Donald Trump gave a formal speech on foreign policy. It was one of only two speeches that was written for and read on a teleprompter in his short political career. It was a strong speech. I agreed with much of it. And just as I was beginning to think this guy could actually be a good president, he turned to the subject of trade. He stressed that as part of his foreign policy he would transform free trade to fair trade and in doing so he would punish all those that did not act in the national interest.The foreign policy of a free society is one that defends the individual rights and the property of American citizens. Trump’s policy does just the opposite.

He called NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, one of the most destructive pieces of trade legislation ever passed, and therefore promises to repeal it. There are no facts to back that allegation up. To the contrary, all the facts contradict that statement. I remember the famous quote of Ross Perot, who ran a third party candidacy on trade and jobs. He said, the passing of NAFTA would lead to a large “sucking sound to the south” as jobs were sucked from the US to Mexico.

The fact is that the unemployment rate fell from around 6.5% in 1994 to under four percent by the end of the century, one of the lowest unemployment rates ever recorded. Furthermore, all three countries involved - Mexico, Canada, and the US - saw their GDP rise in those years.

Mexico credits NAFTA for the development of a middle class in that nation as all tariffs were eliminated and people had more money in their pockets to spend. As a result they imported more goods from the US and Canada.  In a survey conducted after ten years of NAFTA, 95% of the most prominent economists in the region concluded that NAFTA was a net plus for all nations involved. Trump would reverse all of that.

What Trump doesn't understand or care to look at is that free trade is a win-win proposition. A trade will not exist unless both parties get something. That's why free trade is fair trade. It's only when you penalize someone for trading that damage is done, and that's the core of Trumps trade policy. He wants to reverse NAFTA from a free trade zone and raise tariffs and quotas substantially, thereby impoverishing all who trade. But this won’t be a war against just the Canadians and the Mexicans; he will include Russia, China, and Europe. This, according to Trump, will make America great again. But more likely it will bring on a world-wide depression.

Why in a world where enemies want to destroy the western world and kill Americans, would you embark on a trade war with your top trading partners? Who needs more enemies!

Trump wants to explicitly damage our leading trading partners, even though the US is richer and in better economic shape than they are. That’s crazy. But even worse, is that he wants to hurt our own citizens and businesses to boot. As part of his foreign policy, he will decree that any company that attempts to leave this country and "outsource" jobs will be punished. What happened to the freedom of choice, the freedom of movement, and the freedom to move ones money across borders?

What Trump believes is that self-interest should be subservient to national interest. And anyone that puts their interest above societies must be stopped and indeed punished. This is the philosophy of dictators and it flies in the face of everything American.

The American ideal is that we provide incentives to take action, not brute force that forces individuals to take action. But Trump is used to being the boss and what he says goes. Trump confuses the authority of a boss with the responsibilities of a President. They are not the same.

 

By Trump’s philosophy, it's the State versus the individual. And "boss Trump" aims to be the controller of the individual. After all, if he can punish individuals for not doing what he wants in trade, he can punish them for anything. He believes in the “morality” of eminent domain -- which is blatant theft. He believes “the national interest” supersedes the individual's interest. Therefore he has no problem in a doctrine that steals on the one hand, while it prevents the victims from the free movement of their money and their businesses.

Rather than providing incentives to take an action, he would prefer to use force to "make America great again".This is one of the most dangerous doctrines ever stated explicitly by a potential President in US history. It is the equivalent of slavery. And it went totally unchallenged. No one from the media questioned the statement as being blatantly authoritarian; nor did any candidate running against him.

I talked about the three systems of statism in previous articles: communism, socialism, and fascism. I did not talk about nationalism. It is the policies of nationalism that Donald Trump is running on. He says national interest is at the heart of everything he will do. Nationalism is not an evil system as are the statist systems. But nationalism gives rise to the "us versus them" mentality, and that can be dangerous. It’s us against the Mexicans, us against the Muslims, us against our trading partners (our competitors), and now us against all those who are "unpatriotic". It’s the siren call to “make America great again” that has led so many to think Donald Trump will win against those that are against us. Trump talks about winning. But his policies, especially in the trade area are blatantly anti-growth and anti freedom, and therefore a destructive policy that will weaken America. There have been many benevolent dictators in history, rarely did their benevolence last long.

When an individual makes a mistake, he is his only victim. When a business makes a mistake, he may go bankrupt, but the damage stops there. When an industry makes a mistake, the industry may endure a brief recession until the mistake is corrected. But when a government makes a mistake the entire economy will be penalized and that’s how monetary crises and world-wide depressions occur. A President that wants the power to dictate what industry, businesses, and individuals can and cannot do, invites catastrophe.

Trump seeks the power to cross the line from protecting Americans to punishing Americans -- and therein lies the major danger to America. Do individuals have individual rights and property rights, or not? Are businessmen and women free to choose and decide how and where to run their businesses, or not? Evidently not according to Trump. He will "punish" them if they dare pursue their own interest and not the State’s. This is un-American. This is unconstitutional. And this is immoral. A President should never have that kind of power -- not in this country.

 

Yet this is the power Donald Trump seeks.

 

Paul Nathan

Paulnathan.biz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why turning over control to s benevolent dictator a bad idea? When an individual makes a mistake, he is his only victim. When a business makes a mistake, he may go bankrupt but the damage stops there. When an industry makes a mistake, the industry may endure a brief recession until the mistake is corrected. But when a government makes a mistake the entire economy will be penalized and that’s how monetary crises and world-wide depressions occur. A President that wants the power to dictate what industry, businesses, and individuals can and cannot do, invites catastrophe.

Trump seeks the power to cross the line from protecting Americans to punishing Americans -- and therein lies the major danger to America. Do individuals have individual rights and property rights, or not? Are businessmen and women free to choose and decide how and where to run their businesses, or not? Evidently not according to Trump. He will "punish" them if they dare pursue their own interest and not the State’s.

This is un-American. This is unconstitutional. And this is immoral. A President should never have that kind of power -- not in this country.

Yet this is the power Donald Trump seeks.

Paul Nathan