Trump v China

Mr. Trump likes to think of himself as a free trader, but in his mind, free trade isn’t free (or at least mutually beneficial) when the other side is continually cheating.  I tend to be very skeptical of Mr. Trump’s trade policies, especially since his stated logic is grounded in fundamental fallacies, such as the harm of the large trade deficit with China.  Yet in this point I actually think Mr. Trump is at least half right, so let’s walk… Continue Reading ››

Progressives support of government on behalf of the public interest

I have always been puzzled by progressives unyielding faith in government as the solution to social problems, and indeed, almost always the federal government.  In my mind, the repeated and demonstrable failures of government to solve problems that are unrelated to its constitutional (or better yet, Biblical) roles should give everyone pause.  Yet progressives do not lose faith.  “If we just had the right people, then it would work.”  Part of this deep support of government is the inverse of… Continue Reading ››

Who shall return us to sanity? Name your pick for Republican challenger to Mr. Trump in 2020

Mr. Trump unsurprisingly has defied convention and already declared himself a candidate for 2020, even before the 2018 elections.  No other politician is likely to declare prior to the 2018 election, and the Republican party has no interest in a feud with the current president prior to the election–the Republicans want to be as unified as possible.  At the end of the day, while the base in either party never gets it, politics is a game of addition, not subtraction. … Continue Reading ››

Chafer Systematic Theology Vol. IV, pp. 206-207

I am conducting research for a presentation that I will make, Lord willing, the first week of April at the Association of Private Enterprise Education conference. Chafer’s 4th volume discusses ecclesiology. Chapter 11 is about contrast between law and grace. I thought this quote discussing individual responsibility in the “Church Age” was interesting from the standpoint of classical liberalism. This age is not the time of the salvation of society; that great undertaking is clearly in the purpose of God,… Continue Reading ››

Universal Basic Income (UBI)–why it is a terrible idea

One of the hidden-from-view debates going on among intellectuals and elites is the idea of the Universal Basic Income (UBI).  The basic idea is let’s get rid of all welfare programs, and give everybody a check of some minimum amount that would meet the essentials of life.  You could have it baked into the tax system so even the rich get this same check, but then they’d pay a higher rate to recapture for the Treasury what they’d received from… Continue Reading ››

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 ››

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