Saturday, December 17, 2016

Trump on the Free Market


When was the last time a Republican president was so hostile to free trade and dismissed the usual “free market” apologetics as the “dumb market”?

Of course, it is possible that Trump will excessively rely on tax cuts and deregulation and provoke a race to the bottom in his trade policies. Or his tax cuts could be combined with protectionism, plus some harmful deregulation (which could be undone by a future Democratic president), and these policies might actually do a great deal of good to re-shore manufacturing to the US.

But, in any case, even though his implied message here is quite obviously bashing the free market and free trade, there has to be the ritualistic and, frankly, comically religious praise of “free trade” – even though it’s plain as day he’s planning to impose protectionism.

It would be so much better if he had said something like this:
“I love free trade in principle, OK? But, in practice, we just don’t have it, OK? We just don’t have it. Everybody cheats. China cheats. Japan cheats. The Europeans cheat. So therefore we need to be smart, and have fair trade, and protect American jobs and manufacturing. And, if we need tariffs, then that’s smart trade.”
At least this would have been a much stronger answer to his critics.

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  1. Yes, it's looking like the same old trickle down policies with supply side king Larry Kudlow in. Higher interest rates and tariffs will be factors though, so I do see how there are some differences now than back in the 1980s, and I also don't agree with all the deregulation either. Hopefully, Kudlow will pull a David Stockman and resign sometime in the future.

    My main concern now is whether any of these people like Anthony Scaramucci and all the fiscal hawks or "great guys" Trump appointed will get with the program. We'll have to see what happens next year. If that smarmy idiot Paul Ryan gets a nice ass kicking, a Trump presidency would be worth it for that alone. If not, he's going to enrage a lot of his hardcore base.

  2. Trump is the penultimate big government Republican. He pretty much exposed the bulk of the "anti-govnermnt" right as really being the "anti-Obama-govnemnt" right. At the end of the day the Tea Party was a populist movement more concerned with right wing identity politics than anything else. If building the wall costs 7 trillion dollars, they won't give a damn.

  3. I certainly will not begrudge Trump if he sticks to his word as represented in this video. But while I agree fully with the principles of Fair Trade as he espouses them, Universal Healthcare is ahead of that in my view. I only hope he goes back to what he said earlier about it, and not what he had on his website for several months. Not holding my breath.

  4. We have to see what Trump actually does while in office. His administration picks are not encouraging. Trump may turn out to be the biggest snake oil salesman in American history.

  5. Even if Trump totally fails, his win is still a good thing given the context.

  6. Well, well well... It would appear Trump was playing us for fools when he said "Universal Healthcare" earlier in the year:

    Note how Jimmy Dore plays the same clip you posted, and hear how his guest analyzes Trump's words and deconstructs what we all "thought" was Single Payer or something mighty close. It may have been more Status Quo than we thought.

    But then again, there was what he said on his website, and the fact that he down talked Single Payer during the debates with Clinton. What other snake oil is this Carnival Barker going to sell us?

  7. Kevin, already proven wrong about the imagined "Muslim registry", will ignore this too.

    1. So you're so obsessed with trying to prove me wrong that you post this on a topic that has nothing to do with Muslims? Quite revealing, Ken. Quite revealing. Let me know when the Don himself confirms it.

      Just listened to the video. She uses the "How we got out of Iraq" excuse the right bandies about in covering their tracks over ISIS. Right there she says it: "Countries where we know they have a higher propensity" will be the code-term for exclusion based on Religion.

      I mean, right there in the video I posted above - you see an unveiling of Mr. Trump's smoke. Even LK assumed DT meant something that may not have been after all.

      Would you like to have a discussion about how his cabinet picks call his veracity into question?

      Hear Michael Hudson himself on the matter:

      "Take yourself out of yourself," Ken. Try asking yourself if Trump were playing his constituents for fools, what would be the evidence?

  8. Interesting that I've heard no assessment on the furor over DAPL so far on this blog, but that might be the 1st big test that'll tell where Trump is truly at. Since he plainly stated in the debates that he's okay with Eminent Domain, he has financial interests in the pipeline, and he of course is the proven Race-baiter-in-chief, my guess is that it won't be pretty for Native Americans trying to defend their sacred land from pollution and corporate takeover:

  9. Couple of codas to this discussion. Counterpunch posted a good article on "Bad Narratives" to reject, including the "Russia helped Trump thing. For the purpose of this blog, which appears to me to think Trump's election was a Proletariat uprising, I commend you to check out item #2:

    In regards to the credulity of the "Trump is Anti-free Market" narrative inherent in the title of this post, I call to your attention his campaign website:

    Go ahead, count how many times "Free Market" is used in the text.

    During the GOP debates we heard from the Don's own mouth the words "Private System" in answer to a FOX News question about healthcare:

    He wants to remove the barriers to Health Insurance being sold across state lines. Isn't that an anti-protectionist move?

    And then there's the cabinet pick for HHS, a typical Repub if there ever was one:

    Finally, I'd like to note with delicious irony on the CNN clip Ken just shared - Kellyanne's toadying comment that Trump doesn't change things in response to criticism because he's bullet-proof to criticism. LOL Well, of course. If you make a career out of Carnival Barking out of BOTH sides of your mouth, I doubt you have any internal embarrassment over criticism. You already laid your groundwork for the shift ahead of time.

  10. Uh-oh. Yes, there is a registry and yes Trump is considering how to use it:

  11. Donald Trump's Christmas Gift: Unconstitutional Bags Of Corruption