10 July 2024


I don't think he's intending to rebut John Stossel directly, but this article does the job of explaining why tariffs aren't unalloyed badness.

The globalism that Stossel is championing is the same centralization process that Wilder Wealthy and Wise is talking about.

Watch the vid then read the article at the link.


  1. That's one of my two big disagreements with libertarians and why I would never consider myself one.

    Yes, Tariffs stifle overseas competition and may harm the growing economies of the countries who would have benefited from the production moving there.

    Not our problem.

    Yes, tariffs can increase prices for consumers, but they also decrease employment opportunities so I think that one is a wash.

    The big thing for me is that offshoring manufacturing makes us vulnerable. It's the most problematic in industries that are essential for defense and in energy dependence, but it's an issue in all industries.

    For all practical purposes we don't make steel any more. If we go to war and our enemies are able to shut off our supply of steel, we no longer have the industrial capacity (or institutional knowledge and ability) to produce it domestically. Examples of this abound.

    During WWII, we and our allies needed weapons. Firearms were made by Rockola (the juke box company), Singer (sewing machines), the Inland division of GM, etc etc etc.

    US Automakers made tanks, jeeps, artillery shells, field pieces and aircraft in their factories. US shipbuilders cranked out 2 "liberty ship" cargo vessels every three days on average in addition to building combat vessels on a scale unparalleled in history.

    I could go on, but the point is, do you think we have the industrial might to do something like that today?

    It's no less true for consumer items that we no longer produce in the US. It may seem like a minor inconvenience but how much would our society be disrupted if all the sudden textile imports to the US were interrupted? How many people still know how to sew and repair clothing? Repair shoes? Make coats and blankets?

    Tariffs encourage keeping manufacturing here in the US which provides industry and jobs, builds and maintains industrial capacity and a knowledge base that we may need in an emergency, and ensures that our enemies can't cut off our supply of "x" by shutting down shipping.

    Stossel and libertarians like him are dead wrong on this particular subject.

  2. If we lived in Libertopia, tariffs would be unnecessary. As things stand, on some things they're a good idea. Mostly things we want to keep in-house.


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