From the conservative point of view, the outlook for the presidential race is looking rather bleak. We are faced with two non-conservatives, and neither one looks like they are going to sympathize with our side. On one hand, we have Hillary Clinton. She has been cynically labeled by some as a “third Obama term” and by others a “wild-eyed socialist.” She wishes to strengthen the federal government, grow it in every way possible, and make it mostly comprised of an unelected bureaucracy that is mostly not answerable to congress. As if that were not enough, Obama said, “I don’t think there has ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.” That should be all you have to know! At any rate, the disastrous policies, ideas, cultural damage, and events that have occurred in the Obama terms have done enough to tear down America’s economy, military, and values. The United States cannot handle a third and even possibly a fourth term of these same detriments.
The Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is little better. He plans to increase tariffs, enlarge the government, claims to despise the establishment (even though he has worked with them for his entire career in business), is willing to compromise on core values, and what I have just listed may have already changed by the time you’ve read this part of the sentence due to his constant flip-flopping on every issue. That is not the stable and conservative president that the conservatives in the Republican Party wished for, but it is all they have to work with. Now, rather than bashing on or cheerleading for both candidates every Wednesday, I would rather spend my time writing this and your time reading it on dissecting the issues that we face. It would make more sense for you to gather your own opinion facing the factual information than for me to force mine upon you. Decisions like this should not be made with haste–despite this all being called a “presidential race!”
This week, the starting issue we will begin with is that of the tariffs. Tariffs are something that you may have heard thrown around more often than usual this election cycle. For example, Trump wishes to have a 45 percent tariff on all imports from China. Is that good or bad? Oftentimes, the answer lies in a history book. If we look back into the past, we can see whether tariffs have worked for the United States or if they have failed us. A good example is President Hoover because the situation of Donald Trump is comparable to Hoover not only in policy, but in background. Herbert Hoover was elected as President of the United States after World War I and was finished at the beginning of the Great Depression. President Hoover intended to strengthen the economy and ran on this as one of his major platforms. He was a very successful businessman and charitable humanitarian before he became President.
After the devastation in Europe following the World War, the United States had few viable trading partners that had something to return for their goods. Thus, in the United States, there was a surplus of products and not a large enough at which market to sell. At first, this lowered prices for the products since the abundance was so massive, and that helped the economy. Then, businesses realized that they could get away with having less workers, producing less, and charging more. This caused mass unemployment to begin as the economy began to rebalance itself. (“Post-World War Recession”; United States History) However, there was another issue, and Hoover decided to address this with the powerful hand of the federal government. There were still viable countries importing goods into the United States for cheaper prices than what the businesses in the United States could match even with the large stockpiles of products. Realizing this, Herbert Hoover and his administration had an idea. Since those countries were able to keep the market inflated and products flowing in, he made it part of his platform that those countries were killing jobs. Already before Hoover’s inauguration and tariff plan, there was a 40 percent tariff upon many goods entering into the United States. (Fordney-McCumber Act) The Smoot-Hawley Act, Hoover’s proposition, raised the average tariff on all goods by 20 percent. For those who are unsure, a tariff is a tax upon an imported good. (“Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act”; Encyclopedia Britannica) Just like other taxes, they drive the prices of those goods higher in order to make sure the producer ends up making a profit. While outside goods went up in price, American-made goods went up in price to match it. Since there was no longer much competition from other companies in other nations, the companies here raised prices in order to absorb as much income as possible. On top of this, the other nations with which we were trading responded by having tariffs of their own. Our exports declined to a mere trickle, and the overproduction here roared on at an ever-increasing rate.Through this and a string of other things, the Great Depression had started, and FDR followed Hoover’s failed presidency as the very liberal President who started the modern-day bureaucracy and national debt problems. (Herbert Hoover; History)
In January, Trump met with the New York Times and stated that he would like to have a 45 percent tariff on China-that is ALL products imported from China. (“The Problem with Trump’s Protectionist Tariffs”; National Review) Conflicting with this, on his website “Issues” page, Trump says, “they are going to pay a 35% tax” (Trump: Make America great again!; “Issues”) Either way, the conditions caused by just one of his policies is of Great Depression inducing material. On top of this, if history truly does repeat, we will have another liberal president that will massively expand the bureaucracy, control the Supreme Court, and leave a legacy lasting an entire century. At that point, liberty will have been dealt a grievous wound as America would struggle to ever recover. Should Trump fail to realize the gravity of the situation, freedom and liberty may very well suffer dearly. Here at Liberty & Logic we would encourage Trump to open a history book and do a little research. Perhaps he should read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and study American History to see where we’ve gone wrong before, what we’ve done well, and how we actually can make America great again.
Author: James Kurlich
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History. “Herbert Hoover”. History Channel, n.d. June 21, 2016
“Post-World War I Recession”. United States History, n.d. June 21, 2016
Encyclopedia Britannica. “Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act”. n.d. June 21, 2016
Jim Geraghty, National Review. “The Problem with Trump’s Protectionist Tariffs”. Web. Mar 8 2016. June 21, 2016
Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump for President!, Trump: Make America great again! “Issues”, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Web. June 16, 2015. June 21 , 2016
Hillary Campaign Admin., n.a., Hillary for America, 2016 Hillary for America. June 21, 2016.
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