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Herr Donald the Irrational Ignoramus

It’s funny to hear the conservative talk radio personalities constantly criticizing people on the left for their “emotionalism, “irrationality,” and so on, and then turn around and defend policies of emotionalism and irrationality. Yesterday I heard Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr defending the simple-minded Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. I’m thinking, you gotta be kidding me. I guess we can call Limbaugh and Carr “blind Trump followers” now?

So The Donald, based on his simple-mindedness and emotionalistic nationalism (or nationalistic emotionalism, whatever), wants to punish Americans financially by demanding an extra tax to Uncle Sham if they want to buy higher-quality goods at lower prices, or coerce them to have to buy lower-quality American-made goods at higher prices. That might not always be the case, but when you “protect” American manufacturers sales and profits by imposing economic sanctions on your own fellow Americans, eventually it will cost more for manufacturers in their wanting to buy the capital goods they need to operate their plants.

Trump doesn’t seem to understand that it’s competition that gives the American manufacturers the incentive to produce better quality goods on a free and open market. That’s “fairness,” Donald.

In contrast to Herr Trump’s idiocy, consumers would have the freedom to buy anything they want from anywhere in the world, according to their own needs and their own judgment as far as what are the best goods to buy at the lowest prices. And producers would have the freedom to buy whatever capital goods from anywhere as well. The government can stay out of the people’s business, and go away and leave people alone. But control freaks like the Anti-Capitalist-In-Chief Trump don’t understand this. Trump is central-planning-obsessed.

And Herr Trump’s trillion-dollar “crumbling infrastructure” rebuilding plan will conflict with his trade war against the American sheeple. Economist Don Boudreaux has this open letter to The Donald:

Mr. Trump:

Yesterday your Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, went to Capitol Hill to defend your infrastructure plan.  She argued that, through this plan, Uncle Sam will provide “seed money” to spur non-federal investments in roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.  On the very same day you announced punitive taxes on Americans who buy imported steel and aluminum.

Your inconsistency is astonishing.  At one location on Pennsylvania Ave. your administration expressed its determination to spur state and local governments to invest more in infrastructure, while at another location on Pennsylvania Ave., and at very nearly the same time, your administration proudly unveiled a scheme to unnecessarily raise the costs of infrastructure investments by artificially jacking up the prices of major infrastructure materials.

Do you or do you not wish to make infrastructure investments as attractive as possible to non-federal entities?  Do you or do you not wish to have infrastructure built, repaired, and maintained as efficiently as possible?  And do you or do you not wish to reduce Americans’ tax burdens – burdens that will rise directly because of the tariffs and indirectly as the tariffs swell governments’ costs of supplying infrastructure?

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

Professor Boudreaux also states that “A protectionist is someone who … mistakes foreigners who seek to give to us more valuable goods (and services) than our ‘leaders’ have bargained for in trade agreements, for common thieves who seek to take from us valuable goods.  That is, a protectionist is someone who believes it to be criminal for foreigners to give to us and – in his, the protectionist’s, clamoring for punitive taxes on peaceful people who purchase imports – noble for politically powerful fellow citizens to take from us.

“Protectionism is a philosophy of plunder, thuggery, and theft masquerading as ‘trade policy’.”

WHY can’t these politicians leave the rest of us alone?

Besides Trump’s reckless trade policies, he is responding with emotionalism and irrationality to the gun-grabbing activists as well, by enthusiastically approving their “Ban This, Ban That” mentality, and showing his true colors and lack of understanding of the importance of due process. “Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump belched ignorantly.

Speaking of Trump’s ignorance and idiocy, he also wants to scapegoat the video game industry now, as though those video game makers are responsible for school shootings. But why not the pharmaceutical industry? Have I not written enough about that? I know, it wasn’t the Xanax that shot people up, it was the shooter who did it, just as it wasn’t the gun that was responsible. But I think that Big Pharma does have a lot of blood on its hands, figuratively speaking.

And regarding the video games, I wrote this in this article about Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza:

Regarding Adam Lanza and his incessant video game playing, there are several articles online which seem to be distorting or exaggerating his use of violent video games. For instance, this Guardian article states that Lanza was obsessed with mass murder and listed only violent video games based only on some items police actually found in the Lanza home, while this Techdirt article clarifies that he also had non-violent video games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and it was that video with which the article claims Lanza actually was obsessed. This Hartford Courant op-ed agrees based on witness interviews that Lanza’s real obsession was for the non-violent video games, especially Dance Dance Revolution.

Like the young people’s addictions to their little electronic gadget baby rattles, their iPhones and so forth, many youngins are addicted to their video games. And it isn’t just violent games, it’s any particular games or videos. They turn into little isolated zombies. Not good.

So, The Donald wants to steal more tax-theft money from the American people, from consumers and producers, to punish them for trading with foreigners, he is joining the gun-grabbers, and he wants to ban video games. And all this is based on ignorance, emotionalism, and irrationality. And the conservative radio personalities stand by him loyally like sheep. Yech.

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