Sunday, October 03, 2010

History Repeating as Farce

Marx is funny (sometimes, when prescient)

Ok so now, well China owns $1 Trillion or so in US government bonds or US government-backed bonds. And so, what does the US government (Congress most recently) propose to do, but well of course ! It's time to raise tariffs against the Chinese. Just like when Hoover raised tairffs under the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, it's time of course to do so the same again under today's Great Recession when US uenemployment has been sustained at high levels just like during the Great Depression.

It would be funny if it wasn't so sick. Just like Marx said (a great writer, a horrible economist) history repeats itself as farce. What we need of course is more trade and more low-cost input-goods not higher tariffs. The Chinese keeping their currency undervalued hurts only their own in-country consumers, their own poor. It would be nice to think that the reason the US Congress and our not-so-new anymore President are upset about China's currency policy is because it hurts the China poor who haven't been able to see the benefits of world trade since the 1980s because the China currency policy has prioritized their exporters over the general populace.

But of course that is not the case, the reason the powers-that-be in the US government are upset about China's currency policy is not that it makes things cheaper for the average American, both consumer and producer, it is because it hurts those inefficient American businesses that have high labor union costs, and therefore aren't competitive in the world export markets.

Ah again it would be funny if it wasn't so obvious. Just another reason, like expanded unemployment insurance discouraging job-seeking, stimulus programs creating investment uncertainty, and low-cost money discouraging productive investment, that unemployment stays high and the dollar goes down.

Yes history repeats as farce, thank you Karl for that nice catch-phrase. There won't be a workers revolution but maybe someday, yes, people will lose their consciousness-fetters and vote free-market liberals into office and the farce can then therefore end.