Why did I abandon free-trade orthodoxy?

The federal income tax decreases liberty and gives government officials incentive to increase the scope and power of the federal government. Because we are a federal system in the United States, we need some form of funding for government operations. In my mind, funding that with tariffs is wiser and more constitutional. Essentially, I’m a protectionist because the debate comes down to: income tax vs tariffs or large vs small government.

This is just a sketch, of course. I suppose I could make a fuller argument, but those wiser and more informed than me have done so.

Thoughts on an income tax:

  1. American citizens are told to, in effect, provide surveillance on themselves or go to jail.
  2. American citizens are told to, in effect, add a third party to their business dealings or go to jail.
  3. American citizens are, from year to year, told to give quantities of their money to fund programs, many of which they would never buy, use, sell, or vote for, or go to jail.
  4. American citizens are at the mercy of legislators who may capriciously utilize their abilities as law makers to increase the power of the government, knowing that citizens can simply be forced to fund it.

Two thoughts on free-trade:

  1. Free trade policies assume that people are interchangeable widgets. In other words, moving industries that developed in one culture into another culture will lead to the same products being produced at the same rate, with the same competence, and with the same level of ethics.
  2. Free trade policies use a collectivist mindset. So they base their understanding of economic well-being on a form of totalitartian ideology. Property ownership, federal debt, physical health, personal debt, and personal savings aren’t the metrics used to determine economic stability, but rather GDP. But the GDP can go up even as personal liberty decreases (when people own less property, pay property taxes in order to keep the property they have, and are overwhelmingly obese and in debt, it’s hard to consider a nation wealthy).

Thoughts on a tariff:

  1. Americans aren’t prohibited from simply manufacturing an import good themselves, so tariffs incentivize creativity within national borders.
  2. Tariffs don’t punish individual citizens for not funding things (by paying taxes) they don’t approve of, unless you consider opting out of purchasing a foreign good a punishment.
  3. Tariffs, while regulating what American citizens pay for goods purchased to a degree (foreign markets simply have to sell cheaper if they want a market here under a tariff), don’t regulate how American citizens have children by heavily taxing those who make more than 70,000 a year.
  4. Tariffs, it seems, tend to lead to in fighting among politicians who want to be reelected over relieving tariffs on goods preferred by their constituents.
  5. Tarrifs, in the United States, are nearly irrelevant because State tariffs are illegal and we’re a gigantic land mass.
  6. Free-trade includes, as a hidden corollary, free movement of peoples for work because goods and services are both considered a form of economic capital. So with income tax and free-trade non-citizens are likely to take local jobs and receive local benefits funded by locals who are working and paying taxes.

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