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COMMENTS ON THE NEWS OF THE DAY
Raymond Richman, 12/14/2016

by Raymond L. Richman

 

Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans want an investigation into Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, believing, probably falsely, that the Russians were responsible for the leaks that may have influenced the election in favor of Trump. But the leaks especially Wiki-leaks only revealed e-mails that were never denied. They contained news that the American people were entitled to know. Trump’s victory was a populist, i.e., popular, event similar to Brexit  in the U.K. and the recent elections in Italy. If the leaks were the result of Russian hacks, Russia should be thanked by the U.S. Congress on behalf of the American people for revealing the corruption within the Democratic Party, extending up to its chairwoman. Let’s hope we have more hacks that reveal corruption in Washington and anywhere else. If our intelligence is not hacking Russian emails, it should. U.S. intervention around the world is clear to see. We and NATO, our creation and principal supporter,  supplied weapons to rebels in Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, and others, organized the overthrow of the legally elected pro-Russian government of the Ukraine, recruited into NATO countries neighboring Russia. Imagine what they would be saying if Russia were join Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela into a military pact. Revealing the results of hacking may be a sin only when it does not reveal public corruption.

 

Democrats and the Never-Trump Republicans and most of the media are saying how awful it is that Trump is appointing qualified skeptics civilians and former generals to cabinet posts. In their view, he should be appointing politicians, who as a group organized the decline of America from its former greatness, promoted the fallacious ideas that global-warming is man-made, that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes global warming, and the idea that raising the minimum wage is good economics, etc. That these are fallacious ideas has been pointed out on this blog repeatedly.

 

And the same group of politicians opposes Trump because he believes that trade should be balanced. As an economist, there is nothing that justifies free trade except under the following conditions, the trading partners have a common currency, no barriers to trade, and allow the free movement of labor and capital, again something that we have pointed out on this site repeatedly. Adam Smith was a free trader; he also like Marx believed in the labor theory of value. We should stop giving lip-service to Adam Smith as though he were infallible. As we pointed out on this site several times, a glance at the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s Gross Domestic Product data shows that a trade deficit is a negative in the GDP accounts. Our growth would be double if trade were in balance.

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    Wikipedia:

  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]