Jeremiah, as you know, takes a nuanced view of protectionism. We favor free trade, but we recognize the role of negotiation. Since our new president has promised to get tough on China, here is a suggestion: use trade barriers to promote environmental and worker protection standards around the world.
For example, if a Chinese (or any) exporter enjoys a labor cost advantage because it exposes its workers to hazardous conditions, slap punitive tariffs on them until they reform. Good luck challenging that at the WTO. If they are polluting Shenzhen, we don’t need to buy their products.
American manufacturers complain that our trading partners can offer cheap goods because they abuse their workers, and it’s true. Just look factory fires in Bangladesh. These people labor like slaves in conditions we outlawed a hundred years ago. Labor advocates worry about a race to the bottom. We can halt this race using … protectionism!
Now, here is a trade policy that should draw bipartisan support. We can protect our manufacturers by holding foreign companies to American standards. This will create jobs in America, and at the same time make life better for exploited workers around the world.
Donald Trump has an interesting position on free trade. He is against the TPP, really down on NAFTA, and accuses China of currency manipulation.
For a man touted as the Fox News poster boy, being antitrade is pretty far left. Think unions, Senator Schumer, and this leftist cartoon.
The right is blindly pro-trade, assuming that what’s good for business is always good for America. Jeremiah has discussed this conflation, here. The last business candidate to stand up against free trade was Ross Perot.
On the other hand, you can’t hope to build a wall around your national market. That’s a tactic, not a strategy – although China has done pretty well with it. The balance between trade and protectionism boils down to negotiation.
Trump’s native mode of expression is bombast, so it’s hard to tell, but this is actually a nuanced position. Consider the current debate in Congress. The Democrats are blocking President Obama, for the usual antitrade reasons, and the Republicans are afraid of a “bad deal.”
It is doubtful the race will turn on trade policy, but The Donald gets points for the first non-stereotyped idea of the season. Maybe he can get an endorsement from Michael Moore.
See also: Jeremiah on Protectionism
We understand there is a “university” in Florida granting credit for stomping on the name of Jesus. This is a real disappointment. Jeremiah’s kids were all stomping well before college age. Plus, we understand the job market for stomping on religious icons is pretty slim right now. Maybe class time would be better spent learning tax fraud, say, or urban camping.
Seriously, though, you spend good money to send your kid to college. If FAU is teaching a lot of bullshit, then you are wasting your money. Junior is not going to get a job in “Intercultural Communication.” Sorry. He is better off learning an honest trade than a four-year degree in bullshit.
See also: Don’t Go To College