Sunday, September 02, 2018

New tariffs nothing to cheer about

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 1, 2018)

Some American workers are cheering President Trump's new tariffs. They know not what they cheer. Tariffs are as bad for you and me-- economically-- as taxing corporations. It's a great plan-- if your goal is to economically cripple America.

No one who truly understands economics would ever try to make the case otherwise.

When you tax a corporation, it never pays a cent of the tax, but passes the expense along to the final consumers-- you and me.

A tariff is a hidden tax which makes everything you want to buy cost more. Yes, even the things made in America. When foreign goods are artificially inflated in price by tariffs the American producers have less incentive to keep their prices down. I can't afford higher prices, can you? If you can, why not volunteer to pay more on every purchase without raising prices for everyone else?

I realize the American workers may believe their jobs are being protected by tariffs, but if everything they try to buy with their subsidized paychecks costs more, and less of the things they produce are being bought by consumers who can't afford higher prices, how have they gained anything? It's a comforting suicide pact between the workers and the government. But the government won't keep its end of the bargain.

There is a way to help American jobs-- kill the taxes. All the taxes, by whatever name.

Some people would worry that this starves government of funds it needs to carry out its programs and its mission. I call this a feature, not a bug.

This one act would boost the economy to levels never before imagined. How much more money would you have if there were no taxes on your income, on your purchases, nor on the production of anything you buy? You can't even begin to imagine.

Yes, you would still end up paying for some services you are currently taxed for. So? You're already paying, and paying the most wasteful, unaccountable organization ever created. Wouldn't you prefer to choose between offers, pay someone who provides the service you want, at the price you find comfortable, without being forced to pay for things you wouldn't pay for if someone weren't forcing you? I'll take competition and free choice over a coercive monopoly I'm not allowed to opt out of any day.

Taxes, even when you call them a tariff, always cost the little guy. Support them if you feel you must, but don't expect my help.

Thank you for helping support

"What if?"

It shouldn't surprise me, but it does, how many people want to rob and enslave others based on "what if?".

Yet, that's what I see every day.

They believe in the DMV's "job" because, otherwise, "what if" someone doesn't know how to drive? Or steals a car? Or doesn't have insurance?

Gotta love those cops, because without them, "what if" some freelance bad guy steals a fraction of what is stolen to support the State? "What if" you tried to use your property in a way the town council decided you can't be allowed to? Or "what if" someone (who isn't a cop) physically attacks you? Or "what if" someone wasn't there to take pictures of your murdered corpse? "What if" you drove as "irresponsibly" as the police do? Who could force you to pay the government for this crime?

Prohibition, anti-gun "laws", speed limits and seat belt "laws", are all supported because "what if" someone got hurt because no one was there to force you, at gunpoint, to do things the State has decided you should do, or to stop you from doing things the State has decided you can be murdered for doing?

To me, it looks like ethical weakness and cowardice. In every case. It's all I see in "laws" or government.

I will never advocate robbing or enslaving you for a "what if". I'm not that pathetic.

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YOU get to decide if I get paid.