As Sean has referred to my position on judicious protectionism here it is.
Economic history tell this story: a strong domestic economy is necessary for sustained economic growth and stability. The freer the trade with foreign states, the less stable and secure the domestic economy. It also tells us that the most effective general strategy to promote economic development in a country is to allow competition within the domestic market (where it does not create serious social discord) whilst regulating international trade through protectionist measures sufficient to maintain the general capacity of a country to point where it can maintain itself in an emergency such as war or blockade and be sovereign in most circumstances.This would require the judicious use of embargoes, tariffs and quotas to ensure that all the vital industries remain as a presence in Britain. Read more
The subject of ‘Tariffs’ like many others, seems to have become something beyond which debate is no longer permissible. But we know from experience, that when any dogma arrives at that status of unchallengeable, the conventional wisdom is nearly always wrong. Usually because no discussion of the subject is permissible in ‘liberal’ company.
Until the early 1980s the ‘Left’ in Britain were not merely in favour of high selective tariffs, but demanded PHYSICAL import controls (but only, of course for unionised and nationalised industries). Anyone who said otherwise was a ‘Thatcherite’ bent on ‘destroying’ British Industry, or, unfashionably ‘Old’ Labour. Read more
By ilana mercer
An “aging white population [is] speeding [up] diversity,” blared a headline on The Hill.
Once again, a Fake News outlet has confused cause and effect, giving readers the impression that the two trends—whites dying-out and minorities thriving—are spontaneous and strictly parallel.
The reverse is likely true. Corrected, The Hill headline should read:
Could speeding up diversity contribute to a decline in the white population? Read more
By D. J. Webb
Something interesting is afoot. We appear to be witnessing the re-emergence of the nation-state. Although it is true that the Western powers have for decades followed anti-national policies, ones that have unpicked much of the cultural fabric of a historic nation-state, geopolitical realities are gradually forcing change.
An example of this can be seen in Angela Merkel’s policies. She may personally be the product of earlier decades that laid stress on geopolitical co-operation, the co-ordination of policy internationally, multi-culturalism and similar globalizing causes. This suggests that she would prefer the uncomplicated spirit of international co-operation of earlier decades. However, she operates against a background of US relative decline and the failure of the euro project. Germany has been pushed to the fore, willy-nilly, to manage the Greek debt crisis, the Syrian migrant problem and relations with Russia and the Ukraine. Read more
A Theoretically Incoherent Critique of the Free Market
As a libertarian masochist who keeps up with the regular by-the-numbers attacks on libertarianism at Alternet and Salon, I almost dared to hope for something at least marginally better from Robert Kuttner at The American Prospect (“The Libertarian Delusion,” Winter 2015). I was disappointed.
“The stubborn appeal of the libertarian idea persists,” Kuttner writes, “despite mountains of evidence that the free market is neither efficient, nor fair, nor free from periodic catastrophe.”
But before you can evaluate what the “free market” can or cannot do, or how well it performs, you have to have a coherent idea of what the free market is. Kuttner never attempts an explicit definition; he just implicitly judges the free market by the performance of the capitalist system we actually live under. That’s an understandable approach, given that apologists for corporate capitalism universally couch their defense of the present system of power as a defense of “our free market system.” Read more
In Defence of Price Fixing
(Published by Tech Central Station in March 2003)
In February 2003, the Office of Fair Trading in London (www.oft.gov.uk) imposed fines of £17 million pounds on two British retailers, Littlewoods and Argos. These are the biggest fines in the history of British competition law. The offence punished is that the two retailers entered into an agreement not to sell the products of Hasbro, an American toy manufacturer, below certain prices. Read more
by David D’Amato
Note: For the record, David Davis and I are stand at the Powellite end of the libertarian spectrum. We are, even so, committed to providing a forum in which libertarians of every tendency can meet and discuss their differences in a civilised manner. If this particular exchange contributes to advancing the libertarian case, we shall not have put in so many years of our lives in vain to the LA Blog. SIG Read more