Thursday, August 27, 2015

Esenberg's Opinion

Rick Esenberg is a smart guy, well-respected, and likeable.  But now and then even Homer nodded.

...A nation ought to have a secure border and need not accept persons in the country unlawfully as a complete fait accompli, entitled to all the accoutrements of citizenship. But mass deportations are both unrealistic and undesirable and our economic woes are not caused by hard-working Mexicans....

First off, what's a "mass deportation"?  Would that be like Operation Wetback (see below post)?

Rick, you're a lawyer.  Are there any other laws we should just ignore?  (I have a list of my own, by the way; we could match notes, I suppose.)

Trump and Sanders' railing against free trade simply highlights their shared economic ignorance.

Umnnnhhh...really?  As I have noted earlier, Keynes' FIRST economic tome posited that Keynesian pump-priming (which was in his SECOND opus) only works in a closed economy.  So which shall we ditch?  The Keynes, or the borders?

More germane:  there is a difference between "free" trade and "fair" trade.  In order to make "free" trade work for the benefit of US citizens--which one assumes Rick wants--shall the US simply reduce its corporate taxes, repeal all of the labor laws beginning with FLSA, and eliminate EPA (and its sister State entities) and all their regulations?  How, exactly, will that 'benefit US citizens'?

Or shall we assemble a "Fair" trade regime, which will come about largely through variable-rate duties which reflect US standards?

And to combine both the illegals and the Keynes, Friedman, who was NOT a Lefty, was emphatic:  one cannot have both "open borders" AND a welfare-state. Now, then, if we shut down the welfare state to accomodate mass immigration, will that be "unrealistic and undesirable"?  Will there be civil disorder?  Riots? Chaos?  (Another question:  if we shut down the welfare state, will there be mass illegal immigration?)

It is one thing to declare that Trump and Sanders are 'economic illiterates;' that may well be the case.  But it is another thing entirely to consign US citizens to bargain-basement living, racing to the bottom with the inhabitants of PRC/Vietnam/Thailand.

Disclaimer:  there is NO way I will vote for Trump, nor Sanders.  At the same time, the approved (R) candidates are less and less attractive every week.  Maybe it's because their vision of America doesn't include all Americans, eh?


Rick Esenberg said...

Larry, I didn't advocate open borders. I think that border security is important and I don't think that there should be a path to citizenship predicated on illegal entry into the country. But I also don't think we're going to round up and deport 14 million people. That's a fantasy.

So we need not dump the borders but we should surely dump the Keynes. Pump priming almost never works no matter the state of the borders.

I don't think that we ought to insist that other countries follow American regulatory standards. That would not only hurt American consumers, it would resign much of the world to continued poverty.In any event, as many people have pointed out, US manufacturing is quite strong. It just doesn't require as many people as i once did. That's part of the creative destruction process. We need to learn to manage it not stop it.

You sell American-made cars. I'm sure you'd argue that they're great. But when the big three lacked competition and were in cahoots with their unions, they were crap and the international manufacturers kicked their collective ass - not because they paid workers less but because they made better cars. If the Big Three's products are better today are (and I think they are), it's because they had to meet that competition. Freedom works.

Dad29 said...

Clearly, you do not advocate open borders. At the same time, you insist that we cannot remove those who broke the law to get here. Huh? Ike did it. Why can't we? And "immigration" also includes the demi-fraudulent H1-B programs which are nicely-disguised wage-arbitrage games. Let's not forget that.

We can agree on Keynes, although what replaces him is kinda important. Hayek? Or Pesch?

As to reg-standards, Rick, we know that it is impossible for many components of US industry to be cost-competitive with offshore folks; that's not 'creative destruction' (assuming THAT is a 'good'). Some manufacturers--generally cap-goods--will do fine because of logistics costs. And they are. There's a reason that Toyota, Benz, and KIA build their cars in the US.

But others, like the garment trade, paper, and leather, have been demolished, and they employed a LOT of people.

We can all agree on the "old" Big Three. But let's also recall Harley-Davidson's history with imports, too. Wasn't it that Freedom Guy Ron Reagan, who slammed the Universal Japanese Machines with tariffs? Was Reagan wrong, too?

See my post today about Jim Antle's thoughts on this election.