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Short musings on today’s politics–conservatives lose Ohio, Trumpian trade travails, and the “S” word

08 Aug 2018

As wake this morning, the bellwether Ohio special election is too close to call, with Republican Troy Balderson a mere 1500 votes up with 3000 provisional votes and other absentee votes yet uncounted.  I suspect he’ll hold on given the red nature of that seat.  But conservatives have already lost as he is a panderer to the worst parts of the Trump and Kasich program.  As our debt continues to explode with actuarial certainty due to baby boomer retirements and entitlement growth, he says he won’t do anything to touch social security.  He also joins Mr. Kasich on the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio.  The Republicans may have won, but as the Democrats have went to the insane left nationally, the current batch of Republicans seems to be what Democrats were 20 years ago.  As our own MCS has said, this is now Donald Trump’s party–and Donald Trump is an older school Democrat.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday outlined the continued anecdotal data on the idiocy of the Trump Tariffs, as companies now have to go to the expanded administrative state to ask permission to use foreign based materials.

Oh, and a separate request is required for each width, length, grade shape, and form of steel or aluminum product. A single company, Primrose Alloys, has submitted more than 1,200 steel product requests, according to Commerce’s database. All 14 that have been reviewed so far were denied.

Why wouldn’t businesses always want to buy American?  Some companies reported that quality is better overseas for at least its needed type of material:

Seneca Foods Corp. , the largest vegetable canner in the U.S., highlights that it contracts with 2,000 agriculture producers and its primary facility is in Baraboo, Wisconsin—i.e., a swing state that voted for Mr. Trump. Seneca, like many U.S. steel consumers, has complained about the inferior quality of domestic supplies. Its customer product rejection rate for domestic suppliers was 32 times higher than for imports. Auto-parts maker O&K American says its reject rate for Japanese steel is 0.001% compared to 0.174% for U.S. supplies.

Now I’ve written previously about how I personally prefer U.S. stainless steel tubing for my own auto hobby related work; it’s far superior to the Chinese stuff you can buy on ebay.  But this just illustrates the irrationality of central planning–these stories aren’t anecdotal in the sense that they are isolated and therefore irrelevant.  These stories are anecdotal in the sense that they simply reflect the individual experiences of millions of buyers and sellers who have their own individual knowledge and preferences of what they think is best given their particular situation.  To these people, Donald Trump joins Mr. Obama and others who want the planned economy, and says “we know better.”  But do you really?

Speaking of the planned economy, the Democrats are getting really excited about the possibility of socialism in the U.S.  They are laughing at those of us who seem afraid of socialism.

They are right.  I am afraid of where socialism goes.  I’m afraid because of the literally hundreds of millions of people that died for the expansion of socialism.  I’m afraid because of the ongoing catastrophic collapse of Venezuela due to socialism.  I’m afraid because of the absolute ignorance of these realities to many of our younger millennials like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who in the most charitable of descriptions needs more fact-based opinions.  I fear in the new world of the collapse of truth, and the denial of reality, that we may go down a path that will lead to the destruction of a country that I dearly love.  They will protest, we don’t want that kind of socialism.  But isn’t that the only kind?  The kind that, in the microcosm of Mr. Trump’s trade illustration above, says we know better what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce?  And the kind that says we will use the force of the government to make you obey?  For you supporters of Democratic Socialism, what would you think of an extremist group that adopted the Nazi name and suggested, but we’re not those kind of nazis, we really don’t want to kill millions of Jewish people, we just want to have our government exalt our own people over others?  Wouldn’t you think the inclusion of that term, and that kind of control, as something to be feared?  Why would the use of the forbidden fruit term of socialism be so attractive, when its record of destruction is so complete?

This is exacerbated by the leading Democrats, such as Elizabeth Warren, who in an effort to appeal to their younger base are taking a path that our country is basically evil.  Not that our country hasn’t, like any country, done many things wrong, yes even evil things in the past due to the sin that is inherent in every person.  But this goes farther–America is evil at our core.  

“the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist . . . I mean front to back.”

Really?  Every cop is a racist?  Every judge?  What do you mean by front to back if you don’t think that?  I think Rich Lowery’s response at National Review has it right:

Now, it’s entirely fair to argue that different rates of offending are a function of the vestiges of racism, and that it is urgent to pursue criminal-justice reform given how the status quo affects black families and communities. But the idea that we are living in a latter-day apartheid South Africa, with a system designed to jail and immiserate blacks out of sheer maliciousness, is contemptible, poisonous, and wrong.

It is poisonous, and it is wrong, and many people want to believe this about our country. So yes I’m afraid.