The Republican Party's Confusion on Trade

The author of the above piece got a fairly standard fundraising questionnaire from the Republican National Senatorial Committee. It contained the two following questions:

  1. Do you think it’s a good idea to renegotiate international trade deals to make sure we are leveraging our power in favor of American workers and U.S.-based companies?

  2. Generally, is there too much government involvement in our free enterprise system?


It is impossible for an educated person to answer yes to both questions.

If you answer yes to the first question, then the only intellectually honest answer to the second question is no. You could answer no to the first question and yes to the second question. Or you could answer no to both questions.

But if you answer yes to the first question, you are asserting a protectionist/mercantilist worldview, a worldview that is incompatible with free enterprise. So, to be intellectually honest, you must answer no to the second question.

Now I understand both parties send out these crap questionnaires with loaded questions.

But can’t they at least take a moment to ensure they are not contradicting themselves from one question to the next???


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Think a little harder, and quit thinking like a globalist, think nationalist instead.


Any and all nationalist policies are almost by definition government involvement in our free enterprise system.

Your mistake is believing they have beliefs they won’t abandon. You’d think four years of this would’ve shown you.


The only question that is important on that questionnaire is “what is your credit card number?” That pretty much goes for both the RNC ans DNC. Nobody is tallying the answers given.

It’s not even a brain teaser to answer yes to both of those questions.

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By being an international trade deal, there is already government involvement. Making it fairer for American workers wouldn’t make it more government involvement, just fairer.
Laughing emoticons nonwithstanding.


Why is the government involved?

“Trade agreements regulate international trade between two or more nations. An agreement may cover all imports and exports, certain categories of goods, or a single category. … The most important general trade agreement is called, simply enough, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).”

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People who support national independence as opposed to national subservience to a would-be World Governing body would see the individual states as comparable to a house-hold with a head of the house.

  • Do you think it’s a good idea to renegotiate international trade deals to make sure we are leveraging our power in favor of American workers and U.S.-based companies.

This is like asking, " Do you think it’s a good idea for the head of a family business to renegotiate his trade deals to make sure he is leveraging the family business’s power in favor of his workers’ and family’s interests?


  • Generally, is there too much government involvement in our families’ free enterprise system?


The government in the case of the business owner is the US and state authorities.

The government in the case of international trade is the would be globalust organisation seeking to impose trade practices on nation states.

Yes and yes.

I didn’t read anything contradictory between the questions.

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Is that all they teach in college these days, how to parse words, rather than actually think things through?

Parsing is thinking things through. That’s how these things work.

Deriding government involvement while at the same time asking for government involvement is pretty funny

If the answer is yes to the second question, shouldn’t the answer to the first be that the government shouldn’t make it any deals since that affects the free market system?

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Great. Why is the government involved in the free market system? How much involvement is good?

LOL, I won’t argue with you suffice to say, I’m educated and can answer both questions yes without overloading my brain. While you on the other hand, are posting about the difference between parsing and thinking, and have yet to answer the question.

Actually i have. You can scroll and then discuss if you want to.

Nationalist is by definition asking for government interference in the free enterprise process.

Why should US-based companies be favored? In a free enterprise system, if US-based companies aren’t up to the task of competing, they shouldn’t be begging for the government to protect them.

Sink or swim. Bootstraps.

I saw your answer, and it indicates you along with JayJay don’t see a difference between the way nations and individuals should be governed (globalist). Paul_Thomson has the correct answer, he sees the difference with how nations need to have different policies to handle commerce between itself and other nations, and commerce between individuals within its borders.

The OP is the confused one here, but then libs seem to think other countries having an unfair advantage over this country(unequal trade agreements and practices) is free trade and just fine. :roll_eyes:

The government is involved to keep people honest, let’s face it while a majority of people may be honest, there are some unscrupulous people out there (Bernie Madoff ring a bell?). The government’s involvement should be just enough to keep the playing field level, if they don’t, they end up with the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor with nobody in the middle to keep things on an even keel.