Patterico's Pontifications

5/8/2019

Trump Tweets, Boasts of Benefits of Huge Tax Increases

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am



Translation:

“I am very happy with a tax increase on American consumers and manufacturers.”

Who pays that tax increase? Americans, not China:

Economists have long know[n] that trade wars can be good for some countries (at the expense of their trading partners) if a country can apply a tariff that induces exporters to substantially reduce their export prices in order to maintain their market access. For example, if the reaction of foreign solar panel makers to the new 30 percent US tariff were to drop their prices by 30 percent, the US could gain because the foreign producers of solar panels would absorb the full cost of the import tax thus leaving the landed prices of solar panels unaffected and filling the coffers of the treasury with the tariff revenues. If foreign exporters do not drop their prices, however, then purchasers of solar panel prices will bear the full cost of the higher import taxes and also incur welfare losses as some choose less efficient means to generate electricity.

Thus, whether these tariffs are beneficial or not is an empirical question that we can now answer. In a recent paper, Mary Amiti of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Stephen Redding of Princeton and I analyzed the impact of the 2018 tariffs on the prices and import quantities of millions of import flows. The results clearly show that the costs of the import tariffs have landed entirely on US citizens. As a result, imports in targeted sectors have fallen precipitously as double-digit tariffs have been levied on our imports.

Through November 2018, US importers and consumers experienced $12.3 billion in added tax costs and another $6.9 billion from unrecoverable reductions in welfare arising from the tariffs forcing consumers to cut back on import purchases. Since many of these tariffs were only applied in October, the costs are mounting rapidly. By November 2018, purchasers of imports were paying $3 billion per month in import taxes and suffering another $1.4 billion per month in unrecoverable welfare costs. To put this into perspective, if we were to think that a successful outcome from the trade war would be the creation of 35,400 manufacturing jobs—the number of steel and aluminum jobs lost in the last ten years—then the welfare loss per job saved is $195,000, which is almost four times more than annual wage of a steel worker: $52,500.

Tariffs are similar to blockading our harbors (or closing our borders to the legal flow of commerce). Functionally, it’s the same: it prevents our citizens from enjoying the benefits of the division of labor. We blockade other countries’ harbors in wartime, knowing it will hurt them — but we functionally blockade our own in peacetime by imposing tariffs, brainwashed by ignorant populist propaganda into thinking that such a self-destructive act hurts the enemy.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

63 Responses to “Trump Tweets, Boasts of Benefits of Huge Tax Increases”

  1. We blockade an enemies harbor in wartime to prevent them from getting supplies to either feed their soldiers or carry on the war effort. Not a good analogy.

    It’s a worse analogy to equate trade to immigration as you support unlimited trade free of tariffs so it would be easy to infer that you support unlimited immigration which would destroy the fabric of our nation as the left greatly desires.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  2. I really meant the legal flow of commerce and have changed the language to make my point more accurately. Thanks.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. We blockade an enemies harbor in wartime to prevent them from getting supplies to either feed their soldiers or carry on the war effort. Not a good analogy.

    Wait, are you saying that getting fewer supplies from foreign countries hurts a country???

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. If they are necessary supplies that they cannot create to carry on the war effort, of course. But, like we did for the war effort in WW2, you can change many industries to be self reliant if you have the raw materials, land and people necessary to do so. I understand what you are trying to say, just trying to get it clarified and refined.

    Thank you for the update.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  5. Envy is the nasty part of human nature that prefers equality in trade poverty to inequality in trade wealth but collectivists of all stripes use the “it’s not fair!” rallying cry. The worse part of this is the casual acceptance of the collectivist view of “the US” having a trade imbalance with “China” as if it’s perfectly natural that politicians in Washington have the authority to second-guess Walmart’s business decisions. Given Trump’s background, I’m sure he thinks crony capitalism and the inherent corrupt form of fascism it entails is perfectly normal – “It’s how business is done” I believe is how he defended his campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton – but some of us aren’t collectivists.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  6. One of my favorite conservative economists, Tyler Cowen, has some thoughts on a US-China trade deal, and there’s quite a bit more involved than tariffs because of the complexities of a free nation interfacing with a entity that exerts pervasive state control.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  7. We have a state sales tax. It is complicated by various exemptions for commodities like newspapers or bibles but not novels, groceries but not fast food, prescriptions but not OTC …

    There are times of the year — back to school; the start of summer storm season — when ordinarily taxed items like underwear or smoke detectors — are tax exempt for one week only.

    A national tariff with various exemptions for favored nations, or penalties for disfavored commodities, or in conjunction with various other government policy goals — is more restrictive of trade and burdensome to consumers than state-level sales taxes … how, exactly?

    Pouncer (df6448)

  8. ‘The benefits of the divisions of labor’…

    “Theories” are quaint. They go good with martinis.

    Once upon a time you were paid a working wage at a firm in Minneapolis that boxed up the products you manufactured, sealed with $3/roll Minnesota-made packing tape. Then the firm gets sold to a Chinese group at a sweet price by the three-piece-suiters in the head office… the ‘free marketers’ who reap a hefty profit along w/stockholders and look to retire as the Chinese move in and move out your whole factory– lock, stock and barrel– to Shanghai. So you lose your job, your standard of living drops for you, your family and your whole neighborhood as the plant loss leaves a gaping hole in the community. Now you work for minimum wage for the hours you can get at a Dollar Store selling Chinese-made packing tape for 99-cents a roll– because the Blockbuster closed.

    Anything that slams China sounds damn good to you– that’s the harsh reality… and you vote for Trump. And you will vote for Trump again.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  9. The part that I harp on, DCSCA, is that we forget how to make those products.
    We no longer advance the technology of those products. We lose the skills, and we don’t progress.
    If we had need of that product again in a harsh circumstance, we couldn’t recreate it within our borders. We’d have to reinvent the wheel.

    Sure, it doesn’t look likely that China will stop selling stuff to us. But what about important things?

    Let’s take those big transformers that you need at a power plant.

    http://energyskeptic.com/2015/power-transformers-that-take-up-to-2-years-to-build/

    From the article: “The United States has limited production capability to manufacture LPTs (Large Power Transformers). In 2010, only 15% of the Nation’s demand for power transformers (with a capacity rating of 60 MVA and above) was met through domestic production. Although the exact statistics are unavailable, power transformer market supply conditions indicate that the Nation’s reliance on foreign manufacturers was even greater for EHV power transformers with a capacity rating of 300 MVA and above (or a voltage rating of 345 kV and above).”

    What happens if China just decides to stop selling them to us? Do we still know how to make those super-sized ones? How many could we make if we had to? What if China just decides that we’re lower on the priority list? What happens when our last supplier in the US goes out of business because China is undercutting him because their government is supporting them?

    Ingot9455 (afdf95)

  10. Reagan’s car import quotas, intended to encourage the Japanese to build cars in the US, did just that. As of 2018, more cars were built in the US by foreign manufacturers than by domestic ones.

    Now there might be some global ivory-tower reason why it would be better to have these cars built elsewhere and imported, but from a purely American standpoint, the hundreds of thousands of good-paying non-union jobs over the past 30 years have been beneficial and any costs associated with the quotas is long since recovered.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  11. What would adam smith say? He did say “he never went into a room of capitalists where they didn’t conspire to fix prices!” Free trade makes rich richer along with multi national corporations. The coasts run by democrats benefit from transporting chinese goods while the middle of the country run by republicans are devastated except some large factory farming. That is why republicans voted for trump and ran you free traders out of the republican party! Your lucky free traders bought off the democratic establishment to stop bernie sanders The corporate establishment and their running dogs in the media are for free trade and believe in malcom X motto by any means necessary to stop trump! What you going to to do when AOC runs in 2024 on rust belt jobs building re-education camps for free trade vermin.

    lany (970af4)

  12. 10 foreign cars are assembled here with parts made and imported over seas to get around quotas. Bmw put a plant in south carolina right to work for less state because they could pay american workers less then german works and with much less benefits. Happy Ve day when stalin(communist) fdr(semi socialist and churchill(drunk) beat hitler(industrial capitalist).

    lany (970af4)

  13. @9. Transformers… well, the PBS Frontline doc airing this week on the China vs. America, tariff tiff etc., touches on that, only the Chinese cite automobile manufacturing as a key. bellweather industry for technological progress- as it touches on so many other supplemental industries to support manufacturing. They have range plans and they stick to it- but then they have gov’t support for same. Worked for a Japanese firm in my youth which employed similar ‘long range planning’ for manufacturing, marketing and distribution. They thought globally, as well– the U.S. was just another market to them. ‘Five year plans’ or longer- aren’t high on the agenda in the boardrooms or w/stockholders in America’s quarterly driven economy. For instance, management and stockholders at a U.S. firm would be hard pressed to accept a three year loss- 12 quarters- perhaps more, to gain long term market share. The Japanese did. The Chinese will, too. Government backs them up.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. ^long range plans. Typo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. Well, at times it does seem as if the number 1 export of countries like El Salvador to the US is people…

    steveg (e7a56b)

  16. And their number 1 import from the US is our dollars

    steveg (e7a56b)

  17. $100 billion/year

    LOL

    Dave (6373c2)

  18. He is dumb, but no dumber than people who think that they are getting a dollar’s worth of goods for the dollar they give to the Chinese. Yes, I know, something is worth what the buyer agrees to pay for it.

    And used car dealers everywhere smiled.

    nk (9651fb)

  19. Did lany just say that hitler was the good guy?

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. no he just doesn’t think stalin was a real socialist, koba was something worse like a voordolak (vampire) czar, who consumed 40 million souls,

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. It does depend a lot on whether you see economic activity as a way to benefit capital, or a way to feed your citizens. If capital is taking its profits from what it sold in America (e.g. Apple) and investing them in foreign lands to employ more people to make more products to sell in America, the corporate coffers remain full but the nation they built their fortune on diminishes.

    This causes resentment. The Libertarian position is basically “So what!” and an exposition on why governments should not interfere in markets. This is one of the reasons I describe myself as a “Lapsed Libertarian.” What is missed in this analysis is that government is PART of the market system, a non-monetary feedback regulating markets that forget about people, and that they can vote.

    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  22. In his book, The Way The World Works, the economist Jude Wanniski writes about the “wedge,” which is the aggregation of taxes, regulations, and other obligatory burdens that are borne by a producer of, say, widgets, over and above the materials and labor needed to produce a widget.
    In the U. S. there are multiple taxes, permitting & licensing fees, and federal, state & local legal & regulatory compliance costs that collectively increase the price that a manufacturer must charge for a widget in order to generate profit.
    When the wedge burden for the manufacturer of a widget in China (or any other country) is equal or equivalent to that of an American widget manufacturer, then one might indulge in daydreaming about “free trade” and fair competition.
    “Free Trade” theory relies, as do most Econ 101 theories, on ceteris parabus (all else held equal.)
    In the Real World, ceteris parabus does not exist.

    ColoComment (e09204)

  23. OT
    But I suppose nk and ulb might be interested in this
    It seems fans should expect to be tested for ideological purity if they want to attend MLB games
    https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/cubs-fan-racist-gesture-tv-doug-glanville/

    Kishnevi (5a7bdb)

  24. 22. Free trade is also an exercise in math, which economics has very little to do with. Economics is essentially a behavioral science. Behavior can be predicted with a fair amount of accuracy when you’re dealing with large enough numbers of people, but judging economic policy in terms of simple dollars and cents kind of misses the whole point of economic theory in the first place.

    Gryph (08c844)

  25. “unrecoverable reductions in welfare arising from the tariffs forcing consumers to cut back on import purchases.”

    This verbiage is hilarious. Not buying cheap plastic crap from China has UNRECOVERABLY REDUCED OUR WELFARE.

    “the welfare loss per job saved is $195,000, which is almost four times more than annual wage of a steel worker: $52,500.”

    Good thing money spent on American steel goes only to steelworker wages and not to anything else, like local supply chains, or keeping people off the street and on Actual Welfare instead of disordered lives.

    If the only words you use to describe economic activity are ‘consumers’, ‘manufacturers’, and ‘goods’, your thinking on it hasn’t reached beyond video-game level.

    Archibald Windsor (9ce670)

  26. Actually, I dont mind one bit….but the patron in question should have been given at least 48 hours to respond on account of possibly still being hungover if he did the bars after last nights game.

    urbanleftbehind (fa96ef)

  27. The benefits of the divisions of labor’…

    “Theories” are quaint. They go good with martinis.

    There is a theoretical difference between the free market and Communism. The difference, in reality, leads to the death of millions. In my view, there is no more dangerously stupid yet ubiquitous trope than the one that drily commits free market theory to the realm of the ivory tower, and confidently tells you that things are different in the world, my good man. That kind of stuff kills people. Here, it just hurts people, but taken to its logical extreme it actually kills people.

    Now, having dispensed with that, yes, some people are hurt by shifts in the market. The usual method of arguing for government intervention is to do what you have done: simply point out that the market does not result in perfect results for everyone, smile triumphantly, dust off your hands, and call it a day. Argument won! There is no need to argue over whether governmental coercion stepping in to change the calculus will lead to a better outcome. Why, we can just assume it, and assume the superior mien of the savant explaining something to a rather dull pupil.

    The problem is that government interference in the market nearly always has deleterious effects. Often these are “unseen” as in Bastiat’s famous essay about the seen and the unseen. Government steps in to fulfill its role as (in Mises’s words): “the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion” with “the monopoly of violent action.” To the extent that this violence is used to create a stable framework within which individuals can interact peaceably, exchange for mutual benefit, without fear of rampant fraud, theft, or violent appropriation, it is justifiable. But whenever it steps in with the specific intent of benefiting one party, another is harmed. If the benefits tended to always outweigh the costs, then increased interference would lead to greater general prosperity, and true socialism would be a heaven on earth, rather than a recipe for mass starvation and privation.

    Call it a theory if you like (and if you’re dangerously ignorant) but only the free market, with its system in which each and every transaction is thought by each side to benefit itself at the moment it occurs, can lead to the kind of prosperity that the world has seen in recent decades. That was accomplished, not through the actions of government or smug chuckleheads who deride free market theory as the stuff of ivory towers, but by the free market itself. If the beneficiaries of the market could fully understand why they came out of poverty, they would rise up and drag every critic of the system out of town on a rail. Only populist ignorance about economics allows people to reap the benefits of the market while ever so urbanely and snootily criticizing it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  28. @19 depends if you think adoph krupp and i.g.farben were good.

    lany (973c81)

  29. Archibald, “welfare costs” in that quote seems to mean “paying more for alternative goods or services”, and has nothing to do with unemployment insurance or other welfare programs.

    It is pretty gobbledygooky…why use one word when you can say it with five polysyllabic words…I had to read it three or four times to be sure that what I thought it meant was what it meant.

    Kishnevi (5a7bdb)

  30. Free trade libertarian conservatism premis that government is only needed to hire the losers of creative destruction capitalism as guards and soldiers or as slave labor in private prisions if they get in the way only works if reactions like voting can be severely controlled. As republican guru paul weyrich said I want as few people as possible to vote. only people with property should be allowed to vote. homeless should be delt with as vagrancy as it was done in the good old days.

    lany (973c81)

  31. Good thing money spent on American steel goes only to steelworker wages and not to anything else, like local supply chains, or keeping people off the street and on Actual Welfare instead of disordered lives.

    Yes, and good thing there are about 80 times as many workers in steel-using industries who have their jobs placed at risk by higher costs for the benefit of a tiny number of steel producers.

    Trump’s steel tariffs cost U.S. consumers $900,000 for every job created, experts say

    Note this is a different idiotic tariff from the one on washing machines that cost consumers $850,000 per job.

    U.S. consumers and businesses are paying more than $900,000 a year for every job saved or created by Trump steel tariffs, according to calculations by experts at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The cost is more than 13 times the typical salary of a steelworker, according to Labor Department data, and it is similar to other economists’ estimates that Trump’s tariffs on washing machines are costing consumers $815,000 per job created.

    […]

    Many economists and business leaders point out that jobs in steel-using industries outnumber those in steel production by about 80 to 1, according to experts at Harvard University and the University of California at Davis.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. Patterico (115b1f) — 5/8/2019 @ 5:57 pm

    Some people, misled by dim-witted populists (in both parties), seem unable to comprehend that having losers is a feature, not a bug, of the market system. You cannot have the benefits of prosperity without enterprises sometimes going out of business and people sometimes losing jobs.

    This is NOT because the market economy is a zero-sum game, but because the market, through price signals, directs scarce resources where they are most efficiently used. The 1990’s were a great decade to be involved in any kind of internet or personal computer-related business. But it sucked for companies who made electronic typewriters, and for the people who worked for those companies.

    The same pattern of “creative destruction” plays out repeatedly. If it bothers you, or you think it unjust, you are in good company:

    Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. […] It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the whole of bourgeois society on trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of existing production, but also of previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity – the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions. […] And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.
    – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

    As everyone knows, Marx’s entire analysis was utterly wrong. The destructive forces that eliminate inefficient or obsolete enterprises are how the capitalist system continually increases its output, making the entire society wealthier and better off (including the workers). To interfere with this process is to strangle the goose that lays golden eggs.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. eliminating inefficient or obsolete human beings is not welcomed by those being eliminated or their friends. democrats turn poor people into middle class before trump republicans turned poor people into communist guerrillas!

    lany (973c81)

  34. “To interfere with this process is to strangle the goose that lays golden eggs.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 5/8/2019 @ 6:40 pm

    Would half of academia exist without interfering with this process?

    Munroe (6c5e52)

  35. @27. Thing are different in the real world, P.

    It’s just fact. Case in point- won’t waste electrons on detailed particulars but next time you buy an inexpensive package of Japan’s Panasonic batteries over a higher priced American firm’s battery product, thank me; was part of the marketing and distribution team that introduced them into the U.S. market from the ground up. Panasonic management wanted to break into the U.S. market- just one of many around the world to them. Their parent firm, Matsu$hita [started by the late Konosuke Matsu$hita, who I was fortunate to meet amidst the project] was willing to and absorbed amazing losses quarter after quarter after quarter no U.S. firm – management and stockholders- would accept and survive; literally for several years, simply to gain market and aftermarket share.

    It worked brilliantly– retailers who wouldn’t accept giving up rack space accepted aisle-ender barrel bins and so forth; retail space, a premium, obtained one way or the other, depending on the retailer, and the strategy wasn’t limited to the battery product line alone. Because of the integrated connection between Japanese firms, their close government support, guidance and capital. If you’d walked into one of those meetings we had as we reviewed test markets figures from San Diego, Indianapolis and Philadelphia, talking about “free markets” the Japanese management team in from Osaka would have smiled politely and continued on w/the successful plan.

    The most difficult problem; American battery products were date stamped for freshness; Japan’s are date stamped worldwide w/date of manufacture. The problem was overcome- with a significantly lower price- and the help of Reggie Jackson. Quite the real world multi-million-dollar-international-business-type-education, not ivory tower musings, my man.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. Some people, misled by dim-witted populists (in both parties), seem unable to comprehend that having losers is a feature, not a bug, of the market system. You cannot have the benefits of prosperity without enterprises sometimes going out of business and people sometimes losing jobs.

    Jesse James to Alan Pinkerton?

    nk (dbc370)

  37. P.T. Barnum?

    nk (dbc370)

  38. I know, I know, Larson E. Whipsnade!

    nk (dbc370)

  39. @36/37. Ivory tower stuff; labelling/attacking Trump voters-supporters as ‘ignorant populists’ doesn’t seem like a wise, winning strategy to influence change. It just hardens their position.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. Patterico (115b1f) — 5/8/2019 @ 5:57 pm

    Some people, misled by dim-witted populists (in both parties), seem unable to comprehend that having losers is a feature, not a bug, of the market system. You cannot have the benefits of prosperity without enterprises sometimes going out of business and people sometimes losing jobs.

    This is NOT because the market economy is a zero-sum game, but because the market, through price signals, directs scarce resources where they are most efficiently used. The 1990’s were a great decade to be involved in any kind of internet or personal computer-related business. But it sucked for companies who made electronic typewriters, and for the people who worked for those companies.

    The same pattern of “creative destruction” plays out repeatedly. . . .The destructive forces that eliminate inefficient or obsolete enterprises are how the capitalist system continually increases its output, making the entire society wealthier and better off (including the workers). To interfere with this process is to strangle the goose that lays golden eggs.

    Brilliant comment. So few understand these basics.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  41. The 1990’s were a great decade to be involved in any kind of internet or personal computer-related business.

    With the government protecting your hardware with 18-year patents and your software with a copyright for as long as you live plus 70 years.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. @32. Yeah, that Elon Musk met skepticism and high resistance when soliciting investment capital from the private sector for SpaceX ops due to the high risk and low-to-no ROI in his business model, so he sought government financing, guidance and and NASA contracts instead. What a Commie–guess that new Texas space coast is truly red after all! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. Rhetoric and theory have little to do with International Trade. There is no “FRee Trade” all international trade is done by Countries and negotiated by treaty. Here’s my suggestion. Lets outsource the Lawyers. I’m sure we can get some cheap Nigerian or Chinese Lawyer who will do the job at 1/2 the price. Imagine how many high IQ peeps Overseas who would LOVE to work here. And think of how happy they would be if we’d let them in.

    Let’s let the “Free Market” work its magic! Get rid of that stuffy old “Bar” and requirements.

    What say you Lawyers?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  44. Trump is trying to save the Steel industry and all the jobs that go with it. The “Free traders” don’t care because they can get Steel at $1.00 less per Ton. Who cares about all those steel workers anyway? Free Market baby.

    Of course, once the US Steel industry is destroyed, won’t the Chinese Steel industry jack up the prices? Oh never! Cause…free market or something. Anyway, short term greed is always the answer. We can just sell the Chinese legal advise or Hollywood movies in return for their Steel.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  45. ‘The problem is government interference in the marketplace nearly always has deleterious effect.’

    No, not really- that’s far to extreme. Start w/t real world injection of $24 billion into the marketplace for the Apollo program and the plethora of technologies, industries and gadgetry it spawned in use today and continue on. Lots of examples around the world. It was the reticence of the ‘free market’ to meet the Soviet space challenge post Sputnik, due to the largess of necessary capital investment– the financial risk and low to no ROI– which led to government essentially taking the lead and providing a fiscal safety net in the face of the technical and economic hurtles involved to get it ‘off the ground.’ The moonshot was a government project channeling industry and academia toward eventually creating wealth far beyond the initial government investment. And to date- 58 years after communist Gagarin first orbited Earth, no private enterprise firm has successfully launched, orbited and safely returned a crew from LEO. And if/when they do, it will be with the government to subsidize a success– or take the heat for failure– and you can watch it on your iPhone; the IC lineage inside it tracible back to the original Apollo investment.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  46. @43. ROFLMAO – outsource legal services to the lowest bidder?!? LOL I’ll pass that along to my sis-in-law county attorney and she’ll say, okay– but only after she retires.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. ROFLMAO – outsource legal services to the lowest bidder?!?

    How do you think Trump hires his lawyers?

    nk (dbc370)

  48. @48. LOLOLOL Cable TV, perhaps?! Matlock an Mason arent’ returning his calls.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. @32. And what was the base origin for the seed funding for PC and web development, Dave: government investment in DoD and aerospace technologies a decade or two earlier.

    Look it up.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  50. With the government protecting your hardware with 18-year patents and your software with a copyright for as long as you live plus 70 years.

    Patents and copyrights are not new inventions, you know, and are specifically authorized in the US Constitution. I have no problem with the time on patents. The patent system is self-regulating since the very companies that create inventions want to be able to use other people’s inventions in a reasonable time. There have been no general extensions of patents, although the law is changed from time to time to deal with changes in conditions. Many things that were allowed in the 90’s are no longer allowed.

    Copyrights, OTOH have no such feedback. There is no downside to a copyright holder to extending the monopoly forever, although the Constitution says “limited terms.” Twice now copyrights have been extended, not only on future work, but on prior work previously expected to enter the public domain. As a result there is reduced public support for copyrights of any kind and rampant copying. Serves them right.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  51. The major market force of market forces is, was and always will be government. How many here say we can’t outlaw capitalist abortion mills because it would interfere with the free market?

    lany (973c81)

  52. I am pretty sure we can’t even tax abortions, let alone outlaw them. But if the reason was “a free market” the Democrats would be against that.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  53. DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/8/2019 @ 8:52 pm
    DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/8/2019 @ 11:17 pm

    Devastating arguments against something I never said.

    There is plenty of evidence that well-targeted government investment in R&D can have very positive effects at a modest cost. Of course, there are also examples of costly failure, often when the real goal is to feather the nests of political cronies (e.g. Solyndra).

    That has nothing to do with imposing huge costs on the entire economy to prop up favored industries who can’t compete in the global market.

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. That has nothing to do with imposing huge costs on the entire economy to prop up favored industries who can’t compete in the global market.

    Whose economy is it anyway?

    You have managed to pique my interest with your absolutisms in the face of a whole world history of evidence that so-called “free markets” and “free trade” are the children of strong governments which provide safe marketplaces and safe shipping lanes to the tinkers and rug peddlers.

    nk (dbc370)

  55. nk (dbc370) — 5/9/2019 @ 6:10 am

    Extensive trading, often over large distances, took place long before there was anything that could be described as “strong government” in the world.

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. And just how free was it? Or is it only governments that are objectionable? Not bandits, pirates, robber barons, or customers who’d scalp you literally while you were only trying scalp them figuratively? Even the pirates of the Caribbean had to dispose of their booty and re-provision under the auspices of the governor of Tortuga.

    nk (dbc370)

  57. 57. As free as it was for people that could defend their own wealth (2nd amendment, much?). 😛 Government is trying to squelch our ability to even do that!

    Gryph (08c844)

  58. Well, I’m glad you mentioned that, Gryph. I will agree, for the sake of argument, that unfettered trade makes for the healthiest national economy. But a healthy national economy is not the only legitimate governmental interest. Here are a few others:
    Form a more perfect union.
    Establish justice.
    Insure domestic tranquility.
    Provide for the common defense.
    Promote the general welfare.
    Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

    You know, we could increase the GDP by 3.5% if we abolished the federal military, and by 40% if we abolished the federal government altogether.

    nk (dbc370)

  59. If you read the Constitution and Jefferson, you’ll see the founding father didn’t like Copyright laws, they considered them Government granted monopolies. However, the realized that to encourage the arts and sciences – copyright and patents were a necessary evil. So they were allowed for a “Limited time”. In 1790 that meant – IRC – 20 years. This was later increased to 35 and now its for 75 years or maybe its lifetime plus 75 years or some insane number.

    The SCOTUS refused to do their job and strike down the last “retroactive” Copyright law. However Justice Stevens in his dissent, showed that 90% of all copyright income comes in the first 10 years. So, giving people 75 years copyrights doesn’t “encourage” artists. Its just another crony capitalist handout.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  60. BTW, that scalp thing did not refer only to American Indians. The Gauls (Continental and British), that Greek, Egyptian, and Phoenician traders did business with were avid headhunters. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  61. @54. Like fossil fuel subsidies… or milk subsidies.

    Costly failures… yes, industries, private and gov’t subsidized, have been known to misfire– New Coke, the Edsel, the Newton… etc.

    You cited the 1990s w/computer and web success in the marketplace… point is that commercial commerce existed and thrived thanks to gov’t investment in base technologies decades earlier- a citical point you failed to note.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. 54. Dave (1bb933) — 5/9/2019 @ 5:57 am

    There is plenty of evidence that well-targeted government investment in R&D can have very positive effects at a modest cost.
    Is that well targeted, or it is government wanting to do something for its own reasons, with the people in charge having a limited budget.

    When you talk about how the federal government – particularly the miitary – helped do something that started the Internnet, you’re looking at things after the fact.

    Nobody decided to do original, or even applied, research with the idea that new technology would develop. Nobody “targeted” anything for some ulterior purpose. NASA wanted to build things that worked. Whenever government supported R&D that resulted in anything it has alwas had a goal. That includes DARPA.

    These wide ranging R&D support has occasionally existed in private (actually public in the SEC sense) companies. There was the Skunk Works at Lockheed. Of special note is Bell Labs, when it existed, which also stimulated innovation. AT&T did this partly to attract very good scientists with the idea they could also help AT&T solve special problems they had. The freedom to do a lot of R&D that interested them was part of their compensation, in a way.

    Sammy Finkelman (ec94de)


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