Steve Bannon was interviewed by Lou Dobbs last week regarding Trump’s trade tariffs on China. Bannon continues to say that when the US started engaging a liberal free trade agenda that the end result was that the jobs went out and the drugs came in. In other words, our elites are comfortable with a managed decline of the United States.
As a former university economics instructor during the 1990’s, I used to teach free trade, and I did it enthusiastically. I was blinded by the beauty of the mathematics and the slick arguments. The idea of free trade, as I taught it, is based on the book by Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”.
The key concept is called “comparative advantage”. In essence, you make or buy a product based on the cost per unit – full stop. Whoever makes it more cheaply, then that is where it is made, be it the USA, China, Europe, Africa, it does not matter. The problem is that nations are not guided by economics alone, there is sovereignty, security, and patriotism to consider.
Free trade, by its very nature, starts to make borders ambiguous. All nations have the responsibility to protect their borders and their citizens; just as all parents have the responsibility to protect their home and their children.
Growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I was taught by my school teachers that America was the greatest country on earth; and they did this without blinking an eye. America still is the greatest country. However, I do not see this same pride in my fellow citizens today. Everyone seems to be walking on egg shells, afraid that if they boast about America that somehow they are being racist, nationalistic, and xenophobic.
In 1978, I was a 155 pound, 5 foot 10inch, senior in high school, who was the starting running back for a 5A football program in Texas. My goal was to be #1 in football, and this is because everyone around me believed in being #1, no matter what you did. Granted, I wish that I had wanted to be #1 in academics, but later I did correct that. The point is, “let’s make America great again” – there is nothing wrong with being #1.
Please view the interview of Steve Bannon in the video below.