First Trump raised tariffs on Chinese imports and, as the media proclaims, American consumers are the ones who’ll get hurt, paying higher prices for nearly everything. Now Trump has threatened across-the-board tariffs on all Mexican imports. Again, American consumers will pay the price, with everything from cherry tomatoes and avocados to cars and trucks rising in price. Who’s responsible for this? Trump! And who’s responsible for Trump getting elected? American workers, fed up with no raises and losing their jobs to outsourcing! How selfish of them!
Enough is enough! It’s time for American consumers to rise up against these greedy American workers! Do you know one? Boycott their products! Demonstrate in front of their businesses! Write your congressmen! March on Washington!
What’s that you say? You know an American worker? Your spouse is one? Your mom or dad? You’re actually one yourself!?!? Shame on you! If your spouse or your parents are American workers, maybe you can sit them down and explain to them how greedy they are. Perhaps they should quit fighting for their jobs – may even just quit altogether. If we can import everything a little cheaper, then we’ll all be better off. Won’t we?
Obviously, I’m being facetious. But this is exactly what the media would have you believe. Every single story on the subject focuses on the higher costs for American consumers. They never, ever want you to hear that the real long-term effect of tariffs is to provide motivation for companies to manufacture products domestically, which will benefit every American worker as the demand for labor drives wages higher, benefitting every single American – even those who aren’t in the labor force, but are dependent on someone who is. Why? Because corporations see the developing world – places like China and Mexico and many others – as the source of future profit growth. America is fully developed, with little potential for profit growth. They’re bored with America. To them, America is yesterday’s news and Americans are irrelevant to the future. Their strategy is to milk America’s wealth to fund development in the rest of the world, and to scare the hell out of them if they even think about standing up for themselves.
Since every American is a consumer, while just under half are workers, the free-trader globalists see focusing on consumer prices as a winning strategy in their fight against tariffs. They’re counting on the majority of Americans who are not in the labor force to forget that they are dependent on someone who is.
Ask yourself this: which is a better situation – to be unemployed while prices are slightly lower, or to have a good-paying job while having to pay slightly higher prices? The answer is obvious. Without a source of income, you can afford nothing. Many people have committed suicide after losing their jobs and all hope of a secure retirement. None that I’m aware of have committed suicide because the price of something rose a little.
Besides, the whole notion that we are paying lower prices for these imports is a myth. When did the price of anything actually go down when it was outsourced to China or Mexico? When did the Consumer Price Index actually drop? Did the price of cars drop when they moved the factory to Mexico? Did the price of iPhones drop when they moved production to China? Of course not. The narrative that says prices will soar if we have to manufacture domestically is nothing more than a scare tactic. They hope you’re not bright enough to realize that the higher wages they’d be paying American workers will offset any small price increases.
Do you really think that all of this outsourcing – all of the enormous expenditures involved in rebuilding factories and infrastructure overseas and moving their sources as far from their customer base as they possibly could – that all of it was done in the interest of saving you a few bucks? Don’t be ridiculous. It was all done in pursuit of those markets. It’s not saving you a thing. So there’s nothing to fear from moving manufacturing back to the U.S.
It’s been said that these tariffs on Mexico will jeopardize passage of the new trade deal that the Trump administration worked for over a year to get signed with Mexico. Why would he risk that? I believe it’s because he’s actually quite unhappy with that deal. Those negotiations began early on in his presidency when he was heavily influenced by the team of advisers he had assembled – a team he thought represented the best people he could find – people who ultimately proved to be free trade globalists interested not in “making America great again,” but in token moves that would leave the status quo firmly entrenched while creating the appearance of doing something.
Trump hates that deal. He’s since learned the power and effectiveness of tariffs and wishes he’d slapped them on Mexico from the beginning. Most of the people involved in that deal have left the administration, replaced by people who actually support his trade agenda. And he also knows that the odds of that deal being passed by a do-nothing Congress are slim to none, leaving the horrible, existing NAFTA deal in place.
Mexico might retaliate with tariffs of their own on American exports? I hope they do. It’d be the dumbest move they could make, only stiffening Trump’s resolve to raise our tariffs further and make them stick.
Finally, a note of thanks to investors who buy into the baloney that these tariffs are going to hurt the economy and sell their stocks in a panic. I’m the guy who buys them at the big discount you’ve created!