it or can it exist without regulation? I think regulations are needed to prevent monopoly but over regulaion kills business as much. This brings me to agree with Trump, that we need tarriffs to balance countries with massive trade imbalances. While history does not bare this out I think circumstances are quite different. Before our wealth was made creating goods for a world market. Now wealth is created from creating goods in our own country. In the past there would be no China manufacturing to compete with. Business would survive now having separate manufacturing plants in each country and employing local labor at local prices with tarriffs always limiting foreign competition. At this point I want to set Bill Clintons favored status to China back and elimination all free trade acts. But that is just my opinion

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Once government intervenes in trade, I fear the camel’s nose in the tent syndrome is likely inevitable … government uses political goals in economic affairs. So monopoly prevention may be mythical, even with intervention.

      What is wrong with ‘trade imbalance?’ Doesn’t one side receive money and the other, goods? Where is the real ‘imbalance?’

      Like the “Affordable Care” act, I suspect that ‘free trade’ agreements are usually anything but. For honest free trade, we need no government action, right?

      A tariff seems little but a price increase diverted to government. A tax of sorts. It denies the related goods to poorer would-be buyers and diverts otherwise discretionary spending by those who can still afford to buy. Worse, it is a blatant interference with economic competition. A pox upon the very idea! ((I stand with Adam Smith on mercantilism.) Admittedly, that is only my opinon … and of course, Smith’s.

      Hence my concern re Mr. Trump on tariffs …

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