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Key Component of Actually Free Trade: Punishing Bad Actors

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Finally – We’re Using Both

We have long roundly ridiculed what has passed for “free trade” in Washington, D.C.

Where we remove nigh all of our government impediments to the goods and services of every other nation on the planet. And nigh no other country returns the favor. Nations the world over impose all sorts of tariffs and regulatory impediments upon anything we wish to export to them.

About which we have done absolutely nothing. For decades.

It’s the same story – over and over and over again. We get beaten and abused throughout the duration of an existing trade deal. About which we do…nothing. And then we sit down to negotiate the next trade deal – acting as if the beatings and abuse haven’t been happening. And we blithely cut another, idiotically similar new trade deal – that allows the beatings and abuse to continue unabated.

Lather, rinse, repeat. For decades. More

What to Do – and What Not to Do – on Trade Reform

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

All of Them – Everywhere

In advance of the 2008 election, now outgoing President Barack Obama ran on “Hope and Change.”  It was a smart, cynical ploy.  We the People certainly wanted “Change” – but Obama’s “Change” wasn’t even close to what we wanted it to be.

Obama meant “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” – with a massive, omni-directional expansion of government.   We the People wanted – dramatically less government.  We were tired of watching a (now) $4-trillion-a-year federal government screw up nigh everything it touches – whilst insisting on manhandling everything.

Obama wanted transform – we wanted reform.  We still do.  How else to explain the presidential election of Donald Trump?

Trump’s is the Reality Revolution.  Reality is – government stinks at nigh everything.  So rather than having it do even more – Trump intends to have it do less.  Less government regulations everywhere.  Less government in health insurance than Obamacare, less government in finance than Dodd-Frank – and less government everywhere in trade.

Trump ran repeatedly proclaiming “Our country is being ripped off so badly on trade.”  He isn’t wrong.  But this has everyone who is #NeverTrump claiming he is anti-free trade. More

Trump Knows, Media Don’t: One-Sided ‘Free Trade’ – Isn’t Free Trade

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

More Free – Less Government

The media (and the entire media-Left-NeverTrump contingent) remain steadfast in their opposition to now-President-elect Donald Trump.  In their attempts to deny him first the office and now legitimacy therein, they have come up with all sorts of shorthand descriptives that are either vague or outright disingenuous.

One of the most annoying of these – is “Donald Trump is anti-(free) trade.”

Trump Targets Free Trade, and G.O.P. Follows SuitNew York Times

Many Republicans Are Embracing Donald Trump’s Fierce Trade RhetoricBusiness Insider

Donald Trump’s Free-Trade FolliesTheWeek

Trump’s Anti-Trade Talk Rankles Businesses on the U.S.-Mexico BorderLos Angeles Times

Trump’s Anti-Trade Rhetoric Rattles the Campaign Message of Clinton and UnionsWashington Post

Anti-Trade Rhetoric by Trump, Sanders Could Doom Millions to PovertyMarketWatch

Trump Escalates Economic Tirade Against Free Trade, China and GlobalismThe Guardian

Here’s How Donald Trump Could Spark a Trade War with Mexico and China CNN More

Actual Free Trade and Trump Trade Are Absolutely, Perfectly Compatible

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Choose Your Prism Wisely

One of the biggest mistakes made by so many people on the Right freaking out about President-elect Donald Trump – is looking at him through a political prism. Donald Trump is not a politician. Thus a political prism – is out of phase and focus when trained on someone like Trump.

Trump is a businessman – thus one must regard him through a business prism. Too many lifelong politicos simply don’t possess that particular looking glass – so their view of the man is perpetually warped and skewed.

To wit: The Art of the Deal. Trump has a lifelong track record of, on the main, transcendentally successful negotiated transactions. He turned a million dollar loan from his father into a multi-billion-dollar international empire – largely by cutting good deals.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party has a lifelong track record of starting a negotiation where they’d like to end up, then preemptively negotiating with themselves backwards from that position – and winding up with terrible deal after terrible deal.

The GOP just announced its unilateral, pre-game capitulation on the terrible Dodd-Frank banking law. Trump campaigned on repealing entirely this “very negative force.” And before Trump’s even sworn in, his Congressional Party colleagues are already lining up to cower in the corner: “While President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to ‘dismantle’ the law, Republican lawmakers are setting their sights on a lower target.” More

Will a Republican Senate Stick a Republican President with a Democrat FCC?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Looking Heavenward
for an Explanation

The GOP ain’t called “The Stupid Party” for nothing.

Reports last week indicate that Senate Democrats – the minority Party – had pulled together enough of their Republican majority cohorts to have a lame-duck session vote to give Democrat Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel a brand new term.

A lame-duck session – as in a vote by members whom We the People just said we don’t want voting anymore. To preemptively foist upon incoming Republican President Donald Trump – a Democrat-controlled FCC.

Now that’s stupid.

Here’s how the FCC is populated. There are five voting Commissioners – one of whom also serves as Chairman. Thus the partisan split is 3-2 – with the President’s Party holding the majority. They serve Senate-confirmed terms – which means Commissioner tenures often bridge administrations.

Current Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s term does. So do the terms of both current Republicans – Ajit Pai and Mike O’Reilly. Commissioner Rosenworcel’s term ends this year – in other words, imminently. Thus the Democrat push to renew. More

The Trump Transition: Away from Enormous, Terrible Top-Down Government

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Hopefully It’s Finally on Rollback

We are in the midst of what is referred to as the “transition” – the hand off of power from one president to another. God bless America – these conversions are peaceful. Even when the exchange takes place between presidents of opposing political parties, as is currently underway.

(Here’s hoping the Democrat Barack Obama Administration continues to handle this better than did the Democrat Bill Clinton Administration. On their way out, classy Clinton officials vandalized the White House to the tune of $15,000 in damage – including ripping the “W”s out of the keyboards – in protest of Republican George W. Bush succeeding them.)

The incoming Donald Trump Administration is shaping up to be a policy and procedural sea change – a completely new approach to what DC does and how it does it. Given the half-century-plus of top-down stagnation the city has foisted upon us – this is not a terrible thing.

Unless you are a creature of Washington. Which is much more a state of mind than of geography. Plenty of people – college professors aplenty, for instance – have never stepped foot in our nation’s capitol. But they think and act like lifers.

Trump, from all appearances, is not similarly addled. It’s not that he doesn’t care about how things in DC have always been done. It’s that he sees how anti-productive and stupid most of it is – and he intends to change it. More

Thanksgiving: For the Prospect of Less Government Cronyism

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Hopefully a Diminishing Word Search

Thursday is, of course, our day of Thanksgiving. Where food and football serve as an accompaniment to our gathering together to celebrate our blessings.

I will not bore you with all for which I am thankful personally (though that is much). Discussed here is something public policy for which I am most grateful – the end of the the Barack Obama Administration and its cronyism nightmare mess. For everyone generally – and Silicon Valley “Tech companies” specifically.

Where we can finally get back to equal protection before the law – and allowing the marketplace to evolve of its own accord. Pre-Obama, the Internet was a free speech-free market Xanadu. May it be so again.

First – we must briefly define terms. People say “Tech companies” – and they exclusively mean the Silicon Valley slate: Google, Facebook, Netflix and the like. Which is grossly unfair to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs): Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T and the like.

The ISPs have developed and exponentially advanced the broadband network. The technology that, without which, the “Tech companies” would for all practical purposes not exist. Before you get to the wonder of Facebook or a Google search – you must travel the wonder that is the inter-web. And that wonderment survives and thrives – thanks to the ISPs. More

Trump Has Repeatedly Flirted with Ending the EPA. He Absolutely Should

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Yes, Please

The $4-trillion-per-year federal government works incessantly against the private sector. Likely no wing is more pernicious than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On his way to prison for defrauding taxpayers out of more than $1 million, former high-level EPA official Jon Beale said that while at the agency he was: “working on a ‘project’ examining ways to ‘modify the DNA of the capitalist system.’ He argued that environmental regulation was reaching its ‘limits’…so he began working on his plan.”

Which, thankfully, was eventually scrapped. But how obnoxious is the EPA – and how much free time does it have – to even consider, let alone work on, such a plan?

Idle bureaucrat hands are the Devil’s playground. There are more than 800,000 federal government employees – that the employer its own self deems “non-essential.” Get that? The Feds have hired almost a million people – they themselves say are totally superfluous.

We have far too many bureaucrats – with nigh nothing to do. So they start looking for things to do – like trying to “modify the DNA of the capitalist system.”

Rather than assigning them things to do, or allowing them to go on these regulatory spelunking forays – how about we scrap their gigs? And while we’re at it – the agencies in which they work? Because if these agencies green light these sorts of regulatory search-and-destroy missions, they have no productive work to do – and thus shouldn’t exist. More

Want a Shortage of Something? Put the Government in Charge of Its Production

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Enjoy Shopping at
Government Grocery

The late, inordinately great man and economist Milton Friedman once rightly observed “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Where governments run things – shortages abound. Places with unbelievable amounts of natural resources – end up importing those very things when government controls their production.

Communist Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reservesand it imports oil. (From, amongst other places, the United States.) Why? “The nation’s late president Hugo Chávez often boasted the South American country regained control of its oil industry after he seized joint ventures controlled by such companies as ExxonMobil and Conoco. But nineteen months after Chávez’s death, the country can’t pump enough commercially viable oil out of the ground to meet domestic needs — a result of the former leader’s policies.”

Communist China used to be a huge rice exporter. Now they are the world’s largest rice importer – despite the population’s declining rice consumption. Why? “China’s agricultural sector is declining in competitiveness. Like some other Asian countries, China has implemented state-funded strategies that encourage rice cultivation by guaranteeing minimum purchase prices. After almost a decade of government increases to these prices, they are now well over international market levels.”

Asian countries aren’t the only ones stupidly engaging in price-skyrocketing, shortage-inducing price fixing. And government ownership of production. And many, many other stupid policies. We do a lot of it – and have for decades. Most agriculture-producing countries around the world do it. More

Government Ignores Human Nature – and Warps the World with its Ignorance

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The Bigger the Government – the Bigger the Ignorance

Socialism doesn’t work because it tries to root out human nature. Capitalism works because it harnesses it.

We are capitalists, conservatives and federalists in part because we acknowledge and understand human nature. Its possibilities – and its limitations.

They are Socialists because they are Utopian fantasists. They think they can remake humanity and the planet into a Heaven on Earth. And the vehicle with which they attempt this intercontinental, multi-billion-person fundamental transformation – is government.

Faith in government is itself a failure to grasp human nature. For several reasons. One of them is the Wallet Rule:

If you go out on a Friday night with your wallet, and you go out the following Friday night with my wallet – on which Friday night are you going to have more fun? More