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Jim Cook



Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

Best of William Histed
September 15, 2009
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All I know About Rampant “Protectionism” Is that It Often Leads To War

I was born and reared in Ohio, the "mother of presidents." Some folks in Virginia might disagree with that Buckeye brag, but since Ohio has not had a U.S. President since Warren G. Harding who died in office in
1923, it may be an empty brag.

My major at Ohio State University was history, though I quit after a couple of years to pursue a journalism career.

But I am well aware that Ohio stood out as the leader in protectionism and the high tariff in the later part of the 19th century. None other than Civil War Major Bill McKinley and the McKinley Bill characterized the whole issue of protectionism.

The Republican Party in that era of industrialist "Boss Mark Hanna" of Cleveland summed up what the majority of the nation felt. After all, it was "Gold Standard" William McKinley who twice defeated the "boy orator" who wanted a bi-metal monetary system, William Jennings Bryan.

While a native Buckeye, what I know today in retrospect I probably would have voted for Bryan. He had a smaller vision of the U.S. trying to run a bunch of other countries. History, though, tells us of what happens with PROTECTIONISM. In theory, I like the idea. In reality, I see it as courting trouble.

As an economics professor told me when I was a student 30 years ago, "When goods don't freely cross borders, soldiers do." Part of the Great Depression had to do with protectionism. It certainly didn't help things. Yet, I don't go along with trade deficits either....that usually means someone is far more efficient than your own country. The idea is to increase productivity ... somehow...through technology, inventions, less taxes and regulations, or something.

What I see as a threat to the whole world right now is the idea of a return to PROTECTIONISM. We should not fear competition in the world if we are EFFICIENT and PRODUCTIVE. That often means less taxes and less government regulation. Protectionism is very easy to understand. I push you and you push me back. It's tit for tat. We are in a very dangerous economic period. I don't care what the paid flatererers of Wall Street tell the media and what the paid flatters in the media say to encourage their Wall Street advertisers. We are living in a dangerous time, and these economic catastrophes have been years in the making.

Many of us, including Jim Cook, preached publicly and often about them over the last few decades. It's hard to believe there are thinking people out there who see all of this mess as something new and unexpected.

China is rising. The European Union is rising. We are in economic decline by any measurements. It did not just happen in the last year or two. As Pat Buchanan rightfully said, productive and rising nations don't have "trading partners," they have trade rivals.

We are no longer competitive in many areas for a variety of reasons.