The first COMMENTARY Podcast of the week explores the political philosophy behind Donald Trump’s preferred trade policies. Does the European consensus on the value of liberal internationalist trade differ from America’s? Do the benefits associated with the liberal consensus around global commerce sacrifice national identity and cultural cohesion? If so, can the balance even be restored? Listen and find out.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine. Podcast today is Tuesday March. Twenty eighteen. I am John POD. What's the editor of Commentary magazine the seventy three robustly of intellectual analysis, political Nobody and cultural criticism from a conservative perspective join us A commentary magazine that com which I have to acknowledge has not been working well over the last twenty four hours, but we think we got a fixed tat. We have, fix the whereabouts of ethics anyway, it's fixed. Ok, sorry about that guy's.
We asked you to join us at the commentary magazine where we give you a few free reads in the Nazca to subscribe: one thousand nine hundred and ninety five for a digital subscription, two thousand nine hundred and ninety five for an all access subscription include. Beautiful monthly magazine. Your mailbox eleven times here with me is always a green while our senior editor hello, a pillow, John and no arrangement or associate ever hello, no John and sort of they are Senor Writer, hello, sore up a job. Ok, trade go what so basically we're gonna have a trade war, we're not gonna, have a trade war drum wants. A trade worry wants a twenty five percent tariff on Einstein. A ten percent tariff terrified of aluminum. Apparently he can declare this unilaterally M under at night and are a little used. Nineteen sick. D to law, allowing him to claim that there is a national security interest in having a funk. Extremely well functioning steel.
An aluminum industry. As it happens, we have a perfect perfectly well functioning steel and lose industry in this country. It's just employs lie fewer people than it did sixty years ago, so. That's where we are a lotta republicans are pushing back. Most economists think that terrorists stupid or see no self defeating or in our disastrously d jurists said distorting to the markets and trump likes them. Firstly, said that debt it worries, are easy to wind and then he said he doesn't want to trade war. He just once free fair trade and then it old Teresa made that he may be wasn't gonna, wants the tray war, and then he told somebody else that he was launching the trade war, so Maybe this is all a lot and nothing Noah. You have a theory that the president may
simply have raised this as a subject changer and will wait until the Democrats take over the house in TWAIN eighteen. So we can have a big ideological fight with them over the neither everybody's well, it would be weird. If you did, I mean I haven't really export that very very deeply, because, if you, where to go into an ideological fight over a trade war. With Democrats, he probably find more willing to engage on that issue with them Some of the Republicans is one of those moments where you see the real cleavage between a republican party that was steeped in a free market conservatism debated in this Reagan ISM over the course of thirty years and Donald Trump, who comes out of a pre Reagan, tradition, and is married to a conception of America that sort of stopped evolving and nineteen. Seventy eight and that's air, his maturation and didn't that's what you ve been perceived as being the appropriate response to tell it. First Syrian in in the global economic sector, like you said he for others, trade thing out and then there's all these responses, from Republicans
We are very concerned about it and overseas threats to retaliate against american goods and what have you would be a disaster and he hasn't added to it yet and it wouldn't be the first time, we ve had a float that landed with a third that was quietly retracted. So I am sceptical that the thing is going to go through as in as suggested the president and his administration, which are blanket across the board tariffs. Nobody seems to know, as anybody is talking about, the presence has blanketed across the board. Tariffs. Diminution comes out and says: Knowest Mackinaw applied in NAFTA members, which is not what the president has been saying, or anybody else and is a ministerial Wilberfloss holding up Kansas you're in Campbell Soup cans and saying it's not a big deal if you pay three cents more in each of these products? Nobody. But they're talking about so really is just sort of this separation in idea, it's not a policy, and I don't want to treated like a policy until it really is, but it really would be terrible if it becomes a policy and, as as John wrote in a recent com for the post, that it would eraser undo the economic gains
that we have already. We already are seen as a result of the historic tax cuts repass just at the end of last year. In this, and said look a lot of these anxieties about trade, often come up into the political arena. When there has been persistently slow growth. There is that when America, which historically grow around three four percent for about a decade, grew at about two percent a year and that has all sorts of social effects, all sorts of psychological effects where people feel like they don't have a future. They feel like immigrants and foreigners are, atheling their path to prosperity or blocking their path to prosperity and what, if a lot of those anxieties, would have dissipated if Trump, just let his tax cuts and the regulatory processes come
to bring to bear fruit and then we'll see where we are. I suspect that a lot of those types of anxieties would have gone away. We would return to a normal because the Obama period was abnormal, the. U S should not grow at around two percent a year a year on Europe, for it for a decade. Well, so well, we did also before Obama so the story, the historical story, as I remember at or as I can reconstruct it, was that again came in, and one of them though he was doing. Was the Democrats were largely a protectionist party in the ninety nine he's an Reagan, though he talk like a free trader actually was Policy, wise was a bit of a protectionist here and there, though often will cold war related we, we sanction Toshiba, for example, for selling things to do so
union we did not want to see the union to have. There was a machine tools tariff also relating to the whether or not the Soviets where you can get their hands on precision, guided machine tools that would help them in a funny way. Little wins and mighty, maybe too, and a lot changes because of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the idea that we could somehow solidify I and international. Pro western capitalist trading system and Bill Clinton basically helped convert the Democratic Party into a free trading party such that in his effort to expand the you know, the global economic system. He encouraged or basically caused account revolt on the left, in the form of the protests of the G8 and G20, the bat
Seattle. All of that stuff that went on that was because the Democratic Party join the Republican Party as a free trade, and there was no protectionist party anymore, and so Trump comes back out of not being a political person, sort of not having at having attitudes that were formerly different. Time comes back with tat, It's that he's always liked now, why most interest? the explanation here. I'm sorry. Let me just finished disabled flattering: there's one thing I can't me before I forget is that job mags. Who was the editor of popular mechanics made a bridge? in point in a tweed about how trumps fortune is we'll estate real estate is a zero sum game that, as there is a piece of property that you were fighting overs, if you get at the other, guy doesn't get it. If he gets it, you don't get it
and you know he may use try to plague. It was with a natural advantages with his politicians against your politicians and that this and then you have to do now, but You have to pay off the mob, who is so that comes understanding of economics from his own business. Is not an understanding of what happens with comparative advantage and trade when we produce a good and you there. After by its constituent parts and its helpful to you, to your consumer to buy them in the cheapest possible fast that does not take place in real estate, which has an entirely different set of concerns about, how you make profit and how you make money. So I thought that was a very illuminating waiter. Eggs understand why trump, unlike almost every major political figure in the world,. At the cat doesn't even think that it's important to pay lip service to
The international trading system, based on the notion that you comparative advantage benefits everybody in the system that dovetails nicely with what with what I want to say, which is that I really don't think Trump is going to back down on this in any meaningful way anytime soon, because people think that trumped doesn't care about a lot of things, and I have maintained for some time now. I think he cares a great deal about a very small number of things, and this is one of them. This is After what he's been talking about for more than thirty years and to him, it is a matter of common sense. I think I think he can, for the life of him, understand why we goodbye things from somewhere else, and we can be buying them from from manufacturers right here. It ended it that feeds it into his his own experience with with making money, I made a observation in the in the pre show nor the policy whenever it is, but it just is an interesting historical fact. John, you mentioned that
one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine Seattle Battle of Seattle, with soft tens of thousands of typically, I would say, hard left eye protesters pour out into the streets to target a gathering of the World Trade Organization, Back then, in the late nineteenth and early two thousands globalism It was primarily a bug bare of the left and harder left wit where they said that its duty of globalization involves the plunder of the resources, the labour and of the environmental ecosystems of of the global per periphery or the global south, and look what we're doing too to Vietnam, typically, where american companies are
and and getting to manufacture of their products at far lower far lower labour costs itself. As it happen that did not do. That did not that's not how globalization pan out for the global south we ve seen, I mean historically since world war, two in this current wave of globalization began, but especially when it as it accelerated in the nineties into thousands dead. You know a billion people have moved out of out of poverty and its common. I happen to know China bit because we have generally family, where you had families who were accustomed to eating meat. You know once once
was a special thing and now they can eat meat daily and and wages. Of course, people who used to live on a dollar a day are now lived or less than a dollar. They are now living on a lot more now, it's the right that says that that process, thank you very much Vietnamese in Chinese and so forth, like you're a your path. Prosperity has meant the decimation of industry in places like Pittsburgh in Cincinnati. So it's funny how arguments kind of shift like that and an eight year that the basic thrust is the same as just who the victim or the alleged victims. I didn't. I didn't. I can I can imagine that Donald Trump abandons his preconception, that all Turkey is fantastic and achievable and we should be working towards that goal. That's some! he's married to it sees seventy one years old. He is committed to it he's not going to change. But what I do see happening is sort of an inverse of which this is intended effect is which is a sort of solidifying, the consensus around liberal trade.
Regimes at the global level trade regime, particularly because I dont see Republicans backing again, we see more pushed back to this I've. Seen from just about any policy proposal, he's floated no matter how detrimental they may be, and the left his we have come to the consensus position that they have to be anti trumps, so that means being reflexively pro trade. In this unless you're really committed, ideologically any rate for the nation magazine or something like that, you're Security, illogical convictions are sort of fluid and attached to the preconception that wet Trump does is bad, so to the extent that you will be, a jazz about the prospect of a load of trade regime that hostile towards manufacturers. Hoddan and imports? Maybe that's what it takes a back seat to your anti trump agenda, where it will look so Hillary Clinton was forced by the exigencies of the democratic primary to turn on the transpacific partnership right, the trade, the observe expansion of free trade
south korea- and very you know, and because Bernie Sanders was opposed to it, and the surging support for Sanders and Elizabeth Warren ISM, and all of that suggested that she had to oppose this. Pretty much as a kind of grand child of the phenomenon that sort of was talking about it. They know what they don't say even on them left any more is that cat is that free trade is bad because it is capitalist imperialism. Drawing the countries of the east and the south that argument has fallen by the wayside, even though people were still making it as late. As you know, twenty ten with this. Oh, it's so awful apple, is making these phones and there, Sir, facility in China, Fox Hominids, really terrible conditions are really awful. And when you know apples are starting to take measures
there's against it, like tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, their cell You know that argument concerned to fade also so the joke here is that trumps course support on trade war with the EAST is the Bernie Sanders voter I mean that's. That night setting aside aside from you know a couple hundred thousand people in you know in these states that he carried or talk ready, it will support anything they want. But this notion that so the here's, the problem so We produce steel. Steel is bout the same sigh in that in the. In the manufacturing costs me steel, where
since the same percentage of the economy as it did sixty years ago, but it takes a corner as many workers to produce the same man of steel. That's part of the story now, if we were fully import, if we were exporters of steel, as we were how will work if we were really like, but even so the overall economy weep. It then simply there, economies of scale and reduce the number of workers necessary and China, is now the world's largest producer of steel, and we are not having said that, oddly, given trumps, interests? Seventy four percent of the still using the United States is produced in the United States and then the by far the largest importer of steel is China. Why would that be is there closer steals, really heavy transportation costs of its various Events have to export steel
and so you could drive steel down from Canada on trucks. You don't have to be no put it on a ship, so We produce seventy four percent of our steel and that we import, I know twelve or thirteen percent from Canada which isn't like importing it, which isn't Lades almost were producing at that, as they were not producing it ourselves, but were producing about our view now basically comes right down on a truck part partially because of NAFTA. So it's actually a terrible product to make this argument about except emotionally right. It's got tremendous mythical power, So let me go back to the seventies one other time still was bad. We were all told steel was terrible, The cities were still was produced for primarily Gary Indiana and Pittsburgh were involved. Mental disaster areas in which people were dying young from
pollutants in the sky. If you as I did, took a train from New York to Chicago in the night seventies, and you pass through Gary Deanna, the stink in the air, from the smelters and from the steel we're fine? What was repugnant, and the sky. Glowed purple. Ok, guy literally glow purple from the pollutants in the air from steel. So in them nineteen Seventys, which is when environment consciousness was first really raised this country. These were considered hell, This was considered hell on earth. There was no sentimentality better, steel industry, no sentimentality in Pittsburgh now for first deal outside of it yet, but in the centres of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, become a medical innovation, community, its becoming educate
the community has become a service economy just like everywhere else. You know one of the points I made my com. That sort of references is that the notion that we need to protect the steel and aluminium industries because of national security is belied by the speed with which, when we need to go on a war footing or anything like that for national security reasons, Weak M serve you now. Basically, certain events apt, an entire industrial sector out of out of nothing aside from Hector, we did in World WAR Ii, whereby one thousand nine hundred and forty four half of the world's industrial production was taken,
in the United States, even though, by the way we produced from nineteen forty one to nineteen forty five, you know the number of cars produced in the United States was three hundred and forty one. We simply stop. Everything became a military facility. Cars were not. There were no new cars produced the United States for years. Lastly, the lights are ok, so in two thousand and seven in industry came into being called how hydraulic fracturing lie. Steer. Twenty five billion dollars was invested and hydraulic fracturing there are giant export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico. There are their arbe lie. There two hundred and fifty thousand people at seven hundred and fifty thousand people excuse me- are employed, hydraulic, fracture, when there were zero
people employed a hydraulic fracturing in two thousand? Seven, that's a lead, that's not even eleven years, yet, okay. So the idea that we need to go on this and create will because to do this in a second, there was little causing about peak oil in two thousand seven inserting next year we will become the world's largest oil export. Her eye resurfacing Russia. We have no difficulty ramping up industrial production if we need to be. As arm because our supply lines are thwarted and given the fact that I facts that I've laid out about steel or supply is Canada, What if we needed to produce a hundred per cent of our steel, we could do it tomorrow, we're on surrounded by about Turkey just floating this idea is is is putting cracked since the general liberal consensus about international trade, and what have you and the guarantor of international trade, which is a national security issue, is the United States. We patrol the ceilings. We keep. The trade lanes open
once that the United States becomes the aggressor nation when it comes to the liberal trade consensus then that the prospect of allowing that or countenances. Or even the national consensus here around the the expense necessary for keeping its that ceilings open. It becomes a little shakier and that has what's guaranteed peace. If he was that, if you think, as I think that commerce is the is the rate of exchange when it comes to keeping the global peace, let us say it becomes especially shaky given Tron presidency, because if it were no longer doing that for our own benefit, because we live if we're out of the trade game and did to some large extent, he would have absolutely no problem making the argument that we don't need to be expanding. Cause resources for the benefit of other branch of the the,
I agree with able and I've just added to the people who tend to oppose the: U S lead the world trade order. Imagine that the alternative! I dont know what a world in which there are various and she's were all on relatively equal footing, but that's never been the case because you have different sized countries with different capacities to produce different abilities and so forth, but though, but the world that will get wasn't one that's not dominated by anybody else. It's it's a trade regime that will be imposed by powers China, who have no interest in rule of law with no inch interest in means being on a sort of quasi equal parity with third it partners you already seeing this with with the new silk road what Uncle initiative of China in in partner or they're, going all the way into Europe, even their courting com,
trees from central and Eastern Europe, who historically have very few ties with the Chinese, but the mob but they impose, is dead. There's there's no transparency to the deal's, it's a it's it's It's a did. The deals are primarily made by governments in essentially enclosed smoke, filled rooms and and even though a lot less concern for the environment and workers rights. So the idea that the Eu S retreat from the liberal system, will make space for a fairer system. Is completely wrong and rolling competing spheres of influence. You'll have you'll, have spheres which, which often because it's not clear wit, where someone fear begins and where it as theirs did these new fault lines that could be very fraught and war breaks out. So a protectionist world, I think, is a more fraught world having set I just want to open up a debate that we had an in the pre show, which is so. I agree that that world
dangerous, but I just think an option, I will present his side of the argument, but I think that something- happening. Nevertheless, in terms of how people perceive the liberal consensus, something has been broken and you You you ve, seen essentially a losing streak with a few exceptions for that consensus, beginning with breaks it, then you had the election of Trump across central and Eastern Europe, the kind of populist majority Marian type governments are taking power and displacing mainstream centre right centre left parties to take over by carbon of the Labour Party, so that a once moderate centre. Some social Democratic Party is becoming increasingly radical. Then, most recently you had the election in ITALY over the weekend, which I wrote about in a website where more than after the ballots. Well more than half the ballots went to protectionist anti immigration parties of various stripes. So I would say that the two
exceptions that people hold onto really are exceptions, which is a manual macro. In France, who managed to be back Marie Le Pen and Angela Merkel, who are very tight he was way as holding line against the alternatives for Date Deutschland Party, so Something's going on in my point is that we won't snapped back to the pre tromp pre breaks at pre, whatever age, that there's not a sort of practical conservatism that come back. If it was come, it is going to come back. My point is that it has to give on something. If I can. I say that is very, very ill to find way and realize that, and I know it disagrees, but that's my sense is that that late, 90s early 2000s world isn't coming back ok, so we will get to that debate. Absorb has started here in a minute, but let me take a pause here to talk to about equip our food,
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general liberal concern. Consists of the western democracies of the past twenty five years toward greater openness, greater transparency, fewer restrictions based on abstract notions of national sovereignty that that is breaking down. We ve seen all this Britain here, Poland, Hungary and now this some really kind of catastrophic, astoundingly catastrophic election in ITALY, for you know any conventional under saying a politics whatsoever, since I think by the by far the largest party, the party that got the large number of votes on the large nor seeds. Is this strange opposed any illogical internet based party that somebody said the other day was interesting. Is that british scanty, Silvio Berlusconi was the candidate that
brought ITALY into the television age when its politics had been serves, Claronique, India and now this party basically has removed the tears. The Berlusconi is now old. Hat serve reality, tv bung among a party weirdo. And now you have this internet based five star movement, five several but which was based originally in, Why did had some founded by comedian right there? so I've had a pepper guerrilla re February had this weird purpose ten years ago, when it started, and now it's or become He had internet access for all Would you like that? We're right every tab, transportation than some of em, and so we have, no one ever serve very anti immigration, nationalistic anti EU. Frame in this election, but it's all
So structurally, a kind of you no anti old ways and try something new when they are but you're saying that, on the one hand it trying something new using this radical new approach to restore something that's been lost, right, yeah well, they also mean what, where They stand out because the free internet in the pre transportation, in the no fossil fuel stuff it was they want. They want to end all use of fossil fuels in ITALY by twenty forty, twenty fifty so now that that would fit them the alongside say the jury, when Green Party or any sort of any centre left Green left alliance, but for the fact that their anti immigration right day they want their date is because ITALY has been on the front line.
Of these waves of migration actually began in the early like two thousand eleven twelve thirteen will you saw. Ten thousand people coming a month and then numbers just kept increasing, and then in twenty fifteen, you had unless markets open invitation which brought more than a million lot of events or Greece, a lot of moss across the Mediterranean from North Africa and obviously there first stop Islam producer, under the EU rules. Italy is the frontline country, so it has to absorb. You know where you land is where you have to claim asylum, and that ends up being ITALY and Greece, which puts a lot of pressure on not the not the most dynamic and healthy economies in Europe. So anyone might by my point, is that whether its immigration, primarily in Europe, whether its catholic identity in Poland and Cultural issues in Poland, whether its well trade in the? U S, status, this discontent dead.
Where people want continuity with what was before, because they said that the Gulf and corporate leads have changed too much too fast. That is kind of my diagnosis of western politics around around the west. Let's, maybe even beyond it, Yes, so I dont disagree with a lot of that. I mean at sea. It reads to me like Friedman Lex us in the olive tree, Erasmus remember Milton Friedman, book in a late nineties, identifying the tensions between the our jests associated with modernity and an embrace of western style capitalism and free global trade and the olives which is symbolic of national identity in blood and soil and routes. And what have you in these two things are always in constant tension and the perception- and it is perception that this is a zero sum game that one is in conflict with the other that the rise of one is is it did to the debt
for many of the other, and that not everybody is enjoying the benefits of this new. Global economic system, which is patently false. That is a misconception- permeates imperfectly popular conception, but it is a false conception of theirs, I'm in the movie sleepless in Seattle, which I think encapsulates this perfectly when These people are sit around the table at the newspaper they work out and some and a man says it's easier for a terrorist too. It's easier. Killed by a terrorist defined, a husband after thirty or something like that and MEG Ryan the stars will we says: that's not true. That statistic is not true that someone wrote a whole book proving that statistic was not sure that was Susan facilities. Backlash and rosy, o Donnell playing Migraines bosses. That's right! That's the basic, isn't true, but it feels true from that is ultimately
its point and sobs, and it is a sad advised this goes beyond you know. We can make rational arguments all day, long about the value of trade, the value migration all of this, but there are people for whom what we say does not feel true and the idea that we lost our country. We lost our way we ve lost, but we have We need to get it back. That feels true, so I'm not even if they know that it's not true. It feels true. That is the boy that is the popular spot in the trump pushes all the time, and this is where it's actually getting back to the liberals and the left and the and the GA the G20. They may have thought that what they were protesting was the depredations of capitalism, but what may have given that?
added Umph. Was this idea that the social safety net that involved capitalism and the United States and in the west was starting to collapse outside of politics that you know cultural? What? What do you know you ve all event in his book. The fracture republic talked about, though, that the consensus, the country of co, cohesive consensus that wasn't just government that was the town you lived in them out of their your parents, worked and lived in a will in the world
dad worked in the local steel mill and made enough money, so your mom could stay home and you went to school and there was all this social cohesion and that the social cohesion is lost. The problem is that you know if that, if that, if something happens due to gigantic historical secular trends and that net phrase, this act of reconstructing the net is impossible, that's not what's gonna happen, something wolf supplanted or replace it, if, if it can so because these are sort of overarching and emotional trends, it's difficult to argue against them, because they are resistant, But what we ve seen in this flowed from this last week of these tariffs is a significant push back from Republicans again, who are steeped in this kind of conservatism. But it's not an ideological position that their voicing their writ there being responsive to their constituents, all of whom would be negative the impacted by this trade laws, the people who are not responding in a practical manner
Are those who are reflexively pro trump like a Chris Collins's, and what have you and there's nothing for whom they could be moved from, a position they are responding in the illogically. They are responding without a concern for practicality. It is the non the illogical position to be risk to be reflexively anti trade barriers, because its substance, supportive of your constituents. So what concessions with this these people, who think that the western this consensus is broken demand. Well, what they might demand is something that would be harmed to their position has very little to say this, but it is the conceit public and governance that the demos doesn't always know what's best for them and that they elected call that it can see. That's like that! It's it's! I think where you're going is. Sometimes you can depend on populist opinion when you're talking about gigantic say macro economic trends because of what the pop we know, what an ordinary person on this It believes, may simply not take him. You know, or reflexive
The right amount of all. It is the responsibility of the republican governance to build a popular consensus, around positions that are valuable and Balin and not to be led by them that Different form of government Publican in the with long arsons? Ok, so I had this argument. This weekend with somebody at the APEC conference, oddly enough, even though it had nothing to do with Israel about Walter, our friend Ralf Walter Russell, needs. Your assertion that Trumpets Ajax Zonia, that he's your represents the Jack Sony in tradition, the United States on what's interesting, but the Jack Sony and Traditional United States. Is that, there is no Jack Sony and tradition, by which I mean that the age of accident Andrew Jackson, the first real populist president? He what he was what happened after him. He built no superstructure that could follow him because it was pretty hot I'll toward Superstore y know. He was an anti intellectual. It was
all emotional, and it was all about you know it wasn't. Emotional Emmy was where it was deep, deep rooted, but, for example, a move in the nineteenth century, led by a man, Andrew Jackson, who could not understand the symbolic nature of currency, meaning he believed all economic exchanges had to be object for jacked and his hostility to the notion of banks and the National Bank was this notion that you could abstracted so that physical money could represent. Symbolically represent property, and this was a bridge too far for him and his followers was an intellectual leaf. They could not make because only the elites could make it at the time understood believe you grew up in a system or before is largely viruses. The conception of currency that he rejected, predated, Jackson's, bourbon,
yeah, but in the United States. As you know, in the United States, a lot of them either. Basically eventually, economic transactions in the village level were barter and not enough, not related to other things. So, movement like that can't can't be followed by anything. Is it can't create a philosophy, or are you no set of principles that can endure so not only as a certain area in his car compartment? Mannerism went to the extent that he cannot effectively emulated or mimicked by anybody. We ve seen so far right he's all leaving behind him no one actual structures, no infrastructure. Whether my point is that so Jack limiting can build upon is a tendency in american life that pops up- and you know pops up at and has it pops its head up at times of
whatever the disjunction or you know, distress or something like that or a sense that things are working and it that's. Why you're talking about? Why he's doing trade, or why has this opinion of that are? Why does that you're, you're you're, going somewhere, that's not appropriate, because it's really the expression of these long held prejudices I use the word prejudice is not to refer to racial prejudice. I mean it's up. There is a kind of gut feeling that something is on and that there is a relatively simple answer to fix it. You know You have a problem of immigration as you as you consider it a wall. You have a problem, you you think the steel that you know it's too bad that we're not the dominant still producer in the world tariffs. He then it's all common sense about to address or ups point
My concern with the notion of the elites serve giving on something too, to slow the progress of the of the Anti liberal, populist wave or to slow down the progress of the Rosamond self. So it's more right. Ok, right with Syria is, is that I am not at all convinced that populism will be satisfied by compromise and in fact, I think if you consider that the Serbs list of events that have serve overturned, liberal consensus again and again, what we see is momentum
and I'm I'm I'm very sceptical that giving on something isn't won't, just in fact exacerbate momentum and, in fact, should give off the smell of desperation. Look look, look where we ve got that we have this is this. Is we just want to battle that Europe will not stopping so that lets? Take? Let's take the European Union. If a more or less borderless Europe works, then the momentum will stop like it, in the same way that if once its people realise that free trade is helping. The Vietnamese is not impoverishing them. That argument goes where this is something new and I both raising them in appreciable, but. The vast majority of people or non majority before lagoon lots of people it doesn't seem to work
a lot of people are saying that the nation state matters to me as a political form, as a put political ff what's in which I can find communion with people, and that Europe as a whole is to two large. I don't feel I, the Paul, don't feel any kind of commonality. With the with the nordic let's define what we mean by giving the European Union works. Pre Maastricht, let's go back to the European Coal and steel community. The idea was to prevent great power conflict, it wasn't a promote nationalism or identity or make sure fetiches was only made in Greece it, to make sure that France and Germany didn't go to war gap in that sense, This thing has worked pretty darn. Well, in fact, we have had one of the greater periods of peace that we ve
joining in the better part of the model we there has never been a period like this, and I think I surrender I think I'll have. Your point is important, but that, of course that was the that may have been the great illusion or the great error, which is what conservatives in Britain thought about the expansion of the EU in Maastricht and all sorts of things, which was that it's one thing to take these steps. Is another. You say boy that worked well. Let's do everything this way you now? Yes, let's just keep. Let's do it out this worked, so every night like all of you that if the ideas you can Integration is the guarantor of peace. Can you stop
that trend at a certain point has drawn arbitrary line and say: okay, this is, we will go, no further, ok cause. The mistake that was made in this notion is amiss. Was a mistake made by people who do not believe in the free market, which is that you'd market integration is real if it is real, in other words, impose even imposing a free trade zone from above may not be the way to improve. Have a good system of free trade which don't interfere with it. Don't interfere. Doats tone interfere with the workings of the market if it Ben
its people. Now, if it benefits people it'll happen, if it doesn't, it won't now in a place like societies that are different from the United States that are far less dynamic. Now, maybe you want to impose dynamism on them, but if your friend said you're working the same farm, that is unbelievably small by american standards that you're great grandfather, Gregory Grandfather owned, where you produces for specific kind of grape that only a region is allowed to produce, and then you open the entire thing up to comparative advantage and then your basically destroyed by the burgundy that is produced in you now, northern California. Maybe things are terrible, so there was all this effort in a weird way in the european trade system to impose this room above while helping to protect the social cohesion of old of of old.
That is also a mannered in any sort of it. Doesn't it doesn't admit of what free markets are about, and I M really you'd call you call it a free market, but it isn't really and its defends itself your protectionism, and that you you can draw a line, though I mean in the sense that there you can have a common market without a european court or a set of European European right. System that says a sovereign nation cannot expel x Y see jihadis before giving him twelve years of private. You know due process and love apply. In other words, it went from being a
common market, which is really good idea, has as preventive war to a system that did did erode sovereignty to a degree that various people various nations found intolerable rights are ever was forgotten. All these cases of of jihadis, whom the british government, duly elected elected, wanted to two expelled from Britain, but who, under it, because of various european human rights laws they would make. They couldn't sent him to Jordan because he might get tortured and Jordan Blah blah. That's that's the internet, but we're not talking about trade any more at all like now. We ve for example, on the job. That was precisely my point that you took. Common, sensible ideas about the market and you know doing things to prevent resource theft.
You know, and the prevention of other countries from gaining access to certain resources and all that and then you're saying you know what this worked so well, let's limit sovereignty and all other sorts of well, it's anxious. I mean, though, that there is the other side. It is now talking about all this surrender of sovereignty and national identity, and what have you but the trade rules in the EU are designed to be protected, of these nationalist feelings sentimentality around certain products that are created. Certain places in the you and you can make this, but you can call it that an that's something conservatives have always so that we have a strawberry them right and that is as vague version of protecting steel. But a thing is precise, opposite idea of this sort of global superstructure that creates european courts and the Shanghai Zone and what had its? Not because it's all applies only to them. You see so it's like Greece should have its cheese. ITALY should have its pizza you'd have France should have its wine? You know, because that's what makes them distinctive now,
but having their own laws having their own currency, and you know, and and being it's a it's a weird understanding of sovereignty to serve make Disney world. You know EPCOT out of Europe in which it out or you get to make her little bottle of wine, that everyone can come visit, provides for a day and sale. It's so charming, but that's not the twenty four century. Like you know, it's probably economically, more like Japan and it's rice. Paddies like this is economic foolishness, the way the french use their land and their their their arable land. It's it's stupid it's the year. They should be doing other stuff with it and then it's protected in perpetuity by this shoot see cultural the idea that doesn't actually admit of anything more serious than it is an imposition from up. It's like ass that have your nice. Have your nice feta cheese, that's really nice at so many.
And then America will go, make feta cheese and blow you out of the market because it doesn't subscribe to your rules, so Amerika can sell feta cheese and Greece, but you know miracle self, feta, cheese everywhere else, Margarets, I'm gonna buy feta cheese from Greece. I work as spokesmen summing up. That's in session that the nationalist no movement wants. That may make them warm and cozy inside to have their feta cheese, but everybody else's getting rich. Nobody saw ups point that have not yet speak resource. Is that's not what the nationalist want what they want. Is they don't want Muslims flooding into their country,
the EU, people think give them their cheese. They'll be fine with you, no five hundred thousand. You know a hundred and fifty thousand Muslims getting off. Boats and lumber do so on the on the beaches of Greece, but it turns out there not fine with it. It's not a good trade for them. They dont think that feta cheese is worth losing their ability to say go back or guenaud word to have to build large scale refugee camps. If they don't want, you know, that's what I'm not I'm, not in favour of champions of the liberal order, doing things that don't work because they are the they it's not what populist twont I mean beginning the do they can give when things aren't working, but that's a different question from saying we're going to bring in a tactically walk,
way from something we believe in an believe, and we can demonstrate works because where we were going to satisfying pot, ok, look there are moments in the sit in the cotton. This country's history, where large scale changes happen. That are surprising, because the consensus that form the previous policies collapse, so I can think of to one in Washington and one New York's on Washington. Reagan gets the tax, Scots through a nineteen eighty one, because the liberal economic approach was seen to have caused high for inflation and a recession at the same time, and there was no good argument against imposing the camp Ashraf tax cuts. None because was really like. Well, I guess we should try this now, because whatever we did didn't work and the same thing happened in New York with the crime, anti crime policies, Rudy Giuliani, where basically he was elected and the idea was well that didn't work
let's see what this guy can do, but those come at moments of crisis like we had this gigantic crime wave in New York and twenty two hundred murders and ninety. Ninety two right, five years later there are three Forty one murders in New York in the year twenty seventeen I mean think about that, so so that worked and similarly the camp Roth tax cuts work as we have this gigantic economic growth. If you dont have a collapse, so rob it's very hard to come up with the thing that the liberals have to give on. You can't just In separate out of thin air, I would say in Europe I believe I was I was that it really sympathetic series on on the refugee crisis, but looking back at it that wave of people, Where was we was really more than million just in twenty fifteen, and they would they would land on the island of Lesbos.
What we're normally tourist, essentially tourists, what vessels, but suddenly there that the every is I should level was packed with people from Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, wherever and they would land in Europe, and then they would just literally walk. They would walk from UNESCO Pierre to up to up to Serbia and then up through and then get to that hungarian translation in Budapest take a train to Germany and beyond. That was that was the collapse of Europeans. Will I will what that's not what we decided, that the tone of the reporting that I did at the time, because one is sympathetic to the plight of these people are going through. That's not how it sat. That's not how Angela Merkel draw your own aching is, what's the counter policy the words or how to solve them. To give on militarily containing the conflict in Syria, I totally group but fit, but that requires that would that's photo. You write the Europeans can contain
some of their own neighborhoods, let alone setting Reno. You know, setting fires and hidden around periphery, in a wider magazine of my eyes were taken. There can have the right to say sorry, I don't care what you who says I dont want this many refugees. I mean that's ok, now by the way, is what they're saying that's what voters are saying and that you don't need the liberals to get. They have yours that the liberals need to give on this because you know it would help them. Maybe, but Merkel is not if she is not cap, the number she is not a variety of indoor invitation stands it away and ok, given the german political system, she can. She could still hang onto power with it in a coalition, but that lack of real politics where people feel something an elite parties of the centre left and centre right can essentially block it drives people in
they will that? Ok. So that's where the EU is a ridiculous. The whole notion of the European Union is ridiculous, because what motivates Angela Merkel rules policy toward refugee. This is something that does not attach retain in ITALY. A Merkel is still working off Post Hitler post Holocaust, emotional ideas about what how Germany it's to behave as a moral actor in the world that ITALY? Well, I'm ITALY, France and maybe ITALY, but you know even Greece, which is very active like doesn't. Greece isn't doesn't have that you know imposition on itself or the notion that it needs to behave in a certain way in order to take care of its own past and so the notion that harm behaviour then effects policies and other countries, because she needs to deal with a german political reality,
This shows how political integration in Europe is a fool's errand, because in the end people had that's why Briggs at one and why people in England who donor sent. I still don't understand this, that this notion of saying we're not getting anything out of this, and we don't like what England is like under this new regime that keeps pushing at us
and behaving in a certain way. Maybe that's right, maybe it's wrong, but it's real. It's a real thing. You know the assertion of national realities are willing. Now America functions at such radically different ideas and bases that we ve gone to this conversation. Somehow we don't think of ourselves in out in the end, here's my my parallelism is you impose these tariffs and if they work brilliantly over the space of ten years, you'll create two hundred and fifty thousand jobs. Ok, if they work superbly, which they won't. So let's say they don't work at all, but let's say they work in anyway, the term could possibly want, and two hundred and fifty thousand jobs are created. There are three hundred thirty million people in this country. Every single one of them is a consumer. We're we're
an individualist country. So in order to create these two hundred and fifty thousand jobs, every single person in the country has to pay higher prices for things You now asked goals. We who was Obama's one of Obama's economics advisers said if you do all the math. It comes out to a billion, a million dollars, a job like you right, two hundred fifty thousand people a million dollar check, you would have the same effect. This is the head. That's not a good deal for everybody in America, but we we cause. We focus on the unwise the individual? Is we don't think about? Our sawston would have surrounded it if it was public sector spending is more complicated than that. I think
we're gonna get I guess, but it. But the question is to me how much purchase this could have not based on the actual economics and and and math of it, but on the emotional aspect and on this mythical idea of of well, I could have a lot and that's the problem. I mean the problem. Is that that's really active, it's just very inefficient and its detrimental itself harm and its responsibility of a politician, some people who know better and it leads to say you were doing yourself in your country- harm in this process. Even if it's an attractive thing to do with this, for any number of analogies to personal conduct of the delay, gratification and even a bit of self self restraint that union you don't do it feels good in the moment. I just don't know that this is the way Americans
think about America, Miguel Donald Trump and everybody older than he in those are his voters right and it's, Sir everybody over seventy five most white people over sixty five voted for Trump. They still they still have some of that social cohesion stuff in their head and they have some dim map in o enjoyable memory of the nineteen fifties, and so they think this is a real thing. But I dont think that anybody younger they live in the country in which this notion that I really it's really good for me, that more people are employed in young Stout Ohio in indeed our industrial sector. Then I like You know, I don't know how that's good for me. I don't know how on earth that helps me or my family or anybody that I know- and I am not just talking about living in new york- I mean if I live in Missouri. Why doesn't help me that somebody,
you know, I got a job in Ohio. That's that's a misunderstanding of how Americans relate to all of this. They had a bit of it because a world war two, because we have a collective we're NASH, collective industrial crisis that everybody contributed to, and that had a lot of overhang from twenty five or thirty years. But how it is forty years ago was forty years ago, and I just don't I mean I don't know who this speech still there the them the when her aid aid was the one who thinks it again. I do I sort of I fear it does. I know, but maybe you're right. I just I haven't seen them evidence of an american light. I ate speaks to the people who get irritated with common capper neck, doesn't doesn't yet and for the the anthem it It speaks to them in different ways. I mean it's not like solemnly economic speaking to but and I would- and I would venture the debts larger component of the american public. Then there
people in the media is that anger towards calling cabinet keep you warm when you're spending three hundred dollars more a month on consumer goods? Nobody or does the anger of calling cabinet? Why is a steel company, the equivalent of the flu? it was there was an idea, would what's good. For general motors is good for America, that was that was said in nineteen, fifty three, I dont associate any individual american industry with, as a signal The key for you know I know you're. This isn't writing review. I will be reviewing and each was book on talk much. Clinical trial. Guess what I generally, but what something she mentions in it is that NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal fans ever. If If, if there are whatever sponsors for nest, are, they will get their will eat those cereals they will, they will use those
detergents. They will that they that that is bad is part that is all wrapped up in there in their sense of identity, their tribal identity, mixed, no practical sense at all mean that they may be very, they may be great bridesmaid retirement, but that has nothing to do This is a similar point that that is this is sort of american steel is that writ large and its net it's. It will not help them well what one sometimes will keep them warm most. But in what it but it, but it won't, but it's it's it there's no practical reading. My my bet is: in the end of the day, if these things perform as they are expected, reform. If they're even implemented the voters going to say. Well, this national experiment, a nationalist populism, didn't work out, they're gonna say there is Theirs out of inflation and spending a lot more and products, and, unlike it, right they won't robbers conclusions, but they will conclude that the Trump administration was a failed experiment. Even if nationalist is populism, doesn't snap is as being the the
We have no evidence that the american brand is supported by the american consumer in the way that it behaves towards american goods. That's what I'm saying if you think what we don't know is what american steel, like I say, is seen as as the country's writ small so that its health or its burgeoning support or whatever is good for the country and that they associated with the flag and the anthem and not spitting on the flag, and not kneeling through the anthem and it's an interesting idea, but it would require some support for it. Now you could make the final case, which is that Trump one because of eighty thousand voters in the rust belt right and they'll hear this, and they like it and Elsie a little be great. On the other hand, if speed steel is more expensive. Cars are more expense which means that cars get more expensive in Michigan, which means that people work in the auto industry are suddenly. Be facing some you now,
consumers who may not by a new car because the car we just went up seven hundred dollars. It would just went up like you know, five percent in cost. So that's where you protect. One thing had heard something else in your base. With your base. Trump has rural voters the retaliation in the United States. If there is a real trade war will be with agriculture. That is. We heard that what you hit America, with if you're going for tariffs, that's not good for trumps voters there. A lot of them are, for I mean they're, not farmers, because nobody is a former anymore, but they will know of that. One percent of the country as a family farm or something, but they work in the agricultural sector. That's bad for them, that's good for his base. I don't know I don't like the electron can be convinced of this whole thing right, well, doesn't make any sense, that's what he is now remembered. That's what his National Economic Council guy
saying to them, but as an actual economic council, guys was the head of Goldman Sachs so you know what does he know about the real America is. Our secretary is really jazzed about making steel more expensive, founded a consortium of steel producers while there go see. He knows he knows the real America, not like you not like you Noah. You, in a sitting there near enough with your Georgetown cocktail parties and never been to Georgia, I don't. I don't have a social compromising. So we managed not to talk about anything except a trade and national consensus, and all that, and so the word sand numbered- have only appeared right now on the spot chasm among the period so for a green Waldner. Rossman inside the Mari John TAT works.
Keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-12.