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Why Edmund Burke Supported Free Trade

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edmund-burkeThe Republican Party is fracturing on the topic of trade. Alas, in the same corners where free and open exchange was once embraced as a propeller for economic growth and dynamism, protectionism is starting to stick.

In response, free traders are pushing the typical arguments about growth, innovation, and prosperity. Others, such as myself, are noting that the trend has less to do with economic illiteracy than it does with a protectionism of the heart — a self-seeking ethos that wants “economic freedom” only insofar as it poses no threat to the preferred wage, vocation, or plot of dirt.

We have forgotten that work is not about us. It’s about serving others, and adapting that service when the signals say, “yes.”

On this, the “communitarian” wing of conservatism tends to push back, accusing free traders of being overly comfortable with social disruption and displacement, prioritizing efficiency and cheap widgetry over “stability” and “social well-being.”

Such critics would do well to heed Edmund Burke, one of the movement’s heroes. Burke was a staunch supporter of free trade not because he was indifferent to disruption, but because the alternative would cause much, much more. 

Burke, who Adam Smith once described as “the only man I ever knew who thinks on economic subjects exactly as I do,” believed that the disruption from trade was far less destructive than whatever government trickery was done on the citizens’ behalf. Throwing up walls and blockades and imposing tariffs may serve “stability” for a season, but at its root, it is an act of sabotage that will only lead disorder and disappointment.

By artificially fixing prices and inhibiting exchange, protectionists are not just cramping the goals of narrow efficiency; they are subverting the natural order and beyond. “We, the people,” Burke wrote, “ought to be made sensible, that it is not in breaking the laws of commerce, which are the laws of nature, and consequently the laws of God, that we are to place our hope of softening the Divine displeasure to remove any calamity under which we suffer, or which hangs over us.”

In his book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left, Yuval Levin explains Burke’s view at length, contrasting it with that of Thomas Paine, the famous American revolutionary.

Paine, too, supported free trade, but for very different reasons, preferring it because of its disruptive effects — not to the everyday worker, but to the power structures and social mores of his day. The comparison offers a good warning for conservatives and libertarians today:

Paine several times makes it clear that he is a believer in commerce because he believes open trade and free economics will advance his radical causes by uprooting traditional social and political arrangements. It would do this by focusing men on their material needs and showing them a rational means of meeting those needs. The system of the old European governments, Paine argues, was held in place by deceptions and distractions (including especially the nearly permanent specter of war) that could be, and were already beginning to be, dissipated by a rational economics. “The condition of the world being materially changed by the influence of science and commerce, it is put into a fitness not only to admit of, but to desire, an extension of civilization,” Paine writes. “The principal and almost only remaining enemy it now has to encounter is prejudice.”

Paine was right that such trade is bound to “shake up” unhealthy power structures both here and abroad, but conservatives should be wary of this sort of blind march to (supposed) “technological progress.” When it comes to the modern variations of Paine’s thinking, communitarians are right to protest, and conservatives do themselves no favors when they idolize efficiency as the ultimate end.

Which is why we should turn to Burke, who supported free trade for reasons of justice, not utility. Burke supported free trade not because it would invigorate materialistic desire or disrupt the populace toward a “rational economics.” He supported free trade because it would lead to a social ecosystem wherein people could serve their neighbors in response to real prices that communicated real needs, creating networks of community and collaboration.

Society will shift and adapt, and sometimes, the so-called “forces of the market” will require a wake-up call or correction. But for Burke, such a resistance cannot be mounted by the government. It must come from the culture, bottom up:

Burke’s support for largely unimpeded trade and industry began from roughly the opposite corner [as Paine’s]. He argued that government manipulation of the economy could be profoundly disruptive to the social order because it involved gross manipulation of very complicated economic and social forces that are almost inevitably beyond the understanding of legislators. Even in its own material terms, he argues, the economy functions best when left to itself, referring in one essay to “the laws of commerce, which are the laws of nature, and consequently the laws of God.” A free economy, as Burke saw it, would help sustain the stability of society and therefore its wealth—some of which could (and should) then be used by the wealthy to help the poor.

The passion for wealth was by no means an unmitigated good, but trying to mitigate it through policy would be a mistake, Burke argued…It would have to be counteracted by the culture, not by politics, which should just seek whatever good could be drawn from it. “The love of lucre, though sometimes carried to a ridiculous, sometimes to a vicious excess, is the grand cause of prosperity to all States. In this natural, this reasonable, this powerful, this prolific principle, it is for the satirist to expose the ridiculous; it is for the moralist to censure the vicious; it is for the sympathetic heart to reprobate the hard and cruel; it is for the Judge to animadvert on the fraud, the extortion, and the oppression: but it is for the Statesman to employ it as he finds it; with all its concomitant excellencies, with all its imperfections on its head.”

Legislators are always tempted to employ the weight of government to undo economic inequalities, but such attempts always produce more harm than good, in Burke’s view. He recognizes that the modern economy does relegate some people to desperate poverty or to demeaning occupations, and he frets about “the innumerable servile, degrading, unseemly, unmanly, and often most unwholesome and pestiferous occupations, to which by the social economy so many wretches are inevitably doomed.” But the costs of remedying their situation, not only to society as a whole but even to the particular wretches involved, would be far worse than their current suffering, Burke argues, because these people are the most vulnerable to economic dislocations, which are made more likely by clumsy government manipulations of prices or wages.”

As we re-articulate and remind conservatives of the many glories of free and open exchange, let us remember that community is, indeed, of utmost importance, and that any subsequent disruption will require a significant cultural, social, and spiritual response. This is what it means to be both free and virtuous.

Rather than taking the path of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, pretending we can manipulate market signals and concoct manipulative “deals” for temporary or personal gain, let us set our sights like Burke’s: toward an economic order that is free and authentic, and a culture that is true and good enough to produce the fruits that endure.

Joseph Sunde is an associate editor and writer for the Acton Institute. His work has appeared in venues such as The Federalist, First Things, The City, The Christian Post, The Stream, Charisma News, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work. Joseph resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and four children.

Comments

  • John

    “Throwing up walls and blockades and imposing tariffs may serve “stability” for a season, but at its root, it is an act of sabotage that will only lead disorder and disappointment”

    Hog wash…
    Countries have the God given right to protect borders and economies just as corporations and individuals do. “Freetrade” is communism, wherein international statism controls the means of production and trade.

    “As we re-articulate and remind conservatives of the many glories of free and open exchange”…,
    Hogwash…

    “Freetrade” as it exists today and since Progressive Socialist FDR created it in 1944 is socialism at it best and Marxism at its worst. It is the very definition of Fascism and crony capitalism via statist dictators.. What the hell do you think a trade agreement is, non-regulation by non governments?

    The US Constitution requires that we the people regulate trade with our vote for congress who is empowered to regulate trade with tariffs as they did from 1776-1944. This was the most profitable period of expansion in US history!

    • I have mixed feelings about international trade. Ricardo’s explanation of comparative advantage is real and probably the most tested principle in economics. But lately I have come to the conclusion that free trade speeds of the decline that socialism causes. Protectionism can cause socialism to last longer. The US is far closer to socialism than capitalism. There’s more detail here if you’re interested: http://rdmckinney.blogspot.com/2016/08/free-trade-cant-help-socialist-nation.html

      The federal government had only tariffs as income for more than a century and they were small because the government was small. The tariffs weren’t intended to “regulate” trade but provide income for the state.

      The Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate trade only between the states. “Regulate” at that time meant to make regular, which at that time meant free trade. An originalist interpretation would show that the writers intended the federal government to keep states from blocking trade with each other by setting up tariffs between states. The Constitution did not give the federal government the power to control trade with other nations and the Constitution says that all powers not given to the federal government in the document were reserved for the states. So only the states could regulate international trade. The same went for immigration.

      • John

        The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution. It gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

        Regulate means today, the same as it did in 1776; to set policy, law and taxation. The constitution further prohibits taxation imposed by the States upon other states and by the federal government upon the many State’s domestic trade. However, International trade remains the obligation of Congress to regulate for good reason; it is a matter of national security, prosperity and collective US sovereignty. This process made the USA into a superpower and gained 35% of Global GDP. The new “liberalized trade” has cost America 17% of global GDP.

        Non-regulated and non-taxed trade between the states, and Tariffs imposed on imports, were the constitutional norm from 1776 until 1944 when FDR created GATT. This policy moved America towards globalization governance and away from constitutional sovereignty.

        Progressive Trade Liberalization (“Free Trade”) took the power of regulation from the people via congress and delegated it to international government, wherein sovereign nations and people can no longer control their own international trade. This is very unconstitutional and quite socialistic /communistic: in that the will of the nation, and thus its citizens, is completely subjugated by global statists . This statism trade that they call free trade is imposed under GATT, WTO, and other trade agreements. TPP seeks to increase the international law statism firther subjugating national sovereignty. What about government “trade agreements” is nonregulatory? Every agreement is thousands of pages of statist socialist communist regulations created to manipulate and control trade. “Free trade” is crony capitalism at best fascistic communism at its worst.

        Comparative advantage is lost to regulatory tyranny and the diverse and unequal national economic systems being forced into one global economy. Comparative advantage only works if the nations trading share the same laws and the same economic status. Globalism trade, as it exists today, is not a rising tide that lifts all ships. Impoverished nations will always produce more cheaply than wealthy nations, due to the low cost of labor, absence of laws and burdensome regulations that exist in all impoverished nations. As such, market forces predictably abandon the established expensive economies, for emerging markets and thus redistribute global wealth and technology in the process. China’s rise has come at the United states demise. We would have faired better if we had just issued China, Mexico, Canada and Japan checks for trillions of dollars and keep our own means of production.

        “Free trade” is global wealth redistribution by Leftist Marxist design. It exists to transfer control of global production to world bankers and their multinational corporations.

        The term “Free Trade” was chosen intentionally; it suggests capitalism and free markets as they once existed within the USA. In the same way the ACA suggests affordable care which it opposite the reality. These names are psyop lies, intended to deceive the simple minded masses into subjugation. So far the plan has worked fabulously.

        • “to regulate commerce with foreign nations,”

          Yeah I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me.

          “Non-regulated and non-taxed trade between the states, and Tariffs imposed on imports, were the constitutional norm from 1776 until 1944 when FDR created GATT. This policy moved America towards globalization governance and away from constitutional sovereignty.”

          Actually, trade was much freer in the US from 1776 until 1929 when Congress passed Smoot-Hawley. International trade collapsed during the Great D and it took until 1990 for it to recover to pre-29 levels.

          “Every agreement is thousands of pages of statist socialist communist regulations created to manipulate and control trade.”

          I agree. I can’t defend GATT, WTO, NAFTA or TPP. None of them had anything to do with free trade. Politicians always lie like that, claiming something is the opposite of what it really is. Most of those were nothing but rewards to campaign contributors.

          “Comparative advantage only works if the nations trading share the same laws and the same economic status.”

          Actually, comparative advantage only benefits a nation if that nation has a free market. As I wrote above, free trade only speeds up the damage that socialism causes. I think maybe you’re blaming trade for the damage caused by socialism in the US.

          “Impoverished nations will always produce more cheaply than wealthy nations, due to the low cost of labor, absence of laws and burdensome regulations that exist in all impoverished nations.”

          The key word is “regulation.” You should add high taxation. Those are destroying the economy, not trade. And it’s not true that total labor costs are cheaper outside the US. Only wages are cheaper. But total labor costs, which include productivity, are cheapest in the US for things we do well, though not for labor intensive goods like clothing. That’s because training and good equipment make US workers among the most productive in the world. However, as you mentioned, high taxes, regulation ad healthcare costs are rapidly undermining our advantage in productivity.

          “”Free trade” is global wealth redistribution by Leftist Marxist design.”

          Actually. socialist Germany was the first to introduce protectionism and they did it to protect their socialism, otherwise free trade would have destroyed the socialist economy even faster.

          • John

            Smoot-Hawley is overrated by globalist “free traders.”

            The Tariffs imposed by the act were a bit higher than the historical norm, but not by much. It was the implementation of Income tax, the newly created fascistic Federal Reserve monetary policy and global wars that caused a great global depression, which in turn suppressed commerce and trade during that period. If you tax something you get less of it. In this case it was a new American labor tax
            .
            file:///F:/Memes/Trade%20&%20Globalism/ChKImyeUgAEzy-f.jpg

            In a true free market, Comparative Advantage is the natural result of market forces. The problem is, there are no true free markets, especially globally. Thus, we have theory vrs reality. The effect of “Free Trade” on the USA is far more important than economic theory. That effect has been deleterious by all objective measures.

            I agree that Regulation is the primary problem with respect to global trade. This has always been the case and has gotten worse since trade liberalization aka “Free trade” regulation. The term is opposite the reality, and has made the condition worse the more that it is regulated. The very idea is an oxymoron: forcing nations to trade freely without tariffs, by imposing excessive regulation? Really?

            I agree that Hitler’s Germany was Socialist and protectionist. Socialism indirectly controls the means of production through cronycapitalism and Government partnerships with private corporations. Marx believed that governments should own and control the means of production. Stalin, considered socialism to be a transitional stage of capitalism to communism. Stalin however, was a globalist not a protectionist. As such he wanted control of the global means of production via trade.

            Protectionism is a good, necessary and proper aspect of capitalism, in that every individual protects their own interest in the exchange of goods and services as they freely choose. Communism is the opposite in that no one has rights to property and thus lacks self interest and generally has limited choice and freedom.

            In the Global market, free nations should protect the interests of their citizens, in whatever way they choose, Including tariffs and regulations imposed on competing nations. In the global market, nations are like corporations that compete with each other to protect the interest of their own citizens. Global competition is good. Consumers and producers in a free market should be free to negotiate their own terms and price at will. Those consumers and producers may be individuals, corporations or nations.

            The Globalist agenda is to create one global nation state with no competition or national sovereignty.

            International trade deals subjugate and regulate nations by controlling the means of production, the terms of trade, taxation and monetary systems. By definition, these globalist free trade deals are statist regulations which are the opposite of a free trade. They are socialistic and communistic systems that dictate price and terms of global exchange. Nations like individuals, should be free to choose.

            Free nations are basically teams of citizens, much like employee owned corporations. Citizens are stakeholders in their nations. I say, deregulate global trade and let the best man /company /nation win…This would restore constitutional regulation of trade to citizens via congress whom they elect.

            A nation’s production is an issue of national security, which is why trade regulation was given to Congress and not international government corporations or individuals.

          • “The Tariffs imposed by the act were a bit higher than the historical norm, but not by much.”

            Well the Fed did initiate the Great D with its policies, but Smoot-Hawley turned a normal depression into the worst in the history of mankind.

            “Protectionism is a good, necessary and proper aspect of capitalism…”

            I don’t know where you’re getting your economics. It sounds like Trump.
            A capitalist system will always want free trade. But as I mentioned, free trade speeds up the destruction caused by socialism.

            “free nations should protect the interests of their citizens, in whatever way they choose, Including tariffs and regulations imposed on competing nations.

            ..”
            In a free market, capitalism, free trade is protecting the interest of the citizens. To argue otherwise is to ignore economics.

          • John

            “In a free market, capitalism, free trade is protecting the interest of the citizens. To argue otherwise is to ignore economics.” Which is exactly why Globalsim trade aka “FDR Free Trade” is socialism/ communism/ cronyism/ statism, not capitalism.

            True Free trade cannot exist between different nation states. Our capitalistic American founders knew this and is why they constitutionally prohibited it.

            Capitalism hardly exists within the USA thanks to Progressive Regulation by both fascistic parties. How do you think it can possibly exist globally with communist and socialist nations?

            Even in theory, true free trade could exist globally, it would cause the demise of western nations as the wealth is transferred to lower cost production markets of the Second and Third World nation economies.

            Capitalism seeks and desires free trade, but it has never existed globally and can never exist globally until all nations share the same laws, taxes, regulations, currency and economy. Such would be the end of the US sovereignty and our Constitution.

            Capitalistic individuals seek to protect their own interests, wealth and property as do free nation’s corporations. Why then should nations be any different? Protectionistic behavior by a nation is fundamental to its independence, freedom, sovereignty and survival in the hostile world and global economy and aggression that it exists within.

          • You seriously need to learn some economics. Stay with this blog site and you will. The Anglo world and Western Europe enjoyed capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries and had virtually free trade with the world except for tiny tariffs to fund the federal government. That free trade helped make all of us at least 30 times wealthier than our ancestors in previous centuries.

            If we had free markets in the US today it would be a boon to the nation. For example, Walmart raised the standards of living of the poor in the US by bringing cheaper clothing and consumer goods from China. But such trade doesn’t benefit the US now because we are socialist and socialism destroys the job creating power of capitalism.

            Check out this post for some good economic history: http://blog.acton.org/archives/88631-the-hockey-stick-of-human-prosperity-2.html

          • John

            Roger, you miss the forest through the trees.

            Globalism “free trade” is conservative you claim. Yet Socialists, Progressives, Liberals, Marxists, Democrats like Wilson, FDR, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Obama, and GOP RINO progressives like Bush all expanded and promoted the GATT WTO TPP NAFTA CAFTA “Free trade” that you claim is conservative.

            Conversely our founders like Washington, Jefferson, Adams and most all the others, constitutionalized congressionally regulated trade that utilizes protectionist tariffs and regulations that maintains US sovereignty.

            https://twitter.com/hawljo1/status/768999759130394624

          • John

            Roger, I like you and enjoy an intelligent conversation for a change. But you cannot see the forest through the trees on this one. I can relate because I was educated to believe the same Progressive BS and did so for far too long.

            The Wal-Mart effect is exactly what is wrong with Globalist trade. Wal-Mart has destroyed millions of jobs and eliminated a large percentage of our production. They are the drug dealer of cheap goods, that we sell our economy, means of production, wages, taxable revenue and jobs for.

            You claim that “Free Trade” is conservative. “Free trade” as it exists today is the creation of Marxists, Progressives, Liberals, Leftists, and Globalists. Wilson and FDR created it with UN/GATT. Then Bill Clinton’s WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, Obama’s and Hillary’s TPP enacted, expanded it. All the Progressive RINO’s also support it. So yes, it must be conservative!? Really?

            You need to separate your ideas and theory of “Freetrade” form the reality of globalism trade/socialism trade.

            Here are the Trade facts in graph form. Constitutional Congressional Tariff trade 1776-1944 increased our share of global GDP by 37%. Liberalized socialist “Free Trade” 1944-2016 The US lost 17% of Global GDP.

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CqwH20wUkAALvf_.jpg

          • John
          • What does it mean? It means that socialism in the US, including protectionism that is integral to socialism, has reduced our share while other nations, especially China and India have embraced freer markets and grown their economics. That’s history, not my opinion.

            Don’t think that world wealth is fixed and a declining share means we’re getting poorer. The pie is growing, though slowly.

            Keep in mind that protection is necessary to reduce the damage that socialism is doing. I have to agree that freer trade at this point would make our socialism worse.

          • John

            Roger,
            Watch these films if you want to understand the Globalist / Marxist nature of our current system of “Free global Trade” and how it threatens the future of America, capitalism and the entire Western World:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQsyCLXYsd8
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n71tu1ObRLc
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ayb02bwp0
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU44n7P5elo
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VggFao85vTs

          • I have been arguing that the US does not have a free market and is much closer to Marxism than capitalism. And I agree that all of the “free trade” agreements have nothing to do with free trade but promoting the interests of large corporations who buy politicians with campaign donations. That doesn’t mean the US has always been like that. It has been that way for the past century, but before that we enjoyed true free markets and rapid poverty reduction.

            Tariffs in the first century of the US did not make it protectionist. Capitalists have always agreed that we need government and it needs finances. In the first century the federal government got revenue from tariffs, but the state was so small that the tariffs had no protectionist effects.

          • John

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cq
            “socialism in the US, including protectionism that is integral to socialism, has reduced our share while other nations, especially China and India have embraced freer markets and grown their economics. That’s history, not my opinion.”

            This graph shows the changing national percentage of global GDP over time. The increase of one nation’s share, comes at the cost of another. From 1776-1944 the US gained from China as we utilized Tariff protections. From 1944-current, the US has lost much of its share of global GDP to China while utilizing “Free Trade” regulation aka WTO GATT CAFTA NAFTA etc..
            If global free trade increased global wealth equally for everyone, such as in the rising tide that lifts all ships, than the percentages would not change. The historical fact is that global wealth does move from nation to nation as the global economy expands and contracts. In this global economy: some nations win, others lose. Currently China’s share of Global GDP is expanding and the US’s share is contracting due current WTO NAFTA CAFTA regulations. http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/Screen%20Shot%202012-06-20%20at%209.37.55%20AM.png

            China and India are more communistic / socialistic than the USA. It is regulation, not free market forces that are transferring our wealth and production to China. It is decline by Marxist design. This graph shows the effect of regulation on our increasing trade deficit with China. On one hand you could argue these statist trade regulations favor China. On the other hand you could argue that the freer Chinese market allowed a natural and expected transfer of wealth, as the new market seeks to balance. Both outcomes are expected and deleterious to America’s interests.
            http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n4/RobertOak/ChinaNafta.jpg

          • John

            Roger, I enjoy the intelligent conversation. But you cannot see the forest through the trees on this one. I can relate, because, like every college educated American, I was conditioned to believe the same Progressive BS about “free global trade” being a beneficial free market system.

            The Wal-Mart effect is exactly what is wrong with Globalist trade. Wal-Mart has destroyed millions of diverse jobs and eliminated a large percentage of our once vast means of production. Wal-Mart is the nation’s drug dealer of cheap goods, that we sell our economy, means of production, wages, taxable revenue and jobs for.

            You claim that “Free Trade” is conservative. “Free trade” as it exists today is the creation of Marxists, Progressives, Liberals, Leftists, and Globalists. Wilson and FDR created Free Trade with UN/GATT. Then Bill Clinton’s WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, and Obama’s/Hillary’s TPP further expanded it. The Progressive RINO’s also support it. So yes, it must be conservative, or Not!

            Our founders like Washington, Jefferson, Adams and the like, were protectionists that institutionalized constitutionally regulated trade which utilizes tariffs via congress. I prefer our constitution and our founders mode of trade to progressive globalist trade.

            You need to separate your belief and theory of “Free global trade” from the reality of globalism trade/ socialism trade.

            Here are the Trade facts. Constitutional Congressional Tariff trade existed from 1776-1944. It increased our share of global GDP by 35%. Leftist Liberalized socialist New World Order “Free Trade” started in 1944 and has cost the US 17% of Global GDP.

          • Pyrrho

            I think that you’re mistaking correlation for causation in your last paragraph. The reason we “lost” 17% of global GDP is because free trade enriched other countries, whose GDP rose as a result, so we relatively declined. In real terms, however, our own people became more prosperous since 1944 and we gained access to cheap foreign-made goods, increasing market competition. Standards of living in the U.S. increased dramatically from Bretton Woods onward. You can’t tell me that you’d prefer to live in a pre-Bretton Woods world.

            Yes, leftist economic policy has been very harmful, but you must realize that the people promoting protectionism in the U.S. are the extremists, most prevalent being Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, both of whom have flawed economic ideologies.

          • John

            The rising tide lifts all ships, right? If your argument was correct, the US share of Global GDP would not have changed relative to the increasing global production; both would increase and maintain a constant percentage. The reality is that “Free trade” AKA socialism trade, is global redistribution, designed by liberals and Marxists to redistribute global wealth. The ships that have risen are the impoverished nations to which our means of production has predictably moved.

            Our founders would not be elected today because they were radical Christian conservative protectionists and America has become a nation of Cultural Marxists, Socialists and Globalists. FDR, Wilson, Clinton and Obama are the radical globalist extremists, not our founders or their constitutional form of protectionist trade or the patriots that currently agree with them.

            I would very much prefer to live in America before the 1913 progressive era perversion of America. There were no unconstitutional income taxes imposed by the Federal Reserve’s IRS that enslave citizens. Labor is a man’s property not privately owned banks or the governments. There was no bloated Federal Government to subjugate American citizens. Regulations were basically nonexistent with respect to property and market controls. Property rights were sacred. People were truly free. Morality and Christianity were still mainstream modalities, and you could leave your children with most anyone and trust they would be taken care of and raised morally. Before Globalism America manufactured the best products in the world by far, now we make nothing.

            Bretton Woods globalization is the cause of our next world war, which has already begun. Citizens will continue to awaken to the covert enslavement of nations and people by the Global government, bankers and corporations and they will rebel against that fascistic global despotism. Brexit is a good example of people waking up to this reality. Trump is another.

            This graph shows the growing trade deficit due post 1944 “Free Trade.”

            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/business/02charts.html?_r=0

            This graph shows that the transfer of wealth between nations as a percentage of Global GDP. During the 1776-1944 tariff trade years, wealth was transferred to America from India and China. This has reversed since FDR’s / Bretton Woods globalist “Free Trade” regulation. The western nations have lost ground to China, India, Japan, and other emerging markets as their means of production moved to these nations.

            http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/Screen%20Shot%202012-06-20%20at%209.37.55%20AM.png

            This film explains the enslavement of America that has taken place since 1913. “Free trade” is part of this globalization goal.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ayb02bwp0

          • It’s not a question of what I can see. I just telling you what sound economics teaches. Your beef isn’t with me but with the entire field of economics. You can reject economics if you want, but you ought to have good reasons for it.

            No, Walmart has destroyed a few hundred jobs, but by increasing the standards of living of the poor it would have thereby created thousands of jobs. That didn’t happen because of our socialism, but it would have happened in a free market.

            “Marxists, Progressives, Liberals, Leftists, and Globalists” do not support free trade and never have. They have always been about protection.

            “Our founders like Washington, Jefferson, Adams and the like, were protectionists ”

            That’s just historically inaccurate.

            “Constitutional Congressional Tariff trade existed from 1776-1944.”

            Yes, but tell the rest of the story. It was a very small tariff and never intended to protect domestic industry. It was only to provide revenue for the government. Otherwise the market was extraordinarily free.

            “It increased our share of global GDP by 35%.”

            No it did not because it could not if economics is correct. Entrepreneurs did it because of our free markets.

            ” Leftist Liberalized socialist New World Order “Free Trade” started in 1944 and has cost the US 17% of Global GDP.”

            The history is exactly the opposite. The end of free trade began with Hoover and Smoot-Hawley.

            Not only is your economics bad so is your history.

          • John

            I like you, I have no beef with you. You are rational and informed, however misinformed with respect to “Free Trade.”

            Economics like politics has many diverse and conflicting views. Most are Progressive like Keynes who advised socialist / Progressive Presidents on globalism trade and the benefits of Big Government and encouraged the Federal Reserve’s unconstitutional form of central banking.

            The benefit gained from Walmart’s cheaper goods, is lost to debt servicing, reduced wages and outsourced jobs making those junk goods even more expensive.

            When I use that term “free Trade” in quotes, I mean socialism and communism not theoretical free trade. The term as it is used today, was introduced by Socialists in the creation of Statist GATT that resulted from Globalist Bretton Woods, not as defined by Adam Smith. The term as it was applied then and now, is a lie. Just as the Affordable Care Act is a lie. It actually is more unaffordable and is not care, but insurance. This is an age old Leftist/Marxist tactic used by despotic legislators and Marxists like Alinsky, to deceive and manipulate their enemies.

            Your arguments for free trade are based on the theory of trade being free. My arguments against it are based on the reality that post Bretton Woods global trade is statism It utilizes a despotic form of massive regulatory fascism to control the outcomes of global production.

            In theory, I am for domestic free trade between states, companies and persons because it is a necessary attribute of capitalism and is constitutional. However, “free trade” does not exist internationally. If it did, the effect would be deleterious to the developed nations as the free markets would balance in favor of the lower cost producing nations. We see this happening in our lost global GDP and massive trade deficits.

            Marxists, Progressives, Liberals, Leftists, and Globalists “do not support free trade and never have. They have always been about protection.” Yes, I agree that was my point: TPP=Obama=6000 pages of regulation. WTO/ NAFT/CAFTA=Clinton= thousands of pages of despotic regulation. GATT=FDR= thousands of pages of globalist trade regulation. Vrs George Washington=1789 tariff act=a few pages of Congressionally imposed constitutional tariffs.

            History of US Tariffs:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariffs_in_United_States_history
            For well over a century the federal government was largely financed by tariffs averaging about 20% on foreign imports.Since the 1940s, foreign trade policies have focused more on reciprocal tariffs and low tariff rates rather than using tariffs as a significant source of Federal tax revenue. The goal of using higher tariffs to promote industrialization was urged by the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and after him the Whig Party. They generally failed because Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democrats said the tariff should be only high enough to pay the government’s bills; otherwise, it would hurt the consumers. The Republicans, however, made high tariffs the centerpiece of their economic policy beginning in 1861, and as late as 1930. Since 1930, tariffs have not been a major political issue.

            Tariff Trade increased our share of global GDP by 35%.
            You said: “No it did not because it could not if economics is correct.”
            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CqwH20wUkAALvf_.jpg
            This Graph by Angus Maddison says otherwise. Global GDP increases and decreases and nations percentages of that GDP change as the means of production changes.

            “The history is exactly the opposite. The end of free trade began with Hoover and Smoot-Hawley.”
            Wilson actually is the origin of Globalism trade because he was given the unconstitutional power to make trade deals, by his Leftist progressive congress. FDR later assigns this authority to GATT in the 1940’s. This was the end of constitutional Congressionally regulated trade. Smoot-Hawley was just another congressionally imposed Tariff, business a usual.

            Our founders like Washington, Jefferson, Adams and the like, were protectionists:
            The Hamilton Tariff act of 1789 passed with 31-19 majority. It was passed by the First United States Congress, signed by George Washington and authorized the collection of duties on imported goods to fund the federal Government.
            Congress wanted a reliable source of income that was constitutional and unobtrusive to the US economy and that did not infringe upon private property rights. They wanted to protect US industries that were threatened by cheaper imports, especially from England. Tariffs and excise taxes were thus authorized by congress in accordance with the US Constitution.
            This Tariff trade system continued into the early 1900’s and ended with Wilson’s in 1913 than FDR’s GATT in 1944. This fueled the industrial revolution and made America into a superpower.
            Before FDR’s trade liberalization, Congressmen were masters of negotiating the exceedingly complex trade arrangements, so that inside each of their congressional districts there were more satisfied “winners” than disgruntled “losers”. In this respect we the people controlled our own international trade interests in a constitutional republican manner.

          • John

            Global “free trade” allows and encourages the buyer nation to give to the seller nation its own means of income and production, in exchange for cheaper products. Where then does the buyer nation continue to get money to purchase those cheaper outsourced products? The wealthy buyer nation no longer produces or sells and thus has no more income. That wealthier nation becomes like the individual that borrows to enable more spending. Or like the individual that trades their means of production/Job in exchange for goods. They will go bankrupt. Their property will be repossessed. Those cheaper goods will become expensive because their income is reduced or eliminated by outsourcing.

            Free markets balance… We are experiencing this balancing effect as global wealth is redistributed from wealthy western nation markets to impoverished nation markets. It will continue until western civilization is decimated. What the Globalist Marxist could not do militarily they are doing economically, culturally and socially. It is called Cultural and economic Marxism brought to you by progressives on both sides.

  • John

    Burke… “believed that the disruption from trade was far less destructive than whatever government trickery was done on the citizens’ behalf. Throwing up walls and blockades and imposing tariffs may serve “stability” for a season, but at its root, it is an act of sabotage that will only lead disorder and disappointment.”

    Burke was wrong. Trade wars are nations acting sovereignly as they compete in a free global market. Tariffs provided America with stability and consistent gains from 1776-1944, during which time the US increased its share of Global GDP by 35% and became a superpower. Conversely since FDR’s trade liberalization (“Free Trade” regulation via GATT) in 1944, the US has lost 17% of global GDP. Global trade is a matter of national security and must be regulated by our Federal Government in order to fulfill its constitutional duty of protecting America’s interests and security.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CqwH20wUkAALvf_.jpg

    “By artificially fixing prices and inhibiting exchange, protectionists are not just cramping the goals of narrow efficiency; they are subverting the natural order and beyond. “We, the people,” Burke wrote, “ought to be made sensible, that it is not in breaking the laws of commerce, which are the laws of nature, and consequently the laws of God, that we are to place our hope of softening the Divine displeasure to remove any calamity under which we suffer, or which hangs over us.”

    The Hamilton Tariff act of 1789 passed with 31-19 majority of the First United States Congress and was signed by George Washington. It authorized the collection of duties on imported goods, to fund the federal Government and to protect America’s industry and its means of production. Tariffs provided a constitutional source of income for the Federal Government, as opposed to our current unconstitutional income tax. Washington was a devout Christian who strictly obeyed the Laws of God, especially as they applied to the USA. If Burke is speaking of free markets within a nation’s own economy, then he is correct and in agreement with America’s Founders. If he is speaking about globalism trade than he is dead wrong on all counts and is in opposition to the US constitution, our founders and the historical record.
    .