Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tire Threat

Pardon my ignorance, but I didn't go to Harvard.

Then again, you probably didn't, either.

So let's ask this question together: "What, exactly, is the threat to the country presented by Joe Sixpack buying cheap tires from China?"

Are we trying to make the United States tire-independent? Do we rely on too many foreign tires? Are we trying to close a tire-gap vital to national security?

The answers all point to one conclusion. The United States is imposing a 35% tax on Chinese tires for one reason and one reason only: to discourage Americans from buying cheap Chinese tires.

The Chinese are understandably miffed. They complain. So once again, we must witness the absurd comedy of Chinese communists lecturing the government of the United States on the importance of free trade.

Critics of the Chinese will no doubt argue that the Chinese aren't true believers in free trade, just political opportunists who want to use the rhetoric of free trade to sell their cheap products in our market.

To these critics any thinking man must respond, "Of course." Or, less politely, "Duh!" The beauty of free trade is that it turns self-interested human beings into other-interested human beings by appealing to their nearly ineradicable self-interest. How else could you possibly convince all those Chinese to make cheap tires for Joe Sixpack, a guy they will never meet and who lives in a place they will never visit?

The world only works as well as it does because so many people aim to satisfy themselves by satisfying the needs of others. When governments start trying to dam up and redirect the flow of mutually satisfying trade, they inject politics into private transactions, making trade policy a department of government located dangerously close to the department of defense.

Let's laugh about protecting America from cheap tires, and use ridicule to expose the nonsense of protectionism. We should also pray that this comedy does not turn into a tragedy. Trade wars have been known to start real ones.

1 comment:

r.delaney4 said...

I'm not laughing because P. Obama will have blood on his hands because people will be forced to drive on tires that need to be replaced because they will not be able to afford the more expensive domestic union produced tires! This will surely cause more road accidents and P. Obama will be to blame. Obama's paymasters the unions are being rewarded for helping him get elected! The poor people who will be injured or killed due to Obama's payoff are just cannon fodder for Obama's ambition.