Writing at The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan extols the virtues of tariffs and their history as a cornerstone of American economic policy. He writes:
William McKinley, the veteran of Antietam who gave his name to the McKinley Tariff, declared four years before being elected president: “Free trade results in our giving our money…our manufactures and our markets to other nations. …It will bring widespread discontent. It will revolutionize our values.”
Campaigning in 1892, McKinley said, “Open competition between high-paid American labor and poorly paid European labor will either drive out of existence American industry or lower American wages.”
Substitute “Asian labor” for “European labor,” and is this not a fair description of what free trade did to U.S. manufacturing these last 25 years? The results have been some $12 trillion in trade deficits, arrested wages for our workers, six million manufacturing jobs lost, 55,000 factories, and plants shut down.
McKinley’s future vice president Teddy Roosevelt agreed with him: “Thank God I am not a free trader.”
What did the Protectionists produce?
From 1869 to 1900, GDP quadrupled. Budget surpluses ran for 27 straight years. The U.S. debt was cut two-thirds to 7 percent of GDP. Commodity prices fell 58 percent. America’s population doubled, but real wages rose 53 percent. Economic growth averaged 4 percent a year.
And the United States, which began this era with half of Britain’s production, ended it with twice Britain’s production.
Under Warren Harding, Cal Coolidge, and the Fordney-McCumber Tariff, GDP growth between 1922 and 1927 hit 7 percent, an all-time record.
Economic patriotism put America first, and made America first.
Of GOP free traders, the steel magnate Joseph Wharton, whose name graces the college Trump attended, said it well: “Republicans who are shaky on protection are shaky all over.”
Read more here.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
Latest posts by E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy (see all)
- Locking In a Generational Opportunity in Fixed Income - November 30, 2023
- RIP Charlie Munger: Keeping It Simple Never Goes out of Style - November 30, 2023
- Explosion in Gun Ownership Creates Difficulties for Progressives - November 30, 2023
- It’s California vs. Florida in the Big State Debate - November 29, 2023
- Shiffrin Brings It Home with World Cup Win at Killington - November 29, 2023