Political Economy, Politics

When Did Tariffs Become ‘Leftist’ Economics?

tarrifs-and-leftist-economicsIn addition to the unyielding virtue signaling of those who would not even for a second allow a thought to enter their mind that might violate the sacred decrees of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, there is an odd trend occurring from conservatives associating tariffs with “leftist” economics.

This is an interesting claim.

The U.S. Constitution does not say anything against the implementation of a tariff. Since this is the case, a tariff, no matter how high, if passed through the halls of the legislative branch and signed into law by the president, would be entirely constitutional. Imprudent? Maybe. Unconstitutional? I don’t think so. Moreover, tariffs have been used throughout American history to generate tax revenue.

Conservatives using this type of language – associating tariffs with “leftist” economics – are conceding a significant point to their alleged progressive rivals. The language utilized implicitly admits, if taken to be a correct assessment, that “leftist” economics has a tradition throughout American history that is not in contradistinction to the constitution, which negates the other side of the conservative claim that the constitution rejects the “leftist” economics of progressive ideology.

In order to gain points against Donald Trump, and demonstrate how “pure” their constitutionalist credentials are, conservatives are actually articulating a view of the economy that lends support to the progressive narrative.

The inconsistent argumentation offered by the elitist conservative vanguard is why the “free-traders” lost the argument to the economic nationalism of Donald Trump.

 

– Lucas G. Westman

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