Some Thoughts on Free Trade

In many ways, President Trump is a policy tumbleweed. He doesn’t seem able to remain focused for very long on a single issue. However, this vacillation does not seem to be the case with his economic nationalism. He does seem able to focus on protectionism; whether he is attempting to restrict immigration or global trade, his intuition maintains a laser focus.People trade. In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein ranks trade amongst our most basic needs. “Trade is an irreducible… Continue Reading ››

Mr. Trump targets American Consumers and American Workers on behalf of special interests

  I love American Steel.  And American Aluminum.  I am a casual purchaser of metal, but frequently enough that I have an account at the local Dayton office of ALRO Steel.  I am a novice welder and car builder, which means I need raw materials to work with.  American metals are far higher quality to work with than Chinese steel, and even though the cost is quite a bit higher, I need to purchase the U.S. steel for my application. … Continue Reading ››

A Brief History of Trade

This weekend I was able to listen to a Cato Institute podcast featuring Douglas A. Irwin’s new book Clashing over Commerce. The book highlights the politics undergirding the history of international trade protectionism in the United States. I found Irwin’s discussion with interviewer Caleb Brown to be helpful and to shed a little light on today’s discussion on the current administration’s move toward protectionism. Below I have tried to summarize some of Irwin’s arguments – occasionally extending and adding content.… Continue Reading ››

We Should Have Followed Billy Graham’s 1981 Advice

How do you take a significant segment of the church in the United States, called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ – Lord of heaven and of earth, the Alpha and the Omega, the eternal Word, son of God, son of Man, son of David, the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, the light of the world – and reduce it to a special interest group? Listening to a podcast from The Gospel Coalition which… Continue Reading ››

The Inescapable Reality of Economic Tradeoffs: Environmental Econ 101

HT over to Mark Perry @ Carpe Diem a few days ago.  Mark highlights the unintended (but perfectly predictable) consequences of environmental restrictions on new pipeline development in the Northeast part of the United States.  Mr. Perry asks the question:  “Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer? In the article, Mr. Perry links to a Boston Globe op-ed which subsequently  picked up on his theme:… Continue Reading ››

When does: “Man Bite Dog”?

“[T]he Mother Teresa of teachers”1, Jocelyn Morffi, was fired on February 8 from her position as first grade teacher at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic school in Miami Florida because she violated a contract stipulating that teachers must abide by Catholic teachings and traditions. She had several days before married her girlfriend, Natasha Hass. The story was covered by the Washington Post, CBS news, the New York Times, the Miami Herald, NBC news, Time magazine, the Washington Times, among other news… Continue Reading ››

Black Panther is Among the Best Comic Book Films Ever Made

It should not surprise us that a film called Black Panther (directed by Ryan Coogler, and written by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole), has more than a political bent. The comic book character was created in 1966, which was an audacious moment for his debut. Though Stan Lee, a co-creator, has denied any connection between the incipient political movement and his superhero, an African prince with supernatural powers, the coincidence surely shapes how we understand the comic and now, to a… Continue Reading ››

All economics, all the time

At least in this post…this is a lightening round of some of the issues in the news: Yes the markets are getting whipsawed, even with today’s big move back up.  Not surprising; valuations using conventional metrics (such as the market price to earnings multiple) have been extremely high compared to history.  One can make the claim that we are still in bubble territory with the S&P 500 at an average PE of over 25.  But we’ve also had historically low… Continue Reading ››

Initial thoughts on House Memo

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) memo on FISA abuse was, as expected, released today.  No matter how you slice it, this is an incredibly troubling memo.  No one can read this memo and say it doesn’t matter.  Either its true, and we have momentous scandal unfolding, or its not true, and the Republicans have fabricated incredible lies to cover up for Mr. Trump, or some combination thereof.  You can (and should) read the memo yourself, and I’m… Continue Reading ››

Trump Trolls for Trouble, but Trade Tricked him!

Ok, I promise I’ll stop quite the # of posts with “TR”, but this is a good counter to the bad news on trade we discussed last week.  On Friday of last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission dealt a blow to Cronyism, Mr. Trump and that largest of corporate cronies, the Boeing Corporation. In a surprise decision, the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled against aerospace giant Boeing in a bitter trade case it brought against Bombardier over passenger jets its Canadian rival… Continue Reading ››

Quote of the Week!

“the passion for economic equality…is…a passion for getting as much as those above us in the economic scale already get rather than a passion for giving those below us as much as we ourselves already get.”              –Henry Hazlitt