By Chris Rossini
Donald Trump had a rally today in Pennsylvania, and he once again showed terrible flaws in his economic understanding. Now, your initial reaction to that statement may be, "Hey, but Trump is a billionaire. How can a billionaire be ignorant in economics?"
Ahh...but money is definitely not a measure of economic coherence. If it were, there would be nothing for us to worry about. We could put the very wealthy Hillary Clinton on the throne and let her get to work.
Does that sound like a good idea?
One can be very good at earning money and satisfying consumer desires in the voluntary sector, but we're talking about power here. We're talking about granting power to Trump that no human being should have.
We no longer have the relatively weak presidents of yesteryear, when one could walk up to the president's door and knock on it. Those days are no more. Today we have presidents that mess with (and subsequently mess up) hundreds of millions of lives.
So Trump's billions are meaningless when it comes to him using power to implement his very dangerous ideas.
Trump said today in Pennsylvania: "We are not going to let foreign countries steal our companies, and destroy our jobs."
First of all, that entire statement is laced with collectivism. Trump throws every individual in this country into the word "We" and then (of course) places himself at the helm. There is no collective "We". It's a complete fiction. There are only individuals.
As individuals, each of us has our own particular skill set. We then individually make employment contracts with other individuals. Everyone involved is buying an selling something.
It's a contract! Two parties that are each buying and selling something.
You don't "own" the job if the employer hires you.
The employer is then free to form a contract with someone else, as are you.
Trump says that "foreign countries steal our companies". That's complete nonsense! "We" don't own companies. The U.S. government doesn't own companies. No one is stealing anything.
Government can (and certainly does) make it impossible for companies to function in the United States. There are so many rules and regulations that companies throw up their hands and look for another place to do business.
Other countries are obviously more attractive. They don't make companies jump through thousands of flaming hoops. Naturally, businesses will setup shop there. Why wouldn't they? Are we supposed to think that everyone is a masochist? Everyone is just supposed to sit there and take it as government knocks them over the head?
Trump (in order to get votes, of course) tells the average Joe that foreign countries are "stealing" these companies. Then he adds insult to injury by saying that this non-existent theft "destroys our jobs".
Again, no one "owns" a job. When you make a contract with an employer, seldom is it a "lifetime" contract. Life is about constant and continuous change. We naturally yearn for homeostasis and security, and would love for those paychecks to be permanent, but they're not.
Trump should drop the protectionist rhetoric. It would be a complete disaster if his ideas were ever implemented. Trump should instead say something like this at his rallies:
"As President, I will do my best to make it attractive for businesses to once again operate in the United States. I will slash the red tape, abolish the ridiculous bureaucracy that grinds everything to a halt. I will cut, eliminate and dump government's endless meddling in every American's economic life. Everyone who wants a job, or to start a business, will no longer have government standing in the way."
Sadly, that kind of thinking is way out of Trump's league at the present moment. Fortunately for him (and those who believe him) it doesn't cost billions to learn economics.