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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The state owns neither its citizens nor the liberties it ss charged with protecting

President Trump is not a dictator, but he has the rhetoric of one. In a recent press conference, the president expressed admiration for the strength of Kim Jong Un’s leadership and stated “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.” Of course, the strength of the Kim regime rests on the threat of force. Doubtlessly one sits up and cheers enthusiastically when failure to do so…

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Tariffs Are Incompatible With the Pluralism of Free Trade

The silver lining to the president’s protectionist trade agenda is the desperation with which he and his officials attempt to sell it under the guise of free trade. One would be hard pressed to come to this realization, given all the nationalist rhetoric the president and his allies are employing to sell tariffs, but it seems free trade is still very much en vogue. Even as President Trump pursues an economic agenda that asserts the…

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Defining “National Security”: A Trip Down the Linguistic Rabbit Hole

Given the centrality of national security to the rationale advanced by the Trump administration in justifying the recently levied tariffs against steel and aluminum, you might think this term might be defined somewhere, either in the relevant legislation or sections of the U.S. Code from which the president is drawing his authority to act. And you would be wrong. The same administration officials—namely Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross, both of whom are trade-nativists, labeling concerns…

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Trump’s Tariffs Are Economically and Politically Disastrous

In an apparent bid to make mercantilism great again, the Trump administration has amped-up its pursuit of protectionist trade measures in recent months, even as others within the president’s own party descry the adverse effects these policies will likely have on the domestic economy. For his part, the president—always a fan of a good superlative—has touted tariffs on the grounds that they facilitate not simply free trade but a more refined type of trade, one…

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