Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.orgThose of us who didn’t succumb to government schools – know of the horrendous days of Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his hyperactive, spastic, shotgun-style approach to government.

Completely clueless on how to address the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s administration chose to spasmodically fire government money in nigh every direction. Hoping to spray enough bureaucratic coin to cover the Earth – and thereby mitigate the damage…his own overactive government was massively exacerbating.

Perhaps Oprah Winfrey came upon her idea to give everyone in her audience a car – by researching the Roosevelt administration.

“You get a program! And you get a program!! And YOU a program!!!”

The Great Depression would have been but a mild recession – were it not for Roosevelt’s huge government incursions into the private sector.

An accurate history of the United States would include a chapter entitled “Hideki Tojo Ended the Great Depression.”

Social scientist William Graham Sumner saw Roosevelt coming – way in advance. In an 1883 lecture entitled “The Forgotten Man,” Sumner spoke of the unmentioned victim of government do-gooder-ism.

Government do-gooder-ism hails the recipient of money – not of his own making. Hailed even more is the government official handing out money – not of his own making.

Forgotten…is the taxpaying man who has to pay for all of this nonsense.

The Forgotten Man is paying – for what Dietrich Bonhoeffer would likely have called “cheap grace.”

Where the government official preens proudly – and is all-but-sainted. For being so oh-so-magnanimous-and-generous…with The Forgotten Man’s money.

To head this Reality off at the pass – Roosevelt stole “The Forgotten Man” phrase. And perniciously warped it to mean not the government money provider – but the government money recipient.

Turning Sumner’s meaning inside out. All in his effort to promote his awful DC-centered centrally-planned New Deal.

Of course, Sumner’s Forgotten Man – the real Forgotten Man – never went anywhere. To this day, he is the one paying the massive and ever-increasing tab – for DC’s massive and ever-increasing dumbness.

And so too is it with DC’s warped, damaging and dumb definition of “free trade.”

Actual free trade – is free. Free from government impediment or imposition – on every side of the trade table.

What DC has allowed to happen for decades on the global market – is anything but “free trade.”

We have time and again – trade deal after trade deal – removed government impediments to nations getting their stuff into our planets-largest-economy.

While allowing comparatively-tiny-economy nations the world over – to slam us with all sorts of government impediments to and impositions on our stuff as we try to export to them.

It has been a half-century-plus of this titanic dumbness.

To give but one tariff example:

President Donald Trump accurately Tweeted about the car tariff disparity between US and China. We tax incoming autos at 2.5% – China taxes imports at 25%…TEN TIMES ours.

There are…oh, I don’t know,…nine trillion such disparate examples all around the planet. None of it has anything to do with actual free trade.

To give but one government subsidy example:

There are more than one hundred nations that trade sugar on the global market. Brazil – all by its onesies – controls nearly half the entire market.

How does Brazil pull that off? By subsidizing domestic sugar production – to the tune of more than $4 billion per year.

So Brazil’s farmers go to world market – able to charge $4-billion-per-year less than their competitors. I’m surprised they only control half the market.

There are…oh, I don’t know,…nine trillion such disparate examples all around the planet. None of it has anything to do with actual free trade.

Our ridiculous, knee-jerk “free traders” – say all of this is just fine. Why do we care if other countries tariff their imports, they ask. And if other countries subsidize their stuff – we pay lower prices for it, they say.

Just as Sumner described a century-plus ago, these ridiculous, knee-jerk “free traders” – have forgotten The Forgotten Man…as they defend DC’s dumbness.

The Forgotten Man – is/are the millions of American men and women whose jobs have evaporated as a result of DC’s fake free trade.

Every tariff another nation emplaces on our stuff – means we make and sell less stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat – and millions of US jobs evaporate.

Every subsidy another nation inserts into the world market – means we make and sell less stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat – and millions of US jobs evaporate.

When Trump bluntly cites trade deficits – it is his shorthand for all of this titanic dumbness. About which he is exactly correct.

Trump has begun to unravel all of this nonsense – with but a threat of steel and aluminum tariffs.

The threat alone – has roiled the world, and stirred nations all over to come scrambling to join us at the negotiating table.

And my guess – from a thousand miles away – is economic guru Larry Kudlow was added to the administration to develop ways, besides just tariffs, to put more pressure on the rest of the planet.

Because there is a whole lot of DC fake free trade dumbness to undo.

As we begin to pull the strings on all of the worlds’ assaults on an actual free trade market.

And hopefully wind up at “zero-for-zero” – where no governments do anything to any goods and services going anywhere. You know, actual free trade.

Thereby restoring millions of The Forgotten Man’s jobs – that DC’s fake free trade dumbness eviscerated.

But first…baby steps.

How does one eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

This first appeared in Red State.

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