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It’s Not ‘Free Trade’ – If They’re Stealing Tons of Our Stuff

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Stop the Theft, Shall We?

President Donald Trump became President Donald Trump because he saw a whole host of naked emperors – and publicly pointed out the dearth of respective wardrobes.  Establishment Washington, D.C. has spent decades pretending a whole host of things labeled “A” – are “Not A.”

We the People were tired of DC lying to us – and itself.  So we elected Trump – the guy who joined with us in decrying the lies.  “Drain the Swamp,” anyone?

The examples of DC snowing us – are myriad.  Social Security and Medicare are a combined nearly $300 trillion short – a looming cataclysm of monumental proportions.  Yet in DC, both are hailed as “successes.”  Obamacare is a premium-and-deductible-exploding, choice-contracting disaster.  Yet in DC – it is another “success.”

And then there’s DC’s definition of “free trade.”  In which DC has for decades cut one-sided deals – in which we didn’t impose any limits on imports, while nigh every other nation on the planet imposed all sorts of taxes and limits on the things we export to them (while subsidizing the daylight out of their domestic production).

The United States is an $18-trillion-Gross-Domestic-Product-800-pound-gorilla in the global trade room.  We have leverage to burn when it comes to cutting deals.  We have thus far used…none of it. More

Donald Trump Needs to Totally Dump Google

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Time to Break Free

It is certainly understandable that the Donald Trump presidency has left Google – oops, I mean Alphabet – more than a mite discombobulated.

Google has just spent the last eight years all-but-running the Barack Obama Administration.  Google people visited the Obama White House at least 427 times.  Dozens of key Google staffers – transmogrified into key Obama Administration staffers.  Google literally wrote ridiculously crony policies that ridiculously favored them and crippled their competitors.

But all bad things must come to an end.  The eight-year-long-national-nightmare Obama Administration finally drew to a close.  And as it did, Google went all-in to secure Obama’s Democrat successor – Hillary Clinton.  To ensure that its crony gravy train continued.

Lest we forget, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in June 2016 claimed “We’re not going to touch Trump vs. Clinton.”  Which was..not exactly true.  Schmidt worked directly with the Clinton campaign.  Schmidt was also a member of the “Democratic Victory Task Force.”  Google was caught – at least twicerigging Clinton search results so as to cover up her massive corruption.

But none of it worked.  The Google crony magic was gone – Trump won. More

Mr. President: Please Remove Google’s Anti-IP Mole from Your Administration

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Also Good as Administration Policy

One of the many aspects of the very anti-free trade “free trade” to which we have for decades been subjected – is the massive intellectual property (IP) theft conducted by China and other nations.  China alone steals more than $360 billion worth per annum – and has been doing so for decades.

About which we have done…absolutely nothing.  To preserve the illusion of “free trade,” we have pretended that these ongoing, multi-trillion-dollar heists – weren’t happening.  We periodically sit down with China to negotiate the next “free trade” deal – and pretend the giant IP theft elephant seated next to us…isn’t seated next to us.

Now-President Donald Trump is now-President Donald Trump – in part because he repeatedly pointed out that the “free trade” emperor – is stark naked:

“‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’…is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen…(about a) vain Emperor who…hires two weavers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is either unfit for his position or ‘hopelessly stupid.’  The Emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothes themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions, and the Emperor does the same. Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him, and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all, and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor suspects the assertion is true but continues the procession.”

The Emperor is the Washington, D.C. Establishment.  The weavers are our “free trade” partners like China.  The ministers are our trade negotiators.  Trump is the kid – who cares not for inane pretense and finally calls male cow manure on the whole global scam. More

Trump Promised to Get Tough on China’s ‘Massive’ Intellectual Property Theft…

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Finally, Please

Despite what you have heard from the Left and the media (please pardon the redundancy), now-President-elect Donald Trump ran on a full panoply of ideas and policy positions.  His campaign website contained detailed plans on, amongst other things, immigration, tax and regulatory reform – and a new way to approach international trade.

(Trump just didn’t expound on them at his routinely massive rallies – as that was not the time, place or audience for it.  Those weren’t the venues for comprehensive white paper discussions.)

But as Trump repeatedly and with clear brevity enunciated – on all sorts of trade, by all sorts of countries – “America is getting ripped off.”  Our one-sided “free trade” allows nigh everything into our country completely free from any taxes, levies or stipulations – while we ignore the very many anti-free-trade impositions emplaced upon our stuff by other nations.

One of the worst abusers of our idiocy – excuse me, our “free trade” fetishism – is China: “A simple Web search for ‘China Tariffs on US Goods’ – tells much of the tale the media won’t.  China manipulating its currency to warp the world market – is trade warfare, not free trade.  Oh – and China stealing $300+ billion per year in U.S. intellectual property (IP) is certainly all warfare all the time.”

Get that last bit?  China is stealing from us hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of IP per annum.  And has been – for years.  And we’ve openly recognized it – for years. More

Let’s Not Pass the ‘CREATES Lawsuits-Undermines Patents’ Act

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

George Carlin: No Longer With Us – But Still Correct

We’ve written extensively about the bipartisan, awful, awfully mis-named Innovation and PATENT Acts. Bills which would undermine the ability of patent holders to protect their property from thieves. By making it exponentially more difficult for them to do the one thing they can to stop the thieves – sue them.

Which is awful for patent holders, property rights defenders – and people who still like the Constitution (see: the Copyright Clause). But it’s outstanding news for trial lawyers.

Suing to protect property isn’t a litigiousness problem. Making those lawsuits more complicated and more expensive – and thus needlessly, exponentially increasing billable hours – is a litigiousness problem.

Yet bills with Republican backing – are undermining property rights and enhancing and enriching trial lawyers. I can’t imagine why a Donald Trump exists.

But wait – there’s more. Quite similar Republican-co-sponsored legislative inanity is also under Congressional consideration – that will undermine property rights, while pumping up the lawyerly wallets of the world’s John Edwards’.

And it too has an Orwellian name – the CREATES Act. “CREATES” is an acronym for “Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act of 2016.” The bill actually does…something else entirely. More

Add Intellectual Property Protection to the List of Rights the Government is Eviscerating

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

It is ALL
Constitutionally Protected

The Constitution is an extraordinary document. Life for most humans for most of human history has been poor, nasty, brutish and short. The Constitution acknowledged this past (and present) – and transformed our future.

One of the many, many amazing things the document did was properly define the role between man (master) and government (servant). In part by codifying man’s natural rights. These rights are inherently ours – and government can not infringe upon them.

As we’ve oft reminded, Ben Franklin was asked as he departed the Constitutional Convention “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” To which Franklin responded “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

We haven’t kept it. Because government keeps serially, ever-more-blatantly exceeding its limits – and in the process eviscerating our rights. And the officials We the People elect either do nothing to stop it – or are complicit in it.

Our representatives have yet another opportunity to step up and stop yet another government encroachment. Under prospective assault this time – the Constitution’s Copyright Clause:

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” More

Thanks, FBI: We Real Worlders Find Elite World Inordinately Annoying. Again

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Silence, Peasants

How about that FBI no-indictment announcement yesterday? Makes perfect sense to you, I bet.

Ok – I don’t bet that. At all.

What does make sense to us Real Worlders – is seeing yet another Elite get yet another Get-Out-of-Reality-Free card. It is all growing quite tiresome.

We Real Worlders are tired of the Elites’ limitless condescension – combined with incessant wrong-ness.

We’re tired of Elites who are clearly in possession of far less common sense (but many, many more degrees) – mandating ever more portions of our lives.

We’re tired of Elites committing multiple felonies and skating away un-indicted – while we get a ticket nigh every single time we park five minutes longer than the meter for which we paid allows. More

There’s Already a Process for Bad Patents, So Let’s Not Destroy All Patents

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Not…

There are some people who simply, bizarrely do not like intellectual property.

Some are full-blown Leftists – who do not like private property at all. (But don’t you dare try to take for the Collective the smart phone on which they’re Tweeting their disdain for private property.)

Others are to varying degrees small “L” libertarian. Who somehow bizarrely delineate between physical property (which they’ll protect) and intellectual property (which they won’t). Who would have arrested a thief leaving Tower Records with an armful of CDs – but who is even as I type downloading-without-paying that exact same music.

We are in the 21st Century surrounded by and immersed in the wonderments of a (dwindling-ly, less-and-less) free market economy – largely made possible by the protection of intellectual property. Without it – we would be literally nowhere.

Were Steve Jobs unable to legally safeguard his magic iPhone, not only would there not currently be Iteration 6S – there would never have been an Iteration 1. Because Jobs wasn’t an idiot. More

Peter Thiel Should Learn a Broader Litigation Lesson from his Gawker Lawsuit

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Lawsuit Lesson Learned?

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is a pretty smart guy. As partial evidence, I give you his self-made net worth of $2.7 billion. He co-founded online payment mega-company PayPal – which was in 2002 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion. Anyone who saw the very good flick “The Social Network” knows Thiel was one of the first outside investors in Facebook. He still owns a chunk, and is on their Board. He invested in LinkedIn. He’s…done well.

Thiel obviously has a knack for knowing what is worth his money, time and effort. So it was noteworthy when he officially acknowledged that he helped fund professional wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the online publication Gawker (Gawker had amongst other things posted a Hogan sex tape.) Hogan was awarded $140 million for Gawker’s invasion of his privacy.

Why did Thiel fund Hogan? Because nine years ago, Gawker invaded Thiel’s privacy – with a story headlined “Peter Thiel is Totally Gay, People.” Thiel said Gawker followed up with similarly invasionary stories on several of his friends (and others) – which Thiel said “ruined people’s lives for no reason.”

So Thiel “funded a team of lawyers to find and help ‘victims’ of the company’s coverage mount cases against Gawker.” Which begat Hogan.  Thiel assessed why he stepped up: “I can defend myself. Most of the people they attack are not people in my category. They usually attack less prominent, far less wealthy people that simply can’t defend themselves…It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence.” More

Donald Trump, China, Trade – and Intellectual Property Theft

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Perhaps a Little More
Umph is Required

We are in the midst of a presidential race that is fundamentally changing how many view – and thought they knew – politics. Donald Trump especially is radically altering that map. What many thought were permanent lines – turned out to be drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch. That the presumptive Republican nominee has spent the last year shaking into oblivion.

Much of what Trump has altered – desperately needed to be altered. Change can be a very good thing – especially when terrible ideas and actions have been ensconced and accepted as “the norm” and “that’s how it’s always been done.

That’s certainly the case in many instances with intellectual property (IP). Intellectual property has come to be seen as somehow less than physical property – and thus less worthy of protection from theft. In an ever increasingly digital economy – that’s even less good.

One of the first major purveyors of IP theft was Napster. Launched on June 1, 1999, Napster was a website designed to allow its users to steal digital copies of music. Millions of people downloaded songs – for which they did not pay. These same people – who would never have walked into a brick-and-mortar Tower Records store and stolen the same music on CDs – had no compunction doing the exact same thing digitally. In this way did Napster help begin to artificially, dangerously lessen the perceived value of IP.

But just because you aren’t stealing anything tangible – doesn’t mean you aren’t stealing. By illegally replicating a song (or movie, or book, or….) – you are lessening the value of the legal copies thereof. It is the exact same reason you aren’t allowed to print fake money – because it devalues real money. (Someone please tell the United States Treasury.)

Flash forward nearly two decades – and we have China. Which is Napster on uber-steroids – ensconced as government policy. On May 15 on Fox News Sunday, in defense of Trump’s call for a reanalysis of how we cut trade deals, Republican former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said “When you hear, for example, that the Chinese last year probably stole $360 billion in intellectual property from the United States, I think being tough about that’s a good thing. I think conservatives can be for very tough-minded trade.” More