Economic Protectionism and the Tyranny of Taxation With Representation

Economic protectionism, much like the populist tradition of which it is often born, involves the exportation of need. Individuals are not primarily responsible for securing, or often even defining, their own needs, but task an intermediary figure, in whose goodness they place their trust, with doing so. Even as a certain type of grasping, malevolent elite becomes the archetypal bogeyman in the populist’s dichotomous morality play, the downtrodden masses champion their own elite: a modern-day…

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Collectivization and the Media and Government’s War for “the People”

In the overwrought battle for the soul of the country which the press and the Trump administration have convinced their respected partisan foot soldiers is being waged, defense of “the people” is the common shibboleth around which each side rallies. For Trump and his acolytes, “America First” is an all-encompassing justification; it bestows upon those who march under its banner a kind of sanctity, which at one and the same time empowers a broad array…

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National Security Cannot Be Achieved By Eroding Property Rights

The term “national security” is something of a misnomer. The safety of all lies in the securing of the safety of one. In other words, individual cases matter. This is nowhere so well evidenced as in cases where the media and certain pandering partisans condemn the brutal criminal behavior of a single illegal immigrant (as is proper) and extrapolate it to paint immigrants with a broad-brush as some sort of invading mercenary force (as is…

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Trump’s $12 Billion Solution to a Protectionist Problem of His Making

American citizens have been impressed into a conflict which is not of their choosing. Unilateral power was used to levy tariffs on the imported goods the president has targeted under the guise of some vague national security threat and unilateral power will now be used to mitigate the damage done to domestic producers who inevitably pay the price for economic protectionism. The $12 billion the USDA will offer to farmers affected by the trade war…

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Individualism, Value and Economic Protectionism

Value is not all things to all people. Tools such as money create a framework of empirical worth that acts as a mediating agent so trade can be effortlessly conducted between motivated parties, but the idea that a dollar is worth the same amount regardless of whether it is used in Seattle, Washington or Boston, Massachusetts is only one aspect of the way in which value operates in society. Value can be intrinsic to a…

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The President’s Shameful Attempt to Control Harley-Davidson

A government with power of discernment, whose officials think and feel and act empathetically towards their favored interest group, is a government of tyranny. Such a government is characterized by officials who use the structure of government to codify their sentimentalities: to protect those causes that, in their opinion, are most deserving of aid. But, there is no empiric standard that drives such action. Rather, opinion becomes the engine of government, directing its every move.…

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Partisan Litmus Tests Reinforce the Very Culture They Attempt to Undermine

The contemporary political era is one in which the tired old cliché “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” has become a guiding maxim. If the populace — acting in concert as one united entity — comes to a consensus over the unacceptability of an issue, failure by individual politicians to adequately demonstrate the appropriate level of consternation at the outrage du jour becomes tantamount to that individual being complicit with the offending actor. This culture has come…

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