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Did Tariffs Make America Great?
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“Make America Great Again!” will, given the astonishing victory it produced for Donald Trump, be recorded among the most successful slogans in political history.

Yet it raises a question: How did America first become the world’s greatest economic power?

In 1998, in “The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy,” this writer sought to explain.

However, as the blazing issue of that day was Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, it was no easy task to steer interviewers around to the McKinley Tariff.

Free trade propaganda aside, what is the historical truth?

As our Revolution was about political independence, the first words and acts of our constitutional republic were about ensuring America’s economic independence.

“A free people should promote such manufactures as tend to render them independent on others for essentials, especially military supplies,” said President Washington in his first message to Congress.

The first major bill passed by Congress was the Tariff Act of 1789.

Weeks later, Washington imposed tonnage taxes all foreign shipping. The U.S. Merchant Marine was born.

In 1791, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton wrote in his famous Report on Manufactures:

“The wealth … independence, and security of a Country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufactures. Every nation … ought to endeavor to possess within itself all the essentials of national supply. These compromise the means of subsistence, habitation, clothing, and defence.”

During the War of 1812, British merchants lost their American markets. When peace came, flotillas of British ships arrived at U.S. ports to dump underpriced goods and to recapture the markets the Brits had lost.

Henry Clay and John Calhoun backed James Madison’s Tariff of 1816, as did ex-free traders Jefferson and John Adams. It worked.

In 1816, the U.S. produced 840 thousand yards of cloth. By 1820, it was 13,874 thousand yards. America had become self-sufficient.

Financing “internal improvements” with tariffs on foreign goods would become known abroad as “The American System.”

Said Daniel Webster, “Protection of our own labor against the cheaper, ill-paid, half-fed, and pauper labor of Europe, is … a duty which the country owes to its own citizens.”

This is economic patriotism, a conservatism of the heart. Globalists, cosmopolites and one-worlders recoil at phrases like “America First.”

Campaigning for Henry Clay, “The Father of the American System,” in 1844, Abe Lincoln issued an impassioned plea, “Give us a protective tariff and we will have the greatest nation on earth.”

Battling free trade in the Polk presidency, Congressman Lincoln said, “Abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government must result in the increase of both useless labor and idleness and … must produce want and ruin among our people.”

In our time, the abandonment of economic patriotism produced in Middle America what Lincoln predicted, and what got Trump elected.


From the Civil War to the 20th century, U.S. economic policy was grounded in the Morrill Tariffs, named for Vermont Congressman and Senator Justin Morrill who, as early as 1857, had declared: “I am for ruling America for the benefit, first, of Americans, and, for the ‘rest of mankind’ afterwards.”

To Morrill, free trade was treason:

“Free trade abjures patriotism and boasts of cosmopolitanism. It regards the labor of our own people with no more favor than that of the barbarian on the Danube or the cooly on the Ganges.”

William McKinley, the veteran of Antietam who gave his name to the McKinley Tariff, declared, four years before being elected president:

“Free trade results in our giving our money … our manufactures and our markets to other nations. … It will bring widespread discontent. It will revolutionize our values.”

Campaigning in 1892, McKinley said, “Open competition between high-paid American labor and poorly paid European labor will either drive out of existence American industry or lower American wages.”

Substitute “Asian labor” for “European labor” and is this not a fair description of what free trade did to U.S. manufacturing these last 25 years? Some $12 trillion in trade deficits, arrested wages for our workers, six million manufacturing jobs lost, 55,000 factories and plants shut down.

McKinley’s future Vice President Teddy Roosevelt agreed with him, “Thank God I am not a free trader.”

What did the Protectionists produce?

From 1869 to 1900, GDP quadrupled. Budget surpluses were run for 27 straight years. The U.S. debt was cut two-thirds to 7 percent of GDP. Commodity prices fell 58 percent. U.S. population doubled, but real wages rose 53 percent.

Economic growth averaged 4 percent a year.

And the United States, which began this era with half of Britain’s production, ended it with twice Britain’s production.

Under Warren Harding, Cal Coolidge and the Fordney-McCumber Tariff, GDP growth from 1922 to 1927 hit 7 percent, an all-time record.

Economic patriotism put America first, and made America first.

Of GOP free traders, the steel magnate Joseph Wharton, whose name graces the college Trump attended, said it well:

“Republicans who are shaky on protection are shaky all over.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2018

• Category: Economics • Tags: Free Trade 
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  1. “When we buy foreign goods, we get the goods and they get the money but when we buy our own goods we get both” I think it was Lincoln who said that.

    “Essential infrastructure is vital to the wellbeing and security of the nation and is thus too important to be left to the whims of profit.” Friedrich List.

    Not everything should be in private hands. A mixed economy makes good sense.

    • Replies: @Weaver1
  2. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    “Free trade abjures patriotism and boasts of cosmopolitanism. It regards the labor of our own people with no more favor than that of the barbarian on the Danube or the cooly on the Ganges.”

    Politics of Labor will decide the future of nations.

    What was the most crucial difference between Zionism and Afrikanerism?

    Zionists debated early on whether the Jewish settlers should hire Arab workers or Jewish workers. Zionists came down on the side of Jews hiring Jews. Thus, the Jewish head would be wedded to the Jewish body. And as the theme of Zionism would be ethno-cultural, it would serve as the heart between the head and body of the Jewish nation. In the short-term, it would have been more profitable to use Arab labor. It would have been cheaper than Jewish labor. Also, whereas a Jewish boss would feel moral obligation to treat fellow Jews with some sense of justice, he might merely exploit Arab laborers as expendable than essential members of the Community. But if Zionism had opted for Jewish owners and Arab workers, it would have failed in the long run. As there are always more workers than owners, Arabs would have outnumbered the Jews, and Jewish dominance would have been difficult to maintain. So, even though Jewish owners hiring Jewish workers was economically more costly in the short-run, it was crucial in the long-run in the creation of a Jewish state where the Jewish mind was united with Jewish body. It became one organic unit and fought off all challenges. But, suppose Zionism had opted for Jewish owners hiring Arab Workers. When the Partition of 1948 was declared, would all those Arab employees of Jewish owners have sided with their Jewish bosses or with their Arab brethren? Most would have joined with Arab Brethren, and the Arabs would have won the war, and Jews would have been expelled from Palestine permanently. But because Zionist opted for Jewish owners and Jewish workers, when the crisis moment arrived, all Jews from top to bottom united as a single force and fought the Arabs and won… and were even able to grab most of Arab territory.


    In contrast, let’s look at the Politics of Labor of South Africa. Afrikaners were race-conscious, but they opted for economic expediency. They decided to hire lots of black workers to do much of the work. In the short-term, this was a terrific bargain. Blacks could be hired for cheap. They could be exploited because they weren’t white. White owners and bosses felt some paternal feelings for black workers but not as much as if they’d been white. So, this was a great boost to the South African economy on farms and in the mines, not unlike the economic arrangement in Rhodesia where blacks worked for white owners. But in the long run, what happened in South Africa? These blacks increased in number, outbred whites, and more blacks moved to white areas from the hinterland and even from other African nations. This meant lots of cheap labor that whites could exploit, but it also meant whites being outnumbered by blacks by an ever-increasing margin. Unlike Israel that came to be about Jewish mind wedded to the Jewish body and united by Jewish heart, South Africa increasingly became a world of white mind wedded to the black body with heart of stone lodged between the two communities. Afrikanerism wasn’t organic like Zionism. Zionism decided to see Labor as part of ‘us’ and ‘ours’. Afrikanerism decided to see Labor as the Other.
    Zionists had been tempted to go with Arab labor. After all, Western Jews honed their skills in white-collar professions and in ownership of property. They weren’t really into manual labor. That was for the goyim. Granted, there were poor Jews in Eastern Europe at the time who did manual labor. And even in the West, there were plenty of poor Jews in the garment industries. Still, the Jewish ideal was to use one’s brains, not to toil like a ‘dummy’. Labor was looked down upon as stuff Dumb ‘Polacks’ did. Even Jewish communists wanted to be intellectuals or commissars representing laborers; they didn’t want to become laborers themselves. Karl Marx never stepped inside a factory in his entire life. And yet, another side of Jewish culture had more respect for the common man, at least if he was Jewish. As Jewish culture wasn’t about warriors, it didn’t develop an aristocratic culture like the Europeans and Japanese. Among the goyim, the warrior caste became the noblemen, and their power and privilege rested on blood. So, the Western ideal came to be aristocratic-minded, like that of Sparta though not nearly as extreme. Aristocratism deemed that a certain caste was superior over all the rest, and they had the right to rule over others who had to do the heavy lifting as peons and peasants. In contrast, the Jewish Covenant was shared equally by all. Rich Jew, poor Jew, it didn’t matter. So, at least within the Tribe, Jews could be more mindful of the humanist value of every Jew. After all, in the Jewish Lore, the kings came later, long after the emergence of the Jews as a people and culture. In contrast, many goy narratives begin with some great leader figure who conquers and rules. According to the Jewish Lore, Jews are a people with certain needs, and they reached a point where they needed a king. In contrast, the Goy Narrative is often about how some guy beat all the others and gained the right to rule, and therefore, it was the duty of everyone else to obey him and his descendants.

    National Laborism believes Labor isn’t just some economic entity or measure but part of what defines and defends a people, land, and culture. Zionism is National Laborism, and it may be the only nation that is ideologically formulated to be that way.
    In its day, National Socialist Germany had a similar ideology. German workers weren’t seen merely as economic units but as part of the national family. Labor was organic. It was the body wedded to the German mind and soul. Unfortunately, this ideal all went to hell when Germany decided to go imperialist and turned non-Germans into slaves, thus going from National Socialist ideal to Imperialist Exploitation expediency. And yet, Hitler understood the need for German owners and German workers to be united in the newly occupied lands. Hitler’s vision of Russia wasn’t for German owners to hire and rely on Slavic laborers. Initially, Germans would use Russians as slaves, but eventually they would be replaced with German workers as a strong German Empire could be assured only by unity of German minds and German bodies. But this was a grisly vision outside Germany because it entailed removal, even extermination, of entire populations. Hitler was right about the New World. North America(minus Mexico) was sounder than Latin America because North was mostly about white owners and white workers. There was organic racial unity of white mind and white body. In contrast, Latin America was about white minds ruling over brown bodies. Thus, there was no heart between mind and body in Latin America. In North America, there was a sense of heart between white mind and white body because it’s tougher to exploit one’s fellow tribal brethren than another people. It made labor more expensive but also more precious because it wasn’t seen merely as economic value but as national-cultural asset. But Hitler was wrong to apply New World historical lessons to the Old World. While it’s true that the Red Man lost out tragically to the White Man in North America, there weren’t all that many Indian savages in North America. Also, primitive world was supplanted with a modern world as a result of White Conquest of the Americas. In contrast, German invasion of USSR was a war on 170 million people. Also, despite evils of communism and Slavic backwardness, Russia was still part of the great civilized world. Eradicating all of that to create Greater Germany was a mad vision. Though Zionist occupation of West Bank isn’t nearly so spectacular, it could be the undoing of Israel if it’s ever annexed as Israel will have to offer some form of citizenship to all those Palestinians who may tip the demographic balance of bigger Israel. But then, Jews could try to expel them, but that will stir up a giant international shi*-storm.

    When the US was gloriously race-ist, it had a defacto if willy-nilly kind of National-Laborism. While immigration was key to the rapid expansion of the US in the 19th century and early 20th century, most of the newcomers were white and, in time, assimilated. People like the Joads in THE GRAPES OF WRATH mattered because it was deemed a moral necessity for white haves to have a heart for white have-nots. George Bailey doesn’t bowl alone in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE because those white folks of Bedford Falls are his people. If they were a bunch of crazy Negroes, apathetic Mexicans, and angry Muslims, he would have left the town. Labor was seen as part of the National Family. New Deal addressed the issue of Labor and Laborers as fellow Americans.

    In contrast, the white elites in Latin America always saw Labor as a huge threat. Latin whites were the mind, but the Laboring body was brown(or black). There was little heart between the two. In some ways, Latin white elites envied American white elites, and vice versa. Latin white elites thought American white elites had it better because they hired white workers. Latin America too tried to encourage more white immigration to stem the tide of Rise of Color. But most white Europeans wanted to move to US than to Latin America. Anyway, American white elites also envied Latin White elites. Because American white elites had to hire white workers(for the most part), they felt an obligation to pay them more and offer more benefits. After all, it wouldn’t do for whites to mistreat whites. But in Latin America, white owner class could treat the brown workers like expendable peons desperate to work for few pesos. It’s no wonder some American capitalists romanticized Latin America. It’s like what Hyman Roth says about Cuba. Money goes further in Latin America where the owners don’t have to treat the people as Workers with Identity and Rights. Workers are mere peons, and political ‘leaders’ are whores who can easily be bought. (Today’s DC resembles Havana before the Revolution, and ironically enough, this makes Trump with his Deplorable rabble army seem like New Castro to the Deep State.) It’s no wonder Buckleys and Bushes had romantic views of Latin America and Mexico. It’s where the distinctions of race and class have been more clearly etched. Owners are up here, and workers are down there.
    We tend to associate mono-racialism with conservatism, but there is something inherently socialist about mono-racialism even if the dominant economic system in such a society is capitalist. Under mono-racialism, everyone is seen as part of the national family, and so, there is a sense of obligation to each and every person who is seen as deserving of education, opportunity, job, and benefits. In contrast, Diversity means the owner class may well be racially and culturally different from the working classes. And that means the owners don’t have to pay much attention to the Other, the lesser folks who do work that is deemed low and inferior. Though Diversity is often associated with liberalism and equality, its effect is often a form of conservative hierarchy like in caste-ridden India of old. Latin America was more diverse than the US and also more conservative and reactionary in just about every area. To this day, it’s about white elites ruling over browns. Of course, the official rhetoric of Latin America is that everyone is nicely mixed and no one sees race, but that’s just bogus fantasy to mask the fact of hierarchy and lack of communion between those on top and those on bottom.

    East Asian nations like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have been about yellow minds and yellow bodies. And nationalism was the heart that glued yellow minds to yellow bodies. But the rise of elitism via near universal college enrollment and elevated expectations may lead to the demise of National Labor ideology in these nations. Today, most Japanese see non-white-collar jobs as ‘dirty, demeaning, and dangerous.’ Same in South Korea and Taiwan. Not only do many yellows prefer to commit suicide than take up ‘dirty and demeaning’ labor, they refuse to have children who might fail in school and end up doing ‘dirty and demeaning’ labor. Also, Asian women, nearly all college educated, only want to marry ‘winners’. This means sudden drop in birth-rates, and it means low-level jobs must be filled by… someone, and so, even Japan is now taking in 500,000 foreigners to take up those jobs. And according to Peter Frost’s research, South Korean labor will be 40% non-Korean in 25 yrs. Taiwan seems to be following similar trends. So, their economic ideology is closer to Afrikanerism than Zionism. In the short term, it will be profitable and convenient as poor laborers arrive from places like Philippines and Indonesia to fill up ‘dirty and demeaning’ jobs. But in time, those newcomers will take over the nation just like blacks took over South Africa. Another threat to East Asia is globalism. East Asian mentality is essentially TO SERVE. The samurai, also known as ‘bushi’, was about submission. ‘Bushi’ means To Serve. Even though samurai were the elite caste, they were all about serving the Lord. Without someone to serve, one was a ronin, a nothing. Among Chinese and Koreans, the ideal was to become a Confucian bureaucrat and serve the emperor or king. Thus, an individual has no value except in service to the highest power. In Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI and RED BEARD, samurai are initially reluctant to serve the ‘common rabble’ than some fancy lord. They are used to serving the High than the Low, just like the shoe-maker in HIGH AND LOW must really struggle with himself before coming to regard his chauffeur’s kidnapped son as akin to his own. When the top power in Asia was national, most were happy to serve the local power. But now that globalism made the West the uppermost power, most Asian elites are servile to the Western globo-homo way. This is in contrast to Jews who have a sense of self-worth. The Covenant means that every Jew has a direct connection to God. So, even as Jews may work for or with other people, they don’t believe they exist to SERVE others. If anything, the key is to make OTHERS serve them, the Chosen Individuals. Asians lack such mentality. Today, Asian elites believe they should serve the West, the toppermost power, and they think they, as ‘fancy Asians’, should be served by lower people such as ‘jungle Asians’. This goes against the grain of Zionism and will be disaster in yrs to come. (There is also a matter of personality. Three groups — Jews, blacks, and homos — have big personalities that tend to be egocentric or vain and expect the world to serve them. In contrast, most other groups have either neutral or servile personalities. Jews think everyone should revolve around Jewish Genius, blacks think everyone should suck ‘muh dick’, and homos think everyone should kiss their behind. No wonder the Three have such out-sized roles in World Culture.)

    At one point, whites were like 50% of the South African population. Had Afrikaners taken the Zionist route and decided upon white workers for white owners, South Africa might have become a White Israel. But whites thought short-term. And same could be said for California. When the Golden State had been gloriously race-ist, it came to its senses and excluded Chinese Invasion and Colonization. It didn’t want to end up like Tibet or Xinjiang are ending up today. California Dream was a kind of White Israel on the West Coast. And it was a fantastic success story, in some ways the most spectacular tale of American can-do spirit. But at some point, white Californians got used to Too Much of a Good Thing. And they turned grasshopper and took things for granted, even leading to the rise of the California Teenager meme. So, Californian economic ideology went from quasi-Zionism to quasi-Afrikanerism: Whites were too good for certain jobs, and they were to be taken by all those lowly ‘beaners’. But just as lowly blacks took over South Africa, these lowly ‘beaners’ came to demographically take over much of California. This is what happens when the mind and body are no longer one.

    Though a collective of people is different from a single person, there are certain parallels that are instructive. Even if heads and bodies could be traded among peoples, a person functions best if his head is connected to his own body via his heart. “My mind, my heart, and my body.” But suppose we do an experiment where one person’s mind is connected to another person’s body and both are pumped by heart of yet another. Would such a person feel as one? When men pretend to be ‘women’, what happens to their psychology?
    In John Carpenter’s THE THING, the extraterrestrial creature doesn’t care about any of the bodies it takes over since it can move from body to body. It has no organic unity with any single body. It considers every body as expendable. As far as it’s concerned, all bodies exist just so it could move from one to the other to spread more Thingish-ness. Now, imagine if your head was severed from your body and suppose your head could move around from place to place. Suppose, it could supplant the heads of other people and take over their bodies. Would you take good care of those bodies? Not likely. Why not? They are not your bodies. You’re just a parasite that sees every body as a host. You’d use and abuse the body as long as possible and then move onto to new bodies to mess with. This is indeed how George Soros and Paul Singer operate. They are heads without bodies. They move from nation to nation and attach their heads to the nation as ‘advisers’ and then do everything to suck that nation dry and then move onto new national bodies. But would Paul Singer do such to his beloved Israel? No. When Singer’s head connects with Israel’s body, it feels like ‘Home’, like when ET saw Yoda on Halloween.

    In the current West, the Jewish head/mind feels little connection to the white body. If anything, the Jewish mind fears rejection by the ‘deplorable’ white body that might call for the return of the proud white head, and so, the Jewish mind is hellbent on diversifying the body so that it won’t be white anymore: White torso, Mexican liver, Asian lungs, African dong, Muslim hands, homo anus, and etc. These body parts will be too busy rejecting one another to come together to reject the Zardoz-like Jewish Head.
    As for the former white mind that used to control the white body, it was decapitated long ago, and having no organic connection to the body, it dreams silly dreams of Homo and Tranny as the new god.

    A sane and sound person’s mind is connected to his body and soul. A sane and sound nation is essentially of one elite ruling over one people. While Israel has a sizable Arab population, it has been a Jewish majority nation led by Jewish elites for Jewish identity from Day One. Zionic beats Bionic. Organic beats artificial. And if Turkey remains viable to this day, it’s because modern Turkey was founded as an organic nation of the Turks. Its biggest problem has been with Kurds, a people who insist they are not Turks, but fortunately for Turkey, Kurds are a minority like Arabs in Israel.

    Now, it may be understandable why some elites want to boost Diversity and destroy organic nationalism. They feel burdened by having to lead and deal with their own people. It’s like Moses had a fearsome task ahead of him because he was a Jew leading the Jews. Because they were his people, he couldn’t just see them as chattel or the rabble or human trash(even though the mobs sometimes acted like that). He had to whip them into shape, inspire them, and secure their future in terms of land and survival. Such is a huge challenge and burden, and not all elites are up to it. They just want to make money, gain privilege, and live in the glam world.

    American elites were more conscientious and mindful. Protestantism suppressed narcissism and vanity. In contrast, in the colorful Catholic Latin America, the elites were more shameless in lavishly furnishing themselves with the Good Life and style over substance. In a way, the rise of Marxism was like the Second Reformation in Latin America. A way of saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH to all the Havana playboy lifestyle. Castro decided to play Moses by ruling Cuba as a nation where every worker would matter as part of the national family. Unfortunately, the fool chose Marxism than Neo-Fascism, the true way to bridge the mind and body. But in the end, the problem wasn’t only bad choice of ideology but race. No matter how much Cuba’s white elites tried, they couldn’t represent whites, blacks, and mixed-race people in between the same way. A racially diverse nation has a hard time being organic. Ideology goes only so far in stitching the differences.

    Anyway, Zionism or Afrikanierism when it comes to Labor? Should Labor be seen as part of National Family or Global Finance? When we compare the fate of Israel vs South Africa, I think the answer is clear. So, why do Jews push Afrikanerization of Labor for all nations EXCEPT Israel? Because smart(and devious) power wants to keep the secret formula for itself. Let the suckers fall for the hustle of short-term profits for long-term demise.

    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
  3. Tariffs get the collective media response as if those for tariffs where clanging a bell to say we have for our heads are in the sand and we think the earth is flat. The smear is on all levels. Given how toxic tariffs are treated – the smarter approach would be require all items used or touched by the U.S. Military be manufactured wholly in the U.S.. Not assembled (though even that would be an improvement) but fully manufactured. Futher not just ships, tanks, guns & weapon systems but literally eveything from a button on a uniform to a tv in a rec center. This would by pass the tariff slanders yet achieve the same if not even better. When things improve then go for the tariffs.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  4. Here is an interesting look at one of the unintended consequences of the recently imposed tariffs on China that is having a negative impact on Corporate America:

    Given that the American trade war with China is unlikely to end anytime soon, American consumers and companies may find that the pain grows worse.

  5. Weaver1 says:

    Utilities are arguably public sector oriented, but we have a sort of alternative that is acceptable in the US. And solar could become private sector oriented.

    There is more to consider than socialism vs. capitalism. So “mixed” needn’t mean a mix of those two.

    People tend to forget the third, very different, option: Small businesses, decentralisation. And I would add to this the need for a balance of power, which decentralisation provides. (This brings in Machiavelli, who otherwise might not seem to belong.)

    People like GK Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc are so vastly different from socialism vs. capitalism that they deserve a 3rd corner in the triangle. Also, Aristotle’s recommendation for balance and a large middle class can be included here, as well as other classical authors.

    In my experience, Europe went stupid politically sometime around the French Revolution, maybe earlier with Age of Enlightenment. Only the reactionaries and conservatives, including List whom you mention, seem worthwhile from that point. Our mass ideologies are made for cattle, are not legitimate political science.

    There seems to be a sort of give and take in society, each choice offering positives and negatives. Too much decentralisation could lead to communities/tribes fighting one another and also to economic inefficiency. Too little could lead to distant elites manipulating a people and to other problems we associate with the West. So, the goal is, as Aristotle taught: balance, which also seems to be what you want, “mixed”. I just say, there’s more to consider than just capitalism and socialism. Small Is Beautiful.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @MarkinLA
  6. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:

    America became great because of hardworking, entrepreneurial people who managed to build and thrive despite the control of the economy by Banksters. Tariffs, as has been shown repeatedly, merely retarded growth, diverted wealth to a few special interests, and raised prices for consumers. Let’s reinstate tariffs so that the rich may grow richer and so that they can import more immigrants to keep down the wages of American workers.

  7. hyperbola says:

    It is in our own interest to break up the huge multi-national companies. There is no way more sure to result in a new feudalism than to allow such corporations to create global monopolies. There is no way more sure to help in guaranteeing a “democratic” society that values all its people than to avoid the creation of huge monopolies that can buy governments. Breaking the world into nation-states of no more than about 50-100 million people and banning transnational corporations would be a big step forward. We should start with the banks.

  8. That was a great concise history of tariffs in our nation’s history. I should have more about this before, but I did know that America’s almost sole source of revenue for a lot of HER history has been the tariffs. This was before the abomination of Amendment XVI was passed, allowing the Feral Government to tax individuals for basically whatever the hell it wants. We ran pretty well on that much smaller amount – it prohibited the rise of the great infernal beast we have now for more than a century.

    I’m nothing if not Libertarian, but Libertarians, if they have any brains, should be Constitutionalists. It’s not like liberty that the US has known in the past gets allowed all over the world. This column has pushed me a bit more, but, yeah, if it’s between some trans-national deluded Libertarians, and the Founders of our country, this is a no brainer – I’m going with the latter, Pat..

    One more thing – you don’t see that much humor thrown into Mr. Buchanan’s articles, at least not that I can recall. I liked this one:

    However, as the blazing issue of that day was Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, it was no easy task to steer interviewers around to the McKinley Tariff.


    • Replies: @silviosilver
  9. MarkinLA says:

    Nothing of what you said made any sense except that prices for consumers do go higher under tariffs. Removing them has done nothing to keep immigrants out or cause a more equitable wealth distribution.

  10. MarkinLA says:

    Military spending is a big mishmash because of NATO and its commonality requirements. The Europeans don’t like buying American weapons any more than you like America buying European weapons. Part of the deal is to have everybody buy the best weapons available, either directly or through licensing agreements. That is why we have European partners on large weapons programs like the ASRAAM missile or why American tanks use the German developed smooth bore cannon and British developed armor.

  11. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    American economists are addicted to growth. Everything must be Turbo-charged.

    Turbocrats running a Turbocracy.

  12. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    Heaven for French and UK soccer scouts.

    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
  13. Weaver1 says:

    Tariffs are not always good, but they can be, if a polity has the scale and resources to develop a particular industry.

    They encourage domestic investment.

    If Trump can achieve actual free trade between Europe and the US, then the whole of the two will benefit, until one or both figure how to cheat. It’s difficult to have true free trade unless under the same government, and even then regions compete. So, global free trade is really global government.

    Importing immigrants is an entirely different issue, but without some form of trade protection, the US is in a race to the bottom in wages. Mexico is said able to undercut even China in wages. $2 / hr is the number I’ve seen.

    There’s no reason at all to associate mass immigration with trade protections. Since protections lead to nationalist business, having interests tied to the fate of the US nation, the business comes to have an interest in America’s future.

    Keep in mind, Marx favoured free trade.

    • Replies: @Sgt. Joe Friday
  14. @Achmed E. Newman

    but Libertarians, if they have any brains

    …would not be Libertarians.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  15. Sally, in the long run China has no interest in buying automobiles from America or Germany or (especially) Japan or anywhere else.

    Since you cited the article, let’s be clear. The article acknowledges that right now, China is a tiny market for U.S. automakers. The articles says that “over the long term” the growth in the Chinese middle class will be a market for U.S. automakers.

    Completely wrong.

    If a large, viable Chinese middle-class market for automobiles really does develop someday, they will be buying CHINESE MADE CARS AND TRUCKS, NOT AMERICAN!

    The Chinese have 5,000 years of seeing themselves as the center of the earth, the apex of civilizations, the ones who need nothing of the rest of the world. This current purchasing/stealing goods and technology from the west is but a temporary phase for them.

    Only a fool would think that they will allow Ford, G.M., and Chrysler to sell large numbers of vehicles to their people for any significant period of time.

    There simply is no long-term market in China for the Big 3 American automakers, and to pretend otherwise is delusional.

    Bring on the tariffs – the Chinese need our market far, far more than we need theirs!

  16. Anonymous[135] • Disclaimer says:

    It seems to me that tariffs and immigration are closely related issues. The corporations through the later 19th century deliberately imported foreign workers to keep down American wages–just as they are doing now. There is no reason to give tariff benefits to business as long as the borders are de facto open.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  17. @Weaver1

    Uh, wasn’t NAFTA sold to us on the premise that it would greatly reduce illegal immigration?

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @Weaver1
  18. @Paul Jolliffe

    Not only is there no market for automobiles, there isn’t for airplanes either. The Chicoms will become the supplier of choice for 3rd world airlines, the way the Soviets were, with a safety record to match, I’d wager.

  19. @Weaver1

    People tend to forget the third, very different, option: Small businesses, decentralisation. And I would add to this the need for a balance of power, which decentralisation provides.

    Agree. Despite PB’s decent points about tariffs, small is beautiful, small businesses and decentralization are more consistent with freedom, and freedom is beautiful even regarding productivity.

    Europe went stupid politically at least as far back as late Rome, I believe.

    Anyway, your comment indicates that you have much to offer so please comment often.

  20. @Anonymous

    America became great because of hardworking, entrepreneurial people who managed to build and thrive despite the control of the economy by Banksters.

    Is it possible that America became “great” largely because it was targeted by the money masters to be their agent? Who were instrumental in the rise of other empires such as the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Brit empires, for example? Note, too, that once their usefulness diminished they were abandoned. America offered greener pastures, but that’s in the past and I highly suspect that new pastures are being cultivated.

    The banksters have been known to build up nations only to tear them down and they are skilled at profiting in either case. For example, the Germans are well known to be intelligent and diligent workers, yet Germany was smashed to pieces in spite of and because of their hard won successes and was only allowed to rise again because it was finally under the bootheels of a few of the international banksters, I think.

    This short (17 page) pamphlet develops the concept in detail in case anyone’s interested.:

  21. Did Tariffs Make America Great?

    Probably not.

    Undoubtedly there were other, possibly more important, factors and PB ought to have some other, more productive, insights.

    As we all know, correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  22. The corporations through the later 19th century deliberately imported foreign workers to keep down American wages–just as they are doing now. There is no reason to give tariff benefits to business as long as the borders are de facto open.

    Certain “corporations” were more likely to deliberately advocate for and import foreign workers for the reason you state as well as for other reasons. Henry Ford dealt with the immigration issue in his book, The International Jew,linked here at UNZ (, and details the demands of Jews for special treatment of Jewish immigrants, even illiterate ones, and presumably agitators from Eastern Europe.

  23. @Anon

    Because what is the essence of life and human existence if not a good soccer team and ever-increasing toilet paper sales.

  24. MarkinLA says:

    It seems to me that tariffs and immigration are closely related issues.

    They aren’t. The reason for importing a lot of people had nothing to do with tariff protection for American industry. The waves of people were put in crappy jobs like mining or building the railroads that had nothing to do with tariffs. Tariffs were there to make sure people bought American made products. We have the lowest tariffs in the world now and the highest levels of illegal and legal immigration.

  25. MarkinLA says:
    @Sgt. Joe Friday

    And that the US would enjoy an exporting bonanza.

  26. MarkinLA says:

    Only big business can do big things. Yes, there is a place for small business but look what it took for Airbus to compete with Boeing.

  27. @Anon

    In the current West, the Jewish head/mind feels little connection to the white body. If anything, the Jewish mind fears rejection by the ‘deplorable’ white body that might call for the return of the proud white head, and so, the Jewish mind is hellbent on diversifying the body so that it won’t be white anymore: White torso, Mexican liver, Asian lungs, African dong, Muslim hands, homo anus, and etc. These body parts will be too busy rejecting one another to come together to reject the Zardoz-like Jewish Head.
    As for the former white mind that used to control the white body, it was decapitated long ago, and having no organic connection to the body, it dreams silly dreams of Homo and Tranny as the new god.

    Outstanding original genius post, not one tenured ivy league professor could come up with anything close to it. I feel humbled by the level of intelligence displayed by commentators on UNZ.

    You should have your own blog Priss factor aka Dominique Francon Society aka Gruber Chechanova. Your brilliance, your pet obsessions and your style are a dead give away.

  28. @jacques sheete

    In my view, “probably not” is far too kind to the central planners, the guys that Pat admires like Lincoln.

    Tariffs are central planning and central planning sucks.

  29. KA says:

    Interesting thoughts

  30. Weaver1 says:
    @Sgt. Joe Friday

    I’m sure many promises were made. We could always just deport illegals, but we’re to believe doing so would be somehow difficult. If illegals couldn’t find jobs nor receive welfare, and if the police could check their IDs, then they’d be deported more readily, including self-deportation. Visa overstays could also be tracked.

    In 1965, it was promised the demographics wouldn’t change. Less than 100 years later, the US will have changed from 89% white to less than a majority. Rapid change.

    Hypothetically, if Mexico’s standard of living were raised, then Mexicans would be less motivated to enter the US or to sell drugs to the US. But what about the rest of Central and South America? And what about the rest of the world? It would be easier to just deport illegals, in my view. Many foreigners cross through Mexico to the US, and many enter elsewhere.

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