Protectionism

A Century Ago Revived: Isolationism, Protectionism, Nativism!

It has been a century since three “isms” were promoted, that undermined the United States!

We had the rise of Isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, after World War I, a very powerful movement, particularly among Republicans, which became a major challenge for Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

This author and blogger wrote about this in his first book–TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981).

We also saw the rise of Protectionism, the idea of high protective tariffs, which was pursued by Republican Presidents Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.

Hoover, in particular, pursued this with the Hawley Smoot Tariff of 1930, which made the emerging Great Depression only multipled in 1930 and after, and this despite hundreds of economists taking out newspaper ads, appealing to Hoover to reject higher tariffs.

And we also had nativism, with the passage of extremely restrictive immigration laws in the 1920s under Calvin Coolidge, discriminating against Catholic, Jewish, and Asian immigrants, an apology that led to great human tragedy during the 1930s and World War II.

Now, we have Donald Trump and the Republican Party pursuing the goal of Isolationism (unwillingness to back Ukraine in its war with Russia, weakened support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and expressing doubts about supporting the sovereignty of Taiwan against mainland China)!

And we have Protectionism rearing its ugly head, with Trump promoting the idea of 10 percent tariffs on all foreign goods, which will raise the prices to American consumers, causing major rises in the cost of living!

Finally, we have Nativism, with the pledge of Trump to deport up to 11 million migrants, both undocumented immigrants and others who are not citizens of the United States, bringing back memories of detention camps promoted by Trump in his first term, including separation of children from their parents!

America cannot allow these old “isms” to become government policy again, as we need to learn from mistakes of a century ago!

Donald Trump Declares Trade “War” On European Union, Canada, Mexico: Suicidal For Consumers, Workers, Corporations

Donald Trump has declared a trade “war” on the 28 nations of the European Union, as well as Canada and Mexico.

This protectionist binge will be suicidal for consumers, workers, and corporations.

It will cause rapidly rising inflation in consumer prices; loss of employment in many industries and agriculture; and add billions of dollars in costs to corporations, which will lead to price increases and worker layoffs.

Along with the massive backtracking on the Dodd-Frank Act regulating Wall Street banks after the Great Recession of 2007-2009, it will bring about another Great Recession in the next year, and possibly worse, a return of the conditions of 1929 under Herbert Hoover, leading to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, and a great worsening of the Great Depression that affected America for an entire decade.

It will also cause the NATO alliance to fray at its edges, as the European allies, and particularly the major ones–Great Britain, France, Germany–will retaliate against the nation that they used to look to as their leader.

And our relations with our neighbors–Canada and Mexico–will be the worst in a century, and undermine global security and stability.

And the Republican Party, while complaining privately, will show no ability to stand up to Donald Trump, and fight him, and their party will be permanently damaged by their cowardice!

The War Cabinet Emerges: Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, And John Bolton: Great Depression And Aggressive War Against North Korea And Iran On The Horizon!

Donald Trump has now forced out Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson, and H. R. Mc Master, and replaced them with Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton, and this turnover after only 14 months in the White House is a danger sign of trouble ahead.

Trump’s “Tariff Wars”, discouraged by Cohn, now will move forward, and Tillerson and Mc Master, both strong in their criticism of Trump oriented foreign policy of “America First”, upending traditional foreign policy for 70 years, now will move into a phase of aggressiveness in foreign policy that is likely to lead to warfare.

One can now expect that we might end up in a Great Depression, or at least a Great Recession, as we are going down the road of protectionism, which was pursued by Benjamin Harrison in 1890 with the McKinley Tariff, which led to the Panic of 1893; and also pursued by Herbert Hoover in 1930 with the Smoot Hawley Tariff, which made the already begun Great Depression much more deeper.

And we can expect that with Mike Pompeo and particularly, John Bolton, two hawks in foreign policy, the first being a Tea Party activist elected to the House of Representatives, and the second, unable to be confirmed by a Republican Senate to be United Nations Ambassador, and only there for less than a year as a recess appointment under George W. Bush, and very much advocating “regime change” regarding North Korea and Iran, we can expect two wars before the year 2018 is over.

Trump may be thinking that getting engaged in two wars will cause “patriots” to rally around the flag, and help the Republicans to retain their control of both houses of Congress, and one must recall that in Presidential years, anytime there there has been a war, the President running for reelection has always won.

So Trump might be planning to use war as a way to a second term in office, which history must make every sane person be alarmed over such prospect!

First Thoughts After The Inauguration: How Nasty, Mean Spirited, And Lacking In Compassion Donald Trump Really Is!

I had said I was taking a day off from commentary, and will write in greater detail tomorrow, but I felt a need to comment just before midnight on Inauguration Day, so here goes!

Donald Trump in just 12 hours has made clear just how nasty, mean spirited, and lacking in compassion he really is!

He claims that he is in the White House for the average American, but he has painted a picture of America which is very dark, very pessimistic, and very lacking in truth.

He claims there is a “carnage” that has gone on, even though Barack Obama presided over more employment gains than any President in history, and starting from a economic disaster known as the Great Recession, and in danger of falling further into another Great Depression!

He claims concern for mothers and children in the “ghettos” in the cities, but has never once indicated what he will do.

He declares “America First” without any understanding of the history of that term.

He has no knowledge or understanding of history or science, as he declares war on the environment, with lack of concern for our children and grandchildren by putting profits ahead of health and safety in the future.

He is basically telling our allies in Europe and Asia to go to hell, and promoting isolationism, protectionism, super nationalism bordering on Fascism.

He talks about America being great again, when it already is, but is willing to destroy all progress accomplished under his predecessor, who he spent five years destroying, and now will put the final nails in the 44th President’s legacy.

He says he cares about the “forgotten people”, but he is taking steps to harm these same people, including many who voted for him.

How can this man sleep at night, have no conscience, and be almost gleeful at destroying all of the great social and economic progress from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama?

It as if the devil is in him, Satan in a way, a man with no ethics, morals, or scruples.

One has to believe in divine retribution in the next world, or “what goes around, comes around”–Karma!

Protectionism And Isolationism: Herbert Hoover And Donald Trump

Eighty six years ago, President Herbert Hoover signed into law the most protectionist tariff law in American history, the Smoot Hawley Tariff of 1930, over the strong opposition of hundreds of economists who signed newspaper ads opposing the cutoff of foreign trade in the early months of the Great Depression.

These economists warned that creating tariff walls would backfire on the US economy, but Hoover did not listen, and he paid the price of a much worsening depression, leading to his defeat in 1932 for reelection by Franklin D. Roosevelt

Hoover also pursued a foreign policy of isolationism, refusing to participate in the League of Nations, and issuing the Stimson Doctrine in 1932, named after the Secretary of State, Henry Stimson. This document declared the US refusal to recognize the aggression by Japan against Manchuria, part of China in 1931, but making clear that no military or other action would be taken against foreign aggression anywhere in the world.

Hoover continued to be an isolationist after the Presidency, and opposed US entrance into World War II until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941.

Now, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is taking similar stands on both protectionism and isolationism, a pivot from the modern tradition of the Republican Party, and considered by many to be a major mistake in both domestic and foreign policy.