Free Trade

The MWG version of free trade is unilateral.  We are for eliminating all US tariffs.  In evaluating Trump’s proposed trade policies we agree with James Capretta  from AEI but published at NRO:

Trump has claimed repeatedly that his plan to issue threats and ultimatums to U.S. trading partners is the quickest way to “bring jobs back” to the U.S.

What utter nonsense.

We agree 100% with Capretta and have commented on it often but it does not help with picking a presidential candidate to support because this is one area that Herself and The Donald agree.

From page 13 of the 2016 Democratic Platform:

Democrats acknowledge that for millions of Americans, global trade has failed to live up to its promise—with too many countries breaking the rules and too many corporations outsourcing jobs at the expense of American workers and communities.

It is unclear if the Democrats are more against the First Amendment (page 25, they want to overturn Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo) or free trade.  So if you are a free trader like us making a decision between Herself and The Donald, you must look at other criteria.  Both of them are forcefully against free trade.  Free trade is important to us and it is possible that we might have supported Herself if she was a strong supporter of free trade.  As it is we are with The Donald.

Class Kid

Chuba Akpom scored the winning goal as Arsenal beat the MLS All-Stars 2-1.  He was chosen as the MVP and got a trophy and interviewed on TV.  It was a time when a 20-year old kid could have been way less impressive.  It was Arsenal without its big stars.  It was MLS with some old stars from the Premiership.  He was gracious in victory and positive towards MLS.  We hope that his soccer skills match his grace with the press.  Arsenal will need all hands on deck this year.

Being Exiled With George Will

From a recent Morning Jolt:

Back in 2014, I remember hearing at conservative blogger declare from the stage of a free-market conference that you couldn’t really be a conservative if you weren’t Christian.

It good that the blogger in question didn’t get to exile us but we would enjoy an island with George Will and a number of other atheists.  Would the Jews get to join us too?  We (this is a joke) might be willing to exclude the Christians.

Seriously, conservatism needs to be a big tent.  Conservatism is about principles.  It is not about personal characteristics.

The Republican party needs to be a big tent too but it is a different tent.  We hope that it generally supports most of the principles of conservatism but recognize it has a different goals.  The GOP needs to win elections and have an impact on policy.  If Trump has a positive impact on immigration policy and enforcement then he can be a successful GOP president without being a conservative.  We should prefer the Donald over Herself as he might do something useful.

The Nature Of Political Parties

Steven Hayward at PowerLine has a great quote from the 1932 Republican Campaign Text-Book (in part):

Republican tariffs and immigration restrictions account largely for American wages being more than in any other country. Not only are our wages higher than in any other land, but American standards of living are far higher, hours of labor shorter and working conditions better than in any other nation.

The object of a tariff is to benefit and protect our workingmen, from the lower wages, longer hours and lower standards of living of other countries and to protect our manufacturers and American producers in every industry and ensure them our markets. The Republican Party by its twin tariff and immigration restriction planks recognizes that our first duty is to our own and those already here, native and foreign born alike.

Hayward’s comment is how the 1932 election went.  The GOP won four of the six New England states and one other, Pennsylvania.  His comment is not that telling since both major parties were pro tariff.  The same is true 84 years later.  We do think, however, that the quote is telling in two areas.

First, it is amazing how political parties change.  The tariff mongers of the 20s and 30s GOP became the free traders of the 80s and 90s.  Will they swing back all the way?  On the other side there are the pillars of JFK: tax cuts, freedom, and military preparation.  They are gone from the Democrats in this century.  Will any of that come back?

Second, the connection of goods and people or tariffs and immigration.  The two seem very different yet there is a yen to connect them.  Tariffs are a regressive tax (not that there is anything wrong with that) that supports lack of innovation in local businesses.  Immigration is a decision about who will live with and as citizens.  There are markets for goods.  Markets for labor only represent a part of a person.

The changing nature of political parties and the unchanging nature of tariffs and immigration seem part of our nature.  Those are two of the reasons that we are not worried about Trump in 2016.

Herself and Galston

After dismissing the GOP for being anti big business,

Sidebar: Since at least Reagan, the GOP has been the party of competition.  Big business does not want competition.  Democrats continue to be the party of big business, big labor, and big government.  End sidebar

leftist WSJ columnist William Galston has this about the Democrats led by Herself.

Nor is big business as comfortable with Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party as it was with her husband’s, and with good reason. The party’s new left-leaning populism sees large firms as a principal source of the ills of working- and middle-class Americans. A Democratic victory in November would guarantee moves to rein in the financial sector, heighten scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions, and put the squeeze on corporations that shift jobs and profits overseas. [Emphasis added]

We have two points.  First, does this sound anything like the policies supported by herself?   She is against fracking!  She is not anti-big business.  She is anti-business.  Big business will be comfortable with her because she will protect them from competitors both foreign and domestic.  More nimble businesses, some having big capitalizations, will be very disappointed with Herself.  She is also about income inequality, finding the perfect Gini coefficient.  Big businesses probably support increasing the minimum wage because it hurts their competitors but they don’t support limits on compensation at the high end because there is always a talent shortage at the that end of the distribution.

Point two is consider the statement itself.  According to Wikipedia, Galston worked presidential campaigns for both Mondale and Gore.  Surely he knows that left leaning populism is at least 16 years old and really much older with the Democrats.  Rein in the financial sector is a wonderful term of art.  They are [something] and they need to brought back under control.  What is that something?  Successful?  Profitable? Helpful?

Then there is the shifting of jobs and profits overseas.  The last part, profits, is the important one.  The Democrats need lots of tax revenue to keep the machine running.  A superior policy would be to fix the tax code starting eliminating the tax on world-wide income and followed up by reducing the corporate tax rate.  Instead the US will continue to give incentives for inversions and such and then be outraged when corporations react rationally to the incentives they were given.

In short, it is difficult to sugar-coat the policies advocated by Herself.  Galston makes a mighty try but it is easy to see through it.

Epic Golf At Troon

The follow-up to Turnberry comes 39 years later.  In between we have seen several golfers lap the field at a major but rarely seen two lap the field like Watson and Nicklaus did at Turnberry where Watson won by one and Nicklaus had a 10 stroke lead over third place.

At Troon, Stenson and Mickelson were, perhaps even more dominant.  Stenson won by three and Mickelson was 11 ahead of JB Holmes in third.  On the first day Mickelson tied the record for the lowest round (63) in a major.  On the last day Stenson tied it as well.  Lest you think that the course was easy, there were only three 66s by all the other players (156 before the cut and 81 after) in the field.  Mickelson’s rounds were the lowest, tie sixth, tie eighth, second lowest.  Stenson’s rounds were tie 12th, lowest, tie lowest, lowest.  Mickelson was dominant and it could have easily happened that he won by 10 but Stenson was even better.

What Troon didn’t have that Turnberry did was history.  Nicklaus was the greatest golfer of his era and Watson was a legitimate challenger who would make Troon his second major in 1977 and third overall.  Stenson and Mickelson were under the radar in 2016 and it was Stenson’s first major at age 40.  It doesn’t change how great the golf they played was but it might have an impact on the history of Troon 2016.


Paul Waldman at CNN argues that Ginsburg was right about The Donald and should not be ashamed of what she did:

He’s a threat because he rejects so many of the basic ideas on which our democracy is based.
He talks about “open[ing] up the libel laws” so he can sue news organizations to punish them for being critical of him.
Sidebar: The Facebook listing says, “For someone who has devoted her life [RBG!] to upholding the constitution, her conflict with Trump is about more than political differences…[Emphasis added]”  Too funny.  End sidebar.
We wonder if he is aware that the Democrats have voted against freedom of the press in the Senate and one of Hillary’s major plans is to reduce freedom of the press:
Democrat Hillary Clinton will call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in her first 30 days as president, her campaign said.
We await RGB and Waldman’s response to Herself.  Oh, wait, we already know what RBG thinks about Citizens United.  RBG wants to eliminate the need for Hillary’s amendment.  So if you want to be critical of Herself you better do it soon.

Venezuela Approaches Nork

At least two cheers for Hannah Dreier of AP for following the story in Venezuela.  Perhaps we should have a tag for unbiased press?   Conditions in Venezuela are approaching those in North Korea.  One problem they have in common is that people spend much of their time chasing food.  Read it all (and check out North Korea) but here is a taste:

All Venezuelans, including children, are assigned two shopping days a week based on their state ID number. They line up before supermarkets open, guided by rumors and where they’ve had luck in the past. Some use fake IDs to score extra shopping days. Pregnant women and the elderly get their own priority lines, and everyone is limited to two units of whatever is on offer.

The longest lines are for what is in the shortest supply: food.

Nine out of 10 people say they can’t buy enough to eat, according to a study by Simon Bolivar University. Prices have been driven impossibly high by scarcity, hoarding and black market resellers.

People spend so much time shopping and waiting that they can’t have (or do their) jobs.  Just a reminder: this is what socialism can do to the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.  Think of what it can do to your country.

Sporting News

In today’s paper Howard Fendrich is discussing Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win and says:

It has been a rough few weeks for Britain, what with its vote to leave the European Union, the drop of the pound, and the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron … [sorry no link as we have it ODT]

It would seem that two of those things are unambiguously good.  The drop of the pound is a more complex topic.  What was rough is that England lost to Iceland in the Euro soccer tournament.  That was a difficult time for England.  If Fendrich is looking for a reason why it has been a tough few weeks for England (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales all have “national” soccer teams) then that would be it.  Everyone is discussing if losing to Iceland in soccer is the worst English loss in history.  It is even sports.

Portugal won Euro 2016 over host France one to nil in extra time.  The interesting part is that Portugal’s star, Ronaldo (named after Ronald Reagan), was injured in the first ten minutes and had to come out of the game not long after that.  He was never a factor.  Portugal played great defense and not much else until they finally got a goal.  It wasn’t great soccer in the final and it was an up and down tournament but Portugal has a major tournament championship.

Many will say Portugal was lucky.  They would not have advanced under the old rules as they finished third in their group.  Finishing third because of Iceland’s last minute goal in another match put them in the weaker side of the draw.  It doesn’t matter.  Results do matter.  They made the most of their good fortune.  Enjoy the trophy Portugal.

Over Half A Loaf

George Orsborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, has it almost right at the WSJ:

The question now is not what Britain is leaving; it is what Britain will become. There are those who want our exit from the EU to signal that we should now turn our back on the world, resist the free-market forces of globalization and become a more insular, less tolerant place.

Orsborne It is the last part that is the question.  What does he mean by a less tolerant place?  It is in the WSJ so you suspect he is an open borders fan.  He says he wants:

Britain may be leaving the EU, but we are not withdrawing from the world. Britain will be a beacon for free trade, democracy and security, more open to that world than ever.

We hope he wins.  Free trade and lower tax rates will bring opportunity to Britain.  So will getting immigration under control.  Being open to trade is different than open borders.  We hope that the current candidates for president step up to support our cousins in Britain.  We are not holding our breath.