Thursday, March 10, 2016
Edward Luttwak here Suffering from Trumpfobia? Get Over It reminds us that in 1980 the press regularly accused Reagan of being so crazy he would get us into a nuclear war. Eamonn Fingleton here Rubio a Disgrace praises Trump for his willingness to expose how East Asia still puts considerable barriers on our exports.
He is right that Rubio went beyond Trump in taking the low road. I was thinking of voting for him at one point but he turned me off.
Both writers see Trump as willing to challenge the conventional wisdom that somehow free trade has been a big benefit for America. In fact, our main trading partners China and Japan don't practice it.
Fingleton constantly points out how American infrastructure is going to seed. It is hard to disagree with him when one sees the sorry state of our airports and roads. I keep reading in the American press about Japan's doldrums economy. I visited Tokyo in 2014--it was like a gleaming Futurama. Everything new.
Many parts of the US aren't prospering at all; the Midwest is being hollowed out. Fracking has made some areas prosperous again--the start of an American industrial renaissance--but the Democrats want to kill it for good.
How free trade and immigration, both of which put downward pressure on American wages, are benefiting the country should be items for national discussion.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Trump has been doubling down on his call for a wall--now fifteen feet high--to protect the US from illegal aliens. He also has demanded the Mexicans pay for it.
As you know from reading this blog, our problem with illegal entry is actually improving. And in the case of Mexicans themselves, more might be heading back to Mexico than are coming in.
Personally, I doubt Trump is serious about his great wall idea. This is typical rhetoric for him. He starts out with an extreme position, and like the deal maker he is, he walks back to something more acceptable.
Such a wall would be impossible, of course, and will never happen. We have 45 official points of entry on our southern border with Mexico. These range from big bridges and highways to, in one case, a hand-pulled ferry in Los Ebanos, Texas. (I've seen it. This must be one of the poorest communities in the US.) Improving security at these entry points is an ongoing matter. Border security actually extends miles inland.
Hardly perfect, but the border has been more of a security priority since 9/11.
Ex-Mexican presidents took the bait and reacted predictably to Trump's proclamations, likening him to Hitler. Certainly Trump has been most discourteous. Also it isn't fun to be reminded by your northern neighbor that millions of Mexicans have had to flee north just to make an adequate living.
|The ferry at Los Ebanos, TX|